Summary: A feature list as
long as your arm, slick styling and an expanded size range
all at a reasonable price make the Scorpion XDR Commander
a top choice in a 3/4-length jacket.
2008 will go down as
the Year of the 3/4-length Jacket. Suddenly, motorcycle
clothing manufacturers have re-discovered the market for
jackets of this type -- possibly a side effect of the continuing
increase in dual-purpose motorcycle sales?
It's kind of funny how development seems
to come in fits and starts. It's sort of like water
finding its own level -- as soon as a new technology or
manufacturing technique is developed, it spreads through
the industry and jumps evolution a notch or two and drives
That's good news for motorcyclists, right?
The old-timers out there will remember that it wasn't very
long ago at all when the only choice for cold weather riding
was a surplus parka or my favorite, a snowmobile suit.
Back when webBikeWorld was started -- it
will be 9 years old this coming January -- there were only
a handful of companies making half-way decent 3/4-length
jackets. If you got a few patch pockets, a zip-in
liner and maybe a windproof outer shell, you considered
yourself lucky. The outer shells mostly served as
the waterproof barrier, but the problem was that the waterproof
treatment made the jacket impervious to air flow.
Each year has brought new technology and
improvements; indeed, I'd say that new fabric technologies
and garment construction techniques show up in motorcycle
clothing about as quickly as any other outdoor sport I can
think of. The clothing and jackets of today are pretty
incredible, with soft outer shells and breathable yet waterproof
I guess I'm a born geek, but thinking about
how we're bending technology to make life more comfortable
and safe for motorcycling really gets me excited.
I appreciate it because I remember only too clearly how
tough it was back when I first started riding.
This Scorpion XDR Commander jacket is a
good example. It's hard to believe that Scorpion has
come so far so fast.
I'll be the first one to admit that when
they first hit the market selling helmets back in -- 2005
I think it was -- I thought they'd be just a flash in the
pan. After all, who did they think they were, a startup
company with the gall to muscle the Old Boy existing motorcycle
clothing network with such an outrageously bold marketing
But it wasn't long after that I realized
what a revolutionary thing this was for the entire motorcycle
marketplace. It forced the Old Boys to quickly return
to their stuffy drawing boards, and motorcyclists have been
reaping the rewards.
Now here we are, only a couple of years
later, and Scorpion just announced the XDR "Xtreme
Distance Rider" lineup, featuring high-tech fabrics
and construction techniques with jackets, pants, gloves
and even vests and shells for men and women. If you
thought Scorpion was only a helmet company, think again.
The long-distance riding market is one of
the toughest in all of motorcycling to crack, because the
customers for this type of gear are very fussy, demanding,
knowledgeable and not afraid to do what it takes to obtain
products that work.
Long distance, all-weather riders, 'round
the world adventure-touring types, Iron Butt riders and
even couriers and year-round commuters know the value of
the good stuff.
Can the Scorpion XDR Commander jacket satisfy
this sharp crowd?
Scorpion XDR Commander Jacket removable neck warmer wind
It goes without saying
that modern 3/4-length jackets are feature-rich, and the
XDR Commander doesn't disappoint. We've been riding
with it for several weeks, and it seems like every day brings
another surprise feature I didn't know was there.
Let's start with the outer shell, which
is made from a soft version of the DuPont Cordura that motorcyclists
have come to depend on. The jacket is available in
Black, Bray (shown here) and Neon, to match the
Scorpion EXO-700 Neon helmet.
The jacket shell exhibits excellent quality
in the construction and fabric materials. Scorpion
uses their "Exo-Stitch" Safety Seam process for
stitching many of the panels together, which is apparently
a process where the top layer is folded over to form a hem,
then one of the rows of double stitches goes through three
layers of fabric while the second row of stitches on the
outer edge is covered by the fold and stitches the bottom
layer to the folded-over lower section of the hem.
Large sections of the shoulders and arms
are covered in thicker (black) Cordura fabric, and the shoulders,
elbows, lower rear and upper back and chest also have sections
of Schoeller Keprotec for added abrasion resistance.
This is high-tech stuff used on some of
the best -- and most expensive -- motorcycle garments in
the world. But, as you'll see, the XDR Commander is
priced down where the proletariat like us can still afford
The shell material is very comfortable,
and even the extra Cordura and Keprotec doesn't make it
feel stiff. Reflective panels and logos are blended
here and there into the design, and we created an animated
image (see below) to show the results.
