Summary: Great-looking short jacket with external armor that is also a design
feature. Relatively light weight nylon shell makes this a jacket for
warmer weather. It has a number of zippered vents on the outside, but
permanently attached internal liner prevents most of the air from getting
Teknic is known for its interesting selection of motorcycle gear,
designs that are always thoughtful, functional and out of the ordinary.
But the company seems rather...schizophrenic, I guess is the
word. They have chosen to compete in the
brutal low-price arena, where the name of the game is show rather than go, but
Teknic does battle with designs and features that seem more
sophisticated than most of their peers.
Some of their products are real standouts, like the
Teknic Cyclone and the
Teknic Sprint jacket and pants
outfits reviewed previously on webBikeWorld. I just took a look at
those reviews once more, both of which were written by me, and it's curious to note
that I still have basically the same feelings about Teknic now as I did
The Teknic schizophrenia I've referred to (either explicitly
or implicitly in my product evaluations) is apparent once more in the Teknic
Freestyle jacket, as you shall see.
But overall, the jacket looks great and has a bit of the
edgy street/stunt styling that has become so popular. Teknic has taken what
something most companies go to great lengths to hide -- the armor -- and put
it on the outside, making it an external styling feature. This
"inside-out" feature might
even theoretically provide better performance in a crash, because it could
provide a sliding surface over the catchy textile, which could snag and
tumble the rider instead.
The Freestyle isn't a full mesh jacket, but it's light
enough and it should have enough venting to make it a good alternative for warm weather
use -- but for one missing feature, which I will discuss in a minute.
The jacket uses relatively light weight textile in the
shell, which is made from 600 denier "Soft
Touch Cordura". This material doesn't feel as soft to me
as, say, the material used in the
Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0, for example, but it's a
good choice for warmer weather.
Depending upon your feelings towards pure mesh, the
600-weight Cordura may offer more
protection, albeit with less air penetration, and the material may
potentially slide better than some of the more open mesh weaves during a
My feeling is that the Freestyle jacket's styling is very nice and it looks
great in all of the available colors, including two different versions of
black with white and red accents; blue, yellow and red. For those of
you looking for a bright colored jacket, the yellow is definitely it!
The Teknic Freestyle comes in numbered sizes, from 40 to 52
(U.S.) and it's sized appropriately for each country's sizing scale.
This size 44 fits perfectly; thus I think you can assume that the sizes run
The "TK Motorsports" script across the front and back is
pretty cool, and the "TK" letters are cut from leather -- I'm not sure if
that's apparent in the photos.
The "Motorsports" (shouldn't that be
"Motosports"?) script across the front is embroidered right on the shell,
and the white and black stripes are made from a finer denier fabric and are
sewn on top.
Also, take a look at the photo to the left and you'll see the "TASC" (Teknic Advanced
Seam Construction) and "Teknic Motorsports" logos sewn as patches along the
front bottom hem of the jacket, another nice styling touch.
What's TASC stitching? I'm not really sure, other than the fact that the
stitches are amazingly perfect, probably done via a computer controlled
sewing machine and following what I assume is the laser-cut
fabric patterns very precisely and right at the edge of each seam.
The stitching around the corners and curves is very precise,
and from an engineering standpoint, this is very impressive.
Another design feature is the use of metal snaps at the
collar and to adjust the waist and the cuffs. The antiqued
bronze-colored snaps are apparently made by or for Teknic; they don't have a
separate brand label. The collar has only a single snap, which means
adjustment is limited.
The cuffs have one female snap on a tab and
three male counterparts on the sleeve, allowing a range of adjustment.
The waist straps also use snaps, with two levels of adjustment (but no stretch material
used on the tabs).
The sleeve cuffs also have a vertical sewn-in dart , which
provides an asymmetric sleeve end to keep things nice and tidy when the cuffs
are snugged up tight.
Completing the look are a few pads sewn into the shell on
the front and back. These probably aren't large enough to be functional, but they do
serve as another styling feature that adds to the overall appeal of the
The shell has several well-placed vents which open with YKK nylon zippers,
and each vent zipper has a nice, big pull, making it very easy to grab and work each one open or
closed when wearing gloves. In fact, the vents and zippers can be
considered as a design feature.
The arm vents are fully 25.5 cm long (10"),
which is huge, especially for a short jacket like this. The upper vents across the chest open to about 15 cm (6"),
and a nice surprise is the nearly 30 cm long (~12") vent across the top of
the back. This vent is covered by a textile flap that can be folded up
and attached in on itself, after a fashion, with hook-and-loop (HAL?)
fasteners (see photo).
But here's the problem that gives the Teknic Freestyle
jacket its schizophrenia: with all these vents, you'd think the Freestyle
would flow lots of air, right? Well, Teknic decided to permanently
attach the the Powerskin lining inside the entire shell.
