REV'IT! Dragon Jacket
Rev'it! Dragon Jacket
by Rick K. (Text) and Bill C. (Photos and Evaluations) for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
In This Series:
Rev'it Dragon Jacket
Tourmaster Transition Series 2
Tourmaster Epic Jacket
Who's wearing 3/4-length jackets?
We've had several very nice examples, all in pristine
condition, up for grabs in the
webBikeWorld garage sale,
but no takers.
I can't remember the last time we received an email
about a 3/4-length jacket. And I no longer see many
3/4-length jackets on the street.
All of which leads me to believe that this jacket
type is going the way of the two-stroke.
Maybe I'm wrong -- tell me, please! But if this
is true, it's really too bad, because you simply can't
find a more versatile motorcycle jacket than the good ol'
Thank goodness the manufacturers who pump out these
jackets haven't gotten the message; they're still
evolving the breed, bringing us amazing new features
year after year.
The three jackets in this series are a perfect
example; the Rev'it! Dragon, the Tourmaster Transition
Series 2 and the Tourmaster Epic jackets are
hot-off-the-press (make that the sewing machine) examples of the
continuing evolution of this versatile motorcycle jacket
And the Best Jacket Is...?
webBikeWorld visitors frequently ask for advice on the
"best" helmet, gloves, jacket or pants. If only it
was that easy!
Simply put, there is no such thing
as the "best" of anything. There are just too many individual and
personal criteria for each and every rider, and what's
"best" for one may not be -- and probably won't be --
for another, especially in today's niche-focused
Sure, it would be much easier for us to simply tell
you which one is "best", but that would be a cop-out for
us and for you.
webBikeWorld is all about bringing you detailed
information you can't find anywhere else -- including
the manufacturers' websites. We publish it; you
study it; you develop your own criteria and figure out
what's going to work for you and what won't.
Nobody said it was going to be easy, and if you're
going to fork over your hard-earned dosh for a website
purchase of a jacket or helmet you haven't even seen,
much less touched, you're going to have to do some
homework to at least even the odds that you'll make the right choice.
For those who don't want to take that time and want to
rely on somebody else to tell them what's "best",
any print magazine and read one of the press releases
that pass for their product reviews. But don't be
surprised when you discover that the reality may be, oh,
about 180 degrees from the vision.
This has all come to mind because each of the three
jackets described in this series has a set of particular
strengths and features that make them paradoxically
similar but different.
Bill and I have been swapping them back and forth for
the last few weeks and truth be told, these are all
excellent examples of the 3/4-length jacket, and
depending upon the needs of the individual, any one of
them could serve as a "best" jacket.
So let's get going!
Part 1: The REV'IT! Dragon Jacket
The Dragon jacket is new for 2009, and it represents a
slightly different tack by Rev'it, because the Dragon
comes in at a more competitive price point than some of
the other Rev'it 3/4-length jackets. This is good
news, because the jackets at the upper end of the Rev'it
product line can get a bit pricey.
The Dragon uses high-quality DuPont Cordura 500 and
1000 denier fabric, similar to the Cayenne Pro, so
Rev'it isn't scrimping here. The fabric sections
that make up the jacket are laser cut, just like the
upper-crust Rev'it jackets.
Laser cutting allows
the designer to create more interesting shapes and
patterns, but it also has a functional aspect, because
the jacket can theoretically be made more comfortable
with intricately cut sections forming a closer fit to
the human shape.
The Dragon jacket is available in four colors; the
high-visibility yellow shown here uses DuPont colorfast
true high-visibility yellow fabric, and the Dragon is
also available in an equally nice-looking bright red,
blue and what Rev'it calls "grey" but looks white to me.
The colors on the other jackets would be in the same
places where the yellow is used on the jacket in these
I was introduced to the Dragon jacket at the
Powersports Dealer Expo this past February, and I do
think that the jacket looks great in any of the four
colors. The red and blue hues are especially vibrant,
so I'm not sure if Rev'it is using a higher quality
fabric or different dye process, but the styling of the
Dragon jacket with the color patterns are very nice.
