Icon Overlord Jacket Review
We like what Icon has been doing to in recent months to expand its range of motorcycle clothing and gear with a heavy emphasis on quality, safety and comfort. Recently we got to test and ride with, on a daily basis, its popular Overlord jacket that has been a continual best seller for the company since 2010.
If you’re one of those riders who, like me, wears a strange assortment of motorcycle gear simply because it works for you, then maybe you’ll also understand why at times I can look a bit odd on my bike. A few of my friends have even gone so far as to suggest my riding gear has been assembled from a yard sale and that I urgently need an upgrade.
So, for some time now I’ve been looking for a good quality riding jacket that I can wear almost all year round. My criteria was that it had to be well made with good, well-fitting armor and comfortable enough to wear no matter how hot it gets here in Southern California. The armor is an important point for me. Often I’ve found that some of the so called armor in some jackets is nothing more than plastic that is uncomfortable and offers real no protection if you're unlucky to hit the tarmac.
Icon was apprehensive to let me test the Overlord, as it felt it was more of a sport bike rider’s jacket and was concerned that it would not work for me on cruisers. But based on spec alone the Overlord appeared to be my ideal combination of what I was looking for – mid to heavy weight, good safety points and above all very robust.
Essentially the Overlord is a leather jacket (made according to Icon from premium grade leather), but there are stretch material panels on the arms and perforated leather that together give a high degree of flexibility. Included in the price is removable CE field armor in the elbow and shoulder areas and a dual density CE foam back pad. You can upgrade all of the armor, including the back protector, to D30 for an additional $75.
Inside there’s a quilted, insulated vest that can be removed and a ¾" length zip that can be attached to pants to make it a one-piece fully track legal outfit. The sleeves have a couple of good sized zips that can be opened or closed with a gloved hand and the well finished cuffs fit neatly around gloves. You also get a couple of small zippered side pockets on the Overlord’s exterior and an inside pocket that is handy for carrying a phone or a wallet.
There are five colors to choose from in the Overlord range, eye-watering yellow, electric green, a more reserved white, black and the version we tested, black and grey.
Very nicely constructed, comfortable and, for this rider, a really practical jacket that does everything I wanted. The ventilation works well and although you still get hot at low speeds once you’re on the move the airflow through the jacket is really pretty good. You’re aware of the armor but it’s not constrictive and for a heavy leather jacket it offers a high degree of flexibility. It’s not that expensive either; for the standard Overlord we tested retails at $380. That steps up to $460 for the Overlord Prime and $495 for the Overlord Prime Hero, which feature more advanced armor and different external graphics.
This is more subjective than anything. The large Icon logo on the chest is not exactly subtle but if you go for the black or black/gray option it becomes less evident. The round collar is a little large unless you have a neck like a bull. Walking around in the Overlord off the bike makes you look like you’ve been taking steroids thanks to shoulder armor.
Pay attention to Icon sizes. This is quite a tight fitting jacket. For example, whilst you maybe a medium for most of your motorcycle gear with the Overlord you should try the next size up. Apart from that there’s nothing else to grumble about.
If you’re in the market for a really good everyday riding jacket that is easy to wear, has some good all round protection and will probably last you a very long time, take a good look at Icon’s Overlord. The standard version is a decent jacket that does everything we would want and need. That alone will become a regular fixture in this rider’s wardrobe.