Also, this is one 3/4-length jacket shell
that feels comfortable and works well when the liners are
removed. This is partly due to the sizing but also
due to the cut and the materials (see "A Word About
Sizing" section below). The full-length attached
mesh lining also helps in this regard.
Front seals up nice and tight.
Removable Neck Warmer
seem to be all the rage this year. We hadn't noticed
them before, but this is the second 3/4-length jacket we've
seen this year with this welcome feature.
The neck warmer wind block on the XDR Commander
attaches with a full-length zipper around the neck.
It's very comfortable, being fully padded and lined with
a fabric that feels like a cross between micro-fleece and
It's slightly difficult to find the hook-and-loop
sections along the top when you're battening down the hatches,
and nigh impossible when wearing gloves, so I get everything
secured before I put on the rest of my gear -- a small price
to pay for ultimate warmth.
The neck warmer can be removed and stowed
in the back cargo pocket or elsewhere. The neck underneath
has a single snap with no adjustment. It fits my 17.5"
neck with no problems.
Here's an interesting twist and attention
to detail: all of the snaps on the XDR Commander jacket
are metal, but the upper three snaps have hard plastic external
covers, while everything below that, including the lower
pockets and bottom three snaps, have soft rubber covers
to help prevent paint scratches.
Animated photo illustrating the liners in the XDR Commander
Outer shell open.
Underneath outer shell and waterproof liner; yellow
lined zipper is the insulating liner.
Between shell and outer waterproof liner.
Zippers, Adjustments and Attachments
The XDR Commander uses a variant of the multi-layered zipper
approach to sealing the front of the jacket, as illustrated
in the photos above.
The jacket has a removable full length insulating
liner that attaches with a one-piece zipper that goes up
one side, around the neck and back down.
Looking down at the plackets, about 50 mm
outboard of the insulating liner zipper are thin YKK zippers
on either side that seal a separate, removable waterproof/windproof
liner. These zippers must have been custom made for
Scorpion because they're double stitched with a yellow stripe,
the Scorpion colors!
Zip up that liner, and a large fabric flap
is exposed that then seals over the top of the liner zipper
and attaches left to right with hook-and-loop.
Next comes the outer shell zipper, a hefty
nylon-toothed unit. The zipper pull is nice and large
and it's covered with a semi-hard plastic and the Scorpion
Zip that up and the final external flap
of the jacket covers everything from left to right and snaps
shut with the combination metal/plastic/rubber snaps described
Combined with the neck warmer/wind block,
all of this does a great job at keeping out the cold.
After riding with this jacket on several cold mornings in
the low 40's (F), I think the XDR Commander does a better
job at keeping any cold air from leaking in than probably
any other 3/4-length jacket I own.
The jacket has two very large web and hook/loop
adjusters on each sleeve, located at the bicep and forearm.
These are very hefty units and they loop around wide and
strong pieces of plastic-like material that are sewn directly
into the sleeve, making them heftier and more heavy-duty
than any other sleeve adjusters I've seen.
One of the unique features of the XDR Commander
is the "zig zag" side waist adjuster. This
is a wide webbed strap that goes back and forth along each
side and attaches in the back of the jacket with hook-and-loop.
Here are two photos; the top photo is a
close-up of the massive upper arm adjuster sewn under the
shoulder Cordura and Schoeller section. The second
photo shows the unique waist adjustment system:
Upper arm adjuster attaches to substantial rubber block.
The jacket also has a section of elastic
sewn into the rear, just above the cargo pocket (photo above),
and vertical zippers are located above the lower hem under
each arm on the sides. A section of this zipper can
be seen in the photo above, located between the "e"
and "b" of the "web" in the webBikeWorld
The sleeves have a vent zipper that starts
just below the upper arm adjuster and continues to just
under the lower arm adjuster. Below that is a zipper
at the sleeve cuff, and the cuff is also sealed with a hook-and-loop
It's interesting to note that the sleeve
cuff zipper opening does not have a gusset sewn in underneath,
but I'm not sure how this might affect the waterproof integrity
of the jacket. I assume the inner waterproof liner
will keep out the moisture.
