THE RiDE VERDICT
No clear winner but two excellent jackets
Regular readers will know we hate a product test with no clear winner. However, this is slightly different; there are two distinct styles of jacket on test here, each with a best performer.
There are three jackets — the Oxford Stormland, the RST Commander and the Weise Ozark — that are what we would describe as a ‘British’ style and construction. They are designed to protect the rider from the very worst weather conditions, with thick and warm thermal liners to ward off the cold. However, they are also fitted with coolingair vents for comfort as and when the temperature begins to rise.
Then there are what we might call ‘European’-style jackets — the Furygan Voyager 3C, the Rev’it Horizon 3 and the Bering Alaska. These would appear to be aimed more at slightly warmer and potentially drier climates and are lighterweight and more flexible. They would appear not to offer quite as much warmth but generally seem to have bigger and more effective vents for cooling air-flow though still keep water out.
The Oxford is a great example of a ‘British’ jacket. A traditional, heavyweight garment designed to keep the very worst weather away from you while offering reassuring protection — AA rated and with Level-2 armour. It is the kind of jacket you would choose — and be happy you did — if you were tackling say the North Coast 500 in March or October. It will keep you warm and dry yet will allow you to cool down if the temperature starts to go up.
The Bering Alaska is an excellent example of a ‘European’ jacket. It is lighter-weight, more flexible and while not quite as warm, will do just as good a job (almost — add a storm collar and it is on par) of keeping the rain out. Just as the Oxford would be perfect for the NC500, the Bering would be ideal for say the Route Napoleon in Spring or summer. It’ll keep you warm on chilly mornings, keep you cool as the day goes on and will keep the rain away should it arrive. It’s also £70 cheaper than the Oxford and even if you upgrade to Level-2 armour (like the Oxford example), the price is still slightly lower.
As a result, since both seem to do slightly different jobs but just as well, we feel that each is well deserving of a Recommended triangle.
It’s also worth noting how close the other jackets were in this test. It’s rare that we see only four marks covering the entire field. This highlights just how good all of these jackets are and also, how the advancement of technology brings with it huge benefits to the riding end-user.
‘Two styles of jacket, each with a best performer’