Jacket Weights and Sizing
As I was carrying the jackets down to the hanging scale
for a weigh-in, I thought it would be easy -- the
Tourmaster Transition Series 2 felt the lightest, with
the Rev'it Dragon in the middle and the Tourmaster Epic
as the heavyweight.
This made logical sense, because the Tourmaster
Transition Series 2 indeed feels a bit thinner on the
road, which isn't a criticism, just a fact. In
fact, the lighter weight of that jacket can be an
advantage for anyone living in a climate where a
heavy-duty winter jacket isn't desirable.
So it was a surprise to find that the
Tourmaster Transition Series 2 jacket isn't the lightest
here; the Rev'it Dragon in size XL weighs in at 2.1 kg (4.75
lbs.), while the Tourmaster Transition Series 2 in size
L weighs 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs.) and the Tourmaster Epic jacket, which is
that manufacturer's all-singing-and-dancing,
top-of-the-line 3/4-length jacket, weighs in at a hefty
3.2 kg (7.0 lbs.) in size large.
But weight isn't really a factor here, so there's no
extra points for being too heavy or too light. Because, as
we'll see, the weight of each jacket is a function of
its capabilities; each jacket is very nicely focused in a
particular niche that may precisely meet the prospective
With regards to fit, both Tourmaster jackets fit as
expected in size large, generally shaped for a male of about
5'9" to 5'11" (~178 cm) and 185 to 200 lbs.
Dragon in size large definitely felt one size small, so
it was returned in exchange for an XL. The XL Dragon fits like
a standard size
large 3/4-length jacket, so although
Rev'it claims that the Dragon does not run small,
indications from other Dragon owners I've talked to and
our experience indicate differently.
The Dragon is available in a size range of XS to 4XL,
but apparently not in Tall lengths.
I'll start the descriptions of all three jackets outside
top, then work down to the bottom, then do the same for
the inside. This standardization will hopefully
allow some comparison between the trio.
Neck and Collar
The Dragon has many features that are either identical,
similar or derived from other Rev'it jackets
we've reviewed. However, there are a few
differences that can be noted, based on the Dragon's
nearly 50% price difference from the high-end
Cayenne Pro jacket.
For example, the Dragon's collar is not lined with
soft fleece, but it does have a small tubular-shaped
piping around the top that expands in front of the neck
to form the front of the collar assembly. It's
lined with some type of puffy material and the fabric is
definitely softer than the Cordura of the jacket shell.
The material and the shape of the collar is noticeably
comfortable across the front of the neck.
New 7-position collar attachment. The loop can be
used to keep the neck open;
it attaches to a hook on the left side of the collar.
The collar does not use Velcro or hook-and-loop
fastener; instead, it has the new Rev'it 7-position
collar snap. This adjustable snap can be found on
many of the new Rev'it jackets, and it's an evolution of
the original 5-position adjuster, which is good news
because it offers a wider selection of neck adjustments.
The very tip of the right-hand side of the collar as
it comes across the neck features a small nylon loop at
the end that allows the collar to be folded back and
hooked to an attached nylon hook on the left-hand side.
Zippers, Closures and Adjusters
full-length front zipper on the jacket shell has a placket that folds over
the zipper for protection and seals with hook-and-loop
from left to right. The zipper pull is
typical Rev'it, made from a bended and formed wire frame.
A small plastic zipper pull is attached around the end.
The removable wind- and
water-proof liner also has a full-length front zipper
and its own placket that protects the zipper and adds
an extra layer of wind protection to the chest.
This also seals with hook-and-loop to the right-hand
side of the liner.
The liner features a collar tab that attaches with
The cuffs seal with a simple hook-and-loop attachment
system. They expand via a dart cut into the
fabric, backed with lining. This arrangement is
both easier to use and slimmer than the more complicated
system on the Cayenne Pro, with its zipper and plastic
tab for the hook-and-loop.
The cuff can be tightly closed and it leaves minimal
thickness, which fits into just about any size glove
gauntlet. The Dragon cuff system is pretty basic,
no doubt, but sometimes simpler is better!
The Dragon has a simple but effective sizing adjusters
located at the waist, under the arms. The
adjustment belt offers a very wide range of adjustment.
