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I am an opportunity for a company here in New Zealand that currently manufactures The Worlds most durable outdoor clothing, to design and make a riding jacket for an adventure ride we have coming up.
So far we have identified the following must have features
1. Goretex - 100% Waterproof and windproof
2. Neoprene cuffs to stop wind blowing up your arms
3. Hood - That will be tucked away when riding, and can be unfolded when not
4. Bright Colours - With reflective tape for better riding visibility
5. Waterproof pocket on the right hand breast area for radio comms
6. Waterproof pocket on the right hand side, that is bigger to accommodate wallet etc, with a built in key holder for security of keys
7. We are also thinking of adding little hooks to the neck string so you can attach gloves and then these can be place in the bigger pocket
8. Kevlar elbow pads for better durability (should I put armor in here too, I thought about removable armor)
9. A nice comfortable collar (I really hate irritations on my neck)
10. It will be quite a bit lighter than the average riding jacket currently on the market
11. Slightly longer than the average riding jacket so when you stop you can sit down on damp grass etc and not get a wet bum!
We are still debating on have a full length zip of 1/2 length zip.
So if you could design your own riding jacket, what would you include, because as a novice I would never think of adding.
That sounds like a great jacket for cool wet weather. What about warm weather? I live in southern Mexico, and I'm actually looking for a good warm-weather jacket right now. Currently, the temperature in my office (in the shade) is 33c (about 92f), and the humidity is about 85%. I'd love to have a tough durable jacket that gives good protection to the shoulders and arms - but has good ventiliation for the torso and armpits.
Will your jacket have some kind of removable liner? How about venting?
The jacket will designed around the very succesful hunting jacket for moutaineers etc.
It is very light and very breathable, it extracts perspiration away from the skin and keeps you relatively cool.
They do not have a liner, as to keep warm to need to add layers of clothing, thermals etc
Allot of farmers here use these jackets for around the farm, and use them in the summer.
I am not sure if vents are the way to go, as then it probablay would not be 100% wind and waterproof??
Try this site for ideas www.motoport.com I recently purchased an Ultra 2 Air Mesh Kevlar jacket and found the features and quality far better than any that are available in Australia.
One feature you did not mention in your list is a zip that can be opened from the top or the bottom.
The idea of a jacket slightly longer than normal is great for when you are leaned down over the tank.
Maybe a hanging loop near the neck label so you can hook it up for drying without a coat hanger.
plan on a waterbladder fitting inside the jacket. Very handy - saves a seperate backpack.
IMO a separate backpack is better for water. You can remove the weight when you want to. I tried using a CamelBak waterbladder in a BMW jacket and it felt like the weight was tugging the jacket down from behind. More fiddly to fill too.
I think the issue about being able to use the jacket in cold as well as hot weather is a serious one.
I have a Frank Thomas Gortex lined suite with removable inner. So taking out the inner I am left with pretty much what you are offering. This jacket is wonderful in wet cold weather but on the odd one or two hot UK days 30C it is a F^%&^$£g steam cooker. No matter what any saleman tells me...gortex does NOT breath, especially when you are sweating quicker than it can evaporate through the gortex.
Make the gortex removable and add in some vents on the arms and I will be interested.
I bought the Hein Gericke Tourag budget version. Has no inner lining, no gortex but loads of zips and vents. I wouldn't use it for my daily commute here in the UK but for a trip across Africa it is perfect. If I get cold I put on a fleece under. If it rains I either stop and take in the marval of an African thunder storm or I put on my waterproof overall and ride on.
So maybe you should market two alternative jackets.
I have just ridden through Europe into Turkey and then across the stans into Russia, so have been through a lot of different climates with one set of riding gear, and it worked perfectly
I have a Frank Thomas sabre mesh jacket and trousers, with a waterproof lining for the trousers, and an old gore-tex jacket over the top when it's cold or wet. Gore-tex is breathable but in hot weather you don't want breathable, you want air-flow, which is very different. When it's been dead cold good thermals (merino wool - well worth the money and it doesn't reek after a few days like a smelly hansen would) and a fleece layer have done the job pretty well.
a breathable waterproof liner for the trousers would have been nice. There have been concerns raised on the HUBB about the protection offered by mesh gear, and I tested this out in Kazakhstan, the cordura patches on the elbows and outside of the legs offer pretty good road rash protection, but my gore tex doesn't stand up to going down the tarmac well. Admitedly in a big spill the mesh may break, allowing your armour to move - never tried this!
