This unique jacket may just be the most versatile choice available for a rider on a budget. The Transformer jacket from Scorpion USA follows the typical tradition of Scorpion, delivering a whole lot more than you expect at the price.
The Transformer jacket takes the tried and true concept of winter sports jackets—where a weather-protecting outer shell is matched with a zip-in thermal liner jacket—and adds a twist. In this case, Scorpion created an outer shell from a free-flowing mesh jacket, then made the sleeves removable. They also incorporated a backpack-ish storage pocket on the back. To add even more versatility, the inner liner is a windproof zip-in hoodie.
Material & Build Quality
Sizing, Fit & Comfort
Value For Money
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5 unique combinations to wear this jacket
The hoodie is great to wear off the bike
Hi-visibility strips on the outer shell
CE Level 1 form adaptable SAS-TEC flex armor at shoulders and elbows
Conceals a huge backpack section with cinch straps
Forearm, bicep, and waist adjustability to adjust fit for any rider
The outer shell is mesh and excellent in hot weather.
Lots of pockets
The backpack might be waterproof, but the rest is not (the outer label claims “water resistant”)
Only comes in black
Has a strange zipper pocket between the shoulders that has no pull tab (is it for an optional back protector? There is no mention of this feature anywhere I can find)
The Scorpion EXO Transformer Jacket: Multiple Garments for One Affordable Price
There is perhaps no better brand in the world of motorcycling gear than Scorpion EXO when it comes to providing value for money. Need proof? Their Transformer Jacket can be worn in no less than five (count ‘em!) configurations, which Scorpion claims offers an incredible amount of versatility for riders.
The entire combination is unique—but how does it all work out in the real world? I rode in this mesh motorcycle jacket for many miles; let me share what I learned.
Scorpion EXO Transformer Jacket Design
There is certainly nothing new about creating a jacket shell and then adding zip-in liners to expand the functionality of the jacket. Usually, this will create a 3-4 season garment and can be extremely versatile for motorcycle riders. Scorpion has taken this idea and twisted it in a way that left me entirely unsure of what to expect and very intrigued when the EXO Transformer jacket arrived.
Starting with the outer shell, the EXO Transformer seems to be made using 600D polyester or nylon (it’s unclear; more on this later) with 100% polyester dobby mesh for airflow. The way it is put together, the polyester/nylon panels are effectively on the “top”, and the mesh layers make up the “bottom” sections. With the inner liner removed, it is very apparent how huge volumes of air can flow through this jacket. The sleeves can be zipped off, but they contain both the shoulder and elbow armor.
The core of the jacket looks quite standard from the front, and even from the back—but it is hiding a secret. Under a flap at shoulder level hides a zipper that runs horizontally, plus left and right vertical zippers—that, when undone, reveal a massive backpack-style storage compartment. Scorpion lists the capacity as 20 liters, but there are also internal load-adjustment straps.
The final piece of the EXO Transformer is the hoodie-style liner. Made from 100% polyester, the windproof softshell hoodie can be worn alone or zipped into the outer shell. Overall, the design is innovative and intuitive. I like it a lot.
For Sheer Flexibility: 90%
Scorpion EXO Transformer Jacket Material & Build Quality
Scorpion has left me very confused with respect to the material used for the outer shell of the EXO Transformer jacket. On the website, the shell is listed as 600D Premium Nylon, but the jacket label says 100% Polyester.
Polyester or Nylon?
600D Polyester is one of the favorites of manufacturers, due to its well-known durability, strength, and reasonable affordability. There is also a 500D Nylon, so I guess it may be possible that a 600D Nylon exists—but again, the jacket in my hands is very confusing with respect to how it’s actually labeled.
I bring this up for a very important reason: abrasion resistance. Nylon is way better than Polyester when it comes to abrasion resistance. This is naturally a very important consideration when looking at motorcycle gear. Will I keep my skin during a slide? Despite my confidence in Scorpion EXO products I have tested in the past, this jacket leaves me with questions.
If this jacket is actually 600D Polyester (as I suspect it might be), I know that it will certainly survive better than generic fabrics, but I would not anticipate a good result from a slide on pavement above 40 mph if I was only wearing the shell. Some of this would be mitigated because the shoulder and elbow armor add a barrier—but for this price level, the material makes sense.
Zippers & Fasteners
With overall construction, Scorpion tends to always deliver good quality. YKK zippers are used, and the stitching is strong and well done. I like the amount of reflective striping that covers the outer shell.
The hoodie itself is very soft and quite windproof. I found myself wearing it happily when I was off the bike. My fiancé was also happy to swipe it and use it to keep warm.
