Also: wBW REV'IT! Clothing Reviews
The brand-new REV'IT! Dominator GTX is the Netherlands-based company's highest-spec jacket yet.
While other top-of-the-line REV'IT! jackets are aimed at the 80/20 touring/adventure market, the Dominator GTX flips the ratio.
That means the Dominator GTX is designed to compete with the likes of the Rukka Armaxis (review) and others in price and market placement.
The Dominator GTX still shows its touring roots, however, so that competition is of a lesser degree compared to jackets like the Klim Badlands Pro (review).
Perhaps something like the BMW Rallye 3 (review) is its closest rival for potential adventure-touring customers.
REV'IT! USA kindly lent us pre-production samples of the new Dominator GTX jacket and pants way back in the Fall of 2014, along with a selection of the new 2015 REV'IT! mid-weight layers (i.e., underwear).
We were just about to post this review when REV'IT! delayed the launch to make a few last-minute adjustments to the jacket.
Because this is such an important release for the company, they told us they wanted to be sure everything was right.
The Dominator GTX is their new ultra-top-of-the-line outfit and it is available as part of the REV'IT! Spring/Summer 2015 lineup (Preview).
The jacket shown here is a late prototype that should be identical to the production version, although it is possible that some minor details may be different.
Does the Dominator GTX have what it takes? It just might...but you'll have to get beyond one thing first: the cost. But let's hold off on that for a sec.
The jacket's feature set is comprehensive, including the most technical Gore-Tex membrane-based outer shell you can buy, along with an included Seesoft CE Level 2 Type RV back protector insert (finally!) and lots more.
The Dominator is the result of extensive input from advanced riders and REV'IT! customers, according to the company.
That "GTX" designation means a healthy dollop of Gore-Tex and, as the company's highest-level jacket for 2015, for the Dominator GTX that means the best Gore-Tex money can buy, along with the "Guaranteed Waterproof" promise.
The Dominator GTX uses an interesting combination of Gore-Tex fabrics we haven't seen before.
The shoulders and elbows are made from the three-layer Gore-Tex "Pro Talisman" waterproof fabric that's also claimed to be abrasion resistant with its "coated dot pattern" that looks vaguely like Superfabric.
The main body of the jacket is made from Gore-Tex Pro fabric, which means the waterproof/breathable membrane is bonded to the outer shell and the inner lining for 100% waterproof protection at the outer layers without requiring a separate waterproof liner.
While this type of construction can sometimes be compromised with intake vents, the Dominator GTX has what we think is one of the best front vent systems in the business.
That's the Aquadefence VCS "peel-open" vents with "3D" standoffs and the Fidlock magnetic fastener system.
The Fidlock system uses a combination of magnets and a catch to make one-handed vent opening a snap (pun).
REV'IT! has been evolving their Aquadefence vent system for several years; we first reported on it in the REV'IT! 2012 Spring/Summer clothing lineup (report).
The large zippers on the inboard side of the vents can be one-handed, then peel the vent corner up and insert the Fidlock magnetic post into the "U"-shaped catch.
The 3D mesh system helps to circulate the air and the larger vinyl standoff gasket on the perimeter of the vent helps keep out water.
It's easy to use and it works better than just about any other front ventilation system we've tried and when the vents are closed, the jacket's waterproof integrity remains intact.
The Dominator GTX includes the new Seeflex CE Level 2 protectors in the shoulders and elbows that are certified to the EN1621-1:2012 standard.
The Seeflex protectors have a new design, made from the "SEEFLEX2925" compound (image below).
It has an offset structural shape, developed "to provide the highest level of impact protection regardless of the temperatures and weather conditions", according to REV'IT!.
The open shape not only helps improve ventilation compared to other types of protectors, it's designed to expand and collapse during an impact to spread and dissipate the energy load away from the rider.
Seeflex protectors meet the CE Level 2 standard at T+ and T- temperatures, meaning protectors are tested and approved between +40° C and -10° C.
Within the EN1621-1:2012 standard there are two test areas: Type A and Type B. (Read this webBikeWorld report for more information on the differences between CE Certified and CE Approved).
Seeflex protectors can be approved for both areas, depending on the intended usage. This allows for the use of smaller protectors (in women's garments for example) while maintaining CE Level 2 protection.
The Dominator GTX also comes with a Seesoft CE Level 2 certified back protector insert. All we can say to that is "Yes!".
We've been bugging REV'IT! to include better back protection in their jackets -- especially the high-end jackets.
Since the company owns Tryonic (Report) and the Seesoft (and now Seeflex) brands, it only makes sense (to us anyway) to one-up the competition by including a CE-rated back protector in the jackets.
You can see already that the Dominator GTX has about the highest levels of protection you'll find in anything outside of a set of race leathers. But wait -- there's more!
