First Impressions: Firstgear Adventure Mesh Jacket

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by LoneStar, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    I just received the jacket about an hour ago from Revzilla, after waiting several months for the jackets to be available so I have not ridden in it yet and am hoping it is warm enough this weekend to try it out... I'll update when I get a chance.

    Anyway wanted to throw out some first impressions and details for anyone thinking of this jacket

    Jackets I've owned to give some idea of quality comparison would be Belstaff Discovery, Teknic Freeway, Olympia AST, Joe Rocket Phoenix 3 and 4 and some others I can't think of at the moment.

    Most of the time it's hot as hell here in Texas so anything approaching a non-mesh jacket gets worn only a few times a year.

    Initial impressions:

    The jacket looks good and seems well made - not as high end as the Belstaff or even Olympia, and about on par with my Teknic Freeway. For $250 it seems like pretty good quality.

    Color is a very light silver as opposed to grey, has a short collar, longer tail and is cut at belt level in the front. The jacket has 4 front pockets on each side for a total of 8 pockets on front
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    Bottom pocket on each side is waterproof and fairly large
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    Mid-level pocket is mesh and large enough for a camera or cell easily
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    Top pocket is mesh and smaller than the mid-level pocket but a small camera would fit
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    Beneath the mid and top level pockets on either side is a large pocket and is probably large enough for a face shield - not sure - but easily holds large maps and such. It is mesh and has a smaller mesh pocket inside for cell phone or wallet sized objects.
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    Zipper has a cover tab and jacket will open from the bottom as well as top
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    Neck is a low collar and edge lined with a neoprene type material. Zippers are YKK
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    Large storage pocket on rear for the rain liner with single zipper on left side
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    Interior has a zip-in liner with snaps at the wrists, and features three pockets - cell, security and a large pocket on right side
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    With the liner out, there's another cell phone pocket and rear zipper for pants
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    Cuffs are velcro adjustable and zip open with larger mesh panels for airflow
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    CE armor is held in pouches which velcro in place and allow some adjustability for position
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    Back protector is the ventilated foam rubber type
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    Mesh is a tighter weave than the comparo Joe Rocket 4 - Firstgear silver mesh on right and Joe Rocket black mesh on left
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    FIT:

    I'm 6'4, 265 with 50" chest and wear a 2Xl in most jackets except Olympia (3XL)

    I've read the Firstgear generally runs large and boxy, so I called Revzilla about the size and also to ask about the Tall sizes. I was advised to go with a standard 2XL and not the 2XLT.

    Trying it on, it fits well and is a bit loose - I could likely wear an XL, however I'm keeping the 2XL as I prefer a loose fit in hot weather to allow more air against skin rather than fabric.

    I'm not too crazy about the shoulder pad attachment and think a pocket would have been better, as I find my shirt catching the pads when I put the jacket on - a bit fiddly compared to my other jackets.

    I like having the loops on the zipper pulls, but I bet I remove them as they look like they'll be flopping all over the front and I don't want any pilling or fraying to start...

    I'll update the review when I get a chance to try the jacket and I hope it performs well as I like the look, visibility and features.

    More soon amigos :deal
    #1
    Motorius likes this.
  2. BeachMoto

    BeachMoto Been here awhile Supporter

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    Nice review, thanks for posting.

    Isn't that little rocket logo in the last picture a "Joe Rocket" logo? Are the two companies related?
    #2
  3. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    Excellent, in depth review. Thanks for taking the time.
    #3
  4. Riplinstill

    Riplinstill Adventurer

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    Make me want to replace my Olympius mesh jacket....
    #4
  5. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Beach - No they're not associated - that was my Joe Rocket jacket laid up against the Firstgear to show the difference in mesh

    I should have made that clearer :lol3
    #5
  6. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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    Thanks for the review and I hope you get to wear it soon for an update. I've had my eye on this jacket since we're into mesh jacket weather now here in Phoenix. My Joe Rocket Phoenix is just a POS jacket and I hate wearing it. The zipper catches every time I wear it and I doubt it would protect me in anything more than a parking lot tip over. I wore a Motoport Marathon mesh kevlar jacket quite a bit last summer , but found it a bit hot for running errands. I'm hoping this Adventure jacket is a little lighter weight even after adding a proper backpad.
    #6
  7. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Hiker I know what you mean. The Rocket 3 was chosen because it flowed air so well but I could tell it wouldnt do much in a crash so I grabbed a 4 that was on sale as a stopgap. Never found a good mesh so I rarely used the Rocket and just sweltered.

