Shift Racing Triton SS
SHIFT Triton SS Waterproof Jacket Review
by Bill C. for webBikeWorld.com
Owner Comments (Below)
Comfortable 3+ season
jacket isn't quite 100% waterproof in heavy rain, but it has
a modest price, so the value equation is there, a hallmark of
the Shift brand.
started out as a waterproof jacket series, but as Rick described
in the Firstgear Teton jacket review, manufacturers may be a
bit too liberal in their use of the word "waterproof". "Water
resistant" is more like it.
Standard testing procedures are available for
measuring the water resistance of outerwear. The test
methods describe a specific method and instruments to use to
gauge the amount of moisture that passes through a fabric at
specific pressures over measured times.
For example, in the U.S., the ASTM F2298-03 "Standard
Test Methods for Water Vapor Diffusion Resistance and Air Flow
Resistance of Clothing Materials Using the Dynamic Moisture
Permeation Cell" is used and there are probably others
developed by manufacturing associations.
The only company I'm aware of that actually
tests their water-resistant clothing using these methods and
reports the results to consumers is Rev'it, although there many
Also, if a garment carries a Gore-Tex label,
you can be certain it does what it says, because Gore is very,
very specific about how their licenses are used, which helps
maintain the brand identity and integrity. In fact, it's
rumored that at least one very famous and very high-end clothing
manufacturer recently lost its Gore-Tex license, so it does
In the meantime, it's not that difficult to
conduct the tests as outlined by the ASTM, EN or other standard
test methods, or for motorcycle clothing manufacturers to develop
their own procedures. This happens all the time in the
world of standards, where a group of manufacturers agrees to
develop either a common description, testing methods or standards.
First, they'd need a standardized testing procedure
-- the simpler the better, because potentially more manufacturers
would be able to use it. Note that I am referring only
to the testing methods themselves here; the manufacturing trade
group could theoretically then develop a "consumer friendly"
marketing communications method to describe the types of water
This might be something like a label that indicates
which of five levels of water resistance a clothing article
has been tested to, from high levels of water resistance down
to no moisture barrier at all. Consumers could then decide
what level they require and how much they're willing to pay
Right now, there's basically nothing.
A manufacturer says the item is "waterproof", but
without the "proof", there's usually the "water"!
Of course, making a "Level 5" water-resistant
jacket is not as easy as one might think, because there's always
the issue of the openings in the garment for pockets, zippers
and the like. And the material must be able to breathe.
But something has to give, because currently
it is pretty much impossible to figure out what a manufacturer
means when they call a motorcycle jacket or pants "waterproof".
The Shift Triton SS Waterproof
Which brings us to the Shift Triton SS
("Storm Series") Waterproof Jacket -- the name used
by Shift for this jacket. Just so you don't get the wrong
idea, I'll start out by saying that I really like this jacket,
and one of the reasons is because all of us here are partial
to a garment like this that provides excellent value and performance
for the money.
Shift Racing currently has two "SS"
jackets in their lineup, the Streetfighter (previously
reviewed on wBW) and the Triton.
If I remember correctly, at the time of the
Streetfighter review in March of 2008, we weren't having much
rain, so it went into the shower for an evaluation of its water-repelling
ability. This was suggested by a webBikeWorld reader as
an alternative when the weather didn't cooperate.
This time, the weather has been cooperating
-- to a fault. 2009 has been a very wet year and we've
had a nearly steady rain this Fall for what seems like weeks
at a time. So we've been swapping rides and jackets in
real-world situations, which, of course, is a great way to compare
but a lousy way to ride.
The outer shell of the Triton is made from a pretty typical
600 Denier nylon or poly type fabric and the weave is just slightly
more rough than the Teton jacket but it also appears to have
been treated somehow to have some water repellency at the surface,
so a good deal of the water rolls off before it can soak the
The Triton jacket also has a water-resistant
barrier bonded to the inside of the outer shell, much like the
Teton TPG jacket recently reviewed on webBikeWorld.
In some local riding in soft but steady rain
that was just more than a drizzle but not quite a full downpour,
the Triton held up fine and I stayed pretty dry.
Water-Resistant Zippers and Vents
The only issue I found with the water-resistance of the jacket
has to do with the zippers. The jacket has two vertical
vent zippers in the front and two in the rear. These are
the water-barrier types with rubberized fabric forming an almost-complete
seal over the zipper teeth.
The zippers have a "TTL" label embossed
on them; I'm guessing the company is a competitor of YKK.
