VikingCycle Ironside Motorcycle Jacket Test
VikingCycle is a new brand of gear to me, and when I saw the $59.95 MSRP for the Ironside riding jacket, I had to give it a long, hard look.
The jacket is constructed of pliable 600-denier Tri-tex nylon with liberal areas of mesh down the medial side of the sleeves and around the body. Available only in basic black, it is lightweight, sharply styled and functional. The fabric literally has a finish that gives it a slick, glistening appearance in the sun.
The VikingCycle Ironside features a full coverage quilted zip-out liner that has large snap stays at the sleeve cuffs, and hook-and-loop stays in the body of the jacket. There is little insulating pile in the liner, so even with a good baselayer, it is not a cold weather garment; cool weather, yes.
In early spring riding here in Wisconsin, I used it riding in temps in the mid-fifties with a baselayer. The Ironside was comfortable, but it was evident that it may not be warm enough for riding in temps down in the 40s.
With the liner removed, air flow is extremely good, providing a lot of cooling effect when the weather is warmer. The liner also includes a large zipper closure pocket on the right side of the chest, a deep box pocket with hook-and-loop flap closure, a deep open-top patch pocket and two elastic pen/tire gauge/etc. loops on the left side.
The Ironside itself adds even more carrying capacity with two large zipper-closure slash side pockets and two large zipper closure chest pockets. An additional vertical zipper closure pocket is located inside the left side of the chest. In all, with the liner included, the Ironside features a total of eight pockets of various sizes and two elastic loops, making it one of the most carry-capable riding jackets I’ve used.
Removable CE certified impact protectors are located at the shoulders and elbows. Impact protectors only work when they stay in place over the bony areas they are intended to protect, so they need to be able to be held snugly in place. On the Ironside, three-position large snap adjusters on elastic straps are provided above and below the elbow impact protectors. They look the business but they are not merely for looks — the system works, making the elbow impact protectors snug, but still comfortable and flexible for free movement.
High density, double-layer foam back padding is removable and additional softer foam padding is provided at the lower back. An eight-inch zipper is included at the bottom edge of the back of the jacket for joining the jacket to riding pants.
The mandarin-styled collar is lightly padded and has a hook-and-loop closure up front. Fit can be adjusted with hook-and-loop straps at the sleeve cuffs and at each side of the waist. A pleasant surprise is the inclusion of robust knit cuffs at the wrists. Fully fitted and adjusted for optimized fit, the Ironside jacket is comfortable and allows full range of motion.
Sizes range from small to 5XL, and the advice from the folks at Motorcycle House — the exclusive distributor for VikingCycle products — was that the Ironside sizing tends to run a bit snug, so going up one size from my usual size may be a good idea.
That proved to be good advice — my usual size is a men’s large and the XL size I got is a perfect fit with the liner in and still not too loose even with the liner removed.
The product does not have garment laundering and care labeling inside or among the group of tags attached to it on delivery. Being a synthetic textile, the care instructions are probably about the same as for other similarly constructed products, but that bit of clarity would be helpful.
The Ironside is offered at $59.95, and arrives with a 30 day return guarantee. For more information, Motorcycle House.Google+