REVIEW OF THE REV'IT GALACTIC LEATHER JACKET
- MSRP $499.99
- Size: Euro 34-46 (US 2 - US 14)
- My Galactic size: 36 (as of July 2013, I weighed 140lbs)
- Hybrid construction; textile and leather
- Removable, waterproof, Hydratex, full sleeve liner
- ProLife® ladies CE protection at the shoulders/elbows
- Back protector insert prepared for SeeSoft RV 03 or 04. See Revzilla's chart for SeeSoft Here.
- Short and long connection zippers (compatible with all REV'IT and anything else that uses the standard YKK zippers)
- 2 inner pockets, 2 outer pockets
- Reflectives at elbows
- Outer shell construction: Dynax Mesh, Monaco Cowhide, PWR|Shell 500D stretch, PWR|wax 500D
- Sport / sport touring fit
- Review Date: July 2013
- Sample provided by REV'IT for review
Update 7/26/2015: Since this review, I've lost 10lbs and have dropped down to ~128lbs. If my shoulders were narrower I would definitely downsize to a size 34 since the waist and arms are looser on me. I've also crashed in this jacket and want to share how well it held up when I lowsided due to hydraulic fuel spilled down road I was riding on.
As you can see, it took quite a bit of the surface leather off and I ended up burning a small hole thru where the elbow armor met my wrist. The seams stayed together and did their job as well. I'm now an even bigger fan of leather than I was before, as I only reserve my mesh pants or jacket for city riding only (~5 miles from home, off highway).
The elbow armor did it's job and I only ended up with some friction burns on the inside, due to the fact that my arms are a bit skinnier now so they rubbed up against the armor as I slid. I also slid right thru my Icebreaker 150gram baselayer shirt. This photo shows the bruising that showed up a week after the accident. Yes, you will still hurt yourself even while wearing body armor! Luckily it was bruising, NOT broken bones or anything requiring surgery.
Although I could keep wearing this jacket again, I took the opportunity to have a brand new, clean replacement from my insurance company and replaced it this week :)
Update 9/13/2013: I've now gone on 2 long weekend rides in ridiculously hot weather (90+ degrees). Riding in an oven is no fun. But with this jacket, the Challenger coolvest and Icebreaker ultralight baselayers, I can now ride comfortably in extreme heat. I'm never going to go riding above 100 degrees but it's great knowing that I'll be comfortable in 90+.
I've never had a jacket that has a true sport cut to it. I have had a couple that fit well on a sportbike, but the Galactic is the most aggressive fit I've had so far. As soon as I saw the Spring 2013 preview from REV'IT last year, I was dying to try it out.
The hybrid construction of textile/leather was a huge draw for me, as I don't wear open weave, mesh gear. Ever since wearing the Ignition and wearing it in 80+ degree weather, I've been sold on the idea of a hybrid jacket. It really makes a huge difference in hot weather and brings together the benefits of leather and textile in one. The waterproof liner also gives the Galactic an edge to the competition.
(the reflective strip is the matte black piece right above the accordion fold)
I had high expectations with this jacket and as always, REV'IT does nothing but meet or exceed them. I had only one problem which I didn't foresee but could have easily avoided. The day after I received the jacket, I left for a long weekend ride up to Fortuna, CA. I was testing out Kappa's dry bags and was using their tank bag/drybag/backpack. Unfortunately the plastic buckles in front wore up against my stomach and I just didn't notice until it was too late. I've never had this problem with traditional tank bags, but the plastic was just too much for the white leather. I'm sure if I were using a regular bag this never would've happened. :(
Otherwise, she performed beautifully, especially with the crazy temperatures we were dealing with. From 65-95, I was able to stay comfortable between the textile panels and the Challenger Cool Vest. Something I really really love is how the sleeves taper perfectly at the wrists so I can slip them under my gloves! There's a little bit of room so that you can wear the sleeve over a glove if you need to but if you need to. But for most of us who wear a glove with a generous gauntlet, we want our sleeves to fit under the glove and not over.
