SHIFT Racing Womens Viper Leather Jacket
This review was written by Jen of Juror2.com – Exceptionally Curious T-Shirts. If you like to see funny stick figures in compromising situations then go to her website an d buy some shirts! Ahhh spring! The time of year to sit back and reflect on how it’s time to upgrade your gear before the summer riding season revs up.
I had a jacket, tried and true, but the logos were peeling and I’ll be the first to admit it made me look like a marshmallow. So it’s not hard to see how glancing at the new Shift Viper might be construed as love at first sight. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the words “Hellooooo NURSE!” ran through my head when I first laid eyes on this jacket.
Distressed edges… stylish embroidery on the shoulder… snakeskin accents… animal print lining?!? HOT!
Fit & Feel
Aside from the aesthetics, the first thing I noticed about this jacket was the suppleness of the leather. Usually I have to wear a new jacket for a month before it really starts to feel comfortable. Shift decided to distress this jacket (I assume for fashion purposes) but the process really softened up the leather and made it way more comfortable than most leather jackets on the very first use! As an added bonus, the armor is easily removed from the shoulders and elbows with a quick rip of the Velcro. No girl likes to sport her bulky riding jacket around town with all the sharp edges that come from the armor… it’s just not flattering. It’s really nice to have a stylish jacket that you don’t feel confined to wearing only when riding. Sadly, it won’t zip to your pants, so if you’re looking for that full bodysuit feeling, you won’t find it here. Although, there ARE adjustable side zippers so you can make the jacket tighter and looser depending on how bulky your riding pants are! …but let’s be clear that you shouldn’t wear any jacket without armor when you are using it as protection and not as fashion; broken bones and road rash are never sexy.
It only takes a couple buttons and snaps to feel secure from wrist to wrist in this puppy. Each zipper pull is covered by a flap of leather at the end to prevent snagging during crashes for added peace of mind. While I wouldn’t wear this jacket in the height of winter without a warm vest underneath, I found it ideal for spring and even the black leather was quite breathable during the milder parts of summer. On a side note: I’m a 36B and I found the chest area to be roomy enough for a couple extra layers… but I don’t think I’d go above a D if you’re looking for some serious extra space. I’m already wearing a Large because my shoulders are so broad and it fits comfortably.
My only complaint is the magnet neck “snap.” Not only does it catch my earrings whenever I swing my head, but it’s just not very secure. I wish it were a metal snap or Velcro. In fact, the whole neck area feels very loose to me. I might not feel that way if I wore more layers under my jacket, but most of my clothes tend to be relatively skin-tight, so I just feel like I have this exposed neck area. Maybe I’ll start wearing a scarf…
- Style – One of the best looking jackets out there
- Safety – 1.1-1.3mm Leather and CE approved armor
- Adjustability – You can take out the armor and wear it like a normal jacket if you want
- Comfort – Jacket is comfortable right off the bat. Very little break-in period.
- Loose neck area
- Annoying Magnetic Neck snap at the neck
- Doesn’t zip to pants
- 1.1-1.3mm Vintage-look Leather
- Women’s specific, articulated design
- Removable CE approved EVO-Lady™ shoulder and elbow armor
- Asymmetric front zipper design for added style
- Synthetic leather and embroidery detailing
- Adjustment zippers at hip for a personalized fit