Alpinestars ACR Air-Flo Jacket
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld
| Owner Comments (Below)
Alpinestars T-Stunt 2 Jacket |
Alpinestars Air-Flo Mesh
Alpinestars Ergo Painter
Denim Pants |
Alpinestars Street Cargo Pants
This is the third in our series of reviews featuring Alpinestars
mesh motorcycle clothing.
First up was the
Alpinestars T-Stunt 2 mesh jacket, then the matching
Alpinestars ACR Air-Flo mesh pants, and
this review features the ACR Air-Flo mesh jacket.
We also have two pairs of Alpinestars jeans in the
review pipeline, the Alpinestars ERGO Painter pants and
the Alpinestars Street Cargo pants, either of which
could match the mesh jackets for cool summer wear.
The ACR Air-Flo mesh jacket is a "back to basics"
design. There's really not much new here that
hasn't been done before, but for Alpinestars fans or for
those who like their mesh with a touch of serious
practicality, the ACR Air-Flo may be just the ticket.
The jacket reminds me a lot of the original
Joe Rocket Phoenix mesh jacket, which one of the
original (and possibly the only) jacket to start the mesh craze back about 4-5 years ago.
I still pull out the old Phoenix now and then just to
ride with it
for old time's sake. I remember the first day I
wore it -- I purchased it from a local Moto Guzzi
dealer (of all places) after having unsuccessfully
searched for one online when the jacket was first released to the
public. Riding home from the dealer was a
revelation, and I remember feeling like I was riding
naked because of all that air blowing through the mesh.
The popularity of the jacket took Joe Rocket by
surprise, and the entire first year's production was
sold out in a matter of weeks. Retailers who had them
in stock were actually charging a premium for them!
And here we are, with zillions of yards of mesh being
worn on the backs of motorcyclists since
then. So what's new? Well, I guess you can say "the more things change,
the more they stay the same". Which basically
means that once a design is fundamentally correct, it
can be enhanced every which way but loose and eventually
you'll end up where you started, back with the basic
I think that's the ACR Air-Flo in a nutshell.
It's a straightforward jacket design -- in an almost identical
color scheme to my original Joe Rocket Phoenix, by the
way -- with a few modern tweaks that only make it better.
First of all, the mesh is definitely thicker, in the
modern idiom of the stuff. The Phoenix had a loose
mesh and a looser fit; the designers probably thinking
that looser was better for hot weather.
But we've since learned that loose isn't necessarily
best with regards to either air flow or protection. A
loose open weave
fabric could theoretically act like a net, catching and
holding a rider as he or she slides along the ground
during a crash. This could potentially cause more
harm than a "simple" slide, which is the preferred way
(if there is such a thing) to do it, all things
In any case, the mesh on the ACR Air-Flo appears
almost as a solid weave, but held up to the light, it's
readily apparent at how much air can flow through.
Unlike the Alpinestars T-Stunt 2 jacket, the ACR Air-Flo
has no styling flourishes in the form of solid fabric
sections that can
get in the way of the air flowing through.
That's what makes the jacket seem Old Skool, if such
a thing can be said about a modern product like a mesh
motorcycle jacket. But without the solid and
colored material sections to add some flair, plain 'ol'
mesh looks, well, plain and old.
But hey -- who cares? After all, the primary
purpose of a mesh jacket is air flow,
and lots of it, right? And the ACR Air-Flo delivers on the
implications of its moniker. The mesh continues
down the arms unimpeded everywhere by any solid fabrics,
allowing the maximum amount of air to flow through to
the rider. The only items blocking the flow are the CE-approved
elbow and shoulder armor and a relatively thick/stiff
and long section of padding on the back. But the
entire front of the jacket and the arms allow air to
flow directly on to the rider.
One of the features that makes the ACR Air-Flo a more
"serious" mesh jacket than, for example, the T-Stunt 2
are the dual arm adjusting straps, two on each arm.
They have a wide range of adjustment to fit the jacket
closely to the rider's forearm and over the bicep.
This helps to hold the elbow armor in place, which is
a necessity during a get-off. All the armor in the
world won't do a thing if it's not where you expect it
to be in a crash.
The jacket also has a more snug natural fit than the
T-Stunt 2 and some other mesh jackets we've tried, which
is also important for the best potential protection.
The only thing missing is a better waist cinch system;
the ACR Air-Flo has only a two-snap adjuster at the
waist (one adjuster on each side), but no elastic in the
waistband or the lower back that could hold the jacket
snug to the rider's body.
Curiously, the ACR Air-Flo jacket does include an
internal zipper, designed to attach to a theoretical
pair of Alpinestars pants. Unfortunately, the
matching ACR Air-Flo mesh pants do not come with a zipper,
which is a serious oversight in my opinion.
The only saving grace is that the
three-quarter-length zipper that is attached to the
jacket comes with a matching half that could be sewn on
to the ACR Air-Flo (or other) pants. Many jackets
are outfitted with zippers like this, although I've never
tried to sew the matching half to a pair of pants.
I'm guessing that it would probably take a crafty sewing
machine operator to make sure everything is precisely
lined up so that the jacket fits to the pants at any
sitting angle. Maybe I'll bring the set down to my local tailor and
see if she's up to the job...
