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The Affordable Alternative to the Expensive British Motorcycle Jacket Everyone Wants

With a garage full of countless motorcycle jackets, every time I jump on a motorcycle, I find myself pulling the Zircon off the rack.

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Just about every motorcycle jacket brand out there makes something similar to the Zircon jacket by Rev’It — the classic design of four pockets design, a belt around the middle and basic, if not archaic, snaps and clasps. Almost all of them come sans Velcro, without any exciting features, and little in the of way liners or insulation. During a ride through Monte Carlo, I met up with a friend who was wearing a wonderfully weathered Zircon of his own — beaten on by harsh sun rays, torturous weather, covered in dust and bugs. He told me the jacket had initially been black. However, it appeared a dark grey after his month-long motorcycle ride across Morocco. It was clear the Rev’It Jacket could stand up to the test of time, but I had to test it for myself.

Buy Now: $380

The Good: The Zircon is Rev’It’s top-of-the-line British-inspired touring coat. Wax-coated polyester creates a water-repellent outer shell while contrasting polyester Oxford reinforces critical impact zones like elbows and shoulders. The jacket is simple, to say the least: four pockets on the front, each of which fasten shut with trusty button-snaps; an elastic drawcord around the bottom of the coat helps to tailor the look; a belt at the waist and a similar closure around the storm collar.

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Beneath the storm flap there’s an inner breast pocket with an orange zipper that makes a perfect place for your wallet, documents, et al. The storm flap is secured by a series of button-snaps, covering a robust zipper which only runs from the collar down three-quarters of the jacket, allowing the jacket to sit more comfortably across your lap while riding. There’s an insulated, waterproof thermal liner effective enough to actually get too warm at times. There are also hand-warmer pockets behind the bottom two front flap pockets. CE-rated Knox Lite protection comes standard: elbow and shoulder armor inserts and an optional back-protector slot.

Who’s It For: Any motorcyclist who appreciates classic kit and the stylings of yesteryear. It’s a basic, belt-waisted jacket with a British origin; a silhouette made most famous by Steve McQueen. The Zircon provides the old-world look and brings modern-day protection into the fold.

Watch Out For: The Zircon, like most vintage-styled touring jackets, takes more effort and patience to wear daily. The belt around the waist is an old-fashioned notch-and-buckle setup, which isn’t easy to fasten with gloved hands. There’s a similar belt closure atop the storm collar, which is also frustrating to close when it’s cold or if you’re in a hurry. The inner thermal liner, while being wonderfully warm and GORE-TEX protected, means that when it’s raining full tilt, you might stay dry, but the outer shell of the coat gets soaked. The result is a core kept clear of the elements, but a jacket needing an entire day to dry.

Alternatives: Rev’It makes a very similarly styled jacket called the Jackson. Like the Zircon, it features a four-pocket front and traditional touring coat accouterments. It’s made from 750D polycotton twill shell and backed with a Hydratex waterproof and breathable membrane. Like the Zircon, the Jackson also comes standard with a thermal liner and CE-rated armor; however, doesn’t have the belt around the waist. The Jackson is slightly more affordable at $288.

Similarly priced and almost identical in style to the Zircon is the Atlow Jacket by Merlin. And then there’s Belstaff. While the Belstaff Tourist Trophy Jacket made this style famous, you’ll often see it with a price tag twice as large as the Zircon’s.

Review: The Zircon mimics the coveted Belstaff Tourist Trophy jacket while staying more affordable and adding CE-rated armor, a waterproof thermal liner, robust stitching and the Polyester Oxford material at the elbows and shoulders. It’s the same size, the same shape and has the same belt-waisted look as the Belstaff.

I have a garage full of motorcycle gear, which includes countless jackets of all varieties. Yet every time I jump on a motorcycle, I find myself pulling the Zircon off the rack. About a month ago, the first Zircon I owned — which had been on my back for a few years, traveled to more than five countries and over countless miles — was stolen. It was, as far as I was concerned, just beginning to get good. A glossy layer of dirt and dust covered the entire coat, much of which came courtesy of a somewhat unexpected water crossing aboard a BMW in Mexico. I loved it so much that I bought another to replace it.

Verdict: It’s everything I want from a touring coat. It’s toasty with its thermal liner zipped in, breathable at warm temps, as waterproof as any waxed outer shell can be (more-so with the GORE-TEX innards), comfortable, easy to use and looks damn good.

What Others Are Saying:

• “Comfortable, stylish, and warm: the Zircon is a solid 2/3 season jacket for those of you that don’t want to look like Rossi wannabes.” – Abhi Eswarappa Bike-Urious

Key Specs

Outer Shell: Wax coated cotton twill and polyester Oxford
Lining: Hydratex and mesh G-liner, detachable thermal liner
Protection: CE-rated Knox Lite armor, SEESOFT CE-level two back protector.

Buy Now: $380

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