The Seesoft Type RV back protector fits inside a "3D" mesh pocket in the back of the jacket (photo above).
The 3D mesh creates a standoff distance between the back protector and the rider's back, which adds an extra level of comfort.
And if that's not enough, the system includes a "kidney belt" or waist belt that runs around the back of the protector pocket and attaches with a wide swath of hook-and-loop.
It serves not only to add some back support but it also keeps the back protector in place.
In essence, this is a hybrid full back protector/back protector insert system that makes a huge amount of sense.
We hope this type of system is implemented on more REV'IT! and -- dare we say it -- other brands of jackets, for the safety of motorcyclists everywhere.
The Dominator has the REV'IT! adjustable waist straps, which run in a channel and can be moved up or down to locate the waist adjusters in the most comfortable position for each rider.
We were able to move the straps up and down while wearing gloves and, in fact, the extra grip provided by leather gloves actually makes the straps easier to adjust, which has to be a first!
The jacket is also ready for the the REV'IT! Challenger cooling vest insert, which can be attached inside with the connection zippers.
The Dominator is also equipped with the connectors for the REV'IT! HV Connector Vest (review), a retro-reflective removable outer vest for nighttime use.
As an all-out adventure-touring jacket, the Dominator GTX can also be fitted with the REV'IT! Adventure neck brace.
We had a demonstration of this during the REV'IT! Spring/Summer 2015 lineup (Preview); the neck brace stays on the jacket when you're taking the jacket on and off.
The overall styling of the Dominator GTX is classic REV'IT! and evolves the styling that was first introduced to the world in the webBikeWorld REV'IT! Cayenne jacket (review), way back in August of 2005 (!).
Our Dominator was a near-production-ready sample, but the overall quality of the stitching and panel construction was top-drawer, as it should be for this price (yes, we're getting to that).
We'll have to wait for a production version of the Dominator to comment any further on this; as of March 2015, the jacket still isn't in the retail chain, so REV'IT! may have been a little premature on their release date.
Perhaps this should have been a Fall/Winter 2015 product...
This Dominator GTX is a size large and fits as expected. The model shown in these photos has a 44" chest. Jackets will be available in sizes ranging from men's M to 3XL.
REV'IT! jacket sizing has been accurate, based on our many previous REV'IT! clothing reviews.
The Dominator has a full array of pockets, including waterproof pockets in front and back at the lower part of the jacket.
The front pockets include hand warmers behind. There's a sleeve pocket for change or ID and extra pockets along the top at the placket.
The rear has a "hidden" pocket to stash documents when you're traveling through those mysterious parts. If we told you where it was, it wouldn't be a secret, so we'll leave that up to owners.
The Dominator also has plenty of highly reflective bonded strips on the front, back and sides. The laminated strips are unbranded but they really pop with the camera flash, as you can see.
Note also the striping in the reflective material; this designates REV'IT! GTX (Gore-Tex) clothing.
Just for reference, we put together the above matrix comparing some of the features of the other high-end jackets we've reviewed and it is continued here.
At $1,249.00 list, the Dominator GTX is the most expensive REV'IT! jacket to date, by far. It's an expensive jacket and there's no way around it.
Is it worth it? As usual, that is an impossible question to answer.
Many will scoff at a thirteen-hundred-buck motorcycle jacket, but believe me, there are many whom are willing to pay it and can't wait for the jacket to hit the dealers' racks, based on the level of email interest we have received.
That kind of money isn't without precedent.
The Dominator GTX competes directly with the $1,299.00 Rukka Armas (review) and having worn both, we'd have to go with the Dominator if we were forking over that kind of dosh for an ultra jacket.
The Dominator looks better and it's available in the light gray color shown here, which is a huge factor in its favor.
The adjustments and sleeve design of the Dominator is also more useful, with a better design than the Rukka, in our opinion.
However, Rukka has a five-year warranty on their clothing, which is another factor in its favor. Also, Rukka has been making this type of advanced adventure gear seemingly forever, where REV'IT! is fairly new to the game.
And, a production version of the Dominator GTX still isn't available as of this writing, so all of this is a bit moot.
We'll have to wait until we can wring out a production version of the Dominator GTX to give you the final answer.
REV'IT! has either been very delayed with the release or they were way too optimistic in announcing the Dominator for Spring/Summer 2015 rather than waiting until Fall.
I can say that our time with the jacket may have been brief, but it was satisfying.
The combination of the high-zoot Gore-Tex Pro shell with the new Seeflex protectors and the back protector gives an excellent feeling of protection, from both the elements and the environment.
The styling hits the mark also, with a sophisticated take on adventuring and touring, especially compared to Rukka's anti-styling and black color dominance.
The answer to this one is...stay tuned for more!