The jacket also has waterproof (or water
resistant, according to Scorpion) zippers covering the two
horizontal vents on the upper chest. The upper back
of the jacket has a large horizontal zippered vent with
zippers that open from either side.
It's been too cold to wear only the shell
sans liners, but I'm expecting the vents to work better
than most because when the liners are removed, there's only
a mesh attached lining underneath the shell and in back
of the vents, which should allow air to readily flow through.
Lower arm showing open cuff, adjuster and vent (L to R).
A Word About Sizing
As you can
see, the Scorpion XDR Commander jacket can be sealed up
nice and tight to minimize cold air pockets and also to
help keep the CE-approved armor from shifting around.
The straps and seals also help minimize
any extra bulk when the insulating and/or waterproof liners
I'd much rather have a jacket shell that's
a bit snug rather than too large to minimize the size differences
when the liners are removed for warmer weather.
The XDR Commander shown here is a size large,
and I usually take a U.S. men's 43 or 44 jacket with a shirt
sleeve length of 34". Scorpion's sizing chart
lists a size large as a 42-44 with a 34" sleeve, and
the XL as a 44-46 with a 35" sleeve. As you can
see, I'm right on the borderline, but I think I'd have been
better off in the size XL.
I need the extra arm length for reaching
to the handlebars, and the body of the jacket and the sleeves
on this one seem tight, even with the sleeve and waist adjusters
let all the way out (that's not me in the photos).
If I take out the liners, it's a perfect fit -- just a touch
too tight though with everything installed.
I'll have to assume this holds true for
the other size ranges, so you may want to keep that in mind.
I think that if you plan on keeping the liners installed,
this size large would be a good fit for a 42-43" chest
and a 33" sleeve length.
Horizontal vent at upper back has two zippers with large
Close-up of front chest vent with waterproof zipper.
Back to the Liners
the insulating liner their "Everheat Thermoliner".
I'm not sure what makes it different, because it looks similar
to other insulating liners I've seen, but it does seem to
do a good job.
It's also a higher quality garment than
usually found in a motorcycle jacket. As you can see
from the photo below, it has a strip of "KwickWick"
fabric up the back, which is different from the rest of
the material. This strip is covered with a thin section
of a type of material that feels like taffeta on the outside
back of the liner.
The KwickWick liner's sleeves are attached
inside the sleeve cuffs of the waterproof liner with twin
loops and straps, and here's a "why don't they all
do this" invention from Scorpion: one of the loops
is colored yellow, so you can match the correct snap with
the correct loop!
This may seem like a tiny detail, but as
you probably can guess, this eliminates the fussing around
trying to match the sleeve loop to the snap when you're
re-inserting the liner. Thanks Scorpion!
The waterproof and windproof liner has a
luxurious looking outer coating; ditto inside, where it's
lined with permanently attached mesh and a really nice fabric
along the hem, printed with the Scorpion logo. This
is major detailing here -- detailing that probably no one
would notice if it wasn't there, but it really adds to the
impression that this is one serious jacket and worth twice
the list price Scorpion has set.
And that's not all, because the imprinted
fabric at the hem of the waterproof liner is matched with
the same imprinting on the inside hem of the jacket shell!
Very cool stuff, especially for folks like me who notice
and appreciate these details.
The waterproof liner has another interesting
feature; you may have noticed in these photos that the sleeve
ends have a thumb hole, much like mountain climbing or ski
gear. Sticking your thumb through the hole keeps the
sleeve from pulling up and the soft elastic material keeps
some of the air from seeping into the sleeve.
It's optional -- you don't have to stick
your thumb in there if you don't want, so don't worry.
If you don't, it just acts as an elastic sleeve cuff.
Pockets have become a
competitive factor and seeming advantage in 3/4-length motorcycle
jackets. I have one question: Who the heck uses
all these pockets anyway?
The pocket count keeps going up -- I have
a feeling it's a "you never know when you might need
it" psychology going on here, like the person who rides
5k miles per year buying a BMW R1200GS Adventure and outfitting
it with every long-distance accoutrement known to
But, no problem there -- we're all a little
guilty of that, right? Sportbike owners buy carbon
fiber bits and knee pucks; on/off roaders buy engine guards
and touring bikes are outfitted with enough luggage to carry
the in-laws. Whether we use it or not is besides the
In any case, The XDR Commander has its share
of pockets. Four in the front in the usually up/down
places; two up top that appear to be waterproof and are
sewn on as "patch" pockets. The right side
has a vertical zipper for access behind the patch pocket
and a waterproof zipper on top to access the pocket itself.
