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Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket Review

Dainese Super Speed Tex Jacket Review
Dainese "Super Speed Tex" Jacket Review
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com

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Dainese 2013 Summer Style Series:
Dainese Super Speed Tex Jacket Review
Dainese D1 Kevlar Jeans Review
Dainese Dyno C2b Shoes Review
Dainese Druids S-ST Gloves Review
AGV Blade Helmet Review

Summary

The Super Speed Tex (the official name) jacket is one of the most popular Dainese summer-weight textile jackets in 2013.

In fact, it's so popular that it has nearly sold out in every color and size this summer, with retailers asking for more.

It's functional yet stylish, with right on fit and good ergonomics.

The mesh provides excellent ventilation and the construction quality sets it apart from the crowd.

The Super Speed Tex reminds me of a mesh version of the Dainese Aspide jacket reviewed in last year's Dainese Summer Style Series.

Protection includes EN 1621.1/97 shoulder and elbow protectors and the same aluminum external armor on the shoulders as the Aspide.

Also like the Aspide, the Dainese G1 or G1 optional back protectors will fit the built-in pocket.

Introduction to the 2013 Summer Style Series

Last year's "Summer Style Series", which featured AGV and Dainese products, proved to be popular with webBikeWorld visitors. So this year we decided to update it with more AGV and Dainese gear, using a variation of the theme. We're calling it, of course, the "2013 Summer Style Series".

The Dainese Aspide jacket we reviewed last year was a looker, but its solid textile shell didn't quite yield the air flow needed for comfortable riding in our Mid-Atlantic summer humidity and heat. So for 2013, we replaced the Aspide with the Dainese Super Speed Tex jacket.

The Super Speed Tex has big mesh panels in the front along the sides and at the upper chest. A large mesh panel in the rear also helps, and the mesh definitely helps.

The Super Speed Tex has the same excellent build quality and fit as the Aspide and it has a sort of leather sportbike jacket profile, with the overall attention to detail that identifies it as a nothing but a Dainese design.

This year, we again paired the jacket with the Dainese D1 Kevlar jeans (review), along with a short gauntlet version of the Dainese Druids gloves (review), the Dainese Druids S-ST, which have all of the goodness of the Druids gloves but are more reasonable for hot-weather riding.

Our updated 2013 outfit was then completed with the super-sleek Dainese Dyno C2b boots (review) that are definitely unique. They combine Dainese race boot features in a shorter boot that is surprisingly comfortable to wear and for walking, along with a very reasonable list price.

And let's not forget the AGV Blade helmet review to top it all off (literally) for summer city adventures. All in all, our 2013 Summer Style Series outfit is perfect for cruising the pavement on something like the BMW C 650 GT scooter (Blog).

Dainese Summer Styling

The Dainese Aspide, Shotgun and Super Speed Tex Jackets

The Super Speed Tex jacket is similar to the Dainese Aspide jacket we reviewed last year, but the Super Speed Tex includes a dollop of mesh spliced into the solid fabric for improved ventilation.

Both of these jackets include CE-certified elbow and shoulder protectors and they also have similar aluminum-backed external protectors or sliders on the shoulders. The Super Speed Tex also includes a lightweight, removable wind-blocking liner.

The 'Tex is available in the (difficult-to-photograph) mostly black with dark gray version shown here, or in black with blue, red or lighter gray accents. It has been a very popular jacket -- so popular, in fact, current stock is sold out and retailers are waiting for more!

The very lightweight wind-blocking removable zip-in liner in the Super Speed Tex comes in handy for cool evening rides. Remove it and the mesh panels produce a large volume of flow-through ventilation. It's way better, in fact, than the solid-body (but permeable) Aspide jacket shell, but not quite much as the Dainese Shotgun jacket (review), which is one of my favorites for summer riding, due to its near-100% flow-through ventilation.

The Shotgun jacket has a different shell design than either the Aspide or the Super Speed Tex however. It has a completely different fabric that isn't quite mesh but is permeable enough to allow complete air flow. The Super Speed Tex is much more of a three-season design than the Shotgun jacket and it may even serve as a year-'rounder in milder climates like southern California or the Mediterranean.

Super Speed Tex Details

The Super Speed Tex ("Tex" is for Textile) is styled to look like a leather sportbike jacket. In fact, it looks similar to a Dainese leather jacket called the Super Speed -- except the leather version costs over twice as much as the textile version.

Dainese says that "Duratex" and "Boomerang" are the two main ingredients for the shell. I have no idea what those are, but the solid fabric feels like a finely woven polyester similar to higher-level grades of the familiar Cordura.

