Wednesday, April 24, 2013
There are a few criteria I like in a motorcycle jacket. I want smelly leather, I want the leather to wear like a second-skin, and I want armor. Other factors will always help seal the deal, but these are the big three for me. Let’s see how the AGV Sport Element Vintage Leather Jacket I’ve been sporting lately stands up to these standards.
My last AGV Sport jacket, a Pella Perforated model, ran just a tad small, so I went up a size this time to a 2XL and the fit was spot-on. The top grain cowhide isn’t super thick but still provides a sturdy buffer against wind. The Element Vintage Leather Jacket comes with pre-curved arms and the leather is pliable so it allows for an unencumbered range of motion in the arms and shoulders. The cuffs are adjustable courtesy of Velcro tabs, which come in handy when putting on gauntlet-style gloves because you can easily wrap the sleeve around the glove. Velcro tabs on both sides of the waist help tailor the fit, too. It’s fashioned to sit right at the beltline while the collar is cut low enough that it doesn’t rub, but you will feel the chill on your neck during morning rides. Overall, the quality of the leather outer shell has left a positive impression.
Besides the abrasion resistance of the leather, protection comes in the form of armor in the elbows, shoulders and back, all of it removable as they reside in pockets with Velcro closures sewn into the liner. The shoulder and elbow protection are both CE-grade. The armor is well situated and doesn’t move around during riding. The armor also covers lots of area because the elbow pads extend down the forearm while the shoulder pads wrap around the entire shoulder.
The AGV Sport Element Vintage Jacket circulates plenty of air thanks to zippers up the cuff and vents conveniently placed in the arms, shoulders and back. The jacket is a distressed brown, so it doesn’t attract as much sun as a solid black jacket. And while it’s a solid choice for spring and summer rides, because of the short neck and the relatively thin leather, the Element Vintage Jacket is only comfortable down to about 50-degree rides. Any colder than that and you’re going to be looking for your hoodie to add another layer of warmth.
The inside of the jacket is as well-tailored as the exterior, its polyester liner comfortable and fashionable. The liner does double duty, with the pockets sewn into it holding the armor in place. Inside the jacket are two chest pockets with Velcro closures while there are two exterior pockets that zip closed, all pockets about hand deep. The entire jacket is stitched together well, with extra stitching at the major seams because of the multi-paneled design of the jacket.
The way the jacket is divided into multiple panels along with the timeless distressed-look of the brown leather gives it an attractive, masculine design. After three months of wear it still looks new. It hasn’t even creased where it bends in the elbows yet.
At just under $250, the AGV Sport Element Vintage Leather Jacket costs almost half what you’d pay for similarly styled motorcycle jackets. Considering the quality of the leather and stitching used in its construction, combined with the fact that it’s heavily armored without being bulky and vents really well, the Element Vintage Leather Jacket is a bargain.
The AGV Sport Element Vintage Leather Jacket is available at the Motorcycle Superstore for $246.99. Sizes range from Small to 3XL in Distressed Brown Only.