MC Tested: Vanson Streamliner Motorcycle Jacket Liner

A proper windproof and insulative liner for your riding jacket.

Vanson Streamliner jacket liner
Vanson’s Streamliner base layer is a serious upgrade for most jackets, and will go a long way toward keeping you warm in cold weather.Photo: Julia LaPalme

Quilted liners, normally used as dumpster fodder here in sunny Southern California, are an important asset in parts of the country that experience actual seasons. Often times, however, the thermal liners that come in jackets are cheap, low-quality garments that leave sizeable gaps in wind protection. Not so with Vanson's Streamliner jacket liner.

The Streamliner 3ST is Vanson’s fourth-generation thermal liner, and it’s specifically designed to serve as a warm long-sleeve base layer, a thermal vest, a safety garment, or as a standalone outer layer. It’s lighter than it looks, and it’s not much bulkier than a normal quilted liner while offering much better insulation. Some of that warming quality is due to the long elastic cuffs and tall collar that do a great job of keeping cold air from getting to your torso. What do I know about cold air living in Southern California? I packed the Streamliner on an early spring trip to Big Bear, when my 6am departure saw the mercury hovering just above freezing. After experiencing the insulative capabilities of the Streamliner, I’m confident that it’ll be coming with me on future trips to elevation.

Vanson Streamliner pockets
Pockets, and lot’s of ‘em! In addition to hand pockets near the waist of the liner, the Streamliner has zippered pockets on the chest, inside and out. These proved ideal for cell phone, ear plugs, and should prove to be a great place to put hand-warmer packets on really cold days!Photo: Julia LaPalme

Proper fit is a key factor in keeping you warm, so the Streamliner has lacing up the sides that allows you to tailor the fit. If you want a little ventilation there are zippered armpit vents, and the sleeves themselves are removable so you’re left with a form-fitting insulating vest. The sleeves can be stowed in a pocket on the back of the vest. Speaking of pockets, the Streamliner has lots of them: including two breast pockets on both the outside and the inside of the garment.

The most obvious feature of the Streamliner is that it is reversible. The inside lining is OSHA-approved dayglow yellow with a 3M reflective strip along the bottom. So if you happen to catch yourself on the side of the road at night you can invert the vest and wear it to drastically increase your visibility. Also, for our military readers, this works well as a reflective vest over a normal armored jacket.

Vanson Streamliner hi-viz
Flip the Streamliner inside out and you’ve got yourself a highly visible safety garment. Zip the sleeves off to wear the Streamliner as a vest over your riding jacket.Photo: Julia LaPalme

Being that the Streamliner is made by Vanson it's designed to attach to most of its jackets (look for the snowflake icon on the Vanson website) and of course is suitable for use under any other brand of jacket as well. Similarly, because the liner is a Vanson product, it's quite pricey. Some would say $299 is a lot to pay for a jacket, to say nothing of a thermal liner, but as with all Vanson products the Streamliner is well designed, handcrafted in the USA from American-made textiles, and comes with a one-year warranty. In other words, you get what you pay for.

Vanson Streamliner
PRICE: $299

VERDICT: Lots of wind protection and warmth in a lightweight, packable package, but the price of admission is very steep.