Made with a smart combination of full grain leather and stretch aramidic fabric, the new Helius riding jacket by Alpinestars effectively solves the ‘wanting the look and feel of leather but the breathability of textile’ dilemma. The breathable bits are found in the abdominal region and inner arm areas. Since they stretch, they aptly pull the leather sections against your body. Enhancing the ventilation further is a zip located on the rear of the jacket that helps with moisture wicking.
Reassuring protection is felt in the shoulders and forearms the moment you slip into the Helius thanks to the armored sections, which feel stiff at first but do in fact, offer good range of movement. Once it is broken in, this jacket fit like a veritable custom-made exoskeleton. With the additional protection of Alpinestars RC back protector and their bionic chest guards the package is truly made complete in that regard. (Both of those items are sold separately)
The Helius also features a pair of Velcro tabs located at the base of the jacket as well as a set at the wrists, which allow for precise comfort adjustments to waist and wrist diameters respectively. The cinch on the wrists worked especially well when donning gloves that have a small gauntlet on them.
If you need to carry stuff, I would recommend something thin (like an iPhone) since the Helius fits best when nice and snug. There is no shortage of pockets though as it boasts three external and three internal ones. This six-pack pocket attack is thoughtfully duplicated in the removable, thermal torso-covering liner. For small easy-access items there is another pocket just inside the jacket’s main zipper.
If you are looking for lower-body protection, you can find a zipper at the base of the jacket. This allows connection to a range of A-Star riding leather and textile pants. Otherwise, for around town, the jacket worked well and looked good with my abrasion resistant riding jeans.
Once you reach your destination, the Helius is comfortable and style savvy enough to leave on. In fact, among my jacket choices in general, I would consider wearing the Helius even if I am not going to be riding my motorcycle. It is simply a versatile riding jacket that looks and feels great.