(posted on Jun 02, 2014)
Just received my new jacket. Here's the good and the bad. The good - it sure is pretty! I'll give it 5 stars for appearance. The bad - read on. I ordered a medium based on the fact the sizing chart gave a measurement of 48" for the chest. Unfortunately, I guess I didn't understand the part that said these measurements are "outside the jacket." Consequently, my medium is about two sizes too small. I'm estimating this because the sizing chart does not give a recommended size based on actual chest size - mine being 40. Now I gotta ask. What good does it do to give the size based on the outside of the jacket when you don't have a jacket to put on to take the measurement? I also agree with the other rater, Arthur Smith, that there are not enough pockets. I also had trouble keeping the fleece vest down. A couple of velcro tabs would solve this problem. All in all, I was disappointed in the jacket as a whole. I give it 3 stars based on problems with sizing and lack of pockets. I cannot rate the functionality of the jacket, i.e., how does it perform in hot, cold and rainy climates since I did not use it. I'll leave that to others to rate.
I will return it for a refund and look elsewhere for another jacket. Being a GWRRA jacket, I wonder if the designer surveyed Goldwing members on what they would want in a jacket?
(posted on May 29, 2014)
A good idea for a riding jacket as it turns out. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.
Some clarification on the jacket itself: The outer jacket is a typical riding jacket with solid (ie not mesh) panels. A mesh jacket forms the inner jacket, and zips to the outer jacket with snaps in the sleeves and collar. A fleece vest zips into the mesh jacket. Each of the two jackets has hand pockets with zippers down low. The outer jacket also has a stuff pocket at the back of the jacket. The hand pockets for the outer jacket are a bit shallow, but the hand pockets on the mesh jacket are deep. The hand pockets for the outer jacket have zippers that appear to be water resistant. I haven't ridden in the rain since the jacket was delivered so I can't yet speak for water repellancy.
The mesh jacket has a couple small white solid panels on the front. At the back, where the stuff pocket is on the outer jacket, is a non-removable pad.
Both the outer jacket and the mesh jacket have sleeves for the protective pads mentioned in the description. Only one set (elbows, shoulders, back) is provided so the set needs to be transferred to whichever jacket is being worn.
Sizing appears to be on the large side: My 2XL jacket is loose even on me, especially when the fleece vest and mesh jacket are removed. The arms are surprisingly long, but work well when riding my Wing.
Now for the negatives.
1. NO INNER POCKETS AT ALL! None in the outer jacket, none in the mesh jacket. I'll admit it, I love having pockets. My other jackets all have lots of pockets. My First Gear mesh jacket has several inner pockets, including one specifically for a smart phone and even duplicates the smart phone pocket in the liner. The GWRRA jacket does not. I have no place to put my smart phone except the hand pockets. As a Canadian often riding in the US, I like to have my passport in an inner pocket. I like to carry a spare key to my bike in an inner pocket. Some people still use paper maps and store them in inner pockets. What were they thinking when they decided not to have any inner pockets?
2. GWRRA insignia. I bought a GWRRA jacket to advertise GWRRA. The round logo on the front is fine. On the back is simply "GWRRA" embroidered down low. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there, including many motorcyclists, who don't know what the letters in "GWRRA" stand for. I'd like to see either the large round logo or at least "Gold Wing Road Riders Association" embroidered on the back.
3. There is no GWRRA insignia on the mesh jacket AT ALL! Nothing on the front, nothing on the rear! I will probably use the mesh jacket the most, especially when it gets hot. I want to advertise GWRRA. No GWRRA insignia on the mesh jacket? What were they thinking???
4. Zipper. Many upscale jackets, including riding jackets, have a split zipper pull so that the bottom of the zipper can be pulled up when sitting or riding. This jacket does not.
As a touring rider, I like the idea of a lightweight outer jacket capable of being folded into a very small package while making use of the mesh jacket. When it's cool and/or rainy, I can make use of the two jackets zipped together, and when it's cold, the fleece vest as well. I definitely like the idea of a combination jacket.
Construction of the jacket ensemble appears to be first rate, and I like the lime green hi-viz colour. Unfortunately, this jacket will spend most of its time in my closet until I can add inner pockets to both jackets. I will also want to add GWRRA logos and/or insignia, adding significantly to the cost of the jacket.
As the saying goes, a good idea but poor execution. Three stars.
Arthur in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
'03 Candy Orange GL1800A