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Hi Gang,

A friend, and myself, are going west this summer and I need to get a riding jacket that is comfortable in hot summer temps. I know a lot has been said about different riding suits, but has anyone really compared and determined what is really the coolest (temperature) jacket for summer use?

Smith
’05 Dark Graphite
Greensboro, NC
 

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My current summer jacket is an Olympia Airglide in silver. I also have an Alpinestars perforated leather jacket. The Olympia is hands down cooler, as it is vented all over the jacket versus the Alpinestars that is only perforated on the body of the jacket. On the LT, you get more moving air on your arms than on your body, so perforated sleeves win.

I also like that the Olympia has a good removeable liner that also is meant to be a separate jacket.
 

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Depending on where you are going "Out West", The wife and I went to Colorado in June two years ago and it snowed on us three times. When you get in the high country it is subject to snow 365 days a year.

So a word of warning you may want something warm in your clothing and not do like me I brought a long sleve shirt, after being warned that Co was having a rather cool summer. Being from Louisiana cool means an extra shirt, not a snowsuit!!!!
 

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I have the BMW Venting Machine and love it.
Jim
 

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I use the Tourmaster Intake jacket. It's very comfortable in the heat but comes with two additional liners, waterproof and insulated. I've used the jacket in temps from 35 to 90.

It's conservatively styled and priced right (~$120). I would consider ordering a size up and go for the 'tall' cut if you're over 6'.
 

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I Second the Olympia Nomination

I have one also and wear it with the waterproof insulated liner and a shirt down in the 40s with no problem. Without the liner it is very comfortable in hot weather. I really appreciate the safety padding, armor and reflective materials.

Bruce
 

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egs said:
I use the Tourmaster Intake jacket. It's very comfortable in the heat but comes with two additional liners, waterproof and insulated. I've used the jacket in temps from 35 to 90.

It's conservatively styled and priced right (~$120). I would consider ordering a size up and go for the 'tall' cut if you're over 6'.
That's my vote as well. With all the liners out, I've actually felt cooler moving than without a jacket. It does seem to offer some protection from the sun, as well as rider protection.
With both liners in, it's plenty warm, but you may want a neck warmer as well, as the collar isn't very high. (I hate cold air blowing down the back of my neck.)
Down side: putting the liners in and out would make Houdini proud. Zippers, snaps, loops - not exactly something you want to do along the side of the road. To be honest, I leave them out most of the time, opting instead for a sweatshirt vs. the thermal liner, and a rainjacket that slips on and off over the jacket easily vs. the inner waterproof liner. If I think it's going to be cool all day, I have another jacket with a thermal liner that zips out a lot more easily (oddly enough, it's also a Tourmaster.)
 

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joe rocket leather perforated jacket................................
a rain shell over it in the cool mornings............................
 

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I have not compared jackets, but I have ridden in a FirstGear Kilimajaro II mesh jacket summer and winter (oh yeah, spring and fall too :) ), temp range 16 - 96 F (if it gets below 35 I wear a heated vest as well). I've had no complaints. Note that the liner of the jacket is waterproof, but the shell of the jacket is not (since large portions are mesh). You also might want to look into one of the "cool vests"; I have not been tracking comments on that, so I have no idea how it has worked out for riders.
 

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Another Vote for Olympia Airglide

I just picked up an Olympia Airglide in Hi-Viz yellow a couple of weeks ago in Dallas.

It allows me to ride as cool as it's going to get on the Texas Gulf Coast. The sleeves allow a nice breeze from around the windshield to cool off the arms and back.

I haven't tried the liner out yet, but if I was going to the mountains I would take my electric vest too, just in case.

I have noticed that the color seems to really make a difference in vehicles pulling out in front of me. I always ride with Piaa's on, but now I notice people are not pulling out even when they have time to do so. They must be dazzled and blinded by the jacket!

Have a great trip.

Joe
 

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We have (older) Joe Rocket mesh jackets/pants. Quite sufficient for us at 106F. We've found even the black is cooler when standing in the sun, than just a t-shirt. Saw one a guy was wearing during a medium-speed get-off - a bit the worse for wear, but very little damage to him. The newer models are alledgedly stronger.

A friend had the good fortune to be able to try the BMW summer/hot weather suit and pronounced it wonderfully superior. Maybe my next summer suit?
 

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Out here in Las Vegas I use a Chill Out Designs cooling vest under a First Gear Mesh Jacket. Air conditioning it is not but the evaporative cooling effect does help the core temperature. I got mine a couple of years ago and it still works. Can get one from Shango Rider....http://www.shangorider.com/
Around here I don't venture out without it....when it is dry it provides a warming layer for chilly mornings.
 

