Mini review: Scorpion Commander Jacket

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by NuckaMan, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. NuckaMan

    NuckaMan Space Available

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    406
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    New Enough had the Scorpion Commander jacket on sale for $209 shipped and I took a chance on it. Came in the other day and wanted to provide my little two-cents.

    -Fit:
    I'm 5'6", 170lbs, 33"waist, medium/athletic build, average length arms, slightly broader shoulders then most.
    I went with a medium, regular and I'm about on the tailend of the fit. Little snug in the upper torso (with thermo liner), very comfortable (without thermo liner). As for the arms, they are definitely snug. Anyone with larger diameter arms will struggle with this jacket, actually, probably would be way too uncomfortable.
    As for the waist, near perfect fit for me. Pretty form fitting but not snug or tight.
    The jacket is not bulky like other brands I have tried, especially without the thermoliner. It similar to the BMW Rally Eye I tried on, and not quite as heavy.
    Overall, pretty comfortable on me and its a keeper. But if this is any indications on how larger sizes are cut, folks with larger arms and bellies might struggle with the fit. Seems like its cut for average to skinny type bodies.

    -Finish:
    Pretty good I suppose. I cannot comment on long term durability, but seems well made. Zippers zip well, buttons and velcro all function well.

    -Function:
    There is quite abit of functions with is jacket.
    Bulkiness adjusters for the arms and body (but you gotta be awefully skinny to have the need to tighten them down). Removeable thermoliner to keep you warm. Tons of front packets to keep things in. Removeable neck cover to keep the rain out. High collar to keep body warmth in. A thumb loop in the waterproof liner to keep the liner in place. Hydropack pocket on the back. As for protection, only for minor crashes, shoulders and elbows only. Waterproofness is yet to be determined, has all the standard waterproof barriers in the right places, but it all comes down to how well it works. Perhaps some with experience with this can comment. I live in southern california so 45 degree riding is super-burrrrrr to me, but in our recent "frosty" morning of 50 degrees, it kept me warm and comfortable during my 30 mile commute to work.

    -Overall:
    This is my first "adventure jacket", but tried on all the high-end ones. Does it have the quality and finish as the BMW, no, but it doesn't cost $800 dollars. To me, its comfortable enough and has the features I want at an excellent price point. I will say, if I were to embark on a world tour, heading into some remote places, quality gear could mean comfort or misey, perhaps and $800 tried and true jacket would be in order. But for standard touring, light duty off-roading, weekend riding, commuting......I think I made the right choice.
    #1
  2. xjrguy

    xjrguy n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4
    I just bought one of these too and ended up ordering the matching XDR "Awe" pants and XDR "Recon" gloves.

    Just like you I live in SoCal and I agree the gear appears well made and fits nice.

    It just got delivered today to my office (sans gloves, should be here later in the week)

    Looking forward to wearing all of it on some rides.
    #2
  3. jbhawley

    jbhawley WTF- Gus?

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    454
    Location:
    Kenly NC
    Not to hi-jack this thread...
    I just got a Scorpion Commander Jacket...well I have had it for a month or so. Got it new off eBay for 179. delivered. Of course, went the hi-viz color. I will add my nickel's worth on the review...YMMV.

    - I am 5'11'' on a good day and 175-180lbs, 33-34 in waist...so real similar to the OP reviewer. I ordered a Large and with all the liners installed, I could not move my arms. I felt like the kid on the movie, "The Christmas Story"...I cant put my arms down....:rofl. Now I am not Mr. America boby builder by no means. I think I have normal, maybe a bit bigger arms and shoulders, but the large was way too small. Without the liners it fit nice. But I purchased the jacket for cold/cool weather use, so the liners would be in the jacket 90% of the time. I sent the jacket back and got an XL.

    - The XL fits real good with all the liners installed. With no liners its a bit big, but hey....that's what the straps and adjustments are for right...? The sleeves are a bit long on the XL when standing but when riding they are normal, so that's a good thing. I could probably get by with non-gauntlet gloves.

    - The jacket is extremely stiff, most likely from the armor. After a month of nearly daily use, it is beginning to loosen up a bit. Mainly the elbow armor is stiff. I really think this is normal with all armored gear I have used in the past.

    - The jacket has a ton of pockets. At first glance...too many pockets, But I have, at times, wish I had another pocket for do-dads. :huh

    - The neck curtain is very nice. It does a good job to help keep some of the cool air from rushing into my FF helmet. It does not seal all the air flow off. On cold mornings I add a balaclava and my noggin' is toasty. :wink:

    - I am not too keen on the side strap adjustments. They zig-zag sort of. They work "OK". I would prefer the traditional lateral/horizontal adjustment straps. Secondly, I had to add velcro to the strap. The factory velcro was too short so when I had the straps cinched up to make the jacket fit snug, there was no velcro to make the excess strap keep from flopping and hold it in place. A trip to wally-world and a hot glue gun and I am in business. I can now cinch this puppy small enough to fit a new castrati. :clap

    - I have not been caught in any torrential rain yet. But for the few light rain showers and one light snow shower that I was in, I did not have any water leakage. Time will tell on heavy rains.

    Now to nit pick the styling and functionality a bit.
    - WTF is up with the Hulk style arm straps? I have seen less to tie down airline cargo. Maybe Scorpion was thinking outside the box a bit too much on this. If there were a way to remove these without destroying the jacket I would have them off today. Same with the forearm zipper vent. That thing is a PITA and most likely worthless. I guess these two "features" are what causes the stiffness in the arms. Hey Scorpion...get rid of these....!

