have become very popular in the few years that they’ve been on the market, and with good reason. They’re a very welcome solution to hot-weather riding for those of us who like to have more than Fruit of the Loom between skin and asphalt.
Motorcycle clothing manufacturers have been hard at work, pumping out new mesh clothing designs as fast as they can, but I’m afraid it’s time to go back to the drawing board. REV’IT! has just trumped everyone with this Airflow Mesh Jacket, ratcheting up the game by several notches.
REV’IT! is a fairly recent name in motorcycle apparel, at least in the U.S.A. Our guess is that you’ll be hearing a lot more about them as word gets around, because their products are innovative and made with an attention to detail that sets them pretty far beyond anything else we’ve seen. This is serious motorcycling gear made by people who ride and who think long and hard about what works and what doesn’t.
We were impressed with the quality and features of the REV’IT! clothing products that we experienced in our previous webBikeWorld reviews (see theR-Tech Jacket, the X-Vent Pants and the Ultra Gloves reviews to learn more). But the designers at REV’IT! obviously haven’t been resting on their laurels. They’ve developed even more innovative gear with “why didn’t I think of that” features, and it’s become apparent that these folks are really serious about owning the market.
REV’IT! also seem to have done a lot of thinking about where they want to be in the market on price vs. value. Lots of manufacturers play the cheaper-is-better game, but that’s impossible to win, and not where you want to be when your focus is on what’s best for the rider. The bottom line here is that you’re going to pay a bit more, but the prices accurately reflect the features and quality. You can pay less and get a lot less, or you can pay a lot more and not get as much — the choice is up to you.
Mesh jackets have been the answer to a prayer for motorcyclists who like to ride in hot weather but who want to do so with some level of safety. The enthusiasm for mesh has been somewhat tempered by concerns that the fabrics won’t protect as well as leather, or that the commonly used open weave mesh may have a greater potential for catching something during a slide. Anything that interferes with a smooth slide can cause the body to tumble and can greatly increase the chances of doing some serious damage in the form of broken bones or worse.
Responding to these concerns, REV’IT! has developed a combination of a tighter weave, a fit that mimics motorcycle racing leathers, some high quality Knox armor, and a touch of Lorica1 synthetic leather here and there to offer what they claim is “the most protective hot weather jacket on the market”.
The Airflow Mesh Jacket uses a mesh that’s more tightly woven then any of the other mesh jackets we’ve seen. It’s a patented design, made from DuPont’s Cordura in 500 Denier. When you stop and think about it, more isn’t necessarily better when it comes to the number or the size of the “holes”, or openness of the weave. Once you get up to speed, there’s lots of air pressure pushing on your body, and we’ve found that it doesn’t take much of an opening to let the air flow in and out.
The tighter weave and the Lorica sections make the jacket slightly warmer than a more open mesh, but our feeling is that this is noticeable only when stopped or riding very slow in traffic. The tradeoff for the theoretically higher level of protection is well worth it.
The Airflow Mesh Jacket also comes with CE-approved removable Knox impact protectors, aka “armor”. This is the good stuff, and the same type of impact protection found in some of the best motorcycle racing jackets. Knox armor has been tested and approved to the European standard for impact protectors (EN1621-1/97 and prEN1621-2:2000), and it’s much better than the generic foam padding found in most of the other mesh jackets on the market.
Impact protective armor can only do its job when it’s closely fitted and secured to the body. When you’re wearing the jacket (or pants), if you can push the armor around, chances are it isn’t going to help you in a crash.
REV’IT! has designed the Airflow Mesh Jacket to fit tighter than other mesh jackets; the fit is very similar to what you might find in a leather jacket designed for motorcycle racing.
A loose fit doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be cooler, because the perforations in the material are what flow the air. I take a men’s U.S. size 43/44 street jacket, and the size XL Airflow Mesh Jacket fits me perfectly — just tight enough to keep the armor in place whilst still affording very good comfort.
The Knox armor sections cover the elbow and forearm, and there are also separate pieces covering the shoulders. The back of the jacket has Temperfoam padding covering the shoulder blade area and the upper back. All seams in the Airflow Mesh Jacket are flat locked at the impact zones, and REV’IT! uses Lorica (synthetic leather replacement) to cover portions of the lower forearm.
