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.
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.
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.