Jacket suggestions - good ventilation - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada
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Jacket suggestions - good ventilation

OK, for the hottest weather I have a mesh jacket. What I'm looking for is a jacket that can be closed up tight to provide a good wind block for cooler conditions, maybe in conjunction with a zip-liner and possibly heated gear, but has effective flow-throw ventilation that can be opened up for warm to hot conditions.

I don't care if it's perfectly waterproof - I have little faith in anything short of a rainsuit being truly waterproof, and if it was it probably wouldn't be capable of really good ventilation with the necessary openings.

What I'm not interested in: "convertible" jackets that involve large zip-off sections to expose mesh with lots of fiddly, time-consuming zippers and such. I want large, zippered vents that can opened up and provide effective flow-through ventilation, and then fairly simply re-closed when it gets a bit cooler. This means that the jacket lining should be something that can flow air well, too.

Where I'm coming from: a few years ago I bought a Joe Rocket Meteor jacket. In many ways it seemed like it would work really well for me - comfortable collar, adjustable non-bulky cuffs (I really like these - a small velcro strap for adjustment and then a zipper for daily in-out use), adjustment straps on the arms to minimize flapping, and significant vents that can be opened up (two on the back, two on the sleeves, and two strips down the front that can be opened up. The problem is that the jacket has a solid "waterproof breathable" liner inside that effective stops effective air circulation.

Basically I'm looking for the sort of thing I could use on a tour, that could handle fairly cool temperatures with the addition of a liner, extra layers, and electrics, but could also be opened up with minimal hassle to handle fairly warm afternoon temperatures. I guess 3/4 length would be the way to go. And, of course, it should be comfortable, not too bulky, and have nice details (cuffs, collars, arm straps, etc)

Any good suggestions out there? I'm not too picky about brands, and I don't mind spending a fair bit.

Last edited by V-Strom Ry; 09-20-2010 at 04:42 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 12:03 PM
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Take a look at the Tourmaster Transition 2 series jacket.

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 12:16 PM
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This is the one I have had for about a year now. I really love it in the hot and the 2 liners work great when it drops down into the 30-40s.
Tour Master :: Textile Jackets :: Intake Air Series 2 Jacket

I also ride with underarmor teeshirts and just wet them down when it gets real hot. I is almost like having air conditioning on then.

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Last edited by Pvt93; 09-20-2010 at 12:19 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 12:17 PM
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I have a Tourmaster Pivot 2 Jacket. I originally bought it because of it's many vented zippered openings. It also has a zip out warm liner that I only use for the real cold times. I do not like it with all the vents activated because it balloons out. Kinda a catch 22 situation - in order for it to fit properly with the warm liner installed, the shell is made "bigger". So, when I'm not using the liner, the jacket is a little roomy - and when big air scooping shoulder vents are open - it becomes a self inflating bag! But, with only a few vents working, it's fit is decent. Still, not optimal.

Tighter the better. Which is why I got a dedicated Mesh jacket. I use my Pivot for colder weather and only crack open the vents a bit to keep cool. My buddy, however has one of those Speed And Strength "Hell and back" jackets. He loves it. The jacket is of the longer torso "adventure style" ilk... It's got snazzy waterproof zippered vents that you see on all the cool hiking apparel, and when it really gets hot, 3/4 of the sleeves zip off revealing a super breezy mesh jacket arm. It's a fully armored jacket too, so it's very protective. Also has a pocket for a camelback style bladder drink system.

Motorcycle Superstore has last years model on blowout sale [yellow only -and a lot more visible than my all black Tourmaster] for $129 - I'm thinkin' of picking one up myself and retiring my Tourmaster Pivot 2 ....czech it out!

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Last edited by jokermtb; 09-20-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 12:21 PM
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I bought a Killamanjaro Air a few years ago and it fast became my only jacket. I would say it's a 3-1/2 season jacket and the only time it lacks is when it's extremely cold. The waterproof liner keeps you warm enough and with layering or heated liner it's sufficient for the cold weather. Perfect for the hot humid weather,too. So far, I haven't felt the need to explore other options....until now. Know where I can buy a good jacket?

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post #6 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 03:51 PM
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I probably shouldnt mention it on here:mrgreen:, but I have the BMW Savanna 2 jacket for my summer riding, and find it very good.
Even with the liner in, its not a good winter one though.

We dont have access to the types you mention.

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post #7 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 04:14 PM
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Tourmaster Transitions 2 or for a step up in quality, the Olympia AST.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #8 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. I had thought the Tourmaster Transition 2 jackets looked like it might be just the sort of thing I want, but the review on NewEnough's website had this to say about its ventilation system:

The jacket offers waterproof construction by way of a mid-liner. Use of a mid-liner keeps water out effectively but the shell material of the jacket gets wet. Although the zippered venting is extensive the mid-liner won’t allow free flow of air all the way through the jacket to your skin so the overall effectiveness of the vents is moderate.

Which sounds like the same issue I have with my Meteor - the moving air doesn't actually reach your skin, which limits its cooling ability. That why I said waterproofness isn't so important to me - I know that with a lot of zippered vents, and without a waterproof membrane like that inside, it's pretty difficult to make a truly waterproof jacket. Anyway, my idea of a waterproof jacket doesn't involve everything short of the inner liner ending up soaked.

I'll check out some of the other suggestions made so far. Cheers.

ps, that "Speed and Strength" jacket looks very close to my specifications - comfy and adjustable wrist (with zipper) and neck (no velcro, yay!). Good ventilation, and lots of other good stuff. Only concerns would be the 3-layer approach - jackets I've looked at with two liners installed seemed to have a great bulk of material - and the lack of a full jacket liner. Given what I've said above I could probably almost just ignore the liners, using my own layers and electric gear for cool weather riding. I might even be willing to give the waterproof liner a try, although the middle of a long ride in cold rain is not the time you want to find out that your "waterproof" jacket isn't, really (but that's when you usually seem to find out).

Last edited by V-Strom Ry; 09-20-2010 at 05:05 PM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 06:38 PM
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Yeah, the Transitions 2 is no fun over 85 degrees. The Olympia AST is about the only jacket I know where the venting goes through the liner. The other thing I like is that the venting goes down both sleeves for 12 inches or so. Since your arms are out in the wind, that helps a lot.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #10 of 14 Old 09-20-2010, 07:06 PM
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I have the Teknic Freeway and it vents VERY well, and is warm and snug when you close up the vents. Love it.

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