New gear review: Teknic Freeway Jacket, and Firstgear Mesh-Tex 2.0 gloves. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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New gear review: Teknic Freeway Jacket, and Firstgear Mesh-Tex 2.0 gloves.

So, I've Recieved my new Jacket from MC superstore, and picked up some new gloves as well, thought I would let you all know how good I think they are.
My new jacket is a Teknic Freeway jacket, intended as a 3 season jacket I believe, although you could use it all year, if you're a bit hard. I chose this jacket for a few reasons, look, price, overall function, Teknic's very good reputation, and specs and "components". I looked at a few other jackets, including another Firstgear Kilimanjaro, Fieldsheer Hydro-Tour, Firstgear Denali and Rainier. The Teknic was cheaper than all the others, on some cases, a couple hundred dollars cheaper, and looks the coolest in my opinion. Upon opening the box and pulling it out, I thought, it looks even cooler in person (despite the color being slightly different than what the pic showed, all black instead of a couple of white panels, no biggie), and after looking it over has a few things not mentioned in the specs!
THe outer shell of the jacket looks and feels just a bit thicker than my Kili Hypertex material, everywhere I can see on the the jacket, not a single loose thread. This seems to be something I get alot in clothing these days.
The Jacket is claimed to be %100 wind and waterproof, and breathable. "Powerskin" it's called. The inner liner zips in and out along the entire piece, instead of just along the front zips like most gear I have, which is kinda nice. The inner part of the liner is metallic like on of those camping thermal survival blankets, and pretty thick. Obviously I don't know how cold I can roll in it yet, but it feels like you could survive a nuclear winter with that thing in!!! The liner has a waterproof pouch on it's back that opens up and eats the liner into itself, and turns into a handy, belted butt pack for when you need to ditch it.
The jacket has waterproof pockets galore in front, 6 in a all, and a little pocket in bottom of the left arm, (good for garage door openers!!!). There is one large waterproof pocket in the back as well. Two pockets on the inside of the jacket as well, both in the left chest area. All zippers are YKK and waterproof where needed. Zippers are actually a big deal, and YKK are good ****!!!
There are adjustments galore for fit as well, including one on each bicep, one each side just below the elbow, one each side at the waist, and also one each at the very bottom of the jacket. All Adjustment straps are velcro, and therefore more adjustable than 2,3, or 4 buttons. My jacket is a bit large for me, but will adjust from loose and open, to fully locked down with these straps.
Ventilation-There are four vents in front, one high on each side of the chest, and one on each bicep. Opened up in 75 degrees today, they were more than adequate, and I imagine as long as I was moving, 85 would still be comfy. An interesting thing about opening the vents...there does not seem to be any exit for the air, so when you open them up the wind fills the jacket a bit, making it begin to compress on you. not much when sitting down, but if you stand up on the pegs, it increases with speed. At about 90 it feels like you're wearing a compression suit (standing up), but I kinda liked it actually!!!
I got out in some light rain and indeed so far, no leakage, but we'll see how it holds up to downpour conditions, maybe later today...
Best part, I paid $159 delivered for this jacket, sick, sick deal!!! Wa-hoo Motorcycle Superstore!!! I'll update after a few thousand miles on this guy.
The gloves, Firstgear Mesh-Tex 2.0, what can I say, I've tried alot of gloves in my career, and these are the most comfy light weather gloves I've ever had!!! Good looking, and as always with Firstgear, very well constructed. Mesh, with leather palm, and carbon embossed leather knuckle protection.
I hope this can help anyone in the market for such items, I would love to see some product reviews from you guys, what do you have and was it worth it?!?!
Aus, Erik!!!
Enjoy the pics!!!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Useage update!

First off, I neglected to mention the full KNOX armor in the shoulders, elbows and back/spine, plastic over foam. For some reason the edit was not working for me the other day.
Alright,
now that I've had some seat time with this jacket, here are a couple of observations. The jacket is definitely absolutely sealed from the wind, no leakage at all (My Kili had some very minor leakage). Riding home in damp 54 degree conditions wearing only a stretch athletic long sleeve and a t-shirt underneath, sans liner, I was not cold at all. It seems to make a big difference how much of the jacket actually gets pressed against you body in the wind, and this jacket has much less actual body contact in a lot of areas. Highway speeds most of the 25 mile trip. On the way to work I had the perfect opportunity to test the water resistance, as most of my ride was in monsoon like weather, absolutely pouring rain. Arriving at work, I checked the jacket, arm and chest areas. There was just a little moisture that had worked it's way inside. So, 100 percent waterPROOF, no, but no single item making this claim has ever been, short of full plastic cheapie crap. At least upper body stuff, my pants did really well. I would attribute this to the lack of things going on with the pants. It's a lot more difficult to waterproof something with multiple pockets and vents and stitched in adjustment straps all over the place. Overall though, I would say this jacket performed very well considering the conditions, at least as well as other specific rain gear I have owned. I already feel like I will love this jacket a lot!!! I think this will be the best 160 bucks I've ever spent!!!
Aus,
Erik!!!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 06:47 AM
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Moto, good write up. Like you said, there is really no jacket and pants that can stop all the moisture. When you think of the wind pushing on that water going at hwy speeds, you can see why.

