Gear: Roland Sands Design Women’s Oxford Jacket

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Roland Sands Design Womens Oxford

Roland Sands Design has no business making protective riding gear. I mean, there are plenty of companies cranking out leather jackets with protective armor, thankyouverymuch; it’s just kind of rude for the new guys to be raising the bar so high, you know? If the devil is in the details, they’re going strait to hell with the new Women’s Oxford Jacket from Roland Sands Design. Serves ‘em right.

Like RSD’s first-generation of protective riding gear, the materials and workmanship are superb. The top-grain cowhide leather (.8-.9mm) is a knock-out to three out of five senses: looks, feels, and smells amazing. If you could hear it, it’d be purring. If you could taste it, it’d taste like a filet mignon, medium rare, wrapped in bacon. With dark chocolate sauce.

And Flaming Hot Lime Cheetos on the side.

Quilted accents, a belted waist, and antiqued pewter hardware are style elements more common to the Paris runways than any garage I know. Caution: if you lean over a gas tank when you ride, don’t do it in this jacket unless you have a protective decal covering it (the men’s version, The Clash, has a smooth, harmless facade).

The Women’s Oxford Jacket is decidedly haute, but it’s not designed to be a jacket for all rides. Dual sport or technically demanding riding merits a bit more protection.  It is armor ready though; RSD’s lightweight, flexible CE-approved spine, shoulder, and elbow armor fits into pockets sewn into the gold satin lining, but it’s sold separately. The nominal additional cost is worth far more than the cost of any road rash, but do yourself a favor and just leave it in…unless you have strong, tiny monkey hands (which I don’t), removing and replacing the armor is a pain in the…well…it’s hard.

Roland Sands Design Womens Oxford

I wore this jacket in 60-degree weather in the morning and it did a great job insulating me without an inner thermal liner. Someone who knows what it’s like to have cold wind blowing down your chest designed the collar; it’s not going to happen to you. I though I’d roast on the 90-degree ride home (the only vents are in the low back) but I didn’t, even on my heat-blasting Monster.

The Women’s Oxford jacket is luxe in black, but also comes in a totally unique new shade called ‘clay’ (there’s really nothing like it anywhere). Both command second looks that live up to their $700 price tag, and neither has any business being functional and safe to boot. Shame on you, Roland Sands…straight to hell

  • Scott Saunders

    Can you clarify the leather thickness? 8mm is about a third of an inch – that would be way thicker than any leather gear I’ve ever heard of, short of a saddle. If it’s .8mm, that’s really not very thick for protective gear.

    • Guest

      .8mm from RSD website: http://www.rolandsands.com/products/jkt-lthr-wm-oxford-black. And no, that’s not very thick. But RSD has a reputation for putting fashion ahead of protection. They make nice gear for around town riding and commuting, though. Sometimes looking good off the bike is important, and we don’t all always feel the need for race level protection.

      • Scott Saunders

        Thanks! I appreciate you looking that up. I completely agree with you about gear priorities differing from time to time. I’m not a ATGATT fanatic or anything – my favorite jacket most days is sturdy but has no padding. I would just like to see more discussion of the technical details of the gear that’s reviewed – leather thickness, seam types and placement, etc. Just so we all know what tradeoffs we’re making.

        And since I’m spouting opinions now: I also think this was a really entertaining, well written article.

        • Heather McCoy

          Thank you Scott, and I’m really sorry about the type-o. I’ve asked the editor to fix that. Totally my fault.

        • Piglet2010

          Yeah, today I rode in a GoGo Gear armored hoodie and Aerostich Arborwear Gusseted Canvas Pants. Probably would have ended up with minor rash if I had gone down, but the armor likely would have prevented major joint injuries.

      • Vincent T.

        Yeah, .8-.9mm is really thin…

  • William Connor

    This is good looking gear. RSD definitely has their finger on the pulse of the right look.

  • BobasBounty

    I love RSD gear. Aside from the fit and finish of their products, most of it doesn’t look like bulky armored gear (as though the helmet in my right hand wasn’t clue enough as I leave the office). I do wish all of their manufacturer pictures showed how their products look with the armor in.