The zipper pulls are covered by little fabric "garages"
when the zippers are fully closed, to help keep out moisture.
The water-resistant seal over the zipper teeth
doesn't quite fit as tightly as I've seen on other zippers of
this type, and since the vents behind the zipper open directly
into the shell, through the bonded water-resistant barrier,
there was some leakage in the front. Not a lot, and I
was able to mitigate this by wearing a water-resistant pullover
underneath, but this is an example of the issue of calling a
However, there's always that tradeoff: water
resistance vs. ventilation. The positive aspect of having
the vents open through the shell to the inside of the jacket
is the air flow this provides in warmer (and drier) weather.
The vents on the Triton are located to provide good air flow
for a jacket of this type, proven on the few days where the
rain stopped and it actually got warm enough to use them.
Probably adding some type of folding barrier
behind the vents to prevent water leakage when the vents are
closed would be a good idea...but this would probably also have
raised the price of the Triton; another compromise.
The front zipper is of a slightly smaller gauge
than some other motorcycle jacket zippers I've used, but it
works fine and has an added pull tab. The zipper is then
covered by a doubled-over section of water-resistant material
on the left placket, and then the entire assembly is completely
covered by the front jacket flap, which attaches with hook-and-loop
fabric on the left side. This all works as an effective
seal in the front to block water and wind.
The sleeve cuffs are pretty basic, closing with
hook-and-loop on the outside of the cuff. The sleeve ends
have a dart inside to allow the cuff to expand. It's about
as simple as you can get, but it works and the cuffs can be
cinched down tight enough to easily fit inside glove gauntlets.
The Shift Triton SS jacket doesn't have other
pretensions, it's just a nice, straightforward, what-you-see-is-what-you-get,
all-around riding jacket at a reasonable cost. Something
about the Triton makes it feel comfy and broken-in right from
the start -- probably because of the absence of pretentions
and the fact that it meets reasonable expectations.
Also, not everyone wants to or can afford to
spend $500.00 on a motorcycle jacket, so having roughly 80%
of the performance for about 25% of the price is a good deal
in anyone's book.
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At the wBW
Shift Triton Jacket
The Triton is only available in the black
and gray color pattern shown here. The Triton is slightly
longer than a short jacket, but not quite as long as a 5/8-
or 3/4-length style, making the length a good compromise for
all-around street riding and touring.
We have both a size L and XL and both of them fit according
to the Shift Racing size charts, which say that the L should
fit a 40.5 to 43.0 inch chest and the XL fits a 43.0 to 45.5
chest. Those with a 44" chest will have to choose
whether to wear the jacket with a snug fit in size L, which
loosens up about 1/2 size when the insulating liner is removed,
or the looser fit of the size XL.
Each front slash
pocket also features a TTL water-resistant zipper, located underneath
a folding flap that closes with hook-and-loop fastener and which
has a nice tab to use for opening. The pockets feel like
they are lined with water-resistant material and they do keep
my items dry.
Another zipper pocket is located just inside the left placket
and it also feels like it is lined with water-resistant material.
I use this to hold a wallet.
The low price of the Triton jacket means another couple of
compromises; there are no pockets in the insulating liner or
the inside of the shell itself, but since the other three pockets
are generously sized, this hasn't been a problem for me.
liner is removable and washable (according to Shift).
It's pretty much the typical quilted insulating liner material,
inside a shiny taffeta exterior. But it works rather well,
I think due to a combination of the water- and wind-resistant
barrier bonded to the inside of the shell. This combination
works very nicely to block the wind and I am warmer wearing
the Triton jacket than I thought might be the case.
The liner is attached with zippers on either side in the
front, and it's also attached with three snaps at the neck,
located on fabric tabs, and two snaps each down at the cuffs.
The combination of the zippers, the strong neck snaps and the
sleeve snaps all work to keep the liner in place when the jacket
is being put on or taken off.
Padding and Armor
also has a removable back pad and it's possible that it could
be replaced with a more serious protective piece. The
back of the jacket has some angular sections of padding sewn
in as styling features, so perhaps these add a little extra
Speaking of protection, the Triton has CE-approved armor
in the shoulders and arms, and these feel larger and thicker
than normal, so hopefully they will do the job if required.