    The Firstgear feels fairly light and seems to be a little lighter than the Rocket despite being larger - don't know the exact weights.

    It seems like the Firstgear is made "minimally" for lack of a better term - as in not as much bulk and material to block airflow. I suspect it is purposely designed that way and since my other jackets are 3 season and bulky, at first it seems like the build isn't as "strong". Hope it flows air well. I like the light color for visibility and also heat reflection. I have to say it's a good looking jacket in person...

    By the way, the Rocket 4 zipper gives me fits so you're not alone :deal
    #7
  8. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    Is the liner waterproof and/or insulated?

    This jacket reminds me of my Olympia Bushwacker - which I love as a summer jacket. The Bushwacker comes with a liner that is both insulated and waterproof. I find this useless in a summer jacket because it can be 95 degrees and pouring here in the summer. I imagine most of Texas is similar. The Bushwacker got replaced with the Moab which has two distinct liners - one insulated and one waterproof. I think it makes for a much more useful setup. With the Bushwacker, I just end up packing Frog Toggs in the summer which is acceptable to me. But a lightweight waterproof liner would have been awesome.

    I have been generally very pleased with Firstgear products in terms of price vs. quality. My go-to jacket is a Firstgear Ranier that I got for $140. I keep eyeing the Klim Overland, but I literally have zero complaints about the FG. My winter gloves are also FG and even at the low price they are great gloves.
    #8
  9. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Well the weather sucked here yesterday - rained all day and was high 50's so haven't been able to try it on the road yet

    Butters, the liner is a thin waterproof liner with no insulation - and it folds fairly flat and into the rear pocket pretty well. At least it doesn't look like you're carrying a cat in the rear pouch.

    Certainly glad it isn't insulated like you said, as it is like a sauna here in summer rains.

    I have worn the jacket around the house (making the appropriate motorcycle noises) and it is very comfortable. The mesh is soft and flexible and the jacket is pretty comfortable. The extra girth of the boxy cut gives me some breathing room and this is the first jacket I've owned where I've actually had to cinch up the waist adjustment straps.

    Hopefully it will clear up in a couple hours here so I can test it - I know the mesh will flow air fine so I'm more interested in seeing how the size works in the wind. My Olympia AST was a great jacket but I had to get it in a 3XL to get the waist to fit, and then there was so much bulk around the shoulders it caught air like a parachute and pulled the collar against my neck and caused a lot of drag.

    Hopefully this one will be fine in that regard, and if not will go down a size to XLT

    Another note:

    Reflective panels on the jacket consist of 2 6-7" strips across the top of the chest about 3/4" wide, 2 similar sized strips on the top of the back and a 3/4" strip across the top of each bicep. That's not a lot of reflectivity but enough to be seen and I suspect it was kept minimal to keep the maximum airflow.

    Also I should mention the jacket is entirely mesh except for the black fabric shoulder panels and panels from the elbows to wrist - as one can see in the pics
    #9
  10. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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    Well, I decided to order one based on your pictures and review. No vendors have done YouTube videos of them yet and your pics are the only ones on the web that are thorough. I had planned on buying the Rev'it Airwave, but I just don't care for waist length jackets. I'm not crazy about this silver color that almost looks white, but I'm not a fan of gear being made entirely of hiviz, either. My Joe Rocket Phoeinx 5 is silver, but it looks more like a light grey in person. I can't wait to try it out since it's getting a bit too warm to be riding comfortably in my Badlands jacket.
    #10
  11. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Hiker post your thoughts as well and let us know when you test it a bit. I had to travel on work and didn't get a chance to ride with it yet.

    I preferred grey until I rode with my AST which was almost white as well, and grew to like the light color. It's definitely better for visibility to others methinks.