The underside pocket is a great place for stowing a wallet.
The upper left side has a horizontal hook-and-loop
flap access on top and the same vertical zipper for access
to the pocket underneath the patch. By the way, most
of the flaps that use hook-and-loop on the XDR Commander
also have a sewn-on rubber grab nub, which is yet another
nice detail touch that gives a professional look while aiding
the "grabability" of the flap itself.
The lower front includes two horizontal
pockets covered by a large flap with two snaps each, and
the snaps are covered with rubber. In addition to
the snaps, these flaps also seal with hook-and-loop and
underneath is a zipper that opens into the pocket itself.
A nice styling touch here is that these pockets are not
patch pockets, but are instead sewn to the inside of the
jacket shell, giving the lower portion of the jacket a smoother
In back lives one of those big horizontal
cargo pockets; this one is covered by a wide flap with the
rubber grip. Underneath is a swath of hook-and-loop
and the flap covers a horizontal zipper. This is the
place to store the neck wind block when it's removed so
that it doesn't get lost.
Inside the shell there's a horizontal zipper
pocket in the insulating liner, covering the same in the
waterproof liner, covering the same in the outer shell.
I'm sure I've probably missed one or two
more, but if this isn't enough pockets for ya', buy a tank
Animated photo showing the reflective material on the XDR
Reflective Material and Piping
The XDR Commander has a few sections of reflective material
on the front, back and sides and the "Scorpion"
logos on the bottom of the sleeves are also reflective,
which is kind of cool. This can be seen in the photo
Padding and Armor
The XDR Commander
uses their "Exo-Tec" CE-approved semi-hard armor
in the shoulders and elbows and a soft pad in the back of
the shell. The back pad is contained in a zippered
pocket, which is unusual, so it can be replaced with something
more substantial if desired.
The shell also has a connection zipper and
Scorpion makes the XDR Invasion pants which would make a
nice match with the XDR Commander jacket.
I've been wearing
the jacket for about a month but I'm sure I've missed something!
Our tall friends will also be pleased to learn that the
XDR Commander is available in a wide range of sizes, including
tall. The sizes range from S to XXXL, and the jacket
is available in Tall sizing (1.5" to 2" longer
in body and sleeve length) in sizes from L to XXXL.
The XDR Commander is available in Black,
Gray (shown here) and Neon. Also, the jacket has a
rear pass-through for a hydration hose, along with a clip
on the upper right to hold the tip of the hose in front.
The competition for
your hard-earned dollars has never been hotter, and this
is fantastic news for motorcyclists! I'll be the first
to admit that I mistakenly did not take them seriously at
first, but Scorpion has proven to me that they are very
serious indeed at providing excellent motorcycle clothing
and helmets at very competitive price points.
They've also raised the bar with the XDR
series, and the Commander jacket I think is a winner.
They must have done their homework on this one -- it's not
just another 3/4-length jacket thrown out there just to
say they have one; this is indeed a serious "Xtreme
Distance Rider" jacket worthy of the name.
Product Review: Scorpion XDR Commander Jacket
$339.00 ($354.00 for sizes XXL and XXXL; $364.00
for LT to XXXLT).
Gray, Neon Sizes: S to XXXL.
Also offered in tall sizes from L to XXXL; tall
is 1.5" to 2" longer in body and sleeve
||Made In: Indonesia
Date: November 2008 Notes:
Jacket provided by Scorpion for this review (more).
Be sure to check with manufacturer or retailer for
current retail pricing.
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000.
All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld©
page. Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
Terms and Conditions!
►Your Comments and
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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.S." (12/10):
"I've worn what I've always considered good
gear, made by Fieldsheer, Olympia, and others "whose
names you know" and you do get what you pay for.
But, in looking over the XDR features there
seemed to be everything I'd been looking for in wet-and-cold-weather
gear...and then some. A 3/4 jacket with protective,
road-rash resistant outer materials, "armor padding",
warm and water-resistant liners, a little venting, e-z snap
buttons, lots of pockets, good fit in various body places...the
usual things to look for.