The armor feels like it will remain in place because of the
proper snug fit when I wear the size large, due to the cut of
The sleeves have two cinch strap adjusters, one at the bicep
and one at the forearm, which can be tightened to keep the sleeves
from flapping in the wind and also to keep the elbow armor in
place. The cinch straps are both easy to use and have
rubberized grab tabs, but the hook-and-loop is exposed on the
outside, so it does catch some dirt and detritus, but can be
cleaned with a comb or brush.
Wearing the Shift Triton Jacket
Something about the way the Triton is cut makes the jacket feel
very comfortable. The availability of both the L and XL
sizes proved to be interesting, because the larger size with
more room makes a very comfortable touring jacket, although
there's no reason why touring riders need less protection than
But for tooling around while sitting on the big BMW K1100LT,
the extra room in the size XL just feels right.
The Triton has some angular styling, and the cut of the fabric
sections seem to form a "V" shape, which also helps
the fit and helps to hide the armor. The jacket also has
a small "tail" at the bottom, to help cover the rear.
The Triton has "accordion panels" built in to the
sleeves of the jacket, which probably also help add flexibility.
In addition to the arm cinch straps described in the "Padding
and Armor" section above, the Triton has adjustable waist
belts on either side at the hem. They are well-hidden
or camouflaged in the black hem material.
The Triton has
a few sections of reflective material as illustrated in this
The Rest of the Story
The jacket also has an internal 8" zipper on a piece of
stretch fabric, which allows it to be attached to other Shift
Racing brand pants.
Most of the seams on the Triton are double-stitched. The
material used for the stitching is unknown and it is mostly
external. The stitches are mostly straight and nicely
made and a minor detail that would probably go unnoticed is
the extra two stitch reinforcements where the sleeve cuff adjustment
tab meets the sleeve arm. These are sometimes used to
reinforce the stitching and make a stronger bond at stress points.
Opinionator - Shift
Triton SS Jacket
Why only black/gray?
the size XL Triton to wear during a recent helmet evaluation.
The temperature was a steady 40 degree F (4 C) with strong northerly
winds of 25 mph.
The jacket fits slightly loose over my 43" chest, but
Firstgear Basegear wind-blocking underwear and the
Tourmaster Synergy vest bulked it up and it then fit without
being too tight. I also wore an old pair of Rev'it insulated
pants, an older pair of Dainese un-insulated boots and the Roadgear
I pushed "Low" on the Synergy vest controller and
rode for about 2 hours and stayed nice and warm, except for
my fingers and toes. I'm surprised at how well the Triton
blocks the cold air, even on my shoulders and arms, which usually
get cold. It has a roomy cut and with only the Basegear
and the Synergy vest, I was perfectly comfortable.
The Shift Racing
Triton SS Waterproof Jacket offers a lot of value for the money,
as do all of the Shift Racing gear that we've worn. It's
mostly water-resistant, with the front zippers on this one leaking
slightly during a steady rain. But expectations for the
Triton, considering the price, were definitely met and exceeded.
The jacket also is surprisingly warm and wind-resistant.
Long-distance touring riders who plan on riding through heavy
rain will probably be looking elsewhere anyway, but anyone looking
for a good 3+ season all-around riding jacket that can keep
you dry in the occasional wet days that will surely be experienced
when commuting or during general riding, it's hard to beat the
Shift Triton jacket.
Product Review: Shift Racing Triton SS Waterproof
Sizes: S to XXL.
|Made In: China
Date: November 2009
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►Your Comments and Feedback
Please send comments to
From "H.H." (12/09): "I
recently picked up a SHIFT Triton jacket. I found one
on sale for a great price ($125.00). I ride a BMW HP2
Megamoto, which has an "upright" riding position,
so I am usually getting a pretty good blast of whatever the
docile Southern California weather has to dish out!
The jacket compliments my previously purchased BMW "City
Pants" which are a dark grey and honestly speaking, it
had a factor in my purchase.
I am VERY pleased with the sizing and fit. I have a
45 inch chest and wear an "XL". As it is winter,
the jacket has the quilted liner that has yet to be removed,
but it is very comfortable and warm. My riding is fair
weather only, but it gets in the 50's and low 60's where I'm
riding and I have never felt cold.
The only issue has been the fit around the neck area as the
material feels somewhat abrasive. This issue may resolve
itself once the jacket is worn in.
All in all, I would rate it with 4 out of 5 stars.
My previous motorcycle was a BMW 1200GS and I usually rode with
a BMW Rally Pro 2 jacket, the Triton is more "form fitting"
and I prefer it to the $700.00 plus jacket for fast backroad