Each sleeve also has two snaps on the outside that can be used to snug up the fabric, helping to keep the elbow armor in place. The male snaps have a rubberized finish, and there are two female counterparts on the sleeve for a choice of tight or tighter, depending upon the diameter of the owner’s arm. The sleeve cuffs are closed using “hook and loop” material, which provides some adjustment. They can be snugged up close enough to fit under the gauntlets of most motorcycle gloves.
There are also two waistband adjusters on the jacket; these use “hook and loop” fastener and offer approximately a 70mm (2-3/4″) range of adjustment to snug up the waist if necessary. Stretchable “NYSPAN”2 fabric is used underneath the adjusters to help provide a comfortable fit.
The Airflow Mesh Jacket is loaded with pockets, again differentiating it from the competition. On the outside of the jacket are two nice-sized slash side pockets that have a 170mm (approx. 6-5/8″, all inch sizes approximate) opening and which use Dulon zippers.
The pockets are about 150mm (5-7/8″) deep, big enough for a good sized hand. The pockets have an outer flap that hides the zipper and offers a bit of wind and water protection, and the zippers have a small pull tab, but typical of motorcycle jackets, they’re hard to grab with gloved hands.
The zipper pulls do have a little slot that could easily be used to attach a piece of leather or nylon cord to create a pull extension if desired.
There’s an internal pocket in the left-hand jacket flap; this one also uses a Dulon zipper, rather than a piece of “hook and loop” or a cheap button. This pocket opens to 130mm (5-1/8″) wide and a very nice 200mm (7-7/8″) deep. It has a nice 20mm (3/4″) long zipper pull extension that makes it easy to grab with or without gloves. The
A bonus pocket lives in the right-hand side, this one has a fabric cover without a fastener, but it’s also about 130mm wide by 200mm deep. The quality of the jacket and the attention to detail is apparent by inspecting the the stitching and the assembly. For example, all of the pockets, including the pockets for the removable armor, are perfectly finished, with details like rolled edges covering the stitching.
The Airflow jacket goes one better than the competitors by offering a very useful outside zippered pocket at the upper part of the left flap. We don’t like to carry too many objects in the pockets of motorcycle jackets for fear of having them (or us) crushed in case of a fall, but this pocket comes in very handy for a wallet, mobile phone or toll booth change, or even to hold an “Easypass” type of toll booth device.
The zipper uses the same type of pull that’s found on the slash pockets, and it opens from top to bottom. This pocket has a 150mm (5-7/8″) opening and is rectangular shaped at 140mm (5-1/2″) deep. It also has a cool little “zipper parking garage” at the top; it’s a sewn-on piece of plastic that houses the zipper pull and helps to keep out water and wind.
REV’IT! uses traces of the ubiquitous 3M Scotchlite reflective material in the appliqué piping on the Lorica sleeve parts and in the new REV’IT! logo on the upper arm. All motorcyclists owe 3M a debt of gratitude for inventing Scotchlite! The stuff is unobtrusive during the day, serving as a design highlight, but lights up at night when illuminated by headlights, helping us to preserve what little visibility we can muster.
The collar of the Airflow Mesh Jacket has a comfortable fabric across the top that feels somewhat like a cross between velvet and neoprene. The collar uses a single snap closure at the upper neck, and the snap has a rubberized coating. The only problem here is that there isn’t much room for adjustment. I have a rather thick neck at 17.5″ (44.5cm) and the I can just get the snap closed. Once it’s fastened, it’s not a problem, but it would be nice to have a bit of adjustment here for different neck sizes.
Mesh motorcycle jackets can flow so much air that when the temperature drops below 18C or so (65F), the rider can experience some wind chill. It’s hard to believe that a jacket can be almost too cool, but it happens, especially if you’re caught out at night.
If it starts to rain or even if there’s heavy humidity in the air, the moisture flowing through a mesh jacket to make the rider become wet, cold and uncomfortable.
REV’IT! has included a detachable “Hydratex” liner with the Airflow Mesh Jacket (see photos below). This liner is similar to the waterproof version used in their cool weather jackets. It doesn’t have sealed seams, because the sealing process is cost prohibitive in this application, so REV’IT! calls this liner water resistant instead.
This isn’t really a problem, because a mesh jacket simply isn’t designed to be an all-weather solution. It will help if you’re caught out in a quick storm, but its main purpose is to make the jacket windproof, and this it does rather well.
