Cold Weather Textile Jackets to Consider This Winter

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cold-weather-top

Fortunately for us Californians (an unfortunately for the rest of you), winter looks different everywhere. Some of us need the best in waterproofing technology, others need a guard from crazy low temperatures, and some of us just need an extra warm layer or two. Throw in various riding styles (touring, commuting, sport riding, and more), and the gamut of options gets pretty expansive. Here are some winter textile jackets that will meet a variety of cold weather needs.

Alpinestars T-Jaws WP
Alpinestars T-Jaws WP Jacket – $269.95
The Alpinestars T-Jaws WP Jacket is a new textile version of the popular JAWS leather jacket. It’s ideal for those of you looking to do some colder weather sport riding or commuting and not looking to spend a lot of cash. It’s got a Polyurethane (PU) coated outer shell utilizing Alpinestars version of Gore-Tex, which they call Drystar, which is both waterproof and breathable. It has a removable thermal liner for additional warmth, and accordion stretch panels and pre-curved construction for improved fit. The T-Jaws comes with CE certified protection in the elbows and shoulders standard with PE padding in the chest and back, which you can upgrade to Alpinestars’ BioArmor (which we recommend). We sort of glanced over this one when we first saw Alpinestars press material, but were really impressed when we saw it in person.

 

REV’IT Oxford
REV’IT Oxford Jacket – $299.95
The REV’IT Oxford is part of REV’IT’s beautiful new “City Collection.” It’s perfect for those of you commuting this winter or for taking your bike out for a night on the town, though you’d probably want to wear a sweater underneath. The Oxford is composed of three layers: an outer layer composed of heavy cotton, a secondary layer of Hydratex (their version of Gore-Tex), and a third insulating layer. It comes with Knox lite armor at the shoulders and elbows, with pockets for a CE 2 rated back protector. If you’re looking for something nice looking, nicely priced, and that can keep you warm enough; the Oxford should be on your list.

 

Alpinestars Megaton Drystar
Alpinestars Megaton Drystar Jacket – $299.95
We aren’t sure if we were initially drawn to this jacket because of how cool it looked or because we kept thinking it was named after Transformer’s Megatron but, the more we learn about this jacket, the more excited we get. The Megaton is constructed of 600D Polyester with PU coating. As with many of the jackets on this list, it’s waterproofing comes from a secondary liner (Drystar in this case), and it also features a third thermal layer. Protection comes from CE armor at the shoulders and elbows while you can upgrade the padded back panel to real armor at an additional cost. The shoulders, elbows, and lower back are all reinforced with additional ballistic nylon panels and the cuffs at the wrist and neck have been lined with neoprene for a more comfortable fit. The Megaton has tons of vents, gussets, and pockets; making it applicable for all sorts of jobs and, at such a low price point, we think the Megaton is an absolute steal.

 

SPIDI Voyager 2 H2OUT
SPIDI Voyager 2 H2OUT Jacket – $399.95
The SPIDI Voyager 2 H2OUT is cold weather tour/adventure/dual-sport jacket that is incredibly versatile. It uses the same three-layer system as many of the jackets in this category, allowing you to use the layers you need for the task at hand. We’re big fans of SPIDI’s fit and, if you’re a little longer and leaner like Wes and I, SPIDI is definitely a brand you should be looking to for gear. The Voyager 2 H2OUT comes with the standard armor setup (CE at shoulders and elbows) and has pockets for the optional additions of back and chest protectors (their chest protectors are awesome). If you’re looking for a Hi-Viz option, the Hi-Viz Voyager 2 H2OUT is only $299.95 on Revzilla right now.

