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 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 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 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 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 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.