Northern Exposure - The Firstgear Jaunt Jacket
by H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com
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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
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 jacket and 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
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
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 comfort.
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
For visibility, I think the Black with Yellow
Back option provides the best visibility of all
the combinations. All piping and trim is reflective
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 appreciated).
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
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
Price (2009): $199.99
with Yellow, Gray, Blue or Red.
(Men's) S to XXXL. Tall: L to XXL
One year, U.S. and Canada, to original
Comments: 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
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."