    The lack of venting seems like an issue. Heather, you say you rode it in 90 degrees and it was OK? Was that 50 mph, or stop and go traffic? My leather jacket has about 20 vents, and it gets pretty muggy unless I’m flying along.

    • Heather McCoy

      Both. The stop and go traffic late in the afternoon is typically the most challenging when it comes to heat. 90-degrees in this jacket didn’t bother me, but keep in mind there’s like zero humidity where I ride (AZ). 5 more degrees would have me seriously longing for some front vents.

      • BobasBounty

        Ahh yea, 90 with no humidity is about like 75 with 80% humidity lol. It seems strange that their jackets would lack “standard” venting considering all of the bells and whistles they do include.

        Oh well, maybe in the future they will cut some more holes in their stuff!

        • Piglet2010

          Above 95°F and 80% RH, there is no subjective cooling, even if you are dressed like Rollie Free.

          • BobasBounty

            Hah yea, at least when you’re cruising in such conditions, you aren’t soaking wet!

  • Fava d’Aronne

    $700 for a jacket that has NO protection? You need another 100-150$ for the protections??? I think this is positively ridiculous, but that’s just me. If you want to remain with that style, $600 will buy an Icon 1000 Federal Jacket, with all protections included. And $500 will buy a lot of Dainese jackets too.

    Also, I don’t mean to pick on you, but did you buy this jacket? Or did RSD send it to you to be reviewed? It is worth for us readers to know. There is a difference in value if I know YOU bought the jacket, because you thought that, really, $700 was worth it, or if you were sent a jacket by the manufacturer. Both are legitimate, don’t get me wrong. But I think we should know.

    • Heather McCoy

      You’re not picking on me…I totally get where you’re coming from. As a freelance writer, I write gear reviews for several different publications, and manufacturers send me their stuff for this purpose. There is an explicit understanding that A) I’m a freelance writer and cannot guarantee publication and B) my gear reviews are honest (and yes, sometimes entertaining). If there’s a flaw, I’ll point it out and try my best to put it in context. In this case, I don’t see the added cost of armor is a flaw, but it’s something the buyer should know. $700 is on the low-side for a women’s designer leather jacket, and finding one we can easily convert to a piece of legitimate protective gear, even for an addn’l $90 bucks, is an option a lot of women would dig. And, it’s one that didn’t exist even a couple years ago (until that killer Federal Jacket from Icon!).

      • Fava d’Aronne

        The reason why I asked is because I used to write reviews too for magazines and blogs in Europe in a previous life, and I think it is fair to say when you buy things or are given things…

        I will need to disagree on this jacket: If we are considering it a design leather jacket, for that price, a woman rider can get a beautiful motorcycle Belstaff jacket. It won’t have armor, but its leather will most likely be thicker than .8mm, and it will be styled to kill. But obviously it is a matter of preferences.

        And yes, the Federal is amazing. I bought it as a present to my lady, and she loves it.

      • bleh

        Soooo you get a jacket for free and review it and take pictures but don’t include pictures of it on a human body?

        • Heather McCoy

          Yes, I am just that lame.
          But I don’t do anything for “free”.

  • charlie

    I’ve been hearing a lot about some RSD jackets not positioning well when riding in a tucked position. As well as the awkward way the armor fits. Anybody have any experience in that regard?

  • Blake Bryce

    Heather you are killing all these reviews. Wish the site had some product reviews as detailed and well written on guys apparel as it does for the ladies.

    • Heather McCoy

      Uhh…thank you, Blake…thankyouverymuch. BTW, one company just sent me a men’s jacket by mistake…should I let my ol’ man take it for a spin and write it up ghostwriter style?

      • Blake Bryce

        Heck no. Send it to me and I will do the honors! I think that would be awesome because let’s face it, if the wife doesn’t like it, it doesn’t get bought.

  • bighairday

    Icon makes a Women’s D30 Armor package that fits perfectly in this jacket. It’s less bulky than RSD’s Forcefield armor, still CE rated and it’s more flexible. If you have the Maven or Vada, you know the RSD armor can change the fit.