winter

Dainese CarveMaster 2 Women's GTX Jacket

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2 of the 6 vents. This one I'm wearing IS the color above described as "Black/Frost Grey/Red" 

2 of the 6 vents. This one I'm wearing IS the color above described as "Black/Frost Grey/Red" 

Damn you Winter. The minute I got this jacket a week and a half ago, our temperatures started to plummet. But good thing I'm headed out to California this weekend for a week of sun, family and riding! The Dainese CarveMaster 2 GTX is their flagship women's winter jacket, featuring a removable thermal liner and a removable down collar. It also features 6 vents which will help push this one into 3-4 seasons although it doesn't offer fully direct venting.   

What this means is that behind the mesh is the Gore-Tex membrane which is meant to keep you dry. You won't feel the air directly to your body because the membrane is in the way. It definitely helps in warmer weather than not having them at all, but it's not as effective as other jackets which offer direct vents such as Klim. 

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What does stand out about this jacket is the fitment, it's very sport oriented. If you ride sporty bikes like me, then you know how hard it is to find touring jackets that fit us on the kind of bikes that we ride.

This jacket is very fitted, and slim so when you do ride in a more aggressive position, it won't be baggy around the chest/waist. I HATE jackets that are baggy and loose especially in the body. Because when I lean forward, I need my jacket to stay out of my way (much like the cars/bikes around me :P)

I can't wait to give it a spin in California's "winter" which is um, 60 Degrees during the day and low 40s at night. I'll be headed to Walnut Creek (just 30 minutes East of Berkeley) for a week to see my family and friends. But I'll also borrow a couple of different bikes while I'm there so I can visit some of my favorite roads again. 

And then I pray the weather lightens up enough when I get back to some reasonable 40s so I can actually take this jacket for a spin here in Philly. 

Stay tuned to my Instagram and Facebook feeds for more photos next week. 

12 Days of Winter Deals

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Follow me on Facebook for my 12 Days of Winter Deals. I'm sharing some of my favorites for jackets, pants, boots, gloves and helmets that will save you money and time. 

Like this Olympia Expedition Jacket on sale for $267. 

You don't have to log into Facebook to see my deals, but if you're already there....

Give me a follow! 

facebook.com/gearchic 

Winter Is Coming, Rev'it Neptune GTX Women's Jacket

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I'm super excited to update my old Legacy with a warmer, newer version. The new Neptune Jacket has a heavier outer shell, and some really nice updates that make wearing it more comfortable. 

With the Gore-Tex liner OVER the jacket!

With the Gore-Tex liner OVER the jacket!

I'm just happy that its keeping me warm without my heated jacket liner when it's 55F out. This time around, the Neptune unlike it's predecessory (Legacy) has two removable liners. One is Gore-Tex and one is a thermal, insulated liner. What this does is give the jacket a little more flexibility for summer riding. If it starts raining and it's hot and humid, the Gore-Tex jacket is wearable on the outside :) 

Hip gusset for alllll the hips

Hip gusset for alllll the hips

What I want to mention is the fitment. They've loosened up the chest, hips and arms on this model compared to previous versions. I have a 36" bust and a 37" hips. So I have absolutely no hips or butt. I need a really straight cut. When I have the hip gussets closed, there is still a good ~1-1.5 inches (with all the liners in) of room left that could fill it out. Not a dealbreaker for me, but I knew that going in. I'm wearing a Euro 36. I can't size down because of my shoulders. With the liners in, my shoulders are too tight in a 34 while in riding position so I need the 36. I really think a Euro 36 could fit someone with up to a 39" chest and up to a 40" hip for a snug fit with all the liners. I would say this is a curvier cut than Dainese or Alpinestars. The hips flare out even when they're zipped shut on me. Although I admit, I have NO hips/butt. 

The impact that this has on me is warmth. Because it's not fitting tight in the chest when I learn forward, I get a chilly draft. If I wore my windstopper North Face vest I could eliminate that. But then wearing that with the thermal liner is too much.