There are two types of mesh used in the Super Speed Tex jacket; a very open weave used in the upper chest, sides and in a large panel in the back of the jacket and a finer weave of mesh in the sleeves. The mesh is backed by a nice-looking polyester attached lining with a sort of honeycomb open weave pattern to let all that air flow right through.

The combination of the larger weave on the body of the jacket and the lining gives it a sort of "3D" effect, which helps to create a thin layer of air between the rider's body and the jacket to help air circulation and overall ventilation. I noticed this as soon as I removed the wind-blocking liner and put the jacket on.

Dainese Super Speed Tex Jacket Front Side Views

Dainese Super Speed Tex Jacket Side Rear Views
"SP-R" means "Sport Racing".
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Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket Styling

We've noticed that European brands of motorcycle apparel fit us New Worlders much better now than was the case about 10 years ago or so, and the Super Speed Tex is a perfect example.

Back up a decade or so and a European size 56 or even 58 would have worked for me, but the sleeves would probably end up too long or the combination of shoulder width and waist diameter would be way off.

Recently, either Europeans have morphed their body shapes or North Americans have reduced in size (doubtful). Or, the European clothing manufacturers have become enlightened as to global body profiles.

In any case, the 2013 Super Speed Tex jacket in size 54 is a perfect fit, equivalent to a U.S. men's size 43-44 jacket. The sleeves are slightly tapered and pre-formed for that sportbike (well, maybe sport-touring) crouch and the jacket just feels right as soon as I put it on.

Apparently, the styling was deliberately chosen to mimic a leather sportbike jacket (the similar-looking Dainese Super Speed leather jacket that lists for 800 bucks) and it works -- you have to look twice to see that the Super Speed Tex really is textile and not leather.

I hadn't worn a Dainese outfit since last year's "Summer Style Series", but as soon as the current batch of Dainese gear arrived, it all came back to me. There is definitely something about Dainese motorcycle gear that looks and feels different.

Maybe we've been reviewing too many plain garments lately, but all I can say is that the Super Speed Tex jacket, the Dainese D1 Kevlar jeans, the gloves and the boots shout Dainese style like nothing else you'll find. I had forgotten about this until I pulled this selection of gear out of the box.

Put 'em on and you just feel...different. Good different -- like wearing a $1,500 Prada suit instead of a $199 Men's Wearhouse special.

Dainese Super Speed Tex Jacket Upper Chest
Close-up of neck and upper mesh on the Dainese Super Speed Tex jacket.
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Jacket Adjustments

The tapered arms and proportional fit of the Super Speed Tex eliminate the need for clumsy arm adjusters; this is another feature that the jacket has in common with its Super Speed leather cousin.

A large hook-and-loop waist adjuster is located on each side of the Super Speed Tex, down at the hem under the arms. The adjustment strap runs through a metal D-ring and the strap is tipped with a nylon web loop for ease of use.

The sleeve cuffs have two metal snaps but only one adjustment. The sleeve snaps to the first by default and it can be moved to the second to tighten the cuff, but that's it. It works for me but I'd guess that someone with a larger wrist might have problems. A fabric dart with hook-and-loop would add a wider range of adjustment but wouldn't look as good I suppose...

The neck also has the two-snap system, so you can only go one snap tighter. I leave the neck on the first snap and it works for my 17-incher so I think overall the system is proportional to the jacket size.

There are no other adjusters on the Super Speed Tex and again, it's constructed very much like a typical leather sportbike jacket.

Dainese Super Speed Tex Jacket Sleeve

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Pockets, Vents and Zippers

The Super Speed Tex has two lined hand pockets in front that are similar to the pockets on the Aspide. They close with locking zippers that -- also like the Aspide -- are hidden under a lip of fabric along a vertical seam for camouflage.

A huge placket pocket is located in the right side of the jacket; it has an opening that is roughly 28 cm long and it's about 23 cm deep (11" x 9"). This pocket is lined with mesh fabric, so it doesn't impede the air flowing through the mesh panels on the upper chest.

There's another horizontal pocket in the left side, underneath the removable liner. This one also closes with a zipper instead of the more common hook-and-loop and it's lined with a solid textile that gives a modicum of water resistance if it's holding a wallet or cell phone.

There are no other pockets on the Super Speed Tex jacket, again mimicking its leather counterpart. So you'll have to store the lightweight removable wind-blocking liner somewhere else -- although it's light and thin enough to fold up and stuff in one of the hand pockets or in the inner placket pocket in the right-hand side.