    - I wish it were possible to use either the thin rain liner OR the thicker thermo liner separately. As the jacket is designed, you can use the thin liner only, no liner only, or the thin and thermo liner together. It is not possible to have only the thermo liner as the zippers and fasteners are not made to accommodate. You have to have the thin liner in place and then the thermo liner attaches to the thin liner...did that make sense? Removing the thin liner reduces some bulk and would make it possible to have a heavier thermo liner. This is one pet peeve I have with most 3-4 season jackets....NOTE TO ALL JACKET DESIGNERS>>>>> make a jacket that has a nice thick/warm thermo liner that will attach to the jacket without a rain liner. Screw the rain liner. I got a rain suit for that. Also, I am not all too impressed with the thermo liner. It is rather flimsy....not quality flimsy, mind you, but rather, thin so to speak. I guess the mfg had to compromise on the thickness of the thermo liner or the jacket/rider would look like the Michelin Man. But usually a compromise means that neither goal was reached. This is a case in point. In order to have a rain liner the thermo liner was made skimpy. UGH!

    Now a bit of a rant....
    I really don't think the designers of MC gear have dedicated focus groups. What looks good may not necessary function good. A touring rider has different needs than a street rider than a dual sport rider than a cruiser, etc, etc. Granted, there are tons of mfgs out there that specialize in everything. Shit, you ever looked at all the sport bike style, power ranger boots on the market. Yet I have not found a boot designed especially for the touring rider that is waterproof and insulated. Hell, I have never seen a insulated MC boot. Basically, design an item and let us see it, wear it for a while and then make changes...sort of like beta testing. I guess this is why the Aerostich gear is virtually unchanged for the past 20 years. They design functional, stylish and quality gear and then leave it alone. Sounds like a business model to me.
    ...end rant.

    Overall I agree with the OP reviewer on the Scorpion Commander jacket. I think for 180 bucks, I have made a good value purchase.
    #3
  4. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,698
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    good timing, here is my post from another thread comparing Commander and Olympia AST, http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=644410

    #4
  5. OFA

    OFA Adventure Obsession

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    British Columbia & Ontario, Canada
    I got the commander xdr jacket by Scorpion. I think they must be discontinuing them as most retailers have them discounted now and many sizes are out of stock.

    My experience -
    Very warm jacket.
    Very small fit - especially the arms.
    Two tensioner bands on the arms are useless as they are out all they way and could go NO tighter.
    Very good wind proofing.
    Velcro on the wrists wore out in no time and I rarely undo them - they now flap in the wind.
    Great pockets on the jacket. Water proof on most as well.

    Overall it is a very warm, windproof, waterproof jacket with flaws being the arms being too tight and the velcro (I hate the stuff in places like this) wearing out too quick. Mine was bright day-glow green/yellow when I bought it but it now looks well worn, dirty, faded and somewhat disheveled after about 30,000 ks or so. One caution on sizing - I tried mine on to buy and was sir prized how large I had to go with it. I wanted room for warm clothes underneath but they are not generous in size in my opinion.
    #5
  6. OFA

    OFA Adventure Obsession

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    British Columbia & Ontario, Canada
    I am selling this jacket now if anyone is interested - pm me. Got a Klime this past summer and I'm giving it a try.
    #6
  7. dr..jones

    dr..jones Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Southern California, O.C.
    OFA, I agree with your criticisms of this jacket. I have had mine a little over a year (XL, BLack) and I have had a similar experience with the wear.

    Pros:

    -Very wind resistant and warm with the liner in.
    -Very functional, lots of pockets.
    -The zippers are nice and the waterproof pockets are actually very waterproof.

    Cons:

    -velcro at the wrists is worn out and it now flaps in the wind, very annoying.
    -velcro for large bottom pockets has ripped from the jacket after opening and closing.
    -arms are too small, even with the velcro adjustments let all the way out, seems a little restrictive.
    #7
  8. r'elise me

    r'elise me Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    343
    Location:
    Venice CA
    Had mine for about 1000 miles - some hot (90F) some cold (45F), none wet yet. I looked at all the best and frankly, other than Goretex, this jacket has all the functional features of the KLim's and BMWs. the venting is good, the fit is good for me (I'm thin) and it's got quality materials and details throughout. Would I take it across Canada in the winter? I'd prefer Goretex over a WP liner personally, but other than that, I'd have to say that I would if my concern wasn't so focused on water penetration (not that it's not designed to be WP and has proven itselt WP).

    I like the pocket designs, the zip on high collar, the arm adjustments (contrary to other posters), zippers and warmth/wind proofing.Can't beat this for value IMO, and if it was Goretex, I don't think even the 900dlr variants from Klim and BMW are appreciably better. You can change out the CE pads to d3o easily enough and I will be doing that immediately for the pack pad since the oem is memory foam. Shoulder pads and elbow pads are very good material and they stay put. Nice zipper for the matching pants - which I also like except the knee pads aren't stable enough to protect you (pants need more adjustment capability).

    All in all, good stuff.
    #8
  9. OFA

    OFA Adventure Obsession

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    British Columbia & Ontario, Canada
    I gotta tell you that I just went for a ride yesterday in 2 degree Celcius weather and decided to wear my old Scorpion Commander with the storm collar rather than my Klim. Wow! It's a friggin warm and wind proof jacket! The storm collar is a must for ANY adventure jacket made for the north, in my opinion.
    #9