The new REV'IT! Sirocco may just be the "perfect" hot weather riding jacket.
It offers excellent air flow, light weight, soft and comfortable (but protective) fabric and great styling.
But even the Sirocco was designed for the heat, it's also one of the most versatile motorcycle jackets available.
It should work through four seasons for many riders.
The removable thermal lining and separate removable wind- and water-proof breathable lining extend the range to four seasons for just about everything other than extreme conditions.
Winner: The REV'IT! Sirocco won the wBW 2008 Motorcycle Product of the Year Award!
The REV'IT! Sirocco jacket is brand-new to the REV'IT! lineup for 2008.
The Sirocco was designed for the serious hot-weather rider who wants a high-quality performance jacket with excellent air flow that still provides a good level of protection.
I was excited about the Sirocco when it was introduced at the 2008 Powersports Dealer Expo in Indianapolis (see the Sirocco "First Look" report).
And I'm glad I finally got the opportunity to try one, just as Old Man Winter is giving way to more balmy conditions.
So far, the jacket has lived up to expectations and has quickly become a favorite.
The Sirocco has performed in temperatures ranging from the high 40's (Fahrenheit), which is about the low end of its range, up to a high just touching 80.
Granted, there's still about 20 more degrees of mercury left in the stick and a bucket full of humidity to go before our sticky-hot Mid-Atlantic summer yields its maximum un-comfort zone, but so far the Sirocco has done the deed.
In fact, I'd say that the Sirocco may prove to be a nearly perfect four-season jacket for many owners, including just about anyone living south of about 40 degrees or so of latitude or in climates of the type found all along the west coast of the U.S.
The jacket is made from a lightweight but strong Polyamide outer shell with large mesh panels front and back.
The Sirocco features the same REV'IT! Hydratex removable waterproof and windproof liner found in other REV'IT! jackets (28 at last count!) and the Sirocco also has a separate thermal liner that's both thin and comfortable.
REV'IT! developed new jacket liners this year that are specially designed to minimize bulk while retaining the same thermal properties, and the Sirocco has also been shaped to avoid the Bibendum look when the liners are removed.
This is important, because after all, the Sirocco was designed to be REV'IT!'s premier hot weather jacket, so it's likely to be worn sans liners most of the time.
The Sirocco is a "classic" 3/4-length cut, but the Polyamide fabric and Dynax mesh fabrics that make up the shell are the latest in soft-yet-protective material.
This is Star Trek stuff and it's immediately apparent how soft and comfortable the Sirocco really is compared to the ultra-stiff canvas-like material found in most 3/4-length jackets, which feel like they were made from the staysail on the Cutty Sark in comparison.
Comfort is paramount in hot weather and the softness and pliability of the material help add to the suitability of the jacket for warm-weather riding.
I hesitate to say this, because of old-fashioned "thicker is better" thinking, but the material in the Sirocco is very thin, and that makes the jacket feel like it's almost not there.
But this is high-tech stuff that REV'IT! claims still offers excellent abrasion resistance. I'm not sure if I've ever been more comfy on a motorcycle than with a T-shirt and the Sirocco, yet I somehow feel nicely protected -- and stylin'.
By the way, speaking of stylin', the Enduro design is perfectly suited for Adventure Touring riders, and the jacket looks great topped by, say, the Arai XD, the Shoei Hornet or the new Givi X.01 (review coming soon!).
The Sirocco also features ProLife CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows.
The ProLife stuff is thinner and more flexible than other types of hard-backed armor, but it's also more expensive and thus not found in your common run-of-the-mill motorcycle apparel.
But ProLife is a good match for the Sirocco because it minimizes the bulk and maximizes the flexibility. Again, this is a highly focused, spare-no-expenses, maximum effort hot weather jacket for serious types.
As we've reported many times, REV'IT! is relentless in evolving their products, and over the past couple of years they've been the leaders in the movement towards laser cutting and lamination for many of the fabrics used in their garments.
The plentiful reflective panels on the Sirocco are laminated to the fabric, which not only gives the jacket a smooth look but it also eliminates stitching, which is always a weak point in protective gear.
The rest of the stitching and the cut of the fabric is perfectly executed and assembled; every section fits together like a jigsaw puzzle with both purpose and style.
I happen to know from many conversations with the REV'IT! folks that it takes a huge amount of effort to design, test and build something like this and then get it into full-scale production while maintaining the original design and quality goals, which is a huge effort unto itself.
The Sirocco has two waterproof patch pockets in front, covered by Velcro-backed flaps. Hidden behind each pocket is a hand warmer pocket, accessible by pulling on the side of the patch pocket to release the Velcro attachment.
I'm not sure how often the hand warmer pockets will be used, but I use the patch pockets to hold a cell phone and wallet.
The jacket also includes a full-length pocket across the lower back that can hold the liners, and the upper chest features vertical pockets under the mesh.
These pockets are covered with mesh, but they have a piece of soft foam inside that acts as a simple wind block and insulating layer in cooler weather, which is easily removable (but not so easy to replace) when it gets warm (see photo below).
Both front vertical pockets close with a zipper with a nice sized pull. They're easy to work and I can take off my clip-on sunglasses with my left hand, pull down the zipper on the right pocket, stow the clip-ons and zip the pocket back up quickly and efficiently.
I mention this because there are very few jackets that allow one-handed zippering -- usually the fabric bunches up or the zippers are balky. These work very smoothly.
The jacket also has an internal pocket in the left breast and it closes with a zipper also, plus the thermal liner has its own zippered horizontal pocket in the same location.
The thermal liner includes a neoprene cell phone pocket on the right-hand side.