The sleeve cuffs on the ACR Air-Flo jacket do not
have zippers. They close only with a section of
Velcro, but the fabric is sewn with a dart, which allows
the sleeve end to fit over a pair of gloves. The
Hurricane mesh gloves or their newer
Solar mesh gloves work well with the Alpinestars
mesh jacket because those gloves are designed to be worn
under, rather than over the cuff.
The ACR Air-Flo jacket has another somewhat curious
design quirk; the collar has no snap or connector
whatsoever. A big, honkin' YKK plastic-type zipper
is the only thing holding the front of the jacket
together. The lack of a zipper on the cuffs, no
snap on the collar and only the zipper up front is an
ultimate expression of simplicity (one way of looking at
it) and, in this case, I'll buy it. After all, who
wants complex with temperatures -- and humidity -- in
The jacket liner is slightly different than others
we've seen; it's a finely-woven mesh, not like the open
"holey" type mesh liner usually found in motorcycle
jackets. It's very comfortable next to the skin
and let's face it -- most riders will probably be
wearing nothing but a T-shirt underneath, so a comfy
liner is important. The liner does seem slightly
bulky in the sleeves though, and it bunches up a bit
down around the forearm, which can be slightly annoying,
especially if the rider is working up a sweat because it
lessens the cooling effect.
Pockets? There's a nice wallet pocket with a
zipper just inside the right-hand placket in front.
A couple of patch pockets with Velcro closures are
provided in the zip-out windproof (and claimed
water-resistant) liner and matched again on the
permanent jacket liner mentioned in the paragraph above.
This is a nice touch by Alpinestars which I'll assume is
standard on all their jackets, because we found the same
pockets on the T-Stunt 2 jacket.
Finally, there are two zippered slash hand pockets on
the outside of the ACR Air-Flo, just where you'd expect
them to be and, get this -- the zippers on these pockets
work very smoothly, allowing one-handed operation.
Hurray for that!
I like the Alpinestars ACR Air-Flo mesh jacket for its
simplicity, it's heavy-duty mesh and, paradoxically, for
its emphasis on function rather than style. I'm
never too sure about what type of protection mesh
clothing will really afford in a get-off, and thankfully
I haven't had the opportunity to run a real-time
evaluation. But if I had to go for a slide in a
mesh jacket, I'd just as soon do it in the ACR Air-Flo
than just about any other.
Review: Alpinestars ACR Air-Flo Mesh Jacket
Retail Price: $179.95
|Colors: Gray, Red, Blue, Black.
Sizes: S to XXXXL (4XL)
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
Terms and Conditions!
►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
From "R.C." (4/09): "I bought an Alpinestar ACR jacket
for the hot summer days and I have to say it has performed extremely well,
including in a destructive (un-planned) test carried out last summer.
I had taken advantage of the matching zipper supplied with
the jacket by having it sewn onto some armored denim jeans and was wearing
the kit when I went down on my left hand side at about 30 mph. The arm
of the jacket is severely damaged, the lower strap which holds the elbow
padding in place has almost worn right through, but the armor stayed in
place and I did not suffer any bruising of grazing to my elbow or arm.
The shoulder section on the same side is also completely
destroyed down to the padding, but again it did its job very well and I was
completely free of injuries or even visible marks on my upper body and arms
after the accident.
My only disagreement with the manufacturer’s claims relates
to the statement that the jacket is designed to be a “year round item”.
There is no way I would support temperatures below 25ºC wearing such a
lightweight jacket, even with the liner fitted.
Needless to say I will be replacing my ACR jacket for an
identical one this summer."
From "M.G.": "Just thought I'd let you guys know my take
on Alpinestars's ACR Air-Flo Mesh jacket. I bought it as my first
motorcycle jacket after doing some research on the differences between
leather, textile, and mesh. I've owned it for about 6 months now and
have worn it from temperatures ranging between 40 and 105 F, in sunny and
The mesh works wonders in the heat. I've had to
double-check that it was zipped due to how much air can flow through it.
The liner is extremely effective as well. My day in the rain with it
proved that it actually is waterproof. However, the jacket is hardly
suitable for the cold. In the aforementioned 40 degree ride, I had a
sweatshirt underneath with the liner in and my teeth were still chattering.
Unfortunately, I've crash-tested this jacket as well.
I went down at about 10mph. My right shoulder hit first, which in turn
threw me onto my back. The padding did its job. Neither my
shoulder nor my back suffered any injury. And the jacket shows no
signs of wear.
My biggest complaint would be the long-term quality.
As my primary jacket, it's used rather frequently. Material is coming
off at the wrist Velcro enclosures due to the repeated tightening and
In addition, the area on the chest right by the bicep Velcro
closure is suffering the same ailment. This causes me to cut off the
fuzz in those areas every other week or so. Thus far, its integrity
hasn't been compromised enough for me to stop wearing the jacket, but it is
The overall quality is high, something I've come to expect
from Alpinestars. It will probably last me at least another year of
almost daily usage. As a mesh jacket for protection, it's excellent.
As a winter jacket, you better wear lots of layers underneath."