You may not have heard of the apparel brand Reax before, but if you're even a casual web consumer, then you're definitely familiar with its a parent company, RevZilla. RevZilla is a giant in the online retail space, and the company has utilized its extensive experience using, reviewing, and selling gear to create an apparel line of its own.

This Ludlow jacket is a subtle and attractive piece of kit that looks and feels as good on the bike as it does off. The most striking aspect is the herringbone fabric, which has received unanimous praise and lots of it. Everyone from from my wife at home to a police officer in Austria to the photographer who shot these photos loves the look of it. The fabric has the appearance and feel of heavy cotton, but it's actually a 750-denier blend of synthetics that are supposed to offer decent abrasion resistance. The fabric also has a superficial waterproofing treatment (and the vent zippers have water-resistant seals) that have enabled the Ludlow to fend off passing showers, though I'm pretty sure I'd get wet if I was caught in a proper rainstorm.

Reax Ludlow Jacket
Venting isn’t the Ludlow’s greatest strength, but we appreciate the water-resistant seals and the fact that the vents are nearly invisible when closed.Jeff Allen

Even if it looks like a casual jacket to civilians, the Ludlow has elbow and shoulder armor from German company Sas-tec and a pocket for a proper back pad from your company of choice. (I'm fond of Alpinestars' and D3O's offerings). There's no separate thermal insert—just a soft perforated liner—which is fine by me since I prefer to wear my own wool base layers when the mercury drops. When it's hot there are four zippered forward vents (one on each side of the chest, one on each bicep) plus two exhaust vents on the back. The jacket doesn't vent particularly well, but it moves enough air to help keep you from getting sweaty.

There’s not a lot of branding on this garment, but there are a number of small details that show how much thought went into making the Ludlow functional. The hood, for one, which is undeniably a styling choice, is held in place against the back of the jacket by an integrated magnet so that it doesn’t flap about on the freeway. If you want to remove the hood, it zips right off, and there’s a flap on the leather-topped collar that covers the half zip and gives the jacket a finished look. Nicely done, Reax. Then there are the front pockets, where you’ll find a tethered key clasp plus zippers that are oriented so that they close down. Why doesn’t everyone do it this way?! It’s so much easier to pull a zipper down while you’re on the bike, and as a guy who tends to leave my pockets open (usually with my house keys and garage-door opener in stow) I really appreciate this simple yet helpful detail.

Reax Ludlow Jacket
We dig the key clasp, and the downward zippers are genius.Jeff Allen

The one detail that is inexplicably missing is reflectivity of any sort. That’s a shame given that A) this jacket is aimed at urban riding where visibility is key, and B) there are plenty of unobtrusive ways to integrate some reflective piping or paneling. Considering how thoughtfully this jacket was created I assume there’s a reason for the omission, and I suspect it’s the same thing that affects so many products: price.

And when it comes to price, the Ludlow is pretty affordable. It's $299 price tag (in the Charcoal color shown here or a military green Loden option) is right in line with similarly styled and appointed jackets like the Klim Drifter, Scorpion Birmingham, and Rev'It! Stealth Hoody. In the end, the Ludlow is a great first effort from Reax and a jacket that offers a lot of features, comfort, and style for the price. It's seemingly well made and certainly well executed, and will likely look good on a variety of bikes in any number of riding environments.

Reax Ludlow Jacket
Back billows and waist-circumference straps help refine the Ludlow’s fit. A magnet keeps the removable hood from flapping in the breeze.Jeff Allen

Verdict: Reax Ludlow Jacket

Grade: A
Summary: Subtle street style and function all rolled into one comfortable and reasonably priced jacket.
Sizes: S–3XL
Colors: Charcoal, Loden
Warranty: Two years
Price: $299