The stretchy black panels along the inner arms/armpit are great for a little extra ventilation but mostly to add comfort if you're wearing the liner and a baselayer. They add just enough to give so that your elbows are pinching when you're in riding position.
I also appreciate the 2 inner zippered pockets, which make accessing my phone/wallet/earplugs/whatever so much easier than having to reach in when the pocket is sewn to the lining. And one on each side in case you're a lefty or a righty! I can also pull the zipper open with gloves on if I need to.
As far as the waterproof liner, it's the same liner used in the Ventura and Ignition 2, which emulates the properties of GORE-TEX. I only rode in the rain once (not a torrential downpour, but steady rain at freeway speeds) but it kept me wonderfully dry the whole time. There are no access pockets on this liner.
The other feature on this jacket that's pretty neat is the integration with the Challenger Cooling Vest. It zips right into the jacket and works well for riding in the extreme heat.
When they made the Galactic, they definitely changed the fitment from the popular Ignition 2. It fits much more like the Ignition 1. With the exception of the torso length. It's a touch shorter (~1") but has the same narrowish torso/chest fit.
The overall fit is best suited for an aggressive, forward riding position. Not that it can't be ridden on something upright like a Supermoto, but it may feel a little restrictive. It all comes down to what you're used to. If you've ridden in other sporty leathers on your upright bike, then this will feel the same. If it's your first leather jacket and you've never worn on before, it's going to take some getting used to.
It can be really difficult the first time to know what size and fit you will be in something like this. The break in (~300-400 miles of riding time) makes a huge difference in this jacket. Also keep in mind that if you don't try this on the first time ON a motorcycle, you won't be able to appreciate the real fit.
It makes such a HUGE difference to zip it up and jump on the bike. The cut is SO perfect once you bend forward, but you'll never know it standing in front of the mirror. The best way I can describe how snug it should be in the body is that when you have it fully zipped up and are sitting on the bike, that you should be able to fully exhale comfortably but still feel snug.
It feels really supportive when you're in riding position. As soon as I jumped on the freeway and squeezed my knees onto the tank, it felt great. When you're on a sportbike (and any bike for that matter), you know that you have to use your abs to keep your shoulders/upper half from fully leaning onto your wrists. It just isn't comfortable for more than a few minutes.
The super snug fit in the torso really helped me maintain this riding posture for such a long ride. I felt secure, confident and remarkably, very comfortable the whole time.
Something to pay attention to when you're seated, is how much bunching/bunching occurs at the neck/back or chest. A sporty jacket like this should essentially lay flat against your back and chest because it should conform to your body in riding position. Keep in mind that any extra material you have will just get bigger as the jacket breaks in. Try a size down and sit in it for a few minutes. As soon as you get off the bike you're going to unzip, because you won't want to hang out very long while it's zipped up and that's ok!
And that's what I really really love about the fit. It lays so flat, and totally out of my way! I feel like I'm not wearing anything at all, because it's below my neck, it's not so long that material is bumping into my helmet in the back and everything sits just right. These photos are after it's been fully broken in. I'm not wearing the liner and am just wearing a lightweight Icebreaker baselayer.
That's something else that will make or break the way this jacket feels. If you're not wearing a full, long sleeve baselayer you might feel some pinching around the elbows/armpits. I couldn't have worn this for 1,000 miles that weekend if I didn't have that barrier between my skin and the jacket. Especially in the Heat. There are hundreds of options out there, you can invest as little as $22 on a performance long sleeve shirt, and get SO much more comfort out of your gear. That goes for the bottoms too!
As far as length, the jacket should sit right above your hip bones and not below, as you'll get bunching at the base of your tank. Not as crucial in an upright riding position, but more noticeable on an aggressive one.
These photos are slightly misleading as far as sleeve length because my blue sleeve is a little long. Ideally the cuff will stop right at your wrist bone. Because if you think about it, if your sleeve is too long that it pushes into your gloves, you'll then find the gloves not fitting right because they're being pushed forward away from your fingers.
Overall, I highly recommend the Galactic for summer/spring riding, especially for those of you with rain mixed in. Add the Gear 2 pants, Challenger Vest Insert and you have the *perfect* combination for these seasons.