One of the interesting and unique features of the Sirocco is that the waterproof and windproof Hydratex liner can be used with or without the thermal liner, and the thermal liner can be used without the Hydratex liner.
This isn't as easy to engineer as it sounds; when you think about it, the waterproof liner must retain its integrity, which means no holes or zippers or the like.
The thermal liner (by the way, it's a full-length thermal liner, not just a vest) attaches to the inside of the Hydratex liner with metal snaps located on fabric loops.
There are also two 190 mm long zippers located on the upper part of the placket on each side of the thermal liner, with matching zippers on the Hydratex liner.
These snaps and loops and zippers are repeated on the inside of the jacket itself; high-quality metal "King Star" snaps are used.
So the thermal liner can be securely attached to the inside of the Hydratex liner while the Hydratex retains its integrity, but the Hydratex liner can be stowed in the large back pocket and the thermal liner will just as easily snap and zip into the shell.
The Hydratex liner uses fused or bonded or laminated covers over each of the seams, and I deliberately took the jacket out for a spin in one of this year's frequent spring rainstorms and it worked like a champ.
Even though the shell was pretty well soaked, the Hydratex liner did its job.
This isn't a full-on Cayenne Pro (First Look) by any means (review on that one coming soon also!), but it does a decent job of keeping out the wet.
Also, the thermal liner snaps to the Hydratex liner with two snaps and two loops at each cuff, and the Hydratex liner in turn also zips and snaps to the jacket with a pair of snaps and loops on the outside of each sleeve to the inside of the jacket cuff.
All of these connections keep the liners in place when they're installed and you're putting the jacket on and off, so no inside-out sleeve pulls here.
Finally, the Hydratex liner includes some soft material for the inside of the collar, and it has a waterproof/windproof full-length flap that acts as a barrier under the main front zipper of the shell.
Besides the pockets described above, the Sirocco has a shock cord adjustment at the very bottom of the hem.
There's a belt waist adjustment system also, seen in the photos, and it's very nicely hidden in front and the black "loop" part of the Velcro serves as a styling feature.
The Velcro used in this year's Sirocco and Cayenne Pro is a new type of "soft" Velcro that is designed to resist pilling. It also seems to be less prone to attracting cat and dog hair and other detritus.
The waist adjusters work very well -- I keep the jacket fairly snug when I'm riding, and this prevents billowing and also will hopefully keep the jacket secure during a slide.
The sleeve cuffs have another interesting REV'IT! feature: they're cut asymmetrically, which gives a lot of room when the cuff is loose, yet folds over very smoothly when the cuff is secured.
The forearms each have a REV'IT! "Ventilation Control System" waterproof zipper which can be opened for more air flow.
The elbows are articulated in back, which again adds to the comfort factor by making the sleeves more flexible and providing a greater range of movement for the rider.
The sleeves are made from a combination of mesh and solid fabric, and they include a two-position snap adjustment at the forearm and an elastic infinitely adjustable strap on each of the upper arms.
Most REV'IT! apparel is designed and cut to fit snugly -- that is, properly -- but I kind of wish the sleeves on the Sirocco were a bit narrower to fit over my wimpy arms.
Surely I'm in the minority here, because most motorcyclists wear their riding apparel way too loose anyway, but I'll take mine snug, thank you.
Although I do have to admit that as the thermometer rises, looser does feel better...
The entire inside of the arm is mesh, along with the big panels in front and the panel across the back, seen as the darker gray areas in the photos.
This provides plenty of cooling air, and if I hold the Sirocco's shell up to the light, I can pretty much see through it everywhere.
Just yesterday I noted the temperature as 77 degrees F. (25 C) and riding without the liners was almost too cool for me; I sort of wished I had brought the thermal liner along.
The collar features what is now a standard REV'IT! snap, used on their textile garments.
The male part of the snap slides back and forth in a housing to allow some adjustment range, but as always, I wish it had twice the adjustment that it does.
The collar also has a little plastic hook on the left side. There's an elastic loop on the collar that you can see in the photos, and the loop can be placed over the hook to keep the collar open when it's really, really hot.
The shell is topped off with the new REV'IT! logo, which is laminated (no stitches) on the back and also appears on a rubbery type of material on each sleeve. Unobtrusive yet sophisticated.
The REV'IT! Sirocco is available in the light gray color shown here and a light gray with darker gray front panels.
The size large shown here is a true size for U.S. men's size 44, but I think it would fit a range of 43-45. Based on this example, we estimate the Sirocco runs true to size.
The jacket weighs only 1.4 kg (3.0 lbs.) and the two liners together weigh 450 grams (1.0 lb.).
|The wBW Opinionator: REV'IT! Sirocco Jacket|
The year is still young, but the REV'IT! Sirocco is shaping up to be the current "perfect" 3/4-length, nearly all-season motorcycle riding jacket.
It seems more sophisticated than any of the cheap mesh jackets that we've seen and it certainly is put together with higher levels of quality.
The Enduro styling may not be for everyone, and it isn't a true cold-weather jacket, but it sure ticks off most of the boxes on my short list.
Winner: wBW 2008 Motorcycle Product of the Year Award!
|wBW Review: REV'IT! Sirocco Jacket|
|Manufacturer: REV'IT!||List Price (2008): $439.99
|Colors: Light or dark gray.||Made In: Unknown|
|Sizes: XS-3XL||Review Date: April 2008|
From "D.C." (8/09): "Based on your review I purchased a Sirocco jacket this summer. Unfortunately I had an opportunity to crash the test the jacket last week.
The crash occurred at approximately 60 mph, the jacket held up well. There was some thread separation in the back of the jacket and I suffered some abrasion through the jacket on the left forearm. A full report can be found here.