The adjuster band at the waist is
covered with hook-and-loop fastener over its entire
length, which seems like a necessary feature, but for
some reason this is missed by so many other
manufacturers. What good is an adjusting belt if
there's not enough hook-and-loop to adjust it properly?
The upper arms of the Dragon
jacket include a long belt adjuster that runs about 5/8
of the way around the sleeve. These are both
unobtrusive and effective. Each sleeve also
features a snap adjuster on the lower part of the
sleeve, about midway between the cuff and the elbow.
These have two snaps, meaning one snap for tightening.
Liner and Lining
Probably the most unique feature
of the Rev'it Dragon jacket is the removable liner.
Rev'it says it's waterproof and breathable, due to the
use of Rev'it Hydratex, the same material used in the
high-end Rev'it jackets and clothing.
The Hydratex is claimed to withstand a 5,000 mm
column of water and can transmits up to 5,000 grams per
square meter over 24 hours, which are figures taken from
standardized tests for materials claimed waterproof and
Note that Rev'it is one of the few
manufacturers who actually take the time and effort to
get their fabrics tested, unlike many other
manufacturers who slap on a "Waterproof!
Breathable!" sticker and call it a day.
The liner attaches with zippers on either side up
near the neck, which run about 190 mm long. The
zippers are semi-hidden behind some fabric, so when the
liner is removed, it can be easily worn as a casual
The liner includes slash hand pockets on either
side and elastic in the hem, and it even has a discreet
"REV'IT!" logo on the upper left chest, so you're
sort of getting a two-for-one with the Dragon jacket.
Outer shell with perforated lining and the water- and
wind-proof liner on the right.
The Dragon jacket features a full-length removable
insulating liner with opening for attachment zipper.
The insulating liner is separate and inside the water-
and wind-proof liner, just visible on the left.
The liner's sleeves attach to the inside of the
jacket at the sleeve cuffs with a pair of loops and
snaps. The loops are attached to the liner and
the snaps are sewn into the jacket sleeves, so if the
liner is being worn solo, the loops are somewhat
less apparent than if the reverse were true.
With both the water/wind-proof liner and the
insulating liner removed, the perforated
lining attached to the inside of the shell can be seen.
Comparing the jackets with all liners attached, the
Dragon is thicker than the Tourmaster Transition Series
2 but not as thick as the Tourmaster Epic, which again
is Tourmaster's top-of-the-line jacket.
Remove the liners on the Dragon and you'll end up
with a relatively light weight outer shell that should
work in warm weather up to about 29 degrees C (85 degrees F) or so.
In addition to the Hydratex liner, The Dragon also has a separate
full-length insulating liner that attaches to the
removable windbreaker with the same type of 190 mm
internal zippers located at the upper part of the chest,
inside the placket.
The insulating liner material has a nice appearance
and it feels soft. It's also good-looking, with a silvery printed pattern
inside that gives it a stylish ambience.
I do wish the sleeves
could be removed from the liner, which would make the
more versatile, but that probably would have added a
few bucks more to the price, which was something Rev'it
was trying to keep competitive, although you'd never
know it compared to similar jackets.
The insulating liner also features an opening at the
lower rear that allows the attached zipper on the Dragon
jacket to connect to Rev'it pants without having the
liner bunch up.
Also, the laser-cut fabric sections of the Dragon
jacket provide a more bespoke fit, and this, along with
the less-dense insulation, means that the jacket fits
closer to true size with the liners removed than many
other 3/4-length jackets.
This is where more isn't always better -- a big,
thick, heavy 3/4-length jacket first of all doesn't
necessarily mean that it will be warmer, and it most
likely will mean that as soon as the temperature starts
to climb into decent riding territory that the liners
will be jettisoned and the owner will find that the
shell is one or even two sizes too large. So
To summarize the liners, the Dragon is very
versatile, with a removable wind- and water-proof
Hydratex liner that can also be used as a casual
walk-around jacket; a removable full-length insulating
liner; and a double-walled front zipper barrier, with
the windproof liner and jacket forming an effective seal
against the elements.
Vents and Venting
The Dragon features two vertical vents in the chest and
two vertical vents in the rear, along with vertical
zippers on either arm, just above the cuff.
