Gear: Icon 1000 Federal jacket

Dailies, Gear -


icon federal 1000 top

The Icon Federal 1000 jacket is, without exaggeration, the best thing to ever happen to women’s motorcycle gear. It singlehandedly conquers every long-endured problem we have with armored riding jackets and we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief for the retiring of the too-short, bum-exposing hems and boxy, 1980′s shoulder lines.

Icon Federal 1000 Jacket in black

The Federal jacket is hand cut, machine sewn and comes in two finishes — drum-dyed antiqued Brazilian cowhide (my choice) and a limited production red complete with a natural grain, hand-applied waxed finish. There was absolutely no break-in period needed for this jacket — it zipped on like a second skin and, even being my first experience with body armor, was incredibly sleek and easy to maneuver in. A low-bulk quilted red satin liner provides some serious warmth but can be zipped free in seconds. D30 CE certified armor is located in the elbows, shoulders and back and is also removable but really doesn’t compromise the fit and comfort of the jacket when it is in place. Custom, oversized YKK zippers adorn the wrists, hips and front of the jacket and can be worn fully zipped or open to enhance the feminine silhouette of the jacket and provide the wearer with a little more wiggle room. The two-way zipper can be taken all the way up to the high collar and buttoned underneath one of the shoulder flaps for a snug fit or zipped halfway to provide a more open, retro look. The belted waist and back darts are the final touches on this curve-hugging masterpiece.

Zipped up to the high collar

Icon finally realized that enhancing the waistline and not the hips is key to that feminine fit that, until the release of this jacket, has eluded us for years. At 5’9″, I have difficulty finding jackets that are long enough to keep me appropriately censored while on my bike, but this one works with any and all riding stances. The overall look of this amazing jacket is something akin to a road warrior/vintage military coat hybrid and stands so far apart from the competition that it deserves a class all of its own.

Bottom line: the Icon Federal 1000 jacket would be merely impressive if fit and comfort were the only two things that it was being graded on but the aesthetic of the jacket is what turns it into a stand-alone masterpiece of women’s riding gear.

Emma is a friend and fellow motorcycle enthusiast who recently bought the jacket with her own money. When she posted a picture of it on Facebook, we badgered her into writing her opinion on it after she had worn it for a few weeks.

  • Rob

    Yeah, that’s a nice jacket. The offset zip and epaulets arrangement is very cool. Thanks for the write up.

  • Paul Redican
  • Mark Desrosiers

    That is a sweet looking jacket. Anybody know what type of bike Ms. Bass rides? It’d almost be a shame to wear a jacket that stylish on anything other than a ratted out 80s sport bike or decent cafe racer.

    • Dane Gaffney

      She rides a Triumph Bonneville. I think she is on number three?

    • Emma Bass

      I ride a 2012 bonneville t100, before that it was a 2002 bonneville that I totaled when a teenage girl pulled out in front of me in a dodge ram, before that was a 1972 daytona. Reliability is the most important thing at the moment as its my primary form of commute but I look forward to an eventual project bike =)

      • Mark Desrosiers

        That totally counts as appropriately stylish!

  • JB

    That’s the first good pic I’ve seen with the asymmetric collar zipped up and the storm flaps button, and that thing is simply stunning. Well done Icon. Now I’ll just have to find a girl I want to be around long enough to buy this jacket for.

    • Mitchel Durnell

      Buying gear for someone you’re seeing makes them break up with you (the more expensive the gear, the faster the break up.)

      • orthorim

        I sense sadness….

      • Scott Jameson

        Doesn’t always work: gear & m/c; she hangs in there.
        : )

    • Scott Sweeney

      Buying gear for your girl is like getting her name tattooed on your body. Break up imminent.

  • Lance Zabrowski

    Nice jacket-and you used a “real woman” too-nice job!

    • the antagonist

      More importantly, a real rider.

    • Rumblestrips

      I always find it funny that overweight women are praised as “real women.” Honestly I think it is political correctness at it’s worst. All women are “real women.” Seriously, get real.

  • Kevin

    That jacket could double as a uniform from a Sci-Fi movie, and I mean that in a good way. Very stylized, very bold and original.

    • Robotribe

      Seriously, I am the ONLY one who saw that Captain America movie a couple years ago? All I hear when I see this jacket is,”HAIL HYDRA!”.

      I guess the SS had an “Iconic” look.

  • DucMan

    Hot woman, hot jacket. Fantasies of Starship Troopers moto love affair. And she rides a Triumph….Not fair. Triple threat, beauty, brains and bad-ass. Not fair.

  • Scott Jones

    Refreshing to see an actual woman modeling gear she actually wears.

    • Mykola

      These references to “real” and “actual” women confuse me a bit, because I’ve never seen a mahu that rides.

      • Mitchel Durnell

        Yes, while thin, the Brazilian girl is also a Real Woman, just a different shape. Pity about the terminology delegating women as real or unreal.

  • yipY

    The jacket is too busy on many levels.The design is straight out of the Fahrenheit 451 book.The facetious pastiche of biker,racer,Montag’s monday and a winter’s fire warden does not work.Aesthetics aside,a womans jacket needs elastic or pleated flanks to allow for changes in waistline.

  • KevinB

    Not a fan. Looks like it came out of some post-apocalyptic 80′s movie.

    • Davidabl2

      And this comes as a surprise..coming from ICON

    • the antagonist

      If you look at Icon’s history, their current marketing, and their recent customs, it appears that’s EXACTLY what they’re going for.

  • Blixa

    Emma – thanks for writing this up. I’ve had my eye on this jacket for a while now (just need to scrounge up the change, ha!). I’m your height and I also fear accidentally mooning the people behind me on my bike, so thanks for that detail. One question – what temperature(s) is the jacket ideal for? I’ve only owned textile revit stuff so not familiar with leather’s on-bike properties. Thanks again and the black was a good choice.

    • Emma Bass

      I live in long beach, California so while we’ve been having a cold winter for our region (30-40 degree mornings) we’ve had a couple of days that get into the high 70′s. I have to say, I’ve not once experienced a weather that it doesn’t work in. When it gets warm I just zip out the quilted liner and its still comfortable and airy enough that I don’t get stifled. I have a feeling it will fare well in the summer with how well the ventilation works. Hope that helps!

      • Blixa

        This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!

  • GG

    Redhead FTW!

  • HoldenL

    Not a big fan of the buttoned-down shoulders thing when it’s zipped up, but I guess you don’t have to button those buttons. And with the zipper offset like that, I’ll bet it’s warm (undrafty) in cool weather.

    Nice to see a model here who is built more like my wife (and, probably, built like a lot of this site’s female readers, or wives and girlfriends of readers). Thanks, Wes.