This month we’re looking at the most advanced motorcycle jacket ever made, a cool new messenger bag from luggage kings Kriega, an expedition-grade jacket from Aether and pants from Saint and Icon 1000. Let’s go shopping.
Thesis Labs Series Zero Can a motorcycle jacket be worth $2,000? After all, an Alpinestars GP Tech race jacket costs around half that. We were skeptical too, until we realized what’s going on behind the scenes at Thesis Labs.
The Canadian company is on a mission to create the world’s most protective motorcycle jacket. The outer layer is full-grain kangaroo leather—the same as used in race suits—with a space age fabric called Vectran underneath. (Over three times stronger than Kevlar, Vectran is used as the protective layer in the latest NASA spacesuits.)
Other features include triple-stitched seams, aramid-Kevlar stretch articulation panels, and custom Forcefield armor. Thesis has already partnered with a European CE testing lab, and will ensure the jacket meets Level 2 certification.
The project is raising money through Kickstarter—and it’s the most fascinating Kickstarter page we’ve ever seen. Check it out to explore the bleeding edge of motorcycle apparel design.
Aether Apparel Expedition Aether makes some of our favorite gear: stylish, functional and exceptionally well made. It’s at the high end of the market, but it’s easy to see where your dollars are going.
The $895 Expedition jacket would look good around the city, but it’s actually designed for long-haul touring. It’s made from 3-layer Japanese field nylon, a fabric that’s abrasion-resistant, waterproof, and surprisingly breathable.
Adventurer Scott Brady, founder of Expedition Portal, put the jacket (and its matching pants) to the test over thousands of miles in the worst possible conditions. He concluded: “If I were to leave tomorrow on my fourth circumnavigation of the globe, would I wear the Aether Expedition suit? The answer is yes.” That’s a good enough recommendation for us: we’d just need to choose between Graphite, Jet Black or the fresh Poppy red. [Buy]
Kriega Sling Sometimes a backpack is too much for what you need to carry. And backpacks rarely feel comfortable on a bike, no matter how well designed. So the masters of moto luggage design have created a compact 8-liter messenger bag big enough for a raincoat, water bottle, tablet and a camera or phone. Best of all, it weighs just 850g and it’s waterproof. Construction is up to Kriega’s usual superlative standards—using heavy-duty 1000D Cordura—and your $149 includes a 10-year warranty too. [Buy]
Saint Unbreakable Denim Saint is one of the most exciting new brands on the apparel scene. We’ve already covered their cool 100% Kevlar Drills, and now they’ve come out with a range of denim riding gear that marries classic good looks with cutting-edge performance.
Like it says on the box, the Unbreakable Denim jeans are unbreakable. You can’t tear, slash or slice the fabric. And according to Saint, you can slide down the road for nearly 150 feet. The denim is a triple weave with 66% being Dyneema, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene.
The weight is equivalent to a 12oz denim, and the jeans have triple-stitched seams, quality YKK zips and 3M reflective material on the cuffs. We’re also told that they’re all-day wearable and will not shrink in a wash-and-dry cycle. If the $600 Unbreakable is a little steep for you, there’s also the $400 ‘Tough rider’ jean with a 50ft slide capability. [Buy]
Icon 1000 Royal Drive Icon’s 1000 brand has become a mainstay of the custom scene in a remarkably short time. Some of the gear is edgy, some is understated, but all of it is well-made and good value.
The new Royal Drive pants have a low-key, no-nonsense style and are terrific value at just $100. They’re made from coated canvas in a relaxed fit, so they’re comfortable on the bike. Look closer and you’ll find Icon’s signature styling touches, with leather accents and sharp detailing. And your money buys premium D3O knee impact protectors too. [Buy]