Road Tested-Check Kevlar Riding Shirt
The first Sunday in September presented itself as great opportunity for me to try out a product sample Fat Skeleton had bought for evaluation, along with a new LS2 “Valiant” Helmet & acquired for the same purpose.
Wherever possible we always prefer to personally Road Test new gear before it becomes part of the range, as it gives us opportunity to not only make sure it’s fit for purpose & represents good value for your biking buck, but also so we can talk about the product from first hand knowledge & use.
We don’t stock something just because a supplier was dumping it on the market at a cheap price, if we’re not happy with it, we don’t stock it….end of.
This applies to whatever “logo” or heritage a product may come with. A few years ago we were bitterly disappointed by a “Big Brand” open face helmet. It promised a lot, but delivered very little. In the end we got the manufacturer to take back all the stock, because despite selling well, customer feedback was very poor, and after trying one myself, I knew where they were coming from. Hence, all new gear is now road tested & appraised prior to it being bought in as a stock line.
The Check shirt, or rather Riding Jacket that looks like a shirt, is actually one of the most requested lines we get asked for at shows, and most unfulfilled search terms used by visitors to our website, so I was keen to see just what this product would be like to wear on the road.
First thing that struck me be before even putting it on was just how substantial it felt in terms of weight & quality. A good looking mesh lining hides the full coverage para aramid lining, and slipping on you immediately notice it definitely feels like you’re putting on a comfortable light to mid weight jacket.
The quality YKK full length zip fastening features a pull tag meaning it’s just as easy to put on whilst wearing gloves, and my immediate impression was this had been sensibly designed to not only fit fashion, but form as well. It has a good body length meaning it’s not going to draughty around your waist, and indeed, the waist can be further tightened to a snug fit by the elasticated draw cord & fastened in place by a toggle. Sitting astride the bike & reaching for the bars, the sleeves were certainly long enough, and featured long zips so you can tuck short wrist gloves into the jacket, or zip the sleeve fully so longer gauntlet gloves fit over with no issues whatsoever.
So initial impression was that it was obviously manufactured by a company who know how to manufacture a jacket, it felt right & it looked good too.
The jacket features CE armour (removable) in the impact shoulder & elbow areas…there’s also room for you to insert your own back armour should you feel so inclined.
On road I was initially concerned about collar “flapping” about in the wind but this turned out not to be an issue & no problem whatsoever.
Riding conditions on the day were about 60 degrees f, slight wind plus the 70 mph one I was creating. The Heritage I was riding was fitted with a screen, I was pleasantly surprised at how warm I felt, both body & arms.
Overall as comfy & warm as my £300 HD summer jacket I would normally have worn on this type of journey, but unlike the HD, this was offering me Kevlar type protection in the event of a spill.
It wouldn’t be your average British Indian Summer trip without being caught in rain, quickly slipping on my waterproof jacket this proved to be a warm ideal combination.
I’ll be wearing it over next few weeks as weather drops cooler, visiting late season bike nights propping up bar (with a diet coke of course) it will look to the casual bystander like a check shirt, but it is really so much more than that. It’ll also be great for those not so warm summer nights at rallies, & will certainly cut down on me having to pack that extra sweatshirt or hoodie.
So to everyone that asked us to stock them , a big thank you as I think I’ve now discovered my new favourite riding jacket for the next couple of seasons.