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I have several air flow jackets and a cooling vest. I find that the jackets with the most air flow are not the coolest with the vest. My FirstGear Kilimajaro Air is the best with the cooling vest and that will last for about 2hrs so i just soak it every time I fill up and I'm good. I keep it in a big zip lock (doubled) so even if I need to refresh it I can always use the water from my camelback, or I can carry some water in the zip lock.
 

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Smith said:
Hi Gang,

A friend, and myself, are going west this summer and I need to get a riding jacket that is comfortable in hot summer temps. I know a lot has been said about different riding suits, but has anyone really compared and determined what is really the coolest (temperature) jacket for summer use?

Smith
’05 Dark Graphite
Greensboro, NC
I have only experience with the "SILVER" colored with Joe Rocket Phoenix mesh and Ballistic mesh. Very good for the $$. Both are cooler on than off, downside not much good below 30 degrees F. (even with liner in place)

IMO the COLOR is one of the most important factors! BLACK=HOT.
 

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I have had a few but I would bet there are too many different jackets to get an objective comparison from any one person.

I just bought a new one this season and I had a tough decision. Lots of new jackets have come to stores since I bought my last one. I believe I found the coolest/lightest jacket of all that I tried on and came across after about two months of stopping at every M/C dealer and accessary shop I went past. Eventually I decided against it because it did not meet all of my criteria. Actually I felt it would be too cool for me in the northeast.

What I looked for:
  • A light color to reflect and much sun as possible.
  • A significant amount of 'Real' CE rated armor not foam. If you going to buy something with protection it should have a pretty good chance of working.
  • Strong fabric. If it feels soft and comfy to the touch it will wear away in a high speed get off.
  • A liner that will be windproof. These jackets can get downright cold when the temps drop into the low 60's and the sun has set.
  • A liner that is breathable and waterproof because if you are in hot humid weather and it is or will be raining putting on a rain suit (unless it is Gore-Tex or behaves like that type of fabric) will make you sweat.. not putting on the rain suit will make you wet..
  • Something that I can use my electric vest with when it is raining and cold. Even 70 degrees can be cold when it's raining.
What I have found that works for me... :thumb:
  • Textile beats leather hands down because I never have to wait to wear it the next day if it got wet
  • Textile drys to the same shape and will not bleed color (however expensive leathers will not bleed either)
  • I found that if I can carry two jackets and my electric vest I can ride from teens to 100+ degrees.
  • IMHO mesh jackets alone are only useful over 70 degrees and not much below.
  • My normal spring/fall jacket is good till about 80 and then it's uncomfortable.
  • I expect I can go on a late spring to early fall trip with only my mesh jacket and my electric vest if 45 degrees will be the lowest temps I can reasonably expect.
Good luck...
 

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Once the temps go into the mid 90s and higher, I start using a vest of some kind to cool me. Plus, part of the problem is that when the temps hit your body temp and higher, the idea is to guard against the air adding heat to your body.
 

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If I knew where you lived (since your profile isn't filled out I don't) I would make a suggestion about Under Armor Heat Gear, but it works best in an arid climate under anything you wear.
 

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Jacket

:dance:Tourmaster Flex
2 liners and a zip off outer shell
Works well for me:)

QUOTE=Smith]Hi Gang,

A friend, and myself, are going west this summer and I need to get a riding jacket that is comfortable in hot summer temps. I know a lot has been said about different riding suits, but has anyone really compared and determined what is really the coolest (temperature) jacket for summer use?

Smith
’05 Dark Graphite
Greensboro, NC[/QUOTE]
 

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If by out west you mean the deserts of West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada etc. then invest in one of the evaporative vests that are on the market. That coupled with any good mesh jacket and you will be set. I use an Olympia because it comes in Silver. Ever sit at the railroad crossing in Delta Utah when it is 107 with a black jacket and you know why I want a light colored jacket. Hello BMW not everyone wants to wear Harley BLACK. Make your gear in light, visible colors. Sorry off track. Also consider using a Camelbak(sp) hydration system, it is a convenient way to carry water and makes it easy to get to. No I don't wear it on my back, I strap it to the backrest. Consider mesh pants as well. Take breaks often and if you feel thirsty you are behind in your water supply intake. Stop, take a break,hopefully in the shade and drink water or Gatorade until you think you'll float and then you are half way there. I carry a heavy duty zip lock bag that allows me to refresh the evap vest during a break. Fold up the vest, insert in bag and pour in enough water to rehydrate the vest. Remove vest, wring out, with water back into the bag and back on the road. Just my $.02 worth.
Ride Cool
 
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