Roland Sands Design Sonoma Leather Motorcycle Jacket Review
Roland Sands Designs has been producing garments that combine style and utility for a little over a decade. For riders who appreciate brands that go the extra mile in terms of looks and function, the RSD Sonoma leather motorcycle jacket checks all of the proverbial boxes.
When first donning the Sonoma jacket, I immediately noticed how supple the top grain matte buffalo leather felt—pliable fresh out of the box. The Sonoma features pre-curved arms that accommodate an aggressive riding position. Movement isn’t hindered, thanks to the accordion panels found on the shoulders and elbows.
For those of you who like to hunker down behind the windscreen, you won’t experience any bunching or restriction. That said—the Roland Sands Design Sonoma does it all. Whether you’re on a cruiser, café build, sport machine, or standard, it remains comfortable.
Though the leather found on the Sonoma is stout, the jacket remains quite airy. Up front, there are perforated panels; in the back, the same perforated leather can be found at the base of the neck.
Having worn this jacket in scorching Southern California weather, I was kept perfectly comfortable when riding. I can also thank the stretch panels in the arms, which allow great airflow.
Although the Sonoma is completely manageable in relatively chilly weather, when it gets below 50 degrees, you’ll appreciate it a good base layer. I’ve also had the pleasure of wearing the Sonoma in rare Southern California rain, and I was kept dry and comfortable. It’s not a one-season leather motorcycle jacket.
The Roland Sands Sonoma’s interior has a permanent mesh liner that is form-fitted to the jacket. This seems to be part of the philosophy over at RSD—most of their jackets do not have excessive liner material, translating to a much better fit overall. Dealing with bunched up liners near your joints is no fun. Also found on the interior of the jacket is a handy Napoleon pocket—great for storing ATM cards, licenses, insurance, and poisonous snakes.
Two hand pockets, along with an exterior breast pocket, round out your exterior storage options. At the waist, the Sonoma jacket can be fine-tune to fit with adjustable tabs.
A detail that improves comfort is the neoprene-lined collar. In practice, this alleviates chafing around the neck area. Conveniently, all of the zippers function effortlessly. Whether we’re talking about the main zipper, or the cuff zippers, rarely do I find the Sonoma to hang up or become finicky.
When it comes to impact protection, the Sonoma jacket has CE Level 1 rated armor in the shoulders and elbows. We strongly recommend replacing the back pad with RSD’s optional CE-rated Armor Back ($35). Additionally, you’ll notice the sporty, raised padded area on the shoulder that adds some café charm to the mix, while slightly supplementing protection.
Roland Sands Designs says the RSD Sonoma has a “sport” cut to it. The solution, according to RSD, is to bump up a size. As always, we recommend trying products on making sure they work for you.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Roland Sands Design Sonoma is how understated it is. It lacks massive branding, and in my mind, has that quintessential motorcycle jacket look. In fact, the only branding you’ll find on the jacket is on the rear flap, and the zipper tab.
I’ve been relying on the Roland Sands Design Sonoma leather motorcycle jacket recently—it’s a fantastic looking, all-around jacket that is suitable for numerous styles of bikes.
Roland Sands Design Sonoma Jacket Fast Facts:
- Sizes: S- 3XL
- Color: Black
- RSD Sonoma Jacket Price: $450 MSRP