by Bill C. for webBikeWorld.com
Stylish comfort that works to block the wind.
It provides about an extra 10 degrees Fahrenheit worth of protection when riding an unfaired bike in winter.
The weather has quickly turned nasty this year.
It changed from our typical hot and humid summers to a cold and damp fall seemingly overnight.
It's caught everyone by surprise -- I'm sure not ready for it, I can tell you that.
It seems like just yesterday I was riding in a mesh jacket and now all of a sudden I'm pulling out the winter riding gear.
My most recent riding outfit has consisted of the REV'IT! Airforce mesh jacket (review) and their matching Challenge pants (review), which seems to be a nice compromise for uncertain weather conditions.
The technology that can give us a true all-season riding outfit doesn't yet exist.
But this outfit comes pretty close, because it covers three of the four seasons, at least for my style of riding and my personal comfort level.
The Airforce jacket includes a windproof and waterproof zip-out liner with the clever REV'IT! multiple front layer flap system behind the zipper.
As the temperature has dropped over the last few weeks, I've added the liner and then a long sleeved turtleneck cotton shirt underneath.
This kept me going down to around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but any lower than that and I need something more.
Now I really dislike feeling all bound up inside several layers of motorcycle clothing; it really seems to put a damper on the fun.
So I'm always searching for the thinnest and most flexible clothing solutions I can find.
By "flexible", I mean a garment that moves with me without binding but I'm also defining flexible in terms of something I can use for different types of weather and on and off the bike.
If a single garment can meet all of those criteria, it's definitely flexible in every sense of the word.
So I was poking around the webBikeWorld inventory when Rick lent me this REV'IT! "Scoop" windproof vest to try.
The REV'IT! folks sent it over in the summer when it was too hot to even think about wearing it, but now the time had come to give it a good workout.
I'm impressed with the quality of the Scoop vest.
The outer fabric is very interesting; apparently it's some type of special material developed by REV'IT! that's both windproof and waterproof but breathable.
It's also slightly stretchy, which is a feature that I really appreciate in motorcycle clothing.
The fabric has a sort of sheen to it that feels like a vague cross between chamois and Nylon, if you can imagine that.
The sheen also, by the way, seems to make it very difficult to photograph.
We tried several times and couldn't really get a good batch of photos, so this may be one of those items that we probably should have photographed outdoors instead of in the studio.
Almost every REV'IT! garment features a subtle styling touch here or there, and the Scoop vest is no exception.
The sides of the vest have the REV'IT! "Engineered Skin" logo impressed into the fabric.
It's not sewn in, but the letters are raised as part of the fabric -- I'm not really sure how they did it.
A very minor detail but something that demonstrates again to me that someone really cares about their design and the product in a way that goes beyond just trying to meet the minimum requirements of "Vest, Windproof, Black".
All of the stitching on the vest is also very impressive; I guess we're fussy about these esoteric details, but this is what makes the difference between something you need to wear and something you want to wear.
And after seeing a bazillion examples of motorcycle gear over the years, the good stuff really stands out.
It's obvious that some careful thought has gone into the design of the fabric panels and darts in the Scoop vest so that the thing actually fits a human body just like it's supposed to.
Again, this isn't just some fabric thrown together to meet the minimum definition of "vest".
The fabric panels under the arms have been carefully tailored and shaped to fit without binding. And the material on the back of the vest is extra long to ensure full coverage, even when bent over on a sportbike.
The interior of the Scoop vest is lined with a thin and soft micro-fleece. The stitches used to sew the vest together are flattened on the inside to prevent chafing or pressure points.
There's a fairly big open-topped pocket inside the vest on the right-hand side that I haven't really used and two handwarmer pockets on the outside that close with zippers.
The pockets are also fully lined and the flap that covers the zippers are designed into the vertical seams, both hiding and integrating them into the overall styling of the vest.
The Scoop Windblocker Bodywarmer vest shown here is a size XL and it is nice and snug on my 44" chest when I wear it over an undershirt and cotton turtleneck.
The REV'IT! USA website doesn't provide a sizing range but I'll assume it's at least available in sizes S - XL.
The front zipper has a 1-3/4" windproof flap backing to prevent cold air from leaking through. The neck is about the length of a mock turtleneck and it's also lined with the micro-fleece.
The neck is comfortable, but I will say that when I'm wearing both my turtleneck and the Scoop vest, I have trouble closing the collar on the REV'IT! Airforce jacket and other jackets I've worn recently.
If there's one place that designers should be using Velcro rather than a snap, it's on the neck of motorcycle jackets.
The goal should be to provide the maximum amount of adjustability at the neck, and the heck with fashion!
The REV'IT! Scoop vest has designer styling but it's comfortable, flexible and it works. I've found that it gives me about an extra 10 degrees Fahrenheit worth of protection when riding an unfaired bike like my old Intruder.
I really like the look and the feel of the special outer fabric and I have worn the vest over my street clothes and I actually think it looks pretty good. While the price of the Scoop vest may be slightly higher than you'd expect, I think it has many nice features that set it apart from the crowd.
I just found the REV'IT! marketing materials that came with our Scoop vest.
They indicate that the vest has three layers, the outer shell with a "distinctive jacquard knitted outer layer functions as a shield against wind, rain and cold, whilst also transporting moisture from the inside to the outside, allowing it to evaporate" (I guess they mean the moisture, not the vest!).
The second layer is a breathable Hydratex membrane that "completely blocks the wind".
It's also claimed to be waterproof and provides "maximum breathability". The third layer is the insulated micro-fleece layer on the inside.
|wBW Review: REV'IT! Scoop Windblocker Vest|
|Manufacturer: REV'IT!||List Price (2006): $84.99|
|Colors: Black||Made In: China|
|Review Date: October 2006|