The main entry zipper is labeled as an "Opti" brand; we've seen these before and they work fine. They have the metal loop style of zipper pull and the pull on the main entry zipper has a rubber gripper with the Dainese logo. It's a locking pull but when the zipper is closed, the fabric edges are so close together that the pull sticks out so the lock doesn't always work correctly, at least when the jacket is new and slightly stiff.

The pocket zippers appear to be the Opti type also, as does the wind-blocking liner zippers -- there's one on either side with snaps at the neck and sleeve cuffs to complete the liner attachment.

Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket Slide Show
Armor and Padding

The Super Speed Tex jacket includes the same CE Level 1 protectors in the elbows and shoulders that is found in the Aspide. The protectors are also nicely sculpted to fit the contours of the body. Aluminum external shoulder protectors are permanently attached to the exterior of the jacket shell.

The elbow protectors fit inside of pockets but the shoulder armor attaches with hook-and-loop and it can sometimes move out of place a bit when I slip my arms inside. It's nothing that can't be easily adjusted once I have the jacket on but I'd prefer to have the protectors in their own pockets.

Also like the Aspide, the Super Speed Tex jacket has a built-in back protector pocket, accessible through a zipper along the inside lower hem at the rear, which will fit a Dainese G1 or G2 "Wave" back protector. The back protector is an $89.95 option and probably a good idea, as most riders will go without but a nice built-in back protector is always there when you need it.

The Aspide includes a short-length zipper to attach to a pair of Dainese pants.

The wBW Opinionator: Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket
Picks... ...and Pans.
  • Leather sportbike jacket styling.

  • Excellent air flow with two different types of mesh panels.

    Excellent construction and detailing.

  • Relatively heavy solid textile compared to the Aspide.

  • Fits like it was custom-tailored.

  • Black solid textile is a hair and dust magnet.

  • Back protector is optional.

  • Price is a bit on the steep side.

  • So popular, they're hard to find!

Conclusion

The Super Speed Tex is for all practical purposes a textile version of the expensive Dainese Super Speed leather jacket. But where the textile version differs dramatically from leather is in the large mesh panels that give the Super Speed Tex way more ventilation than you'd get from cowhide.

Dainese brags about the fit of this jacket and they're right -- the sizing and cut is right on the mark for standard body shapes. We've learned over the years that proper fit is a factor of design and construction techniques and you'll pay extra for it, but it's worth it.

Removing the thin wind-blocking liner from the Super Speed Tex is easy enough and then the jacket flows a lot of air; more than the Aspide but perhaps not quite as much as the Dainese Shotgun jacket with its unique stretch fabric with natural ventilation.

But the Super Speed Tex probably offers better protection, due to its thicker solid fabric over the impact points. The jacket flows about the same amount of air as the Dainese Air Frame jacket (review), but the Super Speed Tex has a more upscale look.

The Super Speed Tex list price is a bit steep but apparently this jacket has been so popular, it sold out in the time we've had it, which was only about 6 weeks. It consistently gets very high ratings from owners. Dealers are waiting for more so if you're looking for it, better grab one while you can.

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wBW Product Review: Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket
Manufacturer: Dainese (Italy) List Price: $349.95 USD.
Colors: Black with gray or white and red or blue accents. Made In: Armenia
Sizes: 44 to 64 Euro. Star Rating (1-5): Four Star Rating
Review Date: August 2013
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.

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Your Comments and Feedback

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Not all comments will be published (details).  Comments may be edited for clarity prior to publication.

From "J.M." (November 2013): "Thanks for the review on the Super Speed Tex, it was really useful and I went to try one on today. I know you mentioned it in your story but the sizing is out from normal Dainese stuff...probably cause of the shorter sleeves etc. that you mentioned.

I've got Dainese leathers in 52, Gore-Tex gear which is deliberately loose at 54, but I tried the Super Speed Tex on today and I was a 56. Another guy  spoke to had the same issue and ordered in the wrong size. I might have been lucky with Dainese fit in the past but they've always seemed more consistent with sizing than other brands and their old customers will need to go get refitted.

I don't know what Dainese were thinking with the solid material, particularly as all the other colours have white arms which will soon be green with bug guts...I wonder if they used Scotchguard?

Seems like every time I email you i have something negative to say! WELL...the (Dainese) Bruce Gore-Tex jacket is the bomb! Even though i had to pay $700+ and import it from Europe when I got it, I recently did 1000 km in the rain and rocked up dry at the end (aside from my hands and feet)."

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