Alpinestars Stella ST-7 | Ideal touring kit for the warmer months

Alpinestars Stella ST-7 Suit 3 stars
Alpinestars Stella ST-7 Suit 3 stars
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Designed for female riders who want to the best comfort and protection in all weathers, Alpinestars’ range-topping touring suit, the Stella ST-7 is constructed from Gore-Tex laminated textile with judicious use of stretch panelling to boost on-bike mobility.

However, the Stella ST-7 has been cut and fitted for especially for the female form to ensure a first-class fit. It’s positioned as an all-season garment and boasts top-end waterproofing and breathability courtesy of the 2L Gore-Tex laminate construction, a removal thermal inner lining for cooler temperatures, as well as a range of air-flow vents throughout.

It’s AA rated for impact and abrasion protection and features the highest rated Level 2 armour at the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips.

Price: £617.49 (was £649.99)
Tried and tested by Emma Franklin for five months

Pros

  • Lightweight and reassuringly high quality
  • Waterproof
  • Versatile
  • Thoughtful features

Cons

  • Not very warm - be prepared to wear layers beneath
  • Comfort
    3.0
  • Practicality
    4.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    3.0
  • Value
    3.0
  • Verdict
    3.0
Construction Textile Gore-Tex laminated
Type All season, light adventure/road touring
CE Rating AA
Armour CE level 2 Nucleon Flex Pro armour at shoulder, elbow, knees and hips
  • Pre-curved arms
  • Stretch panels
  • Waterproof outer pockets
  • Rear map pocket
  • Chest/arm/thigh vents
  • Waist/arm/collar adjusters
  • Removable thermal lining
  • Pocket for additional back protector
Price: £503.49 (was £529.99)
Tried and tested by Emma Franklin for five months

Pros

  • Lightweight and reassuringly high quality
  • Waterproof
  • Versatile
  • Thoughtful features

Cons

  • Not very warm - be prepared to wear layers beneath
  • Comfort
    3.0
  • Practicality
    4.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    3.0
  • Value
    3.0
  • Verdict
    3.0
Construction Textile Gore-Tex laminated
Type All season, light adventure/road touring
CE Rating AA
Armour CE level 2 Nucleon Flex Pro armour at shoulder, elbow, knees and hips
  • Pre-curved arms
  • Stretch panels
  • Waterproof outer pockets
  • Rear map pocket
  • Chest/arm/thigh vents
  • Waist/arm/collar adjusters
  • Removable thermal lining
  • Pocket for additional back protector

How comfortable is the Alpinestars Stella ST-7?

In terms of ergonomics and fit, the Stella ST-7 is excellent, however you will need to size up compared to other brands. The jacket’s pre-curved arms and stretch panels means that it doesn’t restrict movement on the bike at all, and I found that regardless of whether I was riding a sportsbike, naked, or an adventure machine, the jacket and pants moulded to the riding position.

Velcro adjusters on the jacket’s waist and arms, along with the elastic pull-toggle on the collar also help in getting a perfect fit – although I did find myself looking for a slightly more adjustability on the waist to give myself a more cinched-in look during the times when I wasn’t wearing as many base and mid layers beneath…

Which brings me to my next point, warmth – the lack of which is my only real criticism of the Stella ST-7 jacket. By virtue of being single layer, laminate textiles are generally colder than those with a separate drop liner beneath, but still – the ST-7 is one of the coldest touring jackets I’ve ever worn.

Alpinestars Stella ST-7 zip and collar

In temperatures around 10°C, I found that even when wearing a base layer and heavyweight mid layer as well as the jacket’s zip-in thermal layer, I still felt really cold. The ST-7’s detachable thermal layer is very thin – a bit of a token gesture, really – and therefore body heat is easily lost.

Is the Alpinestars Stella ST-7 Suit practical?

Being single layer means there aren’t any membranes or extra bulk to snag zips or bunch-up around arms, so the Stella ST-7 jacket and trousers are really easy to live with. The jacket’s main zip is extremely chunky which I find reassuring, plus the zip-tab itself is large and easy to grab with gloved hands.

The ST-7 trousers feature a belt around the waist which offers a couple of inches of extra adjustability and has a really easy-to-use snap-clip buckle to close it. The trousers’ full circumference connecting zip has been mounted to stretchy fabric (so too has the corresponding zip on the jacket) which makes it easy to attach the two pieces together for the ultimate in crash protection and draught exclusion.

Alpinestars Stella ST-7 pocket

When it comes to pockets, there are a pair of large waterproof pockets in the front of the jacket and one at the rear. The front pockets are so large that they curve around the side of the jacket can make it awkward to retrieve things from inside.

