The Hang’em High mesh jacket is basically a Moment of Truth with graphics. The Shift Air Avenger is nothing special as far as mesh jackets go but it does include a very high quality breathable waterproof liner.
They’re both fine mesh jackets that do what mesh jackets do well, but the adjustable fit of the S&S jacket will make for a more comfortable fit regardless of your body type, guaranteed. The only thing the Shift has over the S&S is a higher-end removable waterproof liner. The one in the Shift isn’t uncomfortable to wear. Only you can say whether or not that justifies the $100 more you pay for the Shift.
I love the S&S Jacket. I’ve always been a big fan of their products because the adjustable fit of their jackets makes for the most comfortable riding jackets on the market. It vents like a mesh jacket should, unlike most mesh jackets the entire side of the sleeve is a heavy duty ballistic nylon so it doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of protection to achieve that ventilation you can only get with mesh. I love the fact that it had a stock back pad that actually works.
Here’s the pros and cons of both:
S&S Mesh jackets
-Highly protective for mesh jackets
-Great stock back pad
-Adjustable fit makes for comfortable perfect fit regardless of body type
-Removable waterproof liner is borderline useless as it’s so uncomfortable to wear you’d rather just get wet
-Great removable liner
-Price is roughly $100 more than the S&S jackets
-Stock back pad is a worthless flimsy piece of thin foam
In my opinion the S&S offers superior protection and comfort due to the nature of its better stock back pad and adjustable fit that allows you to snug the armor up tightly to your body. It does all this at a price that’s $100 less than the Shift Air Avenger. I’d only recommend the Shift Air Avenger over the S&S if you absolutely needed that removable waterproof liner.
If you don’t need the waterproof liner or extreme adjustability then another jacket I strongly urge you to consider is the Scorpion Cool Rod. Currently on closeout from all the major online retailers for $99. It gives you the protection and quality of the S&S jacket sans the waterproof liner and not as much adjustment. It does come with a removable windproof liner that is breathable so it is comfortable to wear but it is NOT waterproof.
So really all it comes down to is whether or not the liner and adjustability are important to you. If you NEED a good waterproof liner with your mesh jacket and are willing to lose some protection for it and pay more for it, go with the Shift. Otherwise look between the Scorpion and S&S. And between those two it really all comes down to whether or not you’re willing pay an extra $30 or so for more adjustability in the waist and sleeves.