The liner attaches to the jacket via snaps at the bottom of the inside of the sleeves, and it zips in to the jacket using two internal zippers, one on each side of the jacket. The liner uses a front closure similar to the unique REV’IT! multi-layered zipper flap system, fully described in the wBW review of the REV’IT! R-Tech jacket.
The liner closes with a single zipper, then two wide flaps fold over each other to protect the rider’s chest from wind and water intrusion. The weather has been hot and sunny, so we haven’t tried the liner in a downpour, but REV’IT! claims that it’s windproof, waterproof and breathable.
If there’s a mesh motorcycle jacket out there with better features, we haven’t seen it. REV’IT! has advanced the state of the art in jacket design for hot weather riding. The combination of features, protection and the windproof and waterproof liner, combined with the modern styling have made this jacket our favorite for summer riding.
Unfortunately, REV’IT! doesn’t have a matching set of pants…yet. The Airflow Mesh Jacket has both a short and full-length zipper attachment that allows it to be combined with one of the several versions of REV’IT! leather and textile pants, but none of the current pants have the same level of venting for those really hot days. REV’IT! is working on a matching Airflow pants, so stay tuned! That combination should provide a great solution to hot weather riding.
1. Lorica is a synthetic leather material, registered trademark of Lorica Sud S.r.l., Milan, Italy. Lorica is claimed to be “a very popular, exceptionally light synthetic microfiber nearly identical to animal leather. Lorica is ultra-stain-resistant and washable.
2. NYSPAN is a stretchable fabric, registered trademark of the Young Poong Filltex Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea. It is claimed to be “light & soft, strong & comfortable, natural look(ing), water proof & breathable, anti-bacterial” and with moisture wicking properties.
Made in: Designed in the Netherlands, manufactured in various countries.
Product Comments: Uses tighter mesh size, closer fit and Knox armor. Includes claimed windproof, waterproof and breathable liner. Has five pockets, including one external upper pocket. Full length and short zippers allow attachment to other REV’IT! pants. Available in Unisex sizes XXS to XXXL.
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 “C.M.”: “After surveying the riding clothing market extensively, I agreed with your REV’IT! clothing reviews, as I became an initial fan of their gear right when you did. Down here in Florida, I have the Airflow jacket (summer mesh), Combat pants (lighter weight with leg vents), Hurricane gloves (summer mesh), and the Celsius gloves (winter PCM-material). I have recommended the REV’IT! gear to others and they have purchased it. I still love the fit/comfort/look.
This clothing line is fairly new (at least in the US), so word on durability will just now begin to come in. I question durability so far.
1. Airflow jacket. After 8 months, some non-impact, non-stress area seams are ripping apart (go figure). I have to get a tailor/seamstress to repair them.
2. Airflow jacket rain liner. The first 6 months, the rain liner worked great, kept me dry in tropical storms. The liner is no longer waterproof, to the point that water soaks right through it, as if I wasn’t wearing it, in about 30% of the surface area (and growing). I am going to get some waterproofing material from a hiking gear store and re-coat it. In addition, the liner is thinning badly, I feel like it won’t structurally last much longer even if I re-waterproof it.
3. Combat pants. These have no insulation and a built-in rain liner (both features great for summer and/or Florida weather). The first 8 months, they worked great, kept me dry in tropical storms. Now, the liner is splitting/tearing in the crotch area badly, resulting in an 8-inch hole (multiple big rips and growing), and now leaks water badly (totally soaking crotch). I am going to try and get it repaired, but I don’t know if it can be done under the circumstances.
4. Celsius gloves. Only 3 months old, so no durability measurements yet, but I have one critical comment. These were the “revolutionary” gloves on the market this past winter, PCM material being thin for dexterity yet very warm in winter due its technology of body heat absorption/storage (first technology to eliminate the warmth vs. thickness/dexterity trade-off, wow!). $150 gloves, wow. If they fit perfect, they are the best in my opinion and worth the dough (so far) and the raves. BUT, they must fit PERFECT — every inch of material hugging every inch of fingers/hand. Any air gaps at all and the PCM material does not work to keep you warm, rather, it backfires in the opposite direction by retaining coldness and freezes you in the air gap area!