 

REV’IT Sand 2
REV’IT Sand 2 Jacket – $489.99
Last year, I took the REV’IT Defender GTX Jacket to Seattle and back, choosing it over the Sand 2 because I wanted something all black and Gore-Tex. Turns out, REV’IT’s version of Gore-Tex (Hydratex) is awesome and most of you aren’t as crazy about aesthetics as we are, making the recent Revzilla “best textile jacket” award winning Sand 2 one of the best jackets you can buy period. It literally has too many features to list here, so I’ll trust in your abilities to click the link and read about it for yourself, but some of my favorites are its neck brace compatibility (for adventuring), a bevy of snaps/zips/tabs for fit adjustments, and the overall general thoughtfulness put into designing this jacket. The only real flaw is that it uses the same three-layer system (as do many jacket) that aren’t as effective at keeping you dry as something with a waterproof outer shell.

 

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  • HunteR

    I notice you guys dont seem to feature Klim gear very often. Any particular reason for that?

    • Scott Birdsey

      It was funny to see this as I was just thinking the same exact thing.

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      Took KLIM gear to Taste of Dakar last year and it’s absolutely fantastic. They sent me their cheap setup (Traverse) and it blew my mind how nice it was. I was actually thinking about how I needed to do an adventure inspired roundup to get them worked in.

      While some of the jackets on this list do double duty (adventure and general use/touring), the KLIM stuff is a little more specialized and at a little higher price point (which it merits but only if you’re looking for it to do a more specialized job).

      http://rideapart.com/2013/07/taste-of-dakar-seans-gear/

      • Brian

        KLIM actually makes a fair bit of gear for cold usage like snowmobiling, that actually would suit the types of weather condition here for this article nicely. The Badlands Pro jacket would be excellent for Cali winter rain whereas the Adventure Rally jacket would suit other disciplines and conditions across the country.

        • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

          The Badlands Pro is a high tech adventure jacket. Complete overkill unless you REALLY like the word KLIM across your jacket.

          • Bones Over Metal

            One could say the exact same thing about the Rev’it Sand jacket, Only it takes 3 layers to do what most Klim jackets do in one or two.

          • Brian

            at least half of the jackets in this list are overkill. the KLIM fits right in IMHO. Maybe the article should then be “reasonable” winter jackets then and go with jackets like Icon Patrol, Scorpion Commander, Olympia AST2, or things like that.

  • Jay

    Is the Aether insulated? How would it be in warmer weather, or is it winter only?

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      It has vents and would be great for both though we haven’t ridden with one yet, so we can’t attest to how well it vents.

      • Guy

        I’ll wait until you guys ride with one on.

  • Eric Shay

    I recently got the Alpinestars Andes set up. I would say it is completely awesome for the price, but it does let air in right in the center of the chest which kind of bums me out. Otherwise it is really comfortable and fits well even with its limited adjustments. Oh, another negative point. the knee armor velcros from the bottom, so if that opens the knee pad falls down. So maybe it’s not that great.

  • Kevin

    I loved my Dainese D-System D-Dry jacket (circa 2011 in that bitchin military olive color) but was very disappointed to have a minor low side on pavement blow a hole in the elbow. $500+ is too much to spend on a one-and-done, so I’ve moved to leather with a rain suit.

    • Rob

      I’d mention that at the same price you could have had the Darian, had it repaired after your spill for a fair price, then continued to enjoy the benefits of a very nice textile jacket; but you obviously have different priorities.

      • Kevin

        I’ve prioritized protection, yes. Was that the point you were trying to make?

  • Kevin

    I swear, the Aerostich design ethos can be summed up as “F*** it, I’m too fat to care anymore.” Cracks me up. I’ve got friends that swear by it, respect to the company, love that it’s made in America and all that, but… just damn. LOL

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      im actually laughing out loud.

    • Michael Howard

      Most – if not all – of Aerostich’s riding gear is designed and sized to be worn over other layers.

    • 1destroyed_student1

      One of my best riding buddies wears a blue one. He looks like a smurf.

  • E Brown

    I like the Canyon but my favorite Aether is their Skyline and when I win the lottery that’s the 2nd call I’ll make.

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      That why you asked for my number in that email?

    • SteveNextDoor

      “Tell you what I’d do with my 1st call, man….”

    • Strafer

      I have the Skyline – use it a lot
      I’m trying to use it year round – it stops all wind so with layers underneath I think I will be fine for the winter. Little hot for the summer if you are sitting in traffic, but if your moving should be ok.