Each vent has a zipper opening; the zipper on the
chest and rear vents is 230 mm long, while the arm vent
zippers are about 150 mm long. The same type of
perforated fabric used to line the jacket shell fills
the vent opening when the zippers are opened.
By the way, these are vents only, not pockets.
The lining is flush with the vent opening, so nothing
can be stored inside.
Rev'it Dragon front chest vent.
Rear vertical vents are hidden under the seams.
The chest vents are located on either side, about 1/4
of the way out from the placket to the arms. They
are covered by a section of fabric, so with the zipper
opened, the cover blocks the air. There's no
"forced air ventilation" unfortunately.
The rear vents are located out towards the sides of
the jacket, and the zippers are located under the
vertical seam that forms the edges of the jacket fabric
in the rear. So both the front and rear vents are
somewhat hidden by fabric, which may help in the styling
department but probably affects the amount of air that
can flow through.
The location of the arm vents may seem curious, but
air actually does find its way in when riding, due to
the position of the arms on the handlebars. Of
course, the amount of air flow through the arm vents
will vary, depending upon the type of motorcycle or
Simple but effective waist adjuster (L); equally simple
cuff closure and sleeve vent shown on the right.
The sleeve adjuster can also just be seen to the right
of the zipper in the photo on the right.
The Rev'it website says that the Dragon has
vents, but this is either an error or perhaps the text
was written before the final version of the Dragon was
released. So we'll have to assume that by "under
arm", they mean the vents down by the cuff.
The weather remains cooler than normal so far this
Spring; it should be in the mid-70's by now, but it
isn't. We've been wearing the jackets in
temperatures ranging from about 55 F to 65 F, not warm
enough to remove the liners, so it's difficult to say
how the vents might work.
Both of us agree that we'd expect the vents on the
Dragon to at least allow some warm air to escape, but
it's too bad the fabric covering the front vents
couldn't be folded back somehow to force-feed some air
into the body of the jacket.
Otherwise, we think the Dragon is suited to a range
of about 45 degrees to 85, give or take and depending
upon the individual. This is what we'd consider
average for a general-purpose 3/4-length jacket.
The Dragon does a decent job of blocking the wind, but
it does seem slightly less effective at doing so than,
for example, the Rev'it Cayenne Pro or the Tourmaster
Epic jacket we'll cover in this series.
But those jackets have other disadvantages, mostly in
weight and bulk, so it's all a matter of compromise.
For the indicated temperature range, which probably is
the range of temperatures most commonly experienced by
the vast majority of motorcyclists, the Dragon is
Armor, Protection and Padding
The lower price point of the Dragon precludes the use of
the high-tech materials found in other Rev'it jackets;
materials with names like Dynax, Exkin, SAS-Tech and SuperFabric.
But the jacket includes quality Knox CE-approved armor protection at shoulders
and elbows and an EVA foam pad in the back. All
are removable, and the back pad could probably be
replaced with a Knox or SAS-Tech version if desired, although
some modification of the pocket may be required.
The Dragon does not have extra abrasion resistant
wear points on the shoulders or elbows, relying instead
on the heavy 1000D Cordura, which is also, by the way,
relatively soft, unlike the Cordura of old, which
sometimes felt as stiff as the canvas used on the Cutty
Reflectivity and Visibility
High-visibility clothing is in, and it's about time!
I've been as surprised as anyone to even see cruiser
riders around here recently wearing high-visibility
My theory for this is that the new motorcycle owners
and returning riders, who were motivated back into the
sport during the high fuel prices of 2008, are a new
breed who aren't as interested in playing the role of
the rebel but are more interested in doing the right thing
and protecting themselves with quality gear. Good for them!
Ironically, by doing this, they've proved to be rebels in a way that the T-shirt
wearing crowd never will be.
The Rev'it representative at the Powersports Dealer
Expo told me that Rev'it would probably never make a
single color high-visibility yellow jacket "because that's not our style", and
I have no argument with that. The colored sections
on the Dragon are in the right places to add some
visibility, although I wouldn't mind a larger swatch of
yellow in the rear.
The yellow fabric seen here is claimed to be "the
real thing", made by DuPont and colorfast.
