Northern Exposure - The Firstgear Jaunt Jacket
by H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
Summary: While not having all the bells and whistles of the
more mature Firstgear Kilimanjaro jacket and the newer Denali, the Jaunt is
a good choice for climates where sudden weather change is the norm, or for
three to four season riding.
For those who live and ride in areas of widely varying temperatures and
conditions, the Firstgear Jaunt jacket is a three-quarter length textile
garment that functions as a stylish multi-season jacket on and off
the motorcycle while providing excellent protection from the elements.
Firstgear has been around for some time, with some ups and downs -- the
brand has apparently been bought and sold a couple of times over the last
few years, and it now appears to be managed by Tucker Rocky, one of the
largest distributors of motorcycle products in the U.S.A.
large and loyal consumer base has developed for Firstgear products over the years, especially from
those of us that need tall sizing, because many of their jackets are
available in extended sizes.
The Firstgear Jaunt jacket is claimed to be 100 percent waterproof, not just water
resistant, and the outer shell is constructed of 840 denier "Hypertex" material. The insulated, fully removable thermal liner is held
in place with a full zipper around the sides and across the shoulder area,
with two small snap tabs used along the back side to keep it from riding up.
I've owned multiple Firstgear products, and my experience has proven that
the design, materials used and the quality of construction in the Jaunt
jacket does provide a
waterproof (and warm) garment. I have ridden three to four days in constant
heavy rain in this jacket and in similar Firstgear products (the Kilimanjaro
HT pants) and stayed dry underneath.
I always carry rain gear, but
have never had to wear it to cover up any shortfalls in any of the Firstgear
products that are made with their Sheltex or Hypertex features, and for cold
weather riding, Firstgear is always my first choice.
Ventilation on the Firstgear Jaunt jacket is provided by two front shoulder vents and two back vents,
all with waterproof zippers and over flaps.
When open, the front vents do a
good job and if the back vents are not open as well, the jacket has a
tendency to balloon out somewhat. While the combination of front and
rear vents provide a somewhat limited ventilation
system, it works well in flowing air through the jacket.
Four horizontal external storm-proof pockets (two upper and two lower)
and one interior vertical pocket provide plenty of storage space and each
pocket has a large over flap, with hook-and-loop strips for security.
The two top pockets are quite large and deep by themselves and will hold
fairly large items, keeping everything secure and dry and they have convenient
corner pull tabs sewn in to facilitate opening the flap. The two bottom
pockets are equally spacious; great for storing small items while riding,
and for stuffing with gloves, neck-scarf, etc, when dismounted.
As found on most of the recent Firstgear garments, the mandarin style collar
is well designed and comfortable, sealing out the elements. The outer cross
flap can be folded in and secured to the inner left hand side of the collar
by a small hook-n-loop fastener pad -- a nice touch to keep it out of the way
when not in use, especially during warmer weather.
Two position snap tabs on the upper sleeves of the Firstgear Jaunt jacket allow for size adjustment as
desired, a feature which also serves to reduce air turbulence due to excess
material getting caught in the air stream.
The bottoms of the sleeves are
cut wide for ease of use, with wide hook-n-loop tabs allowing easy and
secure adjustment at the wrists.
An attached belt provides waist adjustment via a D-ring and hook-and-loop
tab on each side, allowing the jacket to be tightened up as desired when
riding and loosened off when dismounted, for better mobility and appearance.
All of the zippers used on the Jaunt jacket are heavy-duty and made by YKK. The main front zipper is two-way, which
is a good thing, as the zipper can be opened from the bottom allowing the
three-quarter length of the jacket to better fit most seating positions,
allowing air flow from the bottom of the jacket and for other expedient
purposes. The front main flap with its "rain gutter" design fully covers the
zipper and has hook-and-loop tabs along its length for a complete seal.
In addition to the Hypertex material used in the Firstgear Jaunt jacket, additional protection is
provided by CE-approved armor in the shoulder and elbow areas, along with a
basic back pad. The armor used in the shoulder and elbow areas is a fairly
firm compound, but still pliant enough to allow easy removal from their
pockets sewn into the mesh liner of the jacket (see photo). The pockets allow easy
removal for replacement and cleaning purposes.
The position of the armor seems to be quite good for most upper body
sizes, although the edge of the shoulder armor can be felt on the upper arm
at times, but it is not obtrusive. The armor pockets are cut large enough to
allow the owner to upgrade to other armor sets, as offered by Firstgear and
The EVA "Temperfoam" back pad provides good basic back protection and is
relatively short in relation to the three-quarter style of the jacket. This
is not a bad thing as many one-half and three-quarter length jackets,
especially those classed as "unisex" in design, feature full length back
pads and many of them end up being trimmed a bit shorter for best fit and
I typically wear a size XL Tall and the Firstgear Jaunt jacket in this
sizing is a perfect fit for my 6 foot 3 inch frame. Keep in mind that one should always allow some
room for at least one extra layer or for "expansion", especially over the
winter! I use a full
BMW back protector
under the Jaunt
jacket (with a liner as needed), and this makes for a comfortable combination.
For visibility, I think the Black with Yellow Back option provides the best
visibility of all the combinations. All piping and trim is reflective as
Nits N Picks
The hook-and-loop strips under the pocket flaps take a fair bit of tugging
to open -- good for security of items inside, but somewhat frustrating it
something does need to be accessed quickly (contingency planning
A deficiency from older jackets has now been overcome, at least in the
Jaunt jacket, as the main zipper, rain gutter design and collar tab
configuration now provide a full seal from the elements. This process of
refinement and attention to detail is evident in all Firstgear products.
While not having all the bells and whistles of the more mature Firstgear Kilimanjaro
jacket and the newer Denali jacket (which I have been trying to get), for
those of us living or traveling in climates where sudden change is the norm,
or for three to four season riding, the Jaunt gives up little in fit, form
and function. With another layer, or an electric vest, it is a viable option
to the Kilimanjaro or similar multi-season products.
Having now used this jacket from late winter through spring and into
summer here in Ontario, the Jaunt has been an excellent choice. Depending on
the market area, pricing can be a bit higher than other products, but as
with most Firstgear products, the investment is well worth it.
Firstgear Jaunt Motorcycle Jacket
||List Price (2009): $199.99
|Colors: Black with
Yellow, Gray, Blue or Red.
|Sizes: (Men's) S to XXXL.
Tall: L to XXL
||Warranty: One year, U.S. and Canada, to original owner.
Distributed by Tucker Rocky. Review Date: July
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From "S.O.": "Being an average 5' 10", slender build
guy, I find that the Size Medium Jaunt's sizing leaves plenty of room for
layering. It breathes decently for rain gear, but gets warm quickly
while stopped in the sun when the temperature is above 70 F, even if the
zips are open, but it beats any non-breathable rain gear I've tried for
comfort and has been keeping me dry, even here in Portland, Oregon.
The CE armor is well integrated into the jacket. It
never seems to feel out of place like some others I've tried. After
several thousand miles, on multiple day rides, it is wearing well, and I
like the looks. I've stopped carrying my non-breathable raingear as
the Jaunt does the job."