~250$... Best All Around Textile Jacket?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by E-Bum, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. E-Bum

    E-Bum Been here awhile

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    I'm looking for a good touring jacket that has hi-visibility, can be worn year around (Heat isn't too much of an issue for me) and is waterproof. Basically I want a good jacket that I will be keeping a long time and be doing some extended touring with.

    I've considered the Olympia AST a couple years ago, and it still looks pretty good. But are there any more recent jackets that you would recommend?

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. markherman

    markherman Louisianaman Supporter

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    Yes, a used Stich.
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  3. GT_Hawk

    GT_Hawk Been here awhile

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  4. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    That's what Iwas thinking
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  5. ride2little

    ride2little Riding Like the Wind

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  6. NHRedleg

    NHRedleg Been here awhile

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    I love my Tourmaster Transition 2 jacket...<$200.
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  7. decodent

    decodent CyberGypsy

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    My logic would go something like:

    • What is offered in high viz?
    • What offers great protection?
    • What has a lot of versatility?
    You, of course, will have your own priorities.

    But based on that, my options came down to just a few (and that was with a heftier budget).

    I looked at the Olympia. Several friends of mine have it and have tested it - like dropping the bike at 50+ and coming out ok. The gear did it's job.

    But the Olympia gear just doesn't have the refinement and touches of the Stich. It's easier to layer under the Stich. The venting systems are better. The stitching and zippers work better.

    So, in the end, I went with the Stich. I'd have to say it's the single best piece of riding wear I own. I hate that it looks so friggin' ugly. I could easily pass for an EMT worker or fire fighter anywhere I go. But damn ... it sure works well.

    Also, Stich backs their gear up so well ... you can send 'em back for repairs, modifications, etc. It sounds like once you leave the store with Olympia, that's it. You better hope it works out for you.

    Also, when you consider the life of the product, Stich starts to look more economical. It's kind 'a like the Lexus vs. Mercedes Benz gig pointed out by Consumer Reports: there is a 10-year old model Lexus that is, on average, more reliable than a 1-year old Mercedes.

    You may pay more up front (or you can get a used one), and - either way - you're more likely to have a piece of gear that will outlast the new Olympia.

    Just my $.02 worth ... YMMV.

    -Doug-
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  8. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better Supporter

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    Looking at your location, I'll have to plug the Tourmaster Transition 2 also as a good year-round choice. I bought one from another ADV member that I know and have been well pleased with it.

    It is tolerable up to 90F here in Florida humidity, but is really good in all cooler temps all the way down to pretty damned cold. Not sure if it is available in hi-viz colors, but an inexpensive MILSPEC vest over it can take care of that issue.

    It has proper flaps over zippers to keep rain and cold air out, although it may need to be retreated with waterproofing occasionally. And it has velcro placed where it will hold the vents opened when they are unzipped, or hold the flaps closed over the zippers when they are closed up.
    #8
  9. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer Supporter

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  10. maalstroom

    maalstroom Ferret Legger

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  11. gmiguy

    gmiguy You rode a what to where?

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    I'm pleased with my orignal Tour Master Transition, which I've been using year-round for about 3 years. It's far from perfect, but is very satisfactory overall.

    Some details of the construction are pretty cheezy, but don't affect funtion. It's always kept me dry, and even after lots of use I've not observed any non-cosmetic wear or failures.

    The zip-in liner is a worthless PITA, I just leave it at home and wear a fleece or electric jacket underneath when it's cold out.

    A co-worker purchased the updated Transition 2 based on my experiences with mine, and is very happy with it also. Comparing the original to the 2 there really aren't many differences, and I know it used to be easy to find Originals on clearance for <$100. Not sure if that's still the case, but if it is I'd recommend saving yourself some bucks and getting an Original.

    Either way, it's a not a bad way to go if you aren't up for buying top-dollar gear.
    #11
  12. thechickencow

    thechickencow Been here awhile

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    I've been pretty happy with my First Gear Killimanjaro, its got a zip in liner jacket, seems pretty waterproof, decent venting, and good pockets/fit, but try it on before you buy to see what size you'd need. I picked it for price, overall warmth/protection, fit, and color choices.