Scorpion USA is an American brand and they understand how to design for the North American body. I am 6’ tall and rock a plus-sized dad bod, and the 3XL fits well. I could probably have done fine with the 2XL. I based my choice on the Scorpion size chart, which always seems to be spot on.
Wearing the outer shell on its own was what I did the most with this jacket. The summer here in western Canada has been quite warm, and the EXO Transformer jacket performed brilliantly. I wore it, and I put it on my fiancé for a ride, all during over 30 °C heat. Airflow through the outer shell with the liner removed is excellent. Even during the hottest parts of the day, you stay comfortable and protected despite the jacket being black.
I wore it during a couple of surprise rain showers. The tag inside the shell claims water resistance, and yes—for parts of the jacket this is true—but there are some huge mesh panels on the EXO Transformer. The style of bike I was on impacted the water resistance a great deal. Behind a huge fairing, yes I stayed dry. Water would bead off the solid segments of the shell quite nicely.
When I rode a bike with no fairing, the solid areas kept water out, but the mesh just helped turn droplets into a finer mist. If I was caught in the rain with the liner in, my expectation is that I would stay warm and dry, but the jacket and liner would want some drying time when back in the garage.
Overall the jacket is very nice to wear. I like the ability to have some adjustment down the arms and at the waist; this prevents excessive fabric flapping at higher speeds.
Finally, there’s this interesting internal storage or backpack concept. It works quite well when you lack storage. The hoodie fits inside and isn’t that noticeable on your back, but I wanted to really test it. I needed to make a run to the bakery one afternoon (my friend had set aside 5 big loaves of bread for me).
This was the test I needed. I can now say I was able to fit 5 huge loaves of fresh bakery bread in the backpack while riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the city. I wouldn’t use it all the time, but wow, Scorpion—the whole thing is actually kind of brilliant.
On the surface, the Scorpion EXO Transformer jacket seems like it should offer good protection, but there are some areas I am concerned about.
The EXO Transformer jacket has sleeves that are removable. This seems like a great idea, but the armor is all contained in the sleeve segment. Remove the sleeves and you have now lost your armor. The main body section of the shell looks like it was designed to accept a spine protector, but none is supplied, and I was not able to find any information about this as an option on the Scorpion Website.
As I noted above, I have questions about the shell material. The Scorpion marketing materials call the shell material 600D Nylon. The interior label just calls the material 100% Polyester. I am unable to determine what abrasion durability this jacket can actually provide.
If a rider had a slide with just the outer shell on and no hoodie liner, would you have protection? Yes, you would have better protection than a non-motorcycle jacket; I just have no way of determining how well it would hold up.
Is the mesh strong enough to last a 30 mph fall? 60 mph? From feeling the material in my hands, it is much like the standard 600D Polyester that I am used to. Although the 600D Polyester is quite strong and resistant to tearing, it is on the lower end of the scale with respect to abrasion resistance. Compared to other materials used in motorcycle gear, this could be better (see also: our Best Sportbike Motorcycle Jackets for 2022)
Offers Some Protection 60%
Scorpion EXO Transformer Jacket Value for Money
Scorpion USA is renowned for delivering fantastic products for very reasonable prices. In many ways the EXO Transformer jacket follows that pattern.
This is a jacket with a retail price of $275. At that price, you really are doing fairly well. There is certainly more protection built into this jacket than you would ever find in a non-motorcycle garment. This jacket worked very well during hot weather and cool weather, and not too bad during moderate rain. The built-in backpack is more useful than I anticipated, and although you may not use it all the time, knowing you have that option is pretty sweet.
Plus, who doesn’t love having another great hoodie to use? The Scorpion hoodie liner is great in cooler weather, thanks to its excellent wind resistance. Overall I did like this jacket, and it has been a great choice for many rides.
I wish it had better protection, but how can I argue what Scorpion delivers at this price level?
Great Value From Scorpion USA: 82%
Final Verdict: Good When You Need Flexibility on a Budget
I am probably seeming fairly redundant at this point, but I am a fan of Scorpion USA and many of their products. The EXO Transformer is accurately named—this jacket can switch to multiple configurations. Some of those are excellent, and only one causes me concern.
This jacket will serve you well on hot days and cool ones. I like knowing I can carry all the parts of the jacket together, thanks to the backpack feature. I think it is good as a hot weather mesh jacket. It is good with both layers together when the temperature drops.
Caught in a short rain shower? No problem; you will stay mostly dry. Finally, if you want to just have a good hoodie on when you have stepped away from the bike, the EXO Transformer has you covered. Just do me a favor and leave the sleeves on, keeping the armor in a place where it is useful.