FirstGear has created an entire line of women’s motorcycle clothing that includes specialty items like this warm weather riding outfit.
FirstGear has been a recognized name in motorcycle apparel for some time, and we applaud them for their focus on the growing demand for women’s motorcycle clothing.
We turned this review over to Lori, our Women’s Motorcycle Clothing reviews editor, for her comments regarding the FirstGear Women’s Hypertex Meshtex jacket and the FirstGear mesh women’s pants.
Both are designed for warm to hot weather riding.
Firstgear Hypertex Meshtex Jacket
I was envious of my husband’s FirstGear Hypertex Meshtex mesh jacket and pants ensemble, which has become his favorite outfit for summer riding.
It has only been a couple of years since the the motorcycle clothing manufacturers discovered mesh fabrics and started using them for riding clothes that are suitable for wearing in the hottest weather.
Prior to that, women (and men!) were limited to a selection of either lighter weight leather or textile jackets and pants, which typically have very poor ventilation.
About the only alternative for riding in the hottest weather is T-shirts and jeans, which in my opinion is an unacceptable solution.
Riding in hot weather can be very uncomfortable when you’re wearing leathers.
Until the advent of mesh warm weather motorcycle clothing, I was actually more comfortable riding in the middle of winter than in the summer!
I like the bright yellow color on this jacket, and I ordered it specifically because I’m hoping that it will provide more visibility.
FirstGear’s website doesn’t seem to have been updated (as of this writing) to include any specifications on the Hypertex Meshtex II clothing, and they still list only a Red/Black and Black/Black combination for women.
It would be nice if they offered the jacket in some cool colors, such as shades of purple or blue, but I guess we can’t have everything!
The quality of the fabric and the sewing is very good, and double stitches are used on all the seams.
There are no loose threads or anything and my feeling is that this is a high-quality article of clothing.
FirstGear claims to have over 40 motorcycles owned by their design and product development staff.
So it’s always nice to know that riders are behind the designs, because they know what works and what doesn’t.
I suggest considering the colored jackets rather than the black-on-black, because the colored jackets have the contrasting black accent strips up the sides and down the arms.
That can trick the eye into thinking that the owner is thinner than otherwise might be the case.
Let’s face it, when wearing motorcycle clothing, unless you’re a paper-thin model, most of us can use all the help we can get! Also, black isn’t a very noticeable color, and safety should always be a concern.
The jacket has two hand pockets that each have a 15cm (about 6″, all inch sizes approximate) opening. I noted that last year’s review of the men’s jacket mentioned that the pockets didn’t have zipper pull extensions.
Well, the pockets still don’t have the extensions, so they’re just about impossible to open when wearing gloves.
But the upside is that the entire zipper is hidden under the black fabric, which helps give the jacket a more finished look.
Each pocket is about 15cm deep and lined with mesh, which is just about big enough for a hand to fit inside, if you care to. I keep my earplugs in one pocket and my cell phone in the other.
There’s also a single snap pocket on the left hand side, just inside of the jacket.
This pocket has a 13 cm opening and is about 20 cm deep, which is big enough for a small wallet.
I usually carry my license, a credit card, some cash and not much more in a small leather wallet that I use when riding.
The one feature that is new for this year, and that I suppose justifies the “II” moniker, is the standard windproof nylon zip-in lining.
It attaches to the jacket with lightweight zippers on either side of the jacket’s lapels and with a metal snap on the back of the neck.
It also attaches inside the sleeves with two metal snaps located at the end of the abbreviated sleeves and which are a bit hard to reach.
It’s nice to have a windproof liner, because depending upon the temperature, the jacket sometimes almost flows too much air!
It’s so cool and allows so much air to flow through that if the temperature drops below about 75-80 degrees I can get a chill.
The liner is very thin and light.
It can easily be rolled up into a tight little package and stowed under the motorcycle’s seat if there’s no other room.
We nicked last years’ Hypertex Meshtex jacket because the “armor”, or padding, is very thin. Well, it seems that FirstGear unfortunately hasn’t improved either the padding style and quantity.
The EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) material that’s used for the padding still isn’t CE-approved, and it’s rather thin, but still probably many times better than the alternative of a T-shirt and jeans.
The elbow area has a large piece of internal padding that measures about 28cm (11″) long and about 19cm (7-1/2″) wide.
The outer portion of the sleeve has three separate little pieces of padding that act more as a decoration than as protection.
The back padding is 36 cm long (14″) and about 16 cm wide at its widest point.
All the padding is vented, and the back padding is removable, so it might be possible to fit a piece of CE-approved hard-backed armor in place of the original padding, although I haven’t tried to do this.
There’s also some internal padding in the shoulder and upper arm area.
The jacket also uses some 3M Scotchlite material used in a strip of piping across the back and in the “FirstGear” logo on the front for visibility at night.
The combination of the Scotchlite piping and the bright yellow color will hopefully do its job in letting know that I’m on the road!
I really like this jacket and also the jacket/pants combination.
It’s more comfortable than any other riding outfit I’ve tried, and it does what it’s designed to: provide a reasonably protective outfit for use in the hottest weather.
It just has to be better than the T-shirt and jeans alternative.
I haven’t tested its ability to protect in a fall, and I still feel more confident wearing a full set of leathers, but if the alternative is not to ride because it’s too hot, then this outfit is well worth it.
We see lots of motorcyclists riding in the summertime with virtually no protective riding gear, and there’s really no excuse for that, especially when you can buy this set for about $250.00. Isn’t your body worth at least that much?