High-visibility colors like this are among the most
difficult to photograph, probably because they're
outside the range of the "normal" color wheel and thus
camera calibrations. Also, the huge amount of
contrast between the black and the high-visibility
yellow causes its own problems for the photographer.
So the photos here don't do the color justice; the
yellow is not as yellow-green as, for example, the
Scorpion EXO-700 Neon helmet; it's more yellow but very
bright and actually the contrast with the black may add
some eye-catching visibility also.
The Dragon features laser-cut reflective strips on
the outside of the sleeves and across the back, which
can be seen in the photograph below.
I'm actually not a big fan of pockets for the sake
of pockets. I don't like storing a lot of gear in
my jacket pockets anyway because if I fall, I don't want
to get poked (or worse) by some sharp-edged object.
That said, I usually keep my wallet in a zippered
pocket, up by the chest so I can feel for it every once
and a while to make sure it's there. I also keep
my cell phone in one of the lower front pockets, and
spare ear plugs in the right-hand pocket. But
that's the extent of the jacket storage I utilize.
I'm very fond of the vertical chest pockets found
inside the placket of many jackets, including most of
the other Rev'it examples. Unfortunately, the
Dragon doesn't have a pocket in this location. It
does have a horizontal zippered pocket inside the left
chest in the shell, but using it with the liners
installed is problematic.
So the only two pockets on the Dragon are the two
square patch pockets down in front. I like these;
they're easy to use, with simple hook-and-loop fasteners
and a couple of snaps. The snaps are covered with
plastic rather than rubber unfortunately, so let's hope
they won't scratch the paint.
The pockets are lined with a type of satin, so I'm
not sure if they're waterproof, but they are water
The Dragon also has a pocket across the rear, just
above the hem. This pocket can be used to stuff
either liner, but it's a tight fit.
Style and Comfort
While the Dragon jacket may not have all of the
technology featured in other Rev'it gear, such as the
Cayenne Pro, the
Infinity or the
the Dragon is the right jacket for Rev'it at the right
price at the right time. I don't know if the
economic situation was a factor in the release of the
jacket ; I doubt it, knowing how long it takes to bring
a new product like this to market.
But with the current economic crisis (crises?)
gripping the world, a $299.00 jacket that carries the
Rev'it reputation for quality and styling, along with
some nice touches such as the tested wind- and
water-proof wearable liner and excellent insulation and
many of the other Rev'it features just makes sense.
In fact, the styling of the Dragon jacket may also be
reflective, if you will, of the times. It's
slightly restrained, maybe to a fault, with a bit too
much black for my taste. But the jacket has the
same computer designed, laser-cut fabric sections that
make the other Rev'it jackets so comfortable, and it
doesn't take much of an inspection of the seams and the
styling to impress the new owner.
And you will not find a loose thread or out-of-place
stitch anywhere on the Dragon, unlike most or all of the
REV'IT! Dragon Jacket
REV'IT! motorcycle clothing at RevZilla and help support webBikeWorld!
||List Price: $299.00
|Colors: Black with Red, Blue,
Yellow or Gray (nearly white).
Sizes: XS to 4XL
|Notes: This product
was provided by the manufacturer for the review (more).
Date: April 2009
Note: For informational use only. All material and
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From "J.B.S." (4/09): (Relative
to the issue of whether 3/4-length jackets are still a
viable solution): "Nearly every
hard core high mileage BMW rider knows and loves Aerostitch – I have had my Darien Jacket (got it with
the heated liner) and Pants for 9 years and expect them
to last 9 more (at least)–highly recommend them.
There is not a perfect set out there for all weather
and all riding conditions but this is the one I ride
with the most."
From "S.C." (4/09): "I really want
to like this jacket. I tried one on it fits great and
looks good. I just have a problem with the
waterproof liner. Beside having to take off the
jacket and put in the liner when it rains, you might as
well just put on a rain shell. But will the outer
jacket become soaked after a while? So now you
have a water soaked jacket you have to wear?
Or is it a plus because the other brands that use a non
removable liner so this jacket will vent better?
I'm leaning toward the Joe Rocket Ballistic 7 but they
offer no Hi Vis. Also on the Dragon I wish you
could get it in a gray with Hi Vis."
