Shift Racing has a whole line of women specific riding gear that I had the privilege to review for Best Beginner Motorcycles. As an average body female rider, finding a jacket that fits me well is a task unto itself. I have larger hips and a short waist and I’ve tried other riding jackets which just choke me because my hips are too wide and they have no adjustments for it to fit properly. I recently tested the Shift Envy which is a full textile riding jacket and it has renewed my confidence that a manufacturer can make great fitting womens gear.
The Shift Womens Envy Jacket has a durable 600D poly fabric construction specifically designed for REAL women. I don’t have my own motorcycle, but I ride with friends a lot, and before this jacket, I’ve always just borrowed other jackets which are usually for men. They never fit me right and I felt quite unattractive and unsafe in them as the armor sat in all the wrong places.
When I first saw the Envy jacket I was a little unsure of all the bright colors, and standing out just a little too much. Though, when I tried on the jacket, not only did it fit my hips and not choke me, but I felt cute and sexy in it as well.The jacket has two zipper adjustments on the lower back to fit any hip size large or small. There are also accordion stretch panels under the arms for less restriction while riding.
I always carry a lot with me, so I really enjoyed all the pocket space. There are two side pockets on the front that are a good size and a very large pocket on the inside as well. My favorite feature was the perfectly sized pocket on the lower front for my cell phone or even an ipod which is very easy to access with a little snap button. I enjoyed that all the pockets and vents have a little cord on the zippers making it easier to grab and zip with your gloves on.
Another great feature about this jacket is it is great for all weather. It features a removable and washable inner vest lining which keeps you very warm. I usually have to wear a sweatshirt under the jacket and one over to stay warm and even then I still freeze just a little. While testing the Envy jacket, I rode during a very cold night to test out the liner. I wore only a small jacket underneath and was never cold the whole ride.
The removable vest is nice because it kept me warm without being too thick and making me look like a marshmallow, which no girl wants. Being textile instead of leather it breaths a little better making it great for summer also. Inside the jacket is lined with mesh and has two zipper vents on the front chest for better airflow. There is also a vent of the back of the neck.
The biggest thing about a jacket isn’t fashion, its safety. Being so vulnerable on a bike, I always want to be as safe as possible. Quality gear is usually what saves a life, and I definitely feel protected when wearing this jacket. There are removable CE approved shoulder and elbow armor which is quite comfortable. There is also an integrated velcro pocket with a removable soft back protector which you can switch out for hard armor if you wanted.
Another safety highlight are the little pockets for all the zippers to tuck neatly into which I thought was very innovative. My only complaint with the jacket were the zippers on the sleeves. On other jackets I have tried the forearm of the jacket zips up and then the zipper is covered by a strip of material that is secured with a button or velcro. On the Envy jacket this strip of material is there, but its position and function have changed. Instead of acting as a zipper cover the strip has been moved to the other side and now just acts as a way to adjust the size of the sleeve for those with smaller wrists.
I have pretty small wrists myself, but I found that this feature wasn’t needed at all. Even if you happen to have small wrists, if you adjust the strip to a smaller size then the sleeve folds in an awkward way. The worst part is that now the zipper is exposed and could catch on the pavement in the event of an accident. I think this was the only thing poorly designed on the jacket.
Overall I really liked this jacket. Not only is it a great jacket for street riding its also stylish and feminine enough to even wear it into a store or out walking around instead of stuffing it into the storage compartment on the bike.Its a very safe and quality made jacket for ladies of any size who want a comfortable and competent jacket while still looking like a women with style on or off the bike.
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