Rev'It Solar Jacket Review

We give the insulating layer a try

Revit solar jacket
Rev'it Solar JacketJulia LaPalme

Motorcycle apparel quality varies wildly, but one common theme is cheapness in under- and mid-layers. From waterproof liners to thermal layers, sometimes the extra layers that come in jackets are abysmal excuses for clothing. Like you, I've had a number of favorite jackets over my years of riding, and in my case they've all had one thing in common: I always throw away the thermal liner.

With that in mind, Rev'It had an idea—instead of selling a jacket with some stuff you may or may not want, how about selling the jacket as a shell and sell the liner as a separate garment? Cynical shoppers might see it as a cash grab—that's fair considering the Solar jacket is $200 on top of whatever the cost was of your main piece of apparel. But, in defense of the Solar, it's great.

The first pro is looking pro—Rev'It's design and branding is subtle enough that you can wear the Solar jacket casually with non-moto friends and spiffy enough that they'll likely compliment it. The insulation is PrimaLoft—a fluffy, faux-down material popular in outdoor apparel—and it's terrific. It captures body heat exceptionally well and packs down nicely when not in use.

How many times do you feel like you’ve read the “it’s great but it’s expensive” review? The Solar’s worst enemy is every outdoor store in the world, where PrimaLoft-insulated wind-stopping jackets can be found for half the price. I still recommend the Solar because I love it; I just make sure that people know there are other options.

Whichever route you take, take the time to upgrade your base layers. Having a nice jacket to wear around a campfire or to a pub for dinner is satisfying, and it’ll serve you so much better than the pathetic pile of polyester that comes standard in so many jackets.

Verdict