What I need is a bigger chest! :P This is where layering is crucial. If I wear a thick baselayer (smartwool or Polartec fleece shirt or something along those lines) then I think it would minimize the draft on my chest.  

I'm going to take this jacket on a chilly weekend ride in a couple weeks and then I'll do a full review. Stay tuned! 

For more details on the Neptune, find all the detailed specs on Revit's website

Fall/Winter Gear Recommendations

Rev'it Pegasus Waterproof Gloves MSRP $129

Rev'it Pegasus Waterproof Gloves MSRP $129

 

If you missed my November newsletter, I sent out a list of winter gear recommendations including jackets, pants, gloves and boots. 

Here's a link to it in case you didn't get a copy!

 

New Boots from Daytona, The Lady Pilot GTX

I've always been a Daytona fan but in recent years I've left my Daytonas behind except for extreme weather conditions like freezing temperatures and heavy wet weather riding. I also have found ways of compensating for lack of height using other methods.

But if you're looking for a way to get additional height without resorting to a casual styled, chunky heel that isn't protective enough, light enough, or strong enough for riding then try these new Lady Pilots from Daytona.  

I'm liking the cleaner calf / leg design and the simplified styling. To me it also seems like there's more height offered through the soles given the wedge-boot style design. I'm going to test this theory out this week and try on my Ladystars and these Lady Pilots to see if I can tell a height difference. Fit wise, these are going to be a wider fitment overall like the Ladystars but we'll see if there's much difference. 

Either way, you save $100 and get the height you might be looking for with a simplified style and the same comfort and quality you'd expect from Daytona. 

Women's Waterproof Jackets for Fall/Winter ish

Olympia's New Durham Jacket is waterproof and warm (to a point)

Olympia's New Durham Jacket is waterproof and warm (to a point)

Living on the East Coast, winter has a completely different meaning. For those of us over here in 40F temps with windchill, we need more than just a waterproof jacket. But I think for the majority of riders who tend to stop riding before ice starts to take over the pavement, a jacket like this one fits just right.

Olympia has always been a brand to offer slightly higher than entry level priced gear but this season they've introduced a jacket ($199) and matching pant ($169) that offers new riders something to get started with. The Durham has a waterproof, integrated (non removable) shell and removable thermal liner. With reasonable "winter" temperatures (think winter in the Bay Area, Fall in Philadelphia) I think this jacket is perfect.

If you need a hardcore, winter worthy coat then I'd opt for the ladies Ranger instead. Match this with the toasty ProMax pants and you'll have a great outfit for this season. (A slightly less toasty pant would be the Expeditions since there isn't a thermal liner)

Revit's Monroe Jacket (in Olive Green, pretty!)

Revit's Monroe Jacket (in Olive Green, pretty!)

On the slightly higher priced scale ($299), the Monroe also offers an integrated waterproof (non removable) membrane with a removable thermal liner. You'll find the fitment to be a true European cut with a slightly slimmer body/chest and shoulders. And of course the standard Revit fit which offers a long sleeve and torso. And if you're a hardcore winter riding citizen, then I'd recommend something more robust like the Neptune which offers additional wind protection with the Gore-Tex membranes. 

A quick pic of the Monroe in person, live at the  Revzilla Gear Boutique  in Philly. 

A quick pic of the Monroe in person, live at the Revzilla Gear Boutique in Philly. 

I'm a perfect 36 in this and as a Rev'it fan I'd certainly buy this IF I needed another jacket to fill my closet (which fortunately, is impossible to squeeze in another at this point :P) I never thought I'd wear a green jacket but this one is so pretty in person I really love how it looks and fits. The matching toasty Factor pants ($199) are a nice match to this cold weather outfit. (for a less toasty pant I would recommend the Enterprise ($169) since they don't have a thermal liner) I wouldn't say that this jacket is for the snow but will certainly get you down to similar temperatures as the Olympia option above. 

So for less than $500 you can get yourself pretty toasty and cozy for the upcoming winter riding season. Of course, other colors are available in both jackets as well. But if you are truly riding in extreme temperatures, none of these will offer you the warmth that Heated Liners can bring when you start hitting lower digit windchill temperatures. 

