Alpinestars Lance 3L Jacket Review

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Alpinestars Lance 3L Jacket

An activewear hardshell you can ride in? The Alpinestars Lance 3L looks and works like a waterproof rain jacket, but incorporates removable, CE-approved armor, making it safe to wear on a bike too.

The Gear
Take one seam-sealed, waterproof hardshell and add a zip-out, synthetic puffer jacket liner. Either piece can be worn on its own, with the puffer hiding its connection zips in clever pockets, so it looks like its own piece of outerwear. Inside either piece, you can zip and button-in a mesh chassis containing Alpinestars own Bio Armor, a thin and flexible type of armor that’s easier to wear than even D3O, while providing superior impact protection.

That hardshell is made from bold colors, with contrasting, waterproof zippers and flashy logos. It incorporates a large, non-removable hood; fleece-lined, generously sized handwarmer pockets and a high, stand-up collar. All the zippers park themselves in little garages, helping keep water out in inclement weather. The pockets on the upper chest conceal shock cord adjusters that wrap around the chest and center back, while the collar can be cinched down for riding with its own shock cord adjusters. The hood can be velcro’d down to keep it from flapping around while riding.

Bio Armor protectors on the elbows and shoulders are as good as it gets in a casual-style jacket, but the Lance only incorporates pockets for chest and back protection, which will need to be added separately. The Bio Armor Back Protector is only $30, while the Bionic Chest Pads are $40.

Alpinestars Lance 3L Jacket
The Alpinestars Lance 3L Jacket looks good, on bike or off.

But what about abrasion protection? The Lance incorporates what feels like an additional layer of 200-Denier nylon on its elbows, shoulder and across a generous swath of the back. Comparing it side-by-side with the Aerostich Darien Light Pants, the materials seem very similar. As with those pants, we’d trust the Lance to protect us in a get-off of up to about normal highway speeds, but it will likely sacrifice itself in doing so. We wouldn’t want to trust the Lance for high-speed, sport riding or rely on it on a long adventure touring-type trip, where gear might need to stand up to multiple get-offs.

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  • Piglet2010

    If I bought one of these, I would likely wear my Alpinestars Bionic vest under it, rather than using the chest and back protector pockets – provides more freedom of movement, and it seems the vest would be more likely to stay in place during a crash.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Yeah, you could fit whatever underneath. Nothing beats the convenience of built-in armor though.

  • msay

    Not linking to the Revzilla product page for this one?

  • Fresh Mint

    Awesome review and even better than the words – THE PICTURES..I’m nearly sold…before I add one to my wish list…Are there any competitors to this jacket worth looking at?

    I’ll probably stick with the A* brand though just because of how awesome a company they are.

    • Fresh Mint

      I would LOVE to see a comparison of “casual” looking riding gear.

  • Fresh Mint

    How does this compare to the SCION 2L? Is it basically a Scion 2L with that inner puffy vest?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      The Scion uses a much lighter shell material and doesn’t include the puffer jacket liner.

      • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

        What size are you wearing?

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Medium, sans puffer. I’m 6’2″, 180lbs.

          • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

            Thanks. I’m just about the same. A* sizing is very inconsistent

            • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

              It is. I have a ton of Astars stuff and none of it fits the same at all.

  • Geert Willem van der Horst

    How does it compare to the Astars Dusk 3L? Just a style difference?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Good question. It was my understanding that the Dusk was a little more pricey and included a removable hood, as well as more muted color options.

      • Geert Willem van der Horst

        You’re right about the removable hood and the muted colour options, but same price. Looks like the Lance has an extra pocket on the sleeve. I initially thought it had a different fit and that the Dusk was lacking the air intakes, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Both great jackets I guess, but I’m still not convinced about the abrasion resistance.

  • Brett Lewis

    Guns and bikes, bikes and guns… I never use this acronym but; FTW! You have my full attention now. And it looks good for hiking and even backpacking.

    • Piglet2010

      A*s should have a special version with a built in recoil pad.

  • Brett Livingood

    I don’t see how this is any better than the $200 Alpinestars Verona WP Jacket

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Well, it’s a completely different style of jacket. The Verona is a low-key riding jacket. The Lance is an activewear hardshell that doubles as a riding jacket.

      • Brett Livingood

        True. As Fresh Mint pointed out, it’s very similar to the Scion 2L.

        Why spend $400 on this jacket instead of $200 on a jacket with the same functionality and style paired with a separate $50 vest?

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Different materials. The Lance is much heavier duty.