17 February 2010

Impressions: Fieldsheer Flex Leather Jacket and All Season Overpants

Flex Jacket
I got this jacket last summer for my birthday. They had them at motorcyclecloseouts.com for $199 (and still have a few). It is my first leather riding jacket and I wasn't sure what to expect.

The first thing I noticed as I pulled it out of the box was the weight. It is really heavy (like a leather coat should be I guess) but it doesn't feel heavy when you get used to it. The next thing I noticed was the "Aerodynamic Back Hump", I hadn't noticed it in the pics (downside to internet shopping) and wasn't sure why it was there. I'm still not sure, but the hump has grown on me.  The final thing is the jacket is supposed to be blue (I wanted yellow but they didn't have them) and looks closer to a shade of purple than blue. It could just be my eyes.

The jacket is fully perforated with stretch panels in the bend of the arm and in the front and back of the shoulders. The panels make the jacket comfortable almost as soon as you put it on. It also comes with a zip-out liner that extends it's season. I wore the jacket comfortably until November before needing to switch back to my Cabrio jacket. In cooler temps, you notice the cool on your inner arms first and long for the liner (which is comfortably hanging in the closet because you didn't check the weather before you left the house but that's another story). I think I could have worn it in colder temps but I haven't tried that yet.

For Georgia summers I thought it might be too much but was willing to give it a try. I tossed my old Joe Rocket Phoenix in the tail bag just in case I got too hot. I never felt hot even on the hottest days while wearing the jacket. My shirt would get sweat soaked where the hump is but every where else I was dry. Unlike the Joe Rocket jacket, sometimes when stopped or barely moving I would get a little warm but as soon as speed got up, I'd cool off quickly.

I got rained on a couple of times and stayed dry without any rain gear underneath the jacket.

The armor is CE approved and in the shoulders, back, and elbows. Overall the jacket gives me the feeling of being very protected. The Joe Rocket has been relegated to the back of the closet as it now feels inadequate.

All Season Overpants
I'm still not sure what I feel about these pants. They are my first pair of motorcycle pants and work great in the high heat without the quilted liner or in extreme cold (32 degees so far) with the liner, jeans, and long johns. They come with a nice liner and have mesh on the thighs and shins. They also have a zipper up the leg all the way to the hip. They have very deep front pockets but no back pockets, at least on the women's version. I don't know if motorcycle pants are supposed to have rear pockets.

Like the jacket, they have CE approved armor at the knees and SP memory foam hip pads. There are three velcro strips (a set of 3 at the top and bottom) around knee so you can move the armor. Adjusting the knee armor was difficult because I am short and had to put them in the highest possible place. Sometimes the top piece wouldn't open enough and the armor would slide too low. After six months, I think I've finally got them right.

The sizing is pretty much like jeans so I order once size larger. Sometimes the button likes to pop open, but with the waist straps set correctly, It doesn't happen. The seat must be a little slippery because I notice I slide forward more than when I was wearing simply jeans.

They're not bad in the rain except where the mesh parts let in water. I need to get some underpants for the rain showers. In the summer it's not so bad but I've never ridden in the cold and wet so I'm not sure if the liner will help in these situations.

Overall I like the pants except for the troublesome knee armor adjustment which at times had me not wanting to put my feet down to stop because I knew it would move. I've worn these pants every since I've had them no matter what the temp and have found them to be comfortable for all seasons.

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