REVIT Flash Sale, This Week Only

Only through TUESDAY, AUGUST 30TH! Select items are 15% off, and I'm talking about new items for Fall like the Outback 2 Ladies Jacket above. 

If you need to get ready for Fall/Spring/Winter, then this is the time. The Outback 2 is in awesome, 3 layer jacket with a removable waterproof liner, and a removable thermal liner. The cut is European fit but not nearly as slim as a Dainese women's jacket.  

Normally priced at $349.99; it's $297.99 for the sale only. And then it's back up to regular price next week. Don't worry, there are other colors like black, black and black if you prefer darker colors. 

The Enterprise ladies pant is a great option to pair with it for $199.99, although it's not on sale (but a great price for a waterproof pant!). Don't worry, this is also available in black. Remember that Rev'it is one of the few brands that offer short, standard and tall sizes for women so check out their size charts and let me know if you need help! Their pants fit true to Revit sizing.  

Heated Women's Motorcycle Gear

warmnsafe_womens_heated_jacket_liner_frontgyde_7v_calor_vest After a chilly ride the other day, I thought about what I'm going to do to keep my fingers from freezing to death while out riding. Because at 50F + windchill it feels like 40F; it's COLD! 

So what is the best option for staying warm while riding your motorcycle? Two Words: Heated Gear.

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In 2011, when I was first introduced to the world of Heated Jacket Liners. TOASTY!

You might be debating whether or not to go this route. If you've decided you're going to take the plunge, it's important to know what the best options are for us as women riders. Before I dive into some recommendations, let's review some basics.

How Should My Liners Be Worn?

When it comes to wearing heated gear, keep in mind that heated liners are meant to be worn Underneath. You need to block the wind so that you can actually feel the heat. These also do not offer any type of protection when it comes to abrasion resistance or impact protection. Also, it’s crucial that it fits CLOSE to your body, as fitted as your riding gear. How else are you going to feel all that delicious heat?

However, keep in mind that you must also wear a baselayer because the heating elements are hot so you need to wear a long sleeve shirt of some kind as a barrier between your skin and the gear. Not a heavy sweater or thick fleece jacket, but a breathable winter weight baselayer.  Otherwise you will get burns as you turn up the intensity!

So the order of layers is:

  1. Thermal, winter weight baselayer
  2. Heated Jacket Liner or Pants
  3. Armored Riding Jacket or Pants

7Volt vs. 12Volt

As you start shopping, you will see these terms thrown around on various types of gear. It’s important to know the difference, especially when riding motorcycles. One will work very well for us, the other will not.

7Volt or 7V, refers to Battery Powered Heated Gear. That means there's a little battery in your pocket that allows you to adjust the heat while you're out and about. It lasts anywhere from 3-6 hours depending on how much heat you're using during any given time. I actually have a 7V vest that I bought just for working at the time (3 years ago) because the store I worked at was So cold inside. I tried using it just riding across San Francisco, but it didn't have enough heat no matter what jacket I wore over it. You cannot plug this into your motorcycle's battery to power the vest. And you only have heat squares that cover the upper chest and back. Another reason why this doesn't provide enough heat to your body while riding.

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You will see a ton of 7V(olt) options on the market from many brands including Gyde (formerly Gerbing), VentureHeat and MobileWarming, but these 7V options do NOT provide enough heat to keep you warm at riding speeds. Maybe if you're riding a bicycle, but bump that speed up to 45-55-65-75mph and now that 7V vest can't keep up. And, you don't have heat down your sleeves, back, arms and neck like you do on a 12V jacket.

12Volt or 12V, refers to heated gear that you can plug directly into your bike's battery to provide continuous, intense heat. YES! Now you have more options to stay warm.

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The reason I would recommend the women’s specific lines is because the fitment can be much better in the shoulders, sleeves, waist and bust. You also don’t have to size up to accommodate your chest/bust fit as you will with mens lines. 

