Easily the highest quality, heaviest and nicest-looking textile jacket we've ever tried on, Urban Rider has just gotten the Belstaff Long Way Down jacket in stock. Ignore for a second the unfortunate spoiled celebrity connection -- Ewan McGregor and his pet monkey wore the jackets for some show -- and instead focus on the 1000-weight Cordura, flexibility and three layers of protection.
The jacket is designed primarily to be worn with all three layers, but
can be used in a variety of configurations. Layer one is
abrasion-resistant Cordura -- three layers in at-risk areas -- with
multiple watertight zips for ventilation. Its arms zip off for wearing
off the bike or in hot weather.
Under that is the mesh armor layer, equipped with CE-approved, but
wimpy looking protectors. We'd upgrade, probably to something from Knox
or, for serious off-road adventure of the kind not experienced by the
above-mentioned halfwits, we'd scrap the layer all together in
favor of a full set of body armor from Alpinestars.
The last layer is a 100% waterproof inner jacket. You can remove it in
dry weather or wear it alone under other gear or, again, off the bike.
In addition to those features there's an array of pockets inside and
out and even one designed to accept a Camelbak. There's also a
detachable hip bag mounted to the jacket's rear.
With all three layers on and the belt cinched the jacket feels
incredibly robust and protective. We'd feel safely protected by it in
all weathers, thousands of miles from home, even without the teams of
Urban Rider is selling the Long Way Down jacket for £599.99, which,
since Americans don't have to pay for Gordon Brown's bar tab, is just
$792 shipped to your door. That's about half the price you can expect to pay in the US, should you manage to find a store that stocks them.