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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned a number of jackets over the years, mostly low-mid range ones (Firstgear/Icon/Olympia/Tourmaster). Most have had waterproof inner liners-which I don't like. First-it means I need to pack a liner. 2nd, I need to "install" it. I have a mesh jacket that's great in hot weather-but then it's either pack a rain shell or liner. My Icon's outer layer is waterproof-but ventilation sucks, it's not bearable in hot weather.

So, I don't care about an insulated liner. My area is at elevation and gets big temperature swings (40 degrees between morning and afternoon isn't uncommon). I just throw a fleece on under the jacket in cool weather. Needs a breathable, waterproof outer layer and good/excellent ventilation (especially arms). And...I'm not well off-I have a problem spending way too much of my income on bikes and bike parts-would like to pick up something for ~$300 or so. If necessary I can go higher to get a quality product. Oh, I didn't say it, but it must of course be armored.

Any ideas? Thanks.
 

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Sounds like what you are looking for is a gore-tex jacket with lots of ventilation zippers. Some of the Klim offerings may work for you. I know the Traverse is fairly lightweight, waterproof and has some ventilation zips (but not a lot). Klim gear is not inexpensive but it is made very well. The Traverse is reasonably priced.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like what you are looking for is a gore-tex jacket with lots of ventilation zippers. Some of the Klim offerings may work for you. I know the Traverse is fairly lightweight, waterproof and has some ventilation zips (but not a lot). Klim gear is not inexpensive but it is made very well. The Traverse is reasonably priced.
Klim makes some great gear and is an Idaho company that I'd like to support. The issue I have (well, other than price) is that they shifted their production off-shore to reduce costs (Vietnam I think)-but didn't lower prices when they did so. They are owned by Polaris now IIRC. Flip side, I don't know of anyone that makes jackets in this country-and I never put "Made in USA" in my criteria anyway.
 

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There are USA made gear companies, MotoPort and AeroStich come to mind, top quality stuff but “EXPEN$IVE” is part of the package.
I agree with you on the gear you have/had. I currently have a Tourmaster Intake 3.0 which is essentially a mesh jacket that includes both an insulated liner and windbreaker/rain liner. Any combination of these three gives you 4 possibilities but the assembly and disassembly is a PITA. It’s all about layers, and I don’t know of any jacket that could handle +\-40°F temperature swings without adding and/or removing layers. Wearing a completely different garment under or over is still layering but easier because it avoids assembly...but then there is storage of the layer problem; same for the Tourmaster pieces. Some 3/4 jackets have a built in “fanny pack” to store a layer. In lieu of installing the PITA layers, I also have just worn another jacket underneath, or even a rain jacket over everything, neither of which is “motorcycle gear“, and my mesh jacket has the armor.
 

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Klim makes some great gear and is an Idaho company that I'd like to support. The issue I have (well, other than price) is that they shifted their production off-shore to reduce costs (Vietnam I think)-but didn't lower prices when they did so. They are owned by Polaris now IIRC. Flip side, I don't know of anyone that makes jackets in this country-and I never put "Made in USA" in my criteria anyway.
Motoport and Aerostich are both manufactured in the US if that matters (not so much to me), more importantly they make some of the best gear on the market. I have motoport gear, which are amazing quality, super comfortable, and the warranties are basically unbeatable. More importantly though, you can call them up and have a conversation with them about what you want and they can do custom work. My riding buddies call my motoport bibs my ripper outfit because as soon as we get somewhere the boots and bibs come off and I am lounging around in shorts. I don't have as much experience with aerostich but they were second on my list to talk to the last time around.
 

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I should add that I also own a bunch of Klim gear, you can't really show up on a Canadian snowmobile trail without klim something :)

Klim is equal to or better than most of the others in the mass market apparel category. Their materials are top notch. Their warranty is good but my bet is that both the quality and warranty start to slide as they become more of a brand management company. I also have an Olympia mesh (AG-5) jacket that I wear quite often. It is a decent jacket but the liner and the rain jacket are an afterthought. The rain jacket in particular could be replaced by a garbage bag and it would be equally comfortable and equally breathable. The liner just isn't much of one. The Olympia is not holding up as well as my Klim gear and the motoport gear will probably outlive me.
 

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In 2009 I bought a Harley-Davidson Switchback Jacket. It's still my favorite jacket due to its overwhelming quality and versatility. I wear it on all my bikes, HD or not. The entire outer shell zips off to reveal a mesh jacket. I've tried to find similar versions that are not HD branded, but have never found one that comes close. The shell is not 100% waterproof, but if you spray it down with some repellent, it will work well enough.



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Flip side, I don't know of anyone that makes jackets in this country-and I never put "Made in USA" in my criteria anyway.
Aerostich is made in USA.
Currently offering a clearance sale on in-stock RoadCrafter Classic jackets.
25% savings. Rare to see this kind of discount from them.

Joe
 
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There are USA made gear companies, MotoPort and AeroStich come to mind, top quality stuff but “EXPEN$IVE” is part of the package.
I agree with you on the gear you have/had. I currently have a Tourmaster Intake 3.0 which is essentially a mesh jacket that includes both an insulated liner and windbreaker/rain liner. Any combination of these three gives you 4 possibilities but the assembly and disassembly is a PITA. It’s all about layers, and I don’t know of any jacket that could handle +\-40°F temperature swings without adding and/or removing layers. Wearing a completely different garment under or over is still layering but easier because it avoids assembly...but then there is storage of the layer problem; same for the Tourmaster pieces. Some 3/4 jackets have a built in “fanny pack” to store a layer. In lieu of installing the PITA layers, I also have just worn another jacket underneath, or even a rain jacket over everything, neither of which is “motorcycle gear“, and my mesh jacket has the armor.
Overall one of the best replies I've seen in the different jacket threads.

