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Olympia AST jacket review

Old 10-06-2010, 06:38 PM
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Olympia AST jacket review

I got an Olympia AST jacket in the summer of 2008. It's been my primary jacket since then.
The AST is excellent in a number of ways. It's windproof with the vents closed and it vents very well with the vents open. Nothing has broken: all the stitching is intact, the velcro hasn't pulled off, the snaps and zippers still work well. It's adjustable and it's easy to get a comfortable fit. The material looks very durable but I haven't tested it by crashing. It doesn't balloon or flap at highway speeds. It comes with a removable insulated liner which can be worn on its own. I haven't used the liner because I prefer using a heated vest and a fleece when it's cold. Reflective stripes increase visibility at night. There is armour in the shoulders, elbows and back. Generally, I'm very happy with it.
I use only a tank bag and a tail pack on the VTR when I'm on long trips. Carrying capacity is very limited and I didn't want to use it up by packing a rain suit. I wanted a jacket that was waterproof. The AST was waterproof initially but now it's not. I've washed it carefully twice and used a lot of silicone waterproofing spray on it when it had dried. It's fine in mist, fog and intermittent light rain but when the rain is heavy it wets out and I get soaked. My heated vest is the only thing preventing hypothermia when that happens.
Maybe Rukka has been successful in making breathable waterproof gear but it costs the earth. Really waterproof gear that doesn't breathe keeps the rain out but you get damp from perspiration. I believe that most affordable motorcycle gear which is marketed as waterproof is only waterproof for a limited time or in a limited range of conditions. I've resigned myself to packing a rain suit.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:09 PM
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You're right. It sounds perfect.
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