Editor's Reply: Unfortunately,
many/most/all of the 3/4 and other length jackets have a
liner as the waterproof barrier. There used to be
a few jackets with a waterproof exterior shell, but the
problem is that they don't breathe and get extremely hot
and damp inside.
So putting the waterproof liner inside is a good
compromise, because it can be removed in warm weather or
when it isn't needed, and although it's a bit of a
hassle to put it back in, I've found that usually I'll
have a pretty good idea ahead of time whether it's going
to rain or not.
I don't know of any modern textile jackets that use
an external waterproof barrier, other than maybe a
From "J.M." (4/09): (Also on
3/4-length jackets in general):
"Can't imagine riding in anything else."
From "B.S." (4/09): "Despite
what you might think, 3/4 length jacket is hugely
popular among us "Dual Sporters". I think we as a
whole comprise 90% of that style's market. But
niche marketing aside, the 3/4 length is very practical,
and offers real good road rash protection.
Pockets and zippers are among our favorite features
when traveling abroad or back country. One really
nice feature is that most of the jackets offer a two way
zipper up front. Which doesn't seem obvious at
first, but really clever design for rider comfort.
Because you can unzip the bottom when you are seated on
your bike and this keeps the jacket from bunching up on
The extra length is nice during a crash, because you
don't end up exposing your back or stomach when you are
sliding and rolling all over the pavement. Don't
ask how I know this. The extra length also
provides better weather protection by keeping water and
wind from sliding down your backside. More common
problem on bikes where the rider is crouched forward.
Unless one wears a one-piece suit or has the kind of
jacket where it zips into the pants.
Personally, I find that cumbersome and restricting.
You can't easily remove your jacket if you want to go
into a restaurant or bathroom, since it's attached to
the back of your pants.
Which brings me to the next bonus of a 3/4 length
jacket; options! Options in what the rider can
afford or desire in a pair of riding pants. I know
lots choose to wear jeans still, (uggh) or wear a pair
of pants made by a different brand than their jacket.
Or perhaps obtain the pants and jacket at different
None of those scenarios affect owning a 3/4 length
jacket. You don't have to match brands because of
rear zipper placement, or if you are like most riders,
the initial expense of getting all the gear at once
poses a challenge.
Perhaps the most common set-up is; Helmet, Gloves,
Jacket, Boots and then Pants later on. Often times
people buy them in that very order. The Jacket
being the #2 of importance.
That being the case, a 3/4 does provide quite a bit
more protection, than one that is made of mesh and
loosely fitted foam pads. There is one company
that I know of that tailor makes jackets still, to the
riders exact measurements. Supposedly they are the
"cat's meow" of 3/4 length jackets, but are pricey.
But I guess, what I'm getting at, is that they
still wouldn't be making 3/4 length jackets if there
wasn't a market for them. (Especially in this current
From "B.C." (4/09): "Good review on
the Dragon jacket...I will be up front and state that
all of the Rev-It jackets are well made and reflect some
very good design, excellent quality and features, but
lousy sizing. A local dealer is now carrying a big
chunk of the Rev-IT line and I was really excited over
the prospect of getting a new jacket, most of which you
have evaluated. So, after trying on three
different models and when even a 2XL just fit in the
body but was far too short in the arms, that bubble
Trust me when I say that trying to find riding gear
to fit my 33/34 sleeve and 34 inseam is a major
challenge, which really, really seems strange in this
day and age and the maturity of the industry.
But, I agree one hundred percent about the
functionality of 3/4 length jackets...they are the most
useful, versatile and provide the best coverage for a
wide range of riding scenarios and types of motorcycles.
I for one am really glad that industry has continued to
evolve and market this style of garment...especially
since the 'adventure touring' market seems to be on a
continuing high of sorts...
I'm just totally frustrated over the inability to
find clothing that fits taller or larger riders, without
resorting to one or two sizes over to get sleeves or
length to fit or, go for a custom made suit...but even
that (expensive) exercise didn't work out.
Fortunately, one or two manufacturers, FirstGear in
particular, makes tall garments in just about
everything, which is one reason why I keep buying and
wearing the products. Triumph is another brand
that typically fits well, even without resorting to a