      Aether recently opened up a shop near me so I went for fun and tried on the Canyon
      I was actually not expecting to like it much but was surprised
      I’m 6’4 and most of that is a long thin torso so most jackets sit several inches above my waist but the Canyon has a nice flap in the back that covers down to my jeans

      I have a lot of trouble finding something that fits especially in leather, but I find the Aether jackets to be a little more forgiving fit wise than leather.

  • William Connor

    The Rev IT Sand II is terrible. I was completely soaked wearing one with the liner zipped in and buttoned up tight. Was the most disappointing jacket I have ever owned. Olympia makes some decent gear at price points that easily fit into what you reviewed here.

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      I’ve heard nothing but the opposite from plenty of people.

      • dead_elvis

        I can’t address Rev’it stuff, but I’ve owned a few pieces of Olympia gear over the years, and they have all performed admirably under heavy use.

  • Brian

    you guys need to look at KLIM and RUKKA, seriously for this list !!!

    • Beewill

      I was thinking the same thing. No cold weather list is complete with out KLIM or Rukka. Both came from making the best snowmobile gear out there.

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      Read above. Those wonderful pieces of gear, but they cost quite a bit more because they include a ton of extra tech for adventure and off road purposes.

  • Justin McClintock

    I have a Frank Thomas jacket I got a couple years ago on sale. Don’t remember the model, but it has titanium plates on the shoulders (not why I bought it). It’s got a zip-out thermal liner, and an additional waterproof liner (although the shell is already water resistant). I freakin’ LOVE that jacket. You put both liners in, you are NOT getting cold.

    And….now Cyclegear doesn’t sell it anymore so they can sell some in-house crap instead.

    • Stephen Mears

      Frank Thomas was and in house brand of Cycle Gear to begin with.

      • Justin McClintock

        No. Frank Thomas is a European brand. You can still buy their gear over there. Cyclegear was simply their sole US distributor.

  • Justin McClintock

    I’m confused as to why the Aether Canyon is even on here. It doesn’t sound like it would be good in the winter at all. Why wouldn’t I just zip the liner into my leather jacket and throw on a light sweater underneath instead? And you know what….it’s LEATHER. And it costs LESS. And I already have it! The Aether Canyon just sounds like somebody looking for the answer to a question nobody asked.

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      Why would you buy anything on this list if you already own a setup that works?

      • Justin McClintock

        Because some day, I’ll need something new. But the point is, most people are going to have a leather jacket anyway. Many leather jackets (most perhaps) come with some type of zip in insulation and vents that can be closed. They’re not as good as a full-on winter jacket (which is why I have both), but most leather jackets with a zip-in liner are probably just as good as a this Aether Canyon. And despite how well it holds up for being textile, leather is still better….and in this case probably significantly cheaper as well.

        • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

          Unless you live in Portland or Seattle anywhere else that stays a little warmer, but get’s real wet.

          You missed the part about winter looking different in different parts of the country and people having different needs.

          • Justin McClintock

            Perhaps, but it just strikes me as more of a “wet weather” jacket, not a winter jacket.

          • dead_elvis

            I’d like a simple “does it work for commuting in Seattle/Puget Sound/PacNW winters?” qualifier on waterproof/insulated gear!

  • Bluesceyes

    I’m really torn between the T-JAWS and Megaton. I would already be riding in the cooler weather but can’t because I can’t make up my mind. I do mostly sport biking and commuting and want something that will fit Astars pants and be good for fall through late spring.

    • SteveNextDoor

      Can’t speak to the T-Jaws, but I took delivery of a Megaton last night. I’m picky and have been on a search for a new jacket for weeks now, and so far this is the only one I have not created any new cuss words for. It’s well-made and well thought out. For the price, I think this is going to be a nice jacket for Fall-through-Spring, and with the venting available, should be usable on all but the hottest Summer days while at least moving (we’ll see). The Revzilla video review covers the features well.