    I'm considering grabbing one of the Firstgear Sierra Rain Jackets to use as a shell for longer trips... and just using the standard liner for shorter trips and day rides. I can't stand the day-glo hi vis stuff but I'm considering getting one for heavy rains.

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    My rides in Mexico have made me much more visibility conscious and one of the reasons I've moved towards the lighter silver colors


    If I could design my own "South/Southwestern" adv jacket, it would be an all mesh similar to this style, with a tailor fit Goretex shell that could be worn over it for colder and wetter weather

    I think Touratech sells something like it for $2500 :cry
    #11
  12. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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    Will do :thumb
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  13. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    This was the AST "Sand" color jacket that I had and liked

    Was a biatch to keep clean but I'm actually glad the Firstgear color is similar.

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    #13
  14. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Ok, so my Firstgear Sierra Day Glo Rain Jacket showed up and here's the scoop on it...

    1) It's a perfect fit over the Adventure Mesh Jacket. Ordered 2XL which is same as jacket

    2) Made of nylon similar to a windbreaker and has a secondary liner sewn in.

    3) Nice padded high collar with a rolled up rain hood. Hood is nylon at the back and stretchy material over the head.

    4) Two pockets on the front with vertical non-wp zippers

    5) One large interior pocket plus their standard cell pocket

    6) Adjustable strap for each arm

    7) Adjustable drawcord waist

    8) Elastic wrist cuffs with velcro adjustments

    9) Reflective strip across back and chest and diagonally down each arm

    10) Rear pouch that the jacket stuffs into

    The jacket was about $100 and I got $10 Revzilla cash discount from purchasing the Adventure mesh, which brought the price down to about the same as the vinyl rain jacket they make.

    I have a similar rain jacket made by Teknic that I carried with my Rocket mesh, but it was a tight fit and the arms were too short over the Adv mesh so I sprung for this one.

    This one is a lighter and thinner material than the vinyl versions so it weighs less and packs a bit smaller.

    It packs into the built in pouch and the pouch easily slips into the back pouch on the mesh jacket.

    I'll probably carry the stock liner for day trips and such and toss in the Psycho Banana jacket for longer trips

    Now I just need to convince FG to make a Goretex version :deal :D

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    #14
  15. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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    Wow:eek1

    That should certainly get you noticed in the rain. My Adventure jacket was delivered today. I'm really liking it. I thought it was going to be a whiter color, but to my surprise, it does have more of a silver grey color that's hard to see in online pictures. My only dislikes are the Velcro pockets for the shoulder and elbow armor as you mentioned. The shoulder pads do get hung up when I put the jacket on. I was surprised at how bulky the elbow armor is, too. The Klim D3O back armor from my Badlands is a perfect replacement for the back pad that comes with the jacket. They're exactly the same size. Tomorrow I'm gonna see if the D3O elbow and shoulder armor will fit the pockets and if they do, I'll order some replacements since they're a little lighter. I'll follow up after I get a chance to take some more pictures on my next day off.

    Edited to add that I wore the jacket on my commute to work last night. Temp was 78F going in and 60F leaving from work this morning. The jacket is actually heavier than my Motoport Kevlar Mesh Marathon was and with the Klim D3O back armor, it tugged at the neck, like my other jackets have done when I put a Camelbak in them. I may end up putting back the cheap foam pad. I'm not crazy about the elbow pads, either, they feel like I have a couple of thick soled sneakers stuffed in the arms
    #15
  16. 2 Dogs

    2 Dogs 2 Dogs Supporter

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    Now I just need to convince FG to make a Goretex version :deal :D


    Agreed 100%. That is the set up if Klim's new mesh ADV jacket. Mesh with a gortex cover that is sized for the jacket.
    #16
  17. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    2 Dogs which model is the Klim? Is it out yet?
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  18. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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  19. 2 Dogs

    2 Dogs 2 Dogs Supporter

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  20. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Gracias!

    Klim is great gear and priced accordingly and $349 for the shell isn't too bad when compared to a Patagonia/Marmot/etc backpacking shell - still a bit steep for my budget howeva...

    Looking over the features of their air jacket, it still looks a bit warmish with the various bladder and armor - but then the climate here and where Hiker is are such extremes that almost anything on your body is too much :lol3
    #20