Gear: Icon 1000 Federal jacket

The Icon Federal 1000 jacket is, without exaggeration, the best thing to ever happen to women's motorcycle gear. It singlehandedly conquers every long-endured problem we have with armored riding jackets and we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief for the retiring of the too-short, bum-exposing hems and boxy, 1980's shoulder lines.

Icon Federal 1000 Jacket in black

The Federal jacket is hand cut, machine sewn and comes in two finishes — drum-dyed antiqued Brazilian cowhide (my choice) and a limited production red complete with a natural grain, hand-applied waxed finish. There was absolutely no break-in period needed for this jacket — it zipped on like a second skin and, even being my first experience with body armor, was incredibly sleek and easy to maneuver in. A low-bulk quilted red satin liner provides some serious warmth but can be zipped free in seconds. D30 CE certified armor is located in the elbows, shoulders and back and is also removable but really doesn't compromise the fit and comfort of the jacket when it is in place. Custom, oversized YKK zippers adorn the wrists, hips and front of the jacket and can be worn fully zipped or open to enhance the feminine silhouette of the jacket and provide the wearer with a little more wiggle room. The two-way zipper can be taken all the way up to the high collar and buttoned underneath one of the shoulder flaps for a snug fit or zipped halfway to provide a more open, retro look. The belted waist and back darts are the final touches on this curve-hugging masterpiece.

Zipped up to the high collar

Icon finally realized that enhancing the waistline and not the hips is key to that feminine fit that, until the release of this jacket, has eluded us for years. At 5'9", I have difficulty finding jackets that are long enough to keep me appropriately censored while on my bike, but this one works with any and all riding stances. The overall look of this amazing jacket is something akin to a road warrior/vintage military coat hybrid and stands so far apart from the competition that it deserves a class all of its own.

Bottom line: the Icon Federal 1000 jacket would be merely impressive if fit and comfort were the only two things that it was being graded on but the aesthetic of the jacket is what turns it into a stand-alone masterpiece of women's riding gear.

Emma is a friend and fellow motorcycle enthusiast who recently bought the jacket with her own money. When she posted a picture of it on Facebook, we badgered her into writing her opinion on it after she had worn it for a few weeks.

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