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Now, let's go over what the options are for 12V gear and the various combinations you can put together to stay warm. I'm going to list the options on WarmnSafe.com's website. Remember that all the women's heated gear offered through FirstGear is a WarmnSafe product. When you buy any of the women's specific heated accessories, you will find both logos on the garments.

12V Options:

1/ Generation 4 Women’s Heated Jacket Liner. $199.99-$239.99 This version uses a new heated material that sounds less bulky and softer overall. I’m very tempted to upgrade to this one because I’m hoping it heats better than the wires do. The wires are large and you can definitely feel them in the Gen 3 Liner. It also has a newer collar and reflective piping on the back, which I’m not sure how you would see since you should be wearing this Underneath your riding jacket. These liners are NOT meant to be worn alone.   The 90Watt generates more heat, and I believe it draws very similar power to the 65Watt. 

  • 65watt; XS-XL $199.99 This version is probably being discontinued as Large is no longer available. You do save $40, however.
  • 90watt; XS-2XL; TALL SIZES available! $239.99. This is such a great option for those of you who need longer sleeves and torsos.

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2/  Generation 3 Women’s Heated Jacket Liner $199.99, XS-2XL I'm wearing this one in the picture above, and it's also the one that's sold through the brand FirstGear. No difference from the one sold on WarmnSafe's website, just comes with a FirstGear logo. If you're already considering spending $200 on a heated jacket, you may as well spend a few dollars more and get the Generation 4 model above. This one is still offered in 65W and 90W options, however Tall sizes are not available. Read my full review here.

3/ FirstGear Heated Pant Liners. There are two options for the pant liners as well!

  • Gen4 Heated Pants Liner: XS-XL, $199.99; I’ve seen this one in person and it fits like a legging. Not as thin of course, but thin enough to wear under your riding pants. I was impressed by how well they fit. They seem true to fit.  “Heated zones cover thigh and knee and upper butt“

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  • Generation Windblock Heated Pant Liners: XS-XL; $239.99 Looks like the Windblock version has a couple key differences:
    • NEW WindBlock Pants Liner! Front Panel Made From Stretch Gelanots to Block the Wind.
    • NEW Run the Pants and Socks together or on Separate Heat-trollers
    • I can't tell any differences aesthetically, they look the same on the outside and the fit appears to be the same as well.

4/ Warmnsafe Women's Heated Gloves.  $129.99, S-L I’m pretty sure these gloves run loose. If you need XS, I would recommend the Heated Glove Liners instead. I personally prefer riding gloves that offer more protection such as palm sliders and hard knuckles, so for me, these don’t work. But if you’re searching for a toasty glove to ride in, you’ll probably love these.

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5/ Firstgear Heated Glove Liners, Unisex XS-2XL; $79.95. These are the ones I want! These liners should be thin enough to wear under your gloves. If you have the jacket, then all you have to do is plug each glove into the cable on each wrist. Atomic Skin also offers liners, but you cannot plug them into another brand's heated jacket.  

 

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So there you have it, all the heated stuff, all the time. Stay warm, everyone.

Time to go ride!

Scorpion Zion Adventure Touring Jacket

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Over the next few weeks I'll be reviewing the Scorpion Zion Touring Jacket. This $299 jacket from Scorpion is a multiseason, multilayered jacket that offers you flexibility in various climates. With 2 removable liners (one waterproof, one thermal) you can go from hot to cold temperatures easily by adjusting your layering and closing or opening your vents.

It also has a rather long adventure style cut, with a slightly longer sleeve length and elongated torso. If you're searching for a jill of all trades outfit to take you from spring to summer to fall, this suit might just do it. Although I'm only testing the jacket I'm sure the pants will perform in the same way.  I'm actually fitting into an XS, although I've dropped a few pounds these past couple of months. I'm down to 125-127lbs from 135-140lbs, and was worried the XS might be too big. But the fit is actually perfect for my broader shoulders and freakishly long arms (for someone 5'3").

 

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Stay tuned for a detailed, full length review exclusively on Women Riders Now.