I have a similar setup with my BMW Airflow Jacket. Using PITA layering, I acceptably handle 50-110F degree temps. If I see thunderstorm activity in my path, I'll make a quick stop and pull out my windbreaker/rain liner from the jacket's built-in rear pouch. You can't say PITA enough, but after suffering overheating discomfort from Gortex based waterproof jackets for years, I made the switch. My wife, who is extremely sensitive to heat, did the same. Gortex venting is great, but it has it's limitations in ball buster high temp situations.

I just added a BMW Rallye Jacket to my mix. There are times where I want to wear something warmer without dealing with too many layers. Living in SoCal, my issues are more with heat than cold, so the Rally will see less ride time than the Airflow. Of course, the 2 jacket solution is expensive and not what the OP is looking for. If I had to pick one, I'd go with with a mesh based jacket and develop a comprehensive layering strategy around it. Again, it can be a PITA, but it's probably the most cost effective way to go.
 

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Every snowmobile shop in Canada carries Klim and FXR. There are other brands of course but Canadians always looking for value will choose one or the other. Its also a bit of a joke. Have you seen fred? Yes, he is up the trail there in the Klim suit on the ski-doo (which describes half the population in canada during winter).

As to why either of those brands. There is a reason that Snow is the first sport listed on the Klim website. They make a lot of specialized gear for snow sports. Snowmobiling in particular is an extreme sport, think 60 MPH for extended periods of time in -40 weather. Your gear means everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There are USA made gear companies, MotoPort and AeroStich come to mind, top quality stuff but “EXPEN$IVE” is part of the package.
I agree with you on the gear you have/had. I currently have a Tourmaster Intake 3.0 which is essentially a mesh jacket that includes both an insulated liner and windbreaker/rain liner. Any combination of these three gives you 4 possibilities but the assembly and disassembly is a PITA. It’s all about layers, and I don’t know of any jacket that could handle +\-40°F temperature swings without adding and/or removing layers. Wearing a completely different garment under or over is still layering but easier because it avoids assembly...but then there is storage of the layer problem; same for the Tourmaster pieces. Some 3/4 jackets have a built in “fanny pack” to store a layer. In lieu of installing the PITA layers, I also have just worn another jacket underneath, or even a rain jacket over everything, neither of which is “motorcycle gear“, and my mesh jacket has the armor.
I've done the same, and honestly, am thinking that might be the smart move. In cool weather, the mesh provides zero warmth by itself-as expected. But with a wind/waterproof rain shell over it, it traps a lot of air and does provide a degree of warmth. In hot weather, even my inexpensive Firstgear mesh felt like wearing a tee shirt, cool even in the hottest weather. I don't mind packing a separate fleece jacket for warmth-I can still wear that at my destination. I'd rather not pack a rain shell, but the same idea applies, it can still be worn at my destination when not on the bike. My rain shell is just a heavier Frog Togg, may just want to upgrade that to a quality rain jacket and call it a day. I'm not sure any waterproof jacket, no matter how good the ventilation, is going to be as cool as a mesh when the temps are pushing 100. But heck, gear is like bikes, always fun to shop and research the next purchase.

I suspect I have the same Tourmaster setup you do. It's flexible, but I found the liners a PITA to install/remove, and the whole thing was kinda bulky. But with the liners in, was good into the 20s in the AM and stripped down to just mesh wearable in the heat of day. Not quite sure why they made the windproof/waterproof layer an inner layer-would have been nice to have on the outside.
 

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Klim works best for me. Waterproof. Fourteen zipper vents in the jacket and pants. I've done multi-hour rides from about 25 degrees (with Gerbing heated underneath) to 110, wet and dry, with big temperature swings. Super expensive but it wears like iron. Sadly, their stuff comes from China. I'd gladly pay more for a Made in USA tag.
 

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I have had a Klim Badlands Pro jacket for 5 years. It flows air well with lots of vents and keeps me dry when it rains, great jacket. It has many years left in it

They are expensive but I got mine from Revzilla when they were doing a close out sale on the prior year model/color jacket. Paid somewhere around 650 for it which saved over 300 off list price. At that price it was worth every penny.
 

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You probably don't want to hear this, but..................................

A few years ago a Mr @RLLemke put up a post about "Air Vests", the bottom line was I ended up with a BMW Street Air jacket and the vest which is an Alpinestars Air Vest.

Things have moved on a bit and Alpinestars now sell the vest as a stand alone product.

 

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They are expensive but I got mine from Revzilla when they were doing a close out sale on the prior year model/color jacket. Paid somewhere around 650 for it which saved over 300 off list price. At that price it was worth every penny.
Thats when and where I bought mine.
A solid investment for sure.

Joe
 

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Another fan of the Klim Badlands. i have both the jacket and pants and I feel it was well worth the investment.
 

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Klim latitude here as well as pants and have the mesh jacket for if there’s room and it’s gonna get hot. The boots they offer are great! Wear them riding and as every day boots in the winter. Good grip and waterproof.

Warranty is great!

Also run their gear for winter riding (snowmobile). That’s the ONLY ticket for winter gear.


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Klim every day for me. I have the Hardanger (Gortex 2 layer laminate) all in one suit and the Badlands (Gortex Pro 3 layer laminate) Jacket and Trousers. Both are extremely well ventilated directly to the skin, not through a membrane as many are, very well made and practical, offering D30 armour. Just had a 5 day trip in 30oC (86F) using the Badlands and was very comfortable.

Not cheap but in my opinion well worth the cash.
 

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....or find an inexpensive, lightweight body armor jacket you like, then scotch-guard it for waterproofing....
 
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