My example: I am between M and L sizes for perfect close fit, M being too tight to function, so I went with L size. Air gaps in some fingers and both thumbs froze those fingers and thumbs in 45 degree (f) weather while the rest of the hands were toasty warm. I cannot wear these gloves in winter because of those few air gaps. Its almost like you need custom fitted gloves for the PCM material to be successful (but when it is, you will be very happy!). One solution might be for REV’IT! to make a wider array of sizes and advertise you must have a perfect fit?”
UPDATE: REV’IT! response to C.M.’s comments:
I was surprised and concerned to hear your comments about the longevity of our products. I assure you that we take these things seriously. Both of the garments you mentioned having problems with are under warranty, and we would be happy to repair/replace them as needed. We pride ourselves on manufacturing top quality products, and wish to meet our customers expectations.
We test our products very thoroughly prior to releasing them to the public. In 10 years of selling REV’IT! products in Europe, we have never seen a claim relating to seam failure. Please contact me at the number provided at your earliest convenience so that we may rectify the problem.
UPDATE #2: C.M. took REV’IT! up on their offer and sent this update: “”RevIt is standing behind their products, they offered to replace the entire jacket and pants, but the jacket is great and it was not necessary. I had them send me a new rain liner and new pants. RevIt reported to me that the Airflow jacket, likely a number one seller for them, only has 0.5% warranty claim rate. Considering the high build quality I see in their gear, I believe that statistic. So, I guess my experience is certainly an exception and shouldn’t be considered as an example.
As a follow-up to the “winter” Celsius gloves, I am wearing them every day all spring and summer here in Florida because the PCM material is fine in the heat as well as the cold (as a temp regulator, it works both ways to an extent). I have the mesh gloves but choose the Celsius every day because they are solidly waterproof, comfortable, highly dexterous, and have top notch protection. I highly recommend them as an all-year glove (as long as they fit well, like I said in my prior comments for winter use).
I am still a big fan and will check them first when looking for new gear. They just added boots to their line, Italian-made, which look top notch, check ’em out!”
wBW Visitor “L.A.” writes (in an email to REV’IT! copied to wBW): “I just wanted to let you know I got the 44 Xena jacket yesterday when I got home from work.. It fits me great!!! It is very comfortable even with all the protection and I should be able to wear a thin fleece underneath. which is always a great option since temperatures can vary so much when your riding!!
The styling is really clean, classy and functional – what a nice choice! I zipped it up to the Quest pants I had ordered and it worked well. I think this is such a nice feature. I guess I wont have to try to adjust my pants constantly as I get on and off the bike. That is always a constant battle for me…
The Rev it Ultra gloves have an excellent fit, premium protection and luxurious comfort. I have never had level of feeling through any other pair of gloves which is helpful with throttle control etc.
Again I would like to tell you many thanks for the great advice, information and OUTSTANDING customer service you have provided to me personally, not to mention the superb quality of this line.
I would will gladly recommend REV’IT! gear to any rider out there and for women riders in particular, who have found it difficult to find great quality, style, and fit. All the way along I can say REV’IT! has shown it can and will do what it takes to provide quality gear and first rate service to its customers.”
From “M.W.”: “Just a quick email to let you know, that largely based on your review, I bought a Blue/Black REV’IT! Airflow Mesh Jacket from REV’IT! direct. They were accommodating to work with and their exchange and shipping policy is very generous.
With the help of Jordan at REV’IT!, I ordered a “large” jacket and three days later it arrived…and fit me like it was tailor made. What a nice jacket this is! The styling is first class (I do like to look good when I ride) and the fit and shape is perfect. I have actually received many questions and compliments on the jacket.
It comes with a windproof/waterproof liner. It (the jacket and liner) packs up very small (compared to some others I have first hand knowledge of), and is easy to transport. The armor is perfectly positioned and stays where it should. The air does flow through as advertised. I have owned another summer mesh jacket and I can say the REV’IT! Airflow Mesh Jacket is better in every respect (cost less, too!).
I have not “crash tested” it (hopefully I won’t), but I can say that in every category I would rate a motorcycle garment, it would get the highest possible score. I have already picked out my next REV’IT! jacket (a “three season” type) to complement my REV’IT! Airflow Mesh Jacket, and will be ordering it soon. I am sure I will try their gloves as well.
So, thanks for your excellent review (including great pics!)…keep up the good work. And thanks for the objective and clear reviews. They are greatly appreciated.”