I like the jacket but I don't care for inner rain liners. Takes too long to put on when stuck riding into a down pour. Other than that, what a deal!

Funny, I just bought those same gloves over the weekend. They really feel good. I bought a XL thinking that should be ok and they felt ok, but after riding several miles I went back and exchanged for the XXL. Now I have just a bit of room in the fingertips holding the grips. Sure hope they last long.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 09:23 AM
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Motodevil, good write up. But if this is the same jacket I saw at the MC show in December, you'll be disappointed on hot days. Check those 4 vents again, the waterproof liner is one piece, i.e. when you open the vent it doesn't allow air through the waterproof liner, only on the outside, between the external fabric and waterproof liner. It's OK on cooler days, but doesn't allow enough heat removal on 80+ days. Unfortunately, this is common to most (all?) budget jackets/pants from Teknic, Fieldsheer, TourMaster, etc.. This is done to reduce manufacturing costs, making the liner one piece makes it waterproof. If you cut it at the vents, you have to seal it to prevent water from leaking by when the zippers are closed, making these jackets more 3 seasons than 4.

Gustavo
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:05 PM
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The best solution I have found, is one that Gustavo suggested. I havea thin 100% breathable outer jacket and pants.

I found some at a store in WA called Joes. They pack up small, in a tiny bag, breath and are 100% waterproof.

Had a chance to try them again this weekend in CO, coming down from MT Evans. Took a very high pass, Squaw Pass Road, back down to Denver. Got caught in the heavest rain I've ever ridden in.

The big plus for me is its jacket is thin enough to get the hood under my helmet, so no rain goes down the back of your neck.

Machog
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:46 PM
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Machog, by any chance were those called "Frog Togs?"

Just a side note, "Rider" magazine, September issue, has a review article on MC specific textile outerwear from several manufacturers. Also, a nice write-up on a tour aboard a Versys.

Red
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:58 PM
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No, I'm familiar with FT's. These are a nylon type product with taped seams.

They are actually used by one of the crab boats on Deadliest Catch. I don't have the name off the top of my head-think it starts with Red .......?

Jacket was only US$34.95 and pants US$29.95 a real deal. I got XL in both sizes, so they go over my regular gear easily.

FT's can rip if you are not careful and cost about the same as these things.

Machog
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Atgatt,
The rain liner is actually not removable, it is built into the outer shell, the liner you see is the cold weather liner, which is a burly sukka!!! I think I'm ok with it being just 97% waterproof. Yeah, the gloves are fantastic, I got large I think, and they are snug, but about right. I've also noticed a few of us seem to have similar gear tastes...I've seen two other guys on here with the same Joe Rocket mesh jacket I purchased, lol!
Gustavo, you are absolutely right about the venting, that is why she fills up and feels like a pressure suit as well. I have been thinking about a solution for this. I thought about having a couple little button holes put in right behind the waterproof zippers, or maybe just above them, the outer shell of the jacket is actually very repellent, and little moisture made it past that to even get to the proof liner. If I choose where to put some vents in the liner, I could also put them where I prefer them most...hmmm, I see mods in the future. I rode to work yesterday in 85 degrees with it on, and it was not bad as long as I didn't have to sit for too long, lights were bareable. But you mos def need to get that thing off as soon as you get off the bike!!! Overall, I'm real happy with the jacket, I mostly bought it for the coming season, but when I get some modding done, I'll let you know if it all goes terribly wrong, or not.
Aus,
Erik!!!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Alright,
Gustavo,
so I decided to go ahead and mod the liner for better ventilation, and had superior success!!! Basically I flipped the jacket inside-out and heated up the soldering iron. Made a series of strategically placed holes (self cauterizing) in the arms, chest and back. It now works awesome and I am thrilled with the jacket. Yeah, it's won't be "100%" waterproof now, but I still have my rain gear anyhow!!! Great ventillation, and significantly reduced inflation effect. When I find a good seamstress, I will have the holes cut out and mesh material placed in the liner.
Aus,
Erik!!!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 07:37 PM
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Motodevil, I made the mistake of carrying my light rain gear on my weekly trip and got caught in some very bad rain today that never seemed to let up for about 100 miles. Never again will I carry light rain gear because I got a lot wetter than I ever want.
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