[gallery link="file"] This review was first published in the May 2010 issue of CityBike Magazine.
- Specially patterned for a woman’s body with Spandura® inserts
- Removable CE Rated Knox® Armor in shoulders, elbows & back
- 1000 denier Cordura® abrasion and water resistant shell
- Reflective 3M Scotchlite™ trim for 360° degree nighttime visibility
- Superior venting for warm days
- Two-inch longer tail & arms designed for upright riding
- YKK® high-grade zippers throughout
- Fleece lined collar and cuffs
- Women’s sizing from XS – 2XL
- Multiple color combinations• $229.00 US
Corazzo is a company based in Portland, OR that designs and manufacturers “technical riding apparel for people who ride in an urban environment.” Well that description pretty much fits many of us who live and ride in San Francisco. I’m normally not a fan of ‘Scooter friendly’ gear, since many of the garments aren’t articulated enough to fit a more aggressive seated position on a motorcycle.
But I was pleasantly surprised by the fit and feel of the Corazzo 5.0 Women’s textile jacket. It was, however, the only jacket out of their entire line that fit comfortably on my motorcycle since most of their jackets are articulated for a fully upright position. So if you’re riding a Standard, DualSport or Dirt motorcycle and are looking for something lightweight to wear around the city streets, you may want to consider the Corazzo 5.0 (for men and women!).
Corazzo is also one of the few companies that “design(s) and manufacture(s) our garments and accessories in North America (California and Oregon and Canada), sourcing our raw materials from companies that manufacture in the US, whenever and wherever possible.” The 5.0 is a lightweight, textile jacket that was designed by Alan Hardy, who has experience designing athletic wear in the sports apparel industry. I have to admit, this jacket gets a lot of attention.
Anytime I’m with other motorcyclists, I’m always asked who makes it and what is it? Something about the vertical stripes down the front and the horizontal stripes around the left sleeve give this jacket a very unique and cool look. And stripes aren’t just fashionable - they’re reflective too! Stylish and visible, what else could a girl ask for? I must admit, I didn't think I'd like wearing this jacket at all. Next to my Ignition, it's #2 in my closet.
I was a little skeptical of this jacket’s ability to keep me warm in San Francisco. As a small woman, I’m always cold, even when everyone else is hot. Although the 5.0 doesn’t have a removable liner, it does a decent job of keeping me fairly warm, even in windy conditions. Perhaps the 1000 denier Cordura® helps with wind resistance, I’m not sure, but paired with a sweater or well insulated base layer it provides just the right amount of warmth for San Francisco summers. The wind resistant properties of the 5.0 were impressive to say the least, and have led me to rely on it for my daily commute across town from the Sunset to the neighborhood of South Beach (or any short jaunt around San Francisco for that matter).
There are 2 zippered vents on the back, right below each shoulder, in case it gets too warm. Something I really found useful were the YKK zippers over the front pockets. I could easily reach for them and zip my pockets closed while riding (something you may not want to attempt until you can ride comfortably with one hand :D), as I frequently forget to close them after putting away my wallet or precious iPhone. As mentioned before, the cuffs and collar are not only fleece lined but adjustable as well.
With the extra long velcro adjustments you can wear them over or under your gloves. I wear a glove with a generous gauntlet, so I normally wear them over my sleeves, but if you have a short glove or your gauntlet is really small then the cuffs should adjust easily over them. And since they’re velcro they should hopefully keep the sleeves from pulling up and exposing your forearms in the event of an accident. The Knox® Armor that’s provided with the jacket includes not only shoulders and elbows but a back protector too. Most protective jackets will only provide elbow and shoulder armor, but Corazzo has gone a step further by providing a CE rated back protector from Knox® as well. I found the armor is a little hard at first but you just need to give it little time to conform to your elbows and shoulders. Since I prefer Forcefield TPro® back protectors I swapped one for Knox - they both have the same distinctive “T” shape.
Unfortunately (if you like to zip your pants and jacket together like I do) the 5.0 lacks a connecting zipper at the waist - but I’m sure that a qualified tailor would be able to add one if desired. Keep in mind that the armor may feel uncomfortable at first, but you must give it some time to break in too. After you wear this armor for a bit, it will mold a little more to your shape, so don't be too turned off by it when you try it on. The fit of the 5.0 is fairly generous. You’ll find that the sleeves are extra long, as well as the torso, which helps me out greatly on my motorcycle.
The waist is not terribly narrow, proportioned just right in relation to the shoulders, and the arm holes are generous enough to accommodate a couple layers. Actually, this was the only fit issue I had. I wish the arms were a little narrower to fit someone like me (5'3", 130-135lbs). If you're going to fit a size XS, chances are that you will have narrow arms and shoulders. I think the arms were one size too large.
I particularly like how it’s fitted through the torso but not too narrow - I don’t have much of an hourglass figure, I'm more like a square with my short torso. The XS fit me almost perfect and I’m normally a US 4 in women’s clothing. If you’re a super petite girl, size US 0-2, you may find this to be a little too big. Textile doesn’t need to be as snug as leather, but it does need to be snug enough to keep your armor in place while in riding position. Even layering this jacket with a hoodie or multiple layers, it still felt comfortable and not too tight also.
The only thing the 5.0 lacks is a connecting zipper for overpants. I frequently wear waterproof overpants to work, or at night when it’s a little chilly. If you’re in San Francisco, you can find Corazzo gear exclusively at the SF Scooter Center, or Corazzo.com.
This jacket is made for both men and women and retails for $229, and also comes in a variety of color combinations that can be found on their website.
Finally, remember one of my shopping tips , which is to try on each and every item of gear you intend to purchase on your scooter and/or motorcycle. You never want to make fit decisions in front of the mirror. ATGATT! (All The Gear All The Time).