Large mesh panels on the front and back of the jacket, and inner thighs of the trousers allow air to flow pretty easily
.....to summarise - gore tex is great, but needs to come out and allow for free air flow through mesh if the riding gear is to be dual-use. Gore tex outer means your jacket and pocket contents stay nice and dry, but a liner would protect the fragile and expensive GT from road rash
It is the dilema of the century only aleviated by money!
After years of riding around in leathers coverred with whatever plastic suit was cheapest I have a second hand Darien Jacket from Aerostitch in the US.
Its Black because i ride a motorbike..... but it does have some reflective strips, obviousy a concesion to the safety crats.
It actually stops most water getting in but long rides...5 hours in constant rain, will break its limits in places, my BMW Gortex riding pants last about 2 hours before i wonder if I have peed myself.
It has lots of pockets including a removable clear plastic Map thingy on the wrist which I have lost, and the sleeve pocket zip keeps opening.
It has big vents under the arms and across the back which work a treat and dont seem to let water in, but certainly help in warm weather. Its got lots of armour in it and has a pretty tough feeling cordura exterior.
The problem with Motorbikes is the way gortex works, while you generate heat "tramping" around hunting wild boar (NZ Pig Shooter is truely one of the most entertaining mags I have ever read) you dont on a bike. You just get colder and then the heat you need to vent the built up moisture is not there and the whole gortex theory becomes just that.
Plastic just makes you wet from the inside, but the oversuit is really the only thing that ever keeps the rain and wind out.
The Darien has an electric vest which can generate heat which helps the Gortex work better. So while its good by itself with the vest its much better.
electric fleece insert...mmmmm
Its the best All weather jacket I have ever had, but when it gets hot I am back into a cordura Touareg enduro jacket covered in vents that cost me 50 Euro 3 years ago.
Protection and weight are sort of mutually exclusive. Depends how much of either you are after.
What you are proposing is available now, Tiger Angel Leathers in Melbourne make a gortex Cordura Jacket and Pants with a good reputation, as well as all the major bike companies, Dianese, Belstaff, BMW, Spyke etc. The only thing stopping people from buying them is the price. $1300 for a BMW Jacket is a bit rich, worth more than the bike.
Oh and if it is wet its likely you are also wearing w/proof pants so your extra long back flap or was that back strap..good on the bbq, is probably irrelevant.
I'm not much on the separate w/proof lining, I would rather the water didn't get past the top layer.
And sometimes you just get cold and wet or hot and dry no matter what you wear.
No we wont be using any wool, as the ozzies want it all for thier toys as they dont like getting dirty from the real thing
Once you have seen and used the prototype jacket, I am sure you will all be impressed, and I agree it wont be made for the Outback or the Sahara, but for round here it will be pretty good.
I just dont know what I else I should have on it as I have never owned one, so I dont know what are good features or bad, then again I dont really know any features
There are some very good points here that I wll put forward, maybe the vents, but how to make them still water and wind proof?
The problem with Goretex being an integral part of the jacket is it will get dirty with roadgrime over time, rendering it useless. Goretex is actually a porous material, the pores are smaller than droplets of water. Only moisture (like steam) can pass through. When the pores get dirty, the water weeps through the pores. Removeable liners are easy to keep clean and you can treat them with Nixwax for Goretex. I've gone through days of rain using liners and was always dry and comfortable. One thing that i feel no jacket has adressed is water running down your sleaves into the gauntlets of your gloves. If you can come up with a type of flap that would divert water overtop of the gauntlet, your jacket would be nearly revolutionary!
I would suggest concentrating on windproof - ultimately nothing is REALLY 100% waterproof apart from sealed plastic. So - suggest windproof with venting options and shower proof.
Pockets that you can get your hands into when wearing gloves!
Suggest vertical access pockets for stashing important stuff and side access pockets so you can keep your hands warm when not on the bike.
Also internal pockets for valuables - possibly even a concealed one.
Definitely a good range of sizes with some adjustment so it's possible to get one that fits!
very best of luck with the jacket, I could not see reference in the replys so far, have you had a look at the set up on the Dri-Rider Rally-X jackets. I have been using one for a few years. Mesh sections, water blader, etc, reflective and bright, with a Zip in wind liner and Zip in water proof/breathable liner, good on 40 deg days even at low speed, and the water proof side i have tested again and again with success. I am always looking at new stuff... bring it on..
Talking of pockets; how about either lined "handwarmer" pockets (the gloves will probably be cold and/or wet, so take them off!) or even straight through zips so you can put hands in pockets of whatever you're wearing underneath - toasty!!!
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