      Since you mentioned sport bike riding in cooler weather, I’ll say that this jacket has a pretty long tail on it; I’m 6-ft 220 lbs with a normal length torso, and my XL jacket covers probably half my butt. It does include a zipper for connecting to A* pants. Collar is tall and has multiple adjusters, doesn’t hit the Adam’s apple too much or cause issues doing shoulder checks (have had both issues on other cool weather jackets I’ve tried lately). Fitment overall is good with and without the liners in, armor doesn’t move around on you; only complaint would be a bit of tightness in the chest/shoulders, but this is not uncommon for me when shopping as I have an athletic build, it isn’t so bad that it annoys me or hinders my movements and I like the fitment everywhere else too much to up size. Hope this helps.

      • Bluesceyes

        Thanks for the input. Sounds like the one for me as long as it doesn’t bunch up too much when I’m leaned over.

  • Jon Cramer

    I’ve got a Belstaff XL500 replica, but that Rev’it hits the same marks for far less $. And you don’t have to pay to get it through customs.

  • phoebegoesvroom

    I’m kind of surprised you’d recommend a shorter jacket like the T-Jaws for winter. I just imagine a nice slice of cold air sneaking right up the hem and into my core. Brr!
    I love that Oxford, though. Who needs a Barbour when you can get this instead?

  • ms

    As a year round rider I obsess over gear. Pretty happy with my Rev’It Ventura jacket, although a heated liner is sometimes necessary. An Eddie Bauer First Ascent down-filled sweater helps on milder-but-still-chilly days. The Scorpion Fury looked great, but I couldn’t find any reviews before it was discontinued and my small size was no longer available :( Picked up an Aerostich Roadcrafter, haven’t gotten accustomed to the more “relaxed” fit so I rarely wear it except in the rain. Just adding my two cents, since you didn’t review anything for women in the article.

  • Linda

    For the ladies point of view – I have a Revit Legacy goretex jacket. I live in Portland and am lazy so really like the built in goretex. This has worked very well for me and is very comfortable

  • Mark D

    I bought the Alpinestars Lucerne drystar jacket, which seems to be functionally the same as the Megaton jacket (lol, these names, jesus.) For ~$250, its a great, great jacket. While baked-in waterproofing can be nice, having a removable liner really helps the jacket breath in dry weather. Adding in bioarmor back and chest armor makes it as safe as anybody needs on the street.

  • appliance5000

    Teknic has gone out of business and I picked up their freeway HP jacket for shortish money.. I love it. 45 F with only a T-shirt – 3+ hours and drizzly -and it was fine. Beautifully made, nicely tailored (ie i don’t look like the michelin man) and very marked down.

    The sprint looks good too but there’s only so much room in the closet.

  • Granite

    I have logged many thousands of miles in my Aether Canyon Jacket here in Colorado. Freaking love it. I dig the fit and performance. You will need to layer up in order for it to be a winter jacket, just as any single layer non insulated shell needs to be. Works in hot dry climates as the venting works really well. I have used it off road riding the high passes of Colorado to cruising on my around town bikes. Rode it through some seriously nasty weather in early Sept this year and never worried about water leaking through. They apparently are working on a pant which I ll buy when it comes out to match.

  • markbvt

    Might want to also consider British Motorcycle Gear’s offerings. Great stuff at a very competitive price point.

  • Vince.L

    Any input on the Icon Raiden Patrol Jacket ? I’ve heard some people say it was great, other told me not so great. As usual, huge bias toward Icon for both of them… One of them swears by it, the other one says it’s a n overpriced piece of gear.
    I’ve decided not to listen to any of them…

    Looking for a friend and an unbiased advice on this one ;-)

  • Slacker

    I personally sprung for the First Gear Kathmandu earlier this summer (going from a Vanson leather) and I love it. Works well for the summer, wear a hoodie under the jacket and liner and you’ll be golden! Heated grips are magical as well.

  • 1destroyed_student1

    < Thank goodness I was able to find a great coat all on my own- because it seems all the moto mags forget that women ride too.