The Alpinestars Messenger Jacket is supposed to offer affordable, stylish, all-weather protection for commuters and city riders. Until now, it didn't, but now it does. Here's why.
In 2009 Alpinestars announced the city collection. The concept was simple: stylish motorcycle gear with minimal branding that doesn't look like motorcycle gear when you're off the bike. Back in 2009, I was working as a machinist/engine builder for Thumper Racing and I needed a set of waterproof gear to wear on my commute. When the new Parts Unlimited catalogs came in, I would go through them cover to cover. Reading the specs for the Alpinestars Messenger jacket, it seemed almost too good to be true. After ordering one and waiting for it to arrive, I found out it was.
Externally, everything was as it appeared in the catalog. It looked good enough that I didn't immediately send it back. After all, it was still a simple good looking, four pocket, 3/4 length jacket. Inside though, it was missing the chest and pack protector compartments it was advertised as having. I wrote a rant about the whole thing in the comments on the original story and after Wes brought it to Alpinestars' attention, they made things right. They never did fix the design on that jacket though.
Fast forward to yesterday morning and I'm sitting in the Alpinestars showroom in Torrance with a dozen or so other journalists while Tim Collins and Jeremy Appelton present new products. Jeremy begins talking about the City Collection and Tim walks over to pick up a Messenger jacket. But this isn't the same jacket that made me grumpy in 2009, this one actually has compartments for chest protectors and a back protector. Even cooler, it's now made of brushed cotton instead of a plastic-feeling synthetic. Tim actually opened up the jacket and showed us the pockets!
I couldn't believe it. At lunch, I took a closer look and sure enough the compartments were there. The rest of the jacket is basically the same. There are four (mostly) waterproof external pockets, three internal pockets and 3 more on the liner. The belt on the outside is easy to adjust and the tall collar does a pretty good job of keeping wind out. The fake velcro is still present, but this is a $229.95 jacket so I'll let that slide. Expect to see this jacket on the slick new Alpinestars website sometime this fall.