Stellar Moto Brand Profile and Stratosphere Jumpsuit Review
Inspired by the idea that it would be cool to rock a jumpsuit on my vintage-inspired dirt and road bikes like the classic riders from the 60s and 70s, I spent hours on the internet looking for a motorcycle worthy jumpsuit that would fit the bill. My search was exhaustive, yet fruitless.
Little did I know about Jenna Stellar, a Los Angeles-based woman who was working on this exact project. Raised riding motorcycles and sidecars with her dad, Jenna attended fashion design school, winning awards for creating motocross-inspired workout gear during her studies.
She took a job as a costume designer and stylist in Hollywood and for rock bands, which paid the bills. On the side, she always made custom motorcycle jackets or added Kevlar lining and armor pockets into motorcycle pants for herself and her friends.
Seven years ago she designed the first jumpsuit for herself. It didn’t have abrasion resistance or any protective gear, but it sure sparked a lot of excitement from other women riders who saw her wear it.
Since then, Jenna had wanted to create a version of her jumpsuit that was abrasion resistant and protective, catering to the needs of the average motorcyclists in a functional way. In 2016, she got a jolt of inspiration: Jenna crashed while wearing jeans, and found herself torn up and on crutches. “I could have brushed it off if I had had knee pads or abrasion resistant gear,” she told me, “and I thought that is IT. Done.” And she went on a search for the fabric that would make it possible for her jumpsuit to be abrasion-resistant and protective.
A Kevlar liner might seem like the obvious choice but it is a supplement, adding abrasion protection to fabrics that have little durability in the world of motorcycling. Though it provides a good amount of protection, it reduces breathability and increases weight. Jenna opted for Dyneema, a fabric that is five times stronger and 40% lighter than Kevlar, and has a four-second-slide time (in comparison to 5-6 seconds for leather). While leather is going to provide better abrasion protection – this is a good compromise for the average street rider.
At the time, Dyneema was a new material and lacked any sort of stretch qualities – that’s important for us two wheeled enthusiasts as we’re always contorting our bodies while out and about on the bike.
She reached out to Dyneema directly and asked them to make a version with spandex in it. A year later, Jenna’s dream fabric was a reality, and only months later, in June of this year, Jenna launched her Stellar Moto Stratosphere Jumpsuit.
Why am I telling you about Jenna, when this review is about the jumpsuit? Because I want to stress this up front: the Stratosphere Jumpsuit isn’t just some vintage-inspired fashion piece trying to pass as motorcycle gear. The Stellar Moto Jumpsuit was designed by a woman who was born with riding in her bones, who cares deeply for the safety of other riders, who has nearly twenty years professional experience in design and who has put years of thought and experimenting into creating something that would be protective, comfortable, versatile and stylish. She nailed it.
The Stellar Moto Stratosphere Jumpsuit is made of 52% Dyneema fabric, 38% cotton, and 10% spandex. Not only is the fabric breathable, sweat wicking and water resistant, making it a great fabric for summer riding, it is also CE certified, offering abrasion protection over your entire body.
When it comes to dealing with impact protection, the Stratospehere arrives with Sas-Tec CE Level 2 hip and knee armor, and the pockets for the hip armor are adjustable so you can choose where on your hip you’d like it to sit. There is the option to buy the Atmosphere Airflow Armored Zipper shirt (also designed by Jenna) along with the jumpsuit at a discount, making it possible to eliminate the need for a jacket in warmer weather and to be able to remove the armor shirt once you get where you’re going.
The jumpsuit is designed to be fitted, and because of the expertise behind Jenna’s pattern and the stretch allowed for by the fabric, it actually works; it fits snug, regardless of whether I wear it alone or have the armor shirt and long johns underneath.
I was worried that it being all one piece would make it feel cumbersome or confining, but the jumpsuit feels lightweight and comfortable and forgiving.
It is the only piece of riding gear that I have that keeps it shape and does not bind in any of the typical areas that usually get pinched by fitted gear when in the riding position. There is no need for a belt or worries about your lower back becoming exposed if your jacket hikes up.
The Stratosphere Jumpsuit does require a bit more thought than your typical jeans and jacket get up when it comes to pit stops, especially when wearing a jacket over the jumpsuit. But Jenna has thought of the little details that matter—like buttons inside the ends of the sleeves so that you can hold them together to keep them off the ground (or out of the toilet) when you’ve got the top of the suit pulled down.
The extra thought required at pit stops is more than made up for by the versatility of the jumpsuit. On hot days you can wear it on its own with the armor shirt underneath, and on cooler days, you can toss your favorite jacket on for a bit more warmth. On its own, I’ve found that the comfortable temperature range is from the mid 70s to the low 90s—above that temp it starts to get pretty sweaty. And though the Dyneema fabric is breathable, it does not offer any adjustable ventilation openings. For future models, it would be nice to see zipper vents on the chest.
That said, the Stellar Moto Stratosphere Jumpsuit definitely looks more stylish than most women’s motorcycle gear out there, and since the aesthetic is pretty basic and low profile, it’s easy to style it up specific to your personality.
I’ve seen a handful of other women riders of all shapes and sizes, with different styles and different kinds of bikes, wearing the jumpsuits at events, and I have to say, it looks unique (and good) on everyone. Even my non-riding girlfriends drool over my jumpsuit and say they’d wear it. Depending on your work environment or what social gathering you might be riding off to, you’d be able to blend in without wearing bulky riding gear and still be moderately protected during your ride.
Though I absolutely adore the comfort and cool-factor of being able to ride with just the jumpsuit and armor shirt, it does pose a problem for pocket space. I found that without a jacket with ample pockets I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my phone, wallet and all the other things I’m used to stuffing in my jacket pockets when I ride. One little detail that helps once you get off your bike: a small key-chain loop in the front pocket to keep your keys contained.
The Stratosphere Jumpsuit comes in three colors: Deep Space (black); Midnight (dark blue); and Sunset (light denim). As for sizing, follow Stellar Moto’s sizing guides and you should be set. Though most of the sales of the jumpsuit since they launched in June have been at events where ladies can try them on, Jenna says she has yet to have a return from anyone who has ordered it through the website.
At $850 for the jumpsuit and $975 for the jumpsuit and armor shirt together, the Stratosphere Jumpsuit is an investment – there is no denying that, as those prices rival many leather racing suits.
Given its versatility in terms of style and comfort, as well as protection, it is a solid choice for motorcyclists wanting to remain fashion-forward. By no means a tracksuit to be worn while riding a sport machine, it works great (both practically and aesthetically) for all kinds of road bikes, vintage or not.
The advent of stretch Dyneema made Jenna Stellar’s dream of a protective riding jumpsuit come true, which in turn made my (and many other women’s) dream of having a technology-infused throwback piece of motorcycle gear a reality.