Jacket Recommendations, Texas Weather
August 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm #3250ThePope78705Participant
I am a new rider, taking the MSF course this weekend and planning on getting a sport bike (probably a 250) later this month.
In Austin it has been over 100 degrees everyday for the last 4 weeks and I was wondering if anyone could give me a recomendation for jackets that can offer good protection without drowning me in sweat?
I am mainly going to be commuting around 15 minutes to/from work with the occasional weekend ride.
Thanks!August 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm #21315eonParticipant
For those sort of temperatures you should look into cooling vests. Being in Seattle I have not felt the need to invest in one (but wish I had over the past month) so I will leave it to others to comment. You can also get cooling thingies that go around your neck. I might be getting one of them before next summer rolls around. Regarding jackets a mesh jacket is probably your best choice. You will be sacrificing some protection for comfort but overheating is dangerous in itself. If you have the money, I love my RevIT Turbine jacket. It has CE Level 2 armor in the shoulders and elbows but you have to buy a separate back protector. Just remember you will need gloves, boots and hopefully pants as well (and obviously a helmet).August 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm #21322eternal05Participant
This is a very light-weight, breathable, and comfortable mesh jacket for hot-weather riding (especially if you get it in white). It’s also affordable brand new ($150). The big problem with this jacket is that it is visibly flimsier than more expensive/protective jackets and causes me to question its durability in a high-speed crash. It has CE-certified armor in the joints, but the material and stitching seems like it would really suffer in a slide.
As eon hinted, we’ve just had a brutal heat-wave (for Seattle) recently, setting the highest temperature documented in recorded history at 103 degrees. This jacket saved my ass during that stretch, though I’ve gone back to leather now that it’s cooled down.August 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm #21325Sangria7Participant
Here is a cut and paste from the article I wrote in http://www.Thunderroadstexas.com
Shift Racing Airborne Mesh Jacket
Summers in Houston, Texas can be brutal. Both heat and humidity can make riding in Houston rush hour traffic simply miserable. I wear a full leather jacket for most of the year but when the heat index begins to reach in the 90s, I have to switch to a lighter type of riding jacket. A couple of months ago, I got a hold of Brian Horton of Shift Racing. Shift Racing is a leading manufacturer of motorcycle apparel. I inquired about their new Shift Racing Airborne Mesh Jacket for 2009 and asked him if it could withstand the hot Texas Summers. He told me that I would have to test their new jacket for myself and find out.
First Impressions and Appearance:
When I got the jacket I pleased on how nice it looked and especially how light it felt. The mesh material is constructed using the tighter weave style of ventilation instead of the open weave of some jackets. This will keep protection to a maximum while maintaining airflow. The jacket comes with shoulder, elbow, and back padding for additional protection. The cuffs uses Velcro to keep them shut and each side of the jacket have zippered pockets. Finally, there is one inside zippered pocket on the left. The front and back of the jacket also has reflective piping for increased night visibility. This jacket is available in four possible color combinations to include a solid black, which is the one I tested. The Airborne Shift jacket has a nice look to compliment both cruiser and sport bike riders alike.
My commute is a long 40 miles one way and often in standstill rush hour traffic along I-610 on the West side of Houston. I put the Airborne jacket through three types of scenarios: standstill in heavy traffic (no movement or below 5MPH), moving at low speeds (below 45MPH) and moving at regular speeds (anything above 45MPH).
The week I tested the Shift Racing Airborne jacket, the temperature averaged between 89-92 degrees Fahrenheit with 70-80% humidity. Though this is not the hottest it gets in Houston, this is still a fairly hot temperature for most of the United States. With these conditions I used the jacket in the three scenarios mentioned above.
At 90 degrees and 80% humidity, I felt very cool in the Airborne jacket. I did not experience any lack of cooling at this speed. In fact, wearing this jacket in less than 70 degree weather is a bit chilly at high speeds. Let’s face it; any mesh jacket will keep you cool when you are moving in speeds higher than 45MPH. Test number one passed with flying colors.
At low speeds, the jacket felt cool at times and hot at others. Though the heat did not get to me, I did sweat in the jacket. After all, I was still wearing a jacket in 90 degree weather. I could feel the air flowing into the jacket, but of course it was hot air, so I still give the Shift Airborne jacket thumbs up at low speeds. Test number two passed.
During dead stop traffic on I-610 with the heat and exhaust from hundreds of cars and semi-tractors, I found myself sweating bullets. At this point, I do not think any amount of mesh could have kept me cool. I even unzipped the jacket to fully open it, but the ambient temperature and the heat from all the other vehicles is simply unbearable. I can say however, that I could feel every slight breeze through the jacket. This exhibited to me that the jacket is very breathable. The ventilation worked and jacket did its job of letting of air in and out. Though I was still technically “hot”, the Airborne jacket passed the test in my opinion.
Lastly, for just zipping around the local neighborhood, the Airborne jacket proves to be very adequate even at temperatures over 90 degrees. I am happy to have a nice jacket to allow cooling ventilation, while providing me with protection. Yes, just a t-shirt, would have been much cooler, but I think I am prefer to keep my skin.
• Ventilation system is top notch
• Very lightweight
• Nice choice of colors
• Put smaller “Shift” logos on the arms
• No waterproof liner for those rainy summer days
• Vented mesh main body fabric construction
• Articulated design for superior comfort
• Removable CE approved shoulder and elbow armor
• Durable 600D polyester shoulder and elbow panels for additional protection.
• Integrated back padding for additional protection
• Integrated pocket for a back protector
At an MSRP of $119.95, the Shift Airborne Mesh jacket is a great affordable summer alternative to the leather jacket. This jacket is well worth its cost and actually a superb value. It was rated a full 5 Stars (out of 5) based on independent reviews.
So as always, ride safe and “See you on the high ground!” For more information visit http://www.shiftracing.com/us/August 6, 2009 at 10:06 pm #21324Sangria7Participant
tsk tsk no one remembers my magazine aticles…
Shift Racing Airborne jacket – I ride about 100 miles a day ..everyday…in Houston Texas.
I have worn the jacket in 105 deg and though the ambient temperature is hot, its the closest thing you can get to not wearing a jacket…August 6, 2009 at 10:09 pm #21318JackTradeParticipant
I live in the Washington DC area, and it gets pretty hot+humid here in the summer too. As Eon says, get yourself a quality mesh jacket (and maybe mesh pants too), and you’ll thank yourself. They do a great job of passing air through when you’re in motion, and at least letting heat escape when you’re not.
I have a Fieldsheer High Flow jacket, and it does a great job. CE-rated hard armor all around. Not a lot of pockets unfortunately. I wear it with Fieldsheer Titanium mesh pants (they zip together) for a good balance of protection and comfort.
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