    I have a version I bought last fall, I think there may be a newer one now. My only beef is it is a heavyish jacket, and when you open the front vents they vent great if they happen to be open. The newer versions I've read have added some internal cording or something that keeps the vents open, mine just depend on your body position and wind to keep them open.
    #12
  13. E-Bum

    E-Bum Been here awhile

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    So I'm thinking the Kilimanjaro is going to fit the bill nicely. I can't seem to find any major flaws with it from reviews and such... Anything else to add?
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  14. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    I really liked my Transition 2 as well... It never leaked on me, held up well in a slide, and vented pretty well for our humid Virginia weather (the vents have more velcro to force them to stay open... kinda nice). Also kept me reasonably warm on last Christmas' road trip... I have seen a ton of the Kilimanjaro jackets on closeout at cyclegear though... Seems like you should try both on if you can and go with which one fits best... That's what it came down to for my fiancee.. he tried both on and decided he didnt like the fit of the Kili so he bought the transition 2...
    #14
  15. E-Bum

    E-Bum Been here awhile

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    Dang... those Transition 2's are cheap.... thanks a lot underkill, now I need to come back on my decision. :D


    So, it's between the Kiliminjaro 5, Olympia AST, and the Transition 2. Thoughts?
    #15
  16. PowerT

    PowerT Long timer Supporter

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    I have an Olympia Ranger (pre AST) and a Fieldsheer Adventure. The collar extender on the Adventure is nice in the winter. Now which do I prefer? It is too close to call. I like the orange of the Adventure and it has a large amount of scotchlite on it also. Not that this should be a deciding factor but the liner for the Adventure looks like a normal jacket compared to the liner for the Olympia.
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  17. TRitt

    TRitt Been here awhile

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    Always take a look at newenough.com's Closeout section... I think I got a great deal on the Firstgear Rainier for $149 .. BLK/Yellow ,,not HiVis but has a little color .. Just my .02 , Tom
    #17
  18. docwells7

    docwells7 Long timer

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    I looked at both the Kilimanjaro and the Khatmandu, and ended up going with the Khatmandu. Very similar jackets, I just liked the look of the Khatmandu. I also considered the Olympia AST, but don't like the fact that the jacket itself isn't waterproof. You have to wear the waterproof liner which is a pain to put on if you ride w/o it in the summer. The Khatmandu jacket is waterproof, and has a thermal liner if you need it. It vents well, and in tall fits me better than any jacket I've ever had.
    I also bought the matching pants, and although I like them, they don't have any pockets. I usually remove my jacket when I stop for a break at a restaurant or store, so I don't have anywhere to carry wallet, phone, etc. They are great pants though and have built in suspenders which I love. I guess I'll have to get a 'Murse' or a fanny pack...NOT!:ymca

    I have an original Transition jacket as well, and it worked well in a 30 m/h lowside. I slid for about 30 feet on my stomach and right arm, and the only problem was a dime sized hole and a little abrasion on the inside of my elbow. I was still using it as my cold weather jacket, but will probably stick to the Khatmandu from now on. I would give it a thumbs up though from a quality for the money standpoint.

    I also have several friends that have the last version of the Kilimonjaro, and to a person, they all give it a thumbs up. I rode with one of them for three days of rain and he never complained about getting wet at all. I think trying to get four seasons out of one jacket is a stretch. I have an AST Air Mesh Jacket and Pants combo for warmer parts of the year.

    Good luck with the purchase. There are tons of good jackets out there.
    #18
  19. BigChris

    BigChris Seasick and Loving It

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    When I was shopping for a jacket I was able to compare the Kili, Fieldsheer Adventure and Transition 2 side by side. The Transition seemed to be of lesser quality, the stitching was irregular and the materials did not seem as sturdy. I bought the Kili and like it although as mentioned previously it is a heavier jacket than some. Also it is definitely not a hot weather jacket.
    #19
  20. PerfectStranger

    PerfectStranger Systema Enc├ęphale

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    So as not to pass along bad info to the OP or others who are looking at jackets, I have to point out that your statement is incorrect. The jacket (shell) itself is waterproof. The liner/zip-out jacket is not.

    The 'waterproofiness' of the AST or any jacket can be debated. You'll find somebody who has worn brand X and it leaked. Substitute any manufacturer's name with brand X.
    #20