MC Tested

Chain lube, gloves, and threads that go the dis­tance

Motorcyclist - - Contents - —Zack Courts

MO­TOR­CY­CLE AP­PAREL QUAL­ITY varies wildly, but one com­mon theme is cheap­ness in un­der- and mid-lay­ers. From wa­ter­proof lin­ers to ther­mal lay­ers, some­times the ex­tra lay­ers that come in jack­ets are abysmal ex­cuses for cloth­ing. Like you, I’ve had a num­ber of fa­vorite jack­ets over my years of rid­ing, and in my case they’ve all had one thing in com­mon: I al­ways throw away the ther­mal liner.

With that in mind, Rev’it had an idea—in­stead of sell­ing a jacket with some stuff you may or may not want, how about sell­ing the jacket as a shell and sell the liner as a sep­a­rate gar­ment? Cyn­i­cal shop­pers might see it as a cash grab—that’s fair con­sid­er­ing the So­lar jacket is $200 on top of what­ever the cost was of your main piece of ap­parel. But, in de­fense of the So­lar, it’s great.

The first pro is look­ing pro—rev’it’s de­sign and brand­ing is sub­tle enough that you can wear the So­lar jacket ca­su­ally with non-moto friends and spiffy enough that they’ll likely com­pli­ment it. The in­su­la­tion is Pri­maloft—a fluffy, faux-down ma­te­rial pop­u­lar in out­door ap­parel—and it’s ter­rific. It cap­tures body heat ex­cep­tion­ally well and packs down nicely when not in use.

How many times do you feel like you’ve read the “it’s great but it’s ex­pen­sive” re­view? The So­lar’s worst en­emy is every out­door store in the world, where Pri­maloft-in­su­lated wind­stop­ping jack­ets can be found for half the price. I still rec­om­mend the So­lar be­cause I love it; I just make sure that peo­ple know there are other op­tions.

Which­ever route you take, take the time to up­grade your base lay­ers. Hav­ing a nice jacket to wear around a camp­fire or to a pub for din­ner is sat­is­fy­ing, and it’ll serve you so much bet­ter than the pa­thetic pile of polyester that comes stan­dard in so many jack­ets.

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