Then, I saw that the zippers for the different
liners were actually color-coded! If that wasn't enough,
the piece that forms a buffer against wind (and keeping
warmth in) between the bottom of the front part of the helmet
and the neck of the jacket...wow!
If that still wasn't enough, the jacket's
liner could be worn as a stand-alone (yes, others have that,
too); well it actually had sleeve fittings for your hands
so that it was easier to put on the jacket with the liner!
Now for the pants...color coded liners;
1 for keeping water out and one for warmth! Great
materials, design, and the leg liner fits into your boot!
Even a hi-viz (for those who want to be seen safely) color
option for the jacket. This is gear that a lot of
thought came through in the design and production. Just
buy it and be happy, warm, and safe!"
From "S.K." (7/09): "Love
the jacket overall, although I have only used it for two
months and not in heavy rain. One tip that I wanted
to pass on was that Knox Forcefield Back Armor insert “003”
was a perfect fit to substitute for the cheapo foam back
pad (although in fairness to Scorpion everyone seems to
use the same cheapo foam pads!)."
From "J.D." (1/09):
"While I do indeed like my Scorpion XDR,
I think the author failed to note a very important point:
During even moderate rail, water will run down the internal
waterproof liner directly into your gloves, thoroughly soaking
them in very little time.
This because those big zippers on the outside
of the sleeves collect the water and send it directly to
that internal liner. The effect is that everything
above the writes stay nice and dry, but the design of the
jacket serves to completely defeat my waterproof gloves &
the separate glove-shells (also water proof).
This is a pretty critical design flaw for
anyone that rides in all weather conditions, such as myself.
I love every other aspect of this jacket, but having to
always ensure I have spare gloves and frequently needing
to put both pairs in the dryer at the end of the day takes
a toll on ones enthusiasm."
Editor's Note: Some
manufacturers and riders recommend wearing the gloves inside
the sleeves when it rains, perhaps that will help?
From "P.C." (12/08):
"I've had this jacket for about a month and
completely agree with the review, particularly related to
quality, sizing and the plethora of pockets. I am
a size 42" w/ 32" sleeves and the Large fits well.
One feature I did not see mentioned is a design that allows
the incorporation of a
system (review), with a storage pocket accessed through
the rear vent zipper, a rubber grommet to allow the tube
through the jacket fabric and a clip on the chest that holds
Great review - great jacket. Thanks."
From "J.R." (11/08): "Your
review was very good for this jacket (as usual) but I am
returning my jacket because of a flaw in its design.
You failed to mention, or possibly didn't notice that the
bicep vent zipper and the arm adjustment plastic things
will pinch your bicep when you put on a helmet or open your
I have only had the jacket for a few days
but I cannot bear this minor and constant irritation.
It is possible that not all users will experience this but
I cannot get over it. It seems that they were adding
a bit too much "style" on the jacket with the
big plastic adjusters to the detriment of the jacket's function.
It is very warm and fits great and seems
to be very high quality but I believe that they need to
take care of this problem. I am looking forward to
seeing if any other users experience this same problem or
if it is just me.
Thanks for all your hard work and keep up
the great reviews."
From "M.S." (11/08): "I
just received my jacket, and woow, what a jacket.
The limited pics of this jacket do no do it justice.
I bought the neon and it sure is a true neon green jacket,
very bright (blinding). I was surprised how heavy
it is w/ all the liners.
Your review was spot on, including how it
tight it fits w/ the liners on; I don't think I will wearing
the liners (I leave in So. Ca). The quality is outstanding,
In my opinion this jacket is more flexible than the (Aerostich)
This "adventure" jacket should
make others take notice, Scorpion is on it! I am also
considering the new (Scorpion EXO-700) Neon helmet (review).
Your review sealed the deal for me (I am a mark for your
site). I definitely recommend this jacket, I have
the AWE pants on order. Keep up the awesome job, your
reviews are spot on."
From "K.M." (11/08): "Thank
you for finally posting a review of Scorpion Gear!
Yay! I use a Scorpion EXO-700 helmet (which I love),
and the Scorpion Deuce pants (which I ALSO love).
I plan on adding some Scorpion XDR gloves to the list as
In my opinion, Scorpion is the best bang-per-buck
motorcycle product out there! Quality, tough, and
functional gear at very reasonable prices. Now if
Scorpion would just make some boots.....hmm :-) Keep
up the great work. Great, unbiased, and informative reviews.