The problem is
that there are no internal matching vents for the air to come through the
liner. So all those vents on the outside that could theoretically
flow a large volume of air are pretty much balked by the internal lining,
which prevents any air from coming through. Strange...
The Teknic product description lists both taffeta and "Powerskin
II" as the lining
material, but a label inside the jacket says that the lining is made from "Powerskin", claimed to be "100% waterproof and breathable" Is it taffeta or "Powerskin
II"? Don't know, but either way, the air doesn't flow through it.
Note that I haven't worn the Freestyle in the rain -- and don't
plan to, because it just seems too short and too light weight to wear in the
cold spring rain we'd have just now.
The Freestyle jacket includes a very thin zip-out removable vest-type liner,
made from 5 oz. Polyfil. The zipper travels all the way around the
front, around the neck and back down the other side, making it easy to
remove or insert. The liner maybe adds some slight warmth, but again,
my feeling is that the Freestyle should be considered as one step above a
full mesh jacket, for anything other than very hot weather.
Besides a single section of HAL at the bottom of the liner
to keep it secure at the waist, there are no other liner snaps or
attachments and none are needed. The liner material seems light and
it's maybe about 4 mm (1/4") thick when uncompressed.
The lining also has a flap on the right that can be snapped
to the opposite placket on the left-hand side. It can also be snapped over on to itself on
the right side if desired, which keeps it out of the way in a stored position.
The arms are cut and sewn in a (claimed) 15-degree forward
rotation for flexibility when riding a Sportbike. The external elbow and forearm armor
is claimed to be CE approved, as are the "Airblade" shoulder protectors and
the armored "kidney belt" (the section of armor on the back, which isn't
really a kidney belt as I know it).
The plastic Airblade shoulder protectors have an anodized
metal slider on top. Teknic puts a piece of clear plastic protector
over the metal to keep it from getting scratched during shipment; I didn't
realize this until it started to peel off. At first I thought it was a
poor oversight but after I realized the plastic is just there for protection
(of the sort used on the clear plastic that protects electronic displays), I
removed it and all is well (see the photo in the Lightbox below).
The collar has a "puffy" mesh material liner, which feels
slightly scratchy to me; I wish it were covered with some sort of
micro-fleece, although that probably wouldn't wick away moisture as well.
The sleeves have adjustable cinch straps and another metal
snap, but the sleeves feel snug to me without cinching them up any further.
Teknic added some dark-colored piping here and there that is
retro-reflective at night.
And finally, the Freestyle has two hand pockets, with zipper
closures. They're lined with taffeta, but the zippers on the pockets
do not have the big fabric pulls like the vents. Teknic also says the
Freestyle jacket has a baseball cap pocket, but I don't see it....there is a
pocket with a zipper in the Powerskin lining, on the left-hand side.
This pocket is only big enough for a wallet.
By the way, the Freestyle jacket does not have a zipper
attachment for a matching pair of Teknic pants.
|What I Like
||What I Don't
▪ Quality of construction
▪ Lack of
internal pass-through for vents
▪ No pants
▪ Liner is nice as a separate
▪ Limited collar
The Teknic Freestyle jacket leaves me puzzled. I think it's a
nice-looking jacket, and although the cool spring weather hasn't allowed me
to evaluate its performance in warmer temperatures, I think it should work
rather well in anything short of intense heat.
I wish the vents flowed air through the liner though; other jackets
either provide a zip-out waterproof liner or have some type of internal
zipper to allow the air to get through. I realize both of these
options may increase the price, but to be honest, I think the $199.00 list
price is a bit on the high side for this type of jacket, and it probably
could have included just that extra feature to make it a better value.
Review: Teknic Freestyle Jacket
||List Price: $199.99 USD,
$259.99 CAD, £149.99
|Colors and Sizes: Black,
Gray, Blue, Red, Yellow. Sizes 40 to 52 (U.S.)
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 "M.R.": "This jacket was purchased for me as a
birthday present. I love it. The pockets are big enough for what
I need and the armor seems much better than what other jackets in the same
price range offer.
It can get warm (as mentioned in the article) in warmer temperatures when
you are sitting in traffic, but when you are riding on the highway the
venting actually does a decent job of cooling down the liner. You
don't get the airflow through the jacket, but the air through the vents
cools down the liner enough that you don't get super hot.
I also read in the article about the pocket for the hat. The pocket is
there (it took me awhile to find it). It's just inside the left side
of the jacket. The pocket runs vertical right next to the liner, and
as advertised, it is big enough to fit a ball cap in. This is a great
jacket for the price."
From "M.P.": "Nice read. I actually purchased that
jacket back in Oct/Nov and ended up returning it due to the vent problem.
I am here in Florida and rains a good bit so waterproof is good but that
thing does not breathe. In the summer time here when it is 90+ with
the humidity to match it just does not work. I hope/wish they would
make the same jacket with a removable liner (hint hint)."