These pockets are also no good for putting your hands in when off the bike, so I would’ve like to have had handwarmer pockets too. I get the most use out of the two large waterproof pockets down the sides of the thighs in the trousers as I find them very easily accessible.

Inside the jacket are small, zipped pockets in the outer jacket mesh liner, and also non-zip pockets in the thermal lining – both neither of those pockets seem robust enough to be relied upon to transport heavy/valuable items.

Alpinestars Stella ST-7 popper

Also, the amount of adjustability at the cuffs isn’t quite enough to easily fit bulky winter gloves beneath, as I resulted to either not fastening the cuffs properly or wearing my winter gloves outside my cuffs – which is never ideal.

The ST-7 also features a full complement of zip-close vents, the largest of which on the chest are held in the open position via chunky plastic slide-in clips, and vent at the rear. The trousers also feature vents that can be held open too, plus there are additional vents on the arms.

Does it look good?

This suit is one that always gets compliments whenever I wear it. The ice grey/dark blue/black colour scheme accentuates the female-specific shape, and the raft of adjusters ensure that you can nearly always get a flattering and comfortable fit.

Alpinestars Stella ST-7 Rear of jacket

The ST-7 Stella jacket is also available in pure black (and the trousers are only available in this colour) – something which I’d normally go for, but felt that the lighter colour definitely looked better in this instance. In terms of logos, there is subtle branding on the shoulders, arms, chest back and thighs – which include two sets of coordinates – one for Astars’s HQ in Asolo, Italy and the other referencing the Italian firm’s US headquarters in Torrance, California. 

Are the Stella ST-7 jacket and trousers good quality?

Made using top-spec Gore-Tex 2L laminate (a two-layer sandwich of the face fabric with the Gore membrane bonded to it, then a non-laminated mesh lining behind that), the ST-7 feels sturdy, robust and well crafted.

Even after all the rain we’ve had this year, it’s remained totally waterproof – which is pleasing, as I originally had my doubts after I saw the jacket’s main zip was exposed to the elements and had only a modestly sized internal storm flap behind it, as well as the number of zipped vents (admittedly which all have waterproof zips). All fear about leaks has been totally unfounded, though, as the suit has kept me 100% dry.

Alpinestars Stella ST-7 adjustment buckle

There is a caveat though – the lack of thermal insulation yet again becomes a problem when the rain begins to fall. One of the benefits of laminated textiles is that they are immune from water saturating the garment’s outer, which you’d think would help keep you warm when raining – but that’s not the case with the rather cold-feeling ST-7.

The chilling effect of the rain on the jacket’s outer gives the sensation that rain has got inside when it hasn’t. However, to be certain rain does stay on the outside, you have to be extremely diligent when closing the vents as being single layer, there’s no other line of waterproofing behind the vents to prevent ingress – although Alpinestars have added a decent sized flap of laminated material behind each zip in an attempt to mitigate any leakage caused by accidently leaving vents ajar.

Does the Alpinestars Stella ST-7 suit offer good protection?

With an AA rating for abrasion and impact protection, the Alpinestars Stella ST-7 is rated as having enough crash protection for normal road riding – about average for textile garments. Astars have reinforced this by opting to fit the highest Level 2 armour at the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips.

Alpinestars Stella ST-7 vent

Being their top-spec Nucleon Pro soft armour, the protectors are very thin, pliable, and comfortable – so despite being Level 2, you hardly know they’re there. There is also space for a back protector, and the jacket is compatible with Astars’ airbag system (both available separately).

Is the Alpinestars Stella ST-7 suit good value?

Laminate suits, especially Gore-Tex versions, are typically very pricey – priced at nearly £1200, the Alpinestars Stella ST-7 is no different. As a result of it being Gore-Tex, you get Gore’s ‘Guaranteed to keep you dry’ warranty which covers the waterproofing and breathability for the life of the product. This is on top of Alpinestars’ own two-year warranty on the garment itself – and anecdotally we’ve heard very good things about Astars’ customer service with regards warranty claims so it’s well worth keeping hold of that receipt.

The Astars Stella ST-7 is slightly cheaper than other premium European brands’ laminate Gore-Tex touring suits; Rev’it’s Lamina GTX jacket uses 2L Gore-Tex laminate and costs £679.99 (pants £489.99). Meanwhile Rukka’s Suki Pro Gore-Tex uses thicker 3L Gore-Tex but costs £999.99 for the jacket and £649.99 for the trousers – however it does come with a six-year warranty (subject to registration).

This Gore-Tex all season jacket from Rev'it has ventilation zips to the front, rear and upper arms to provide ample air flow. The front main zipper is waterproof and there are several pockets for keeping your essentials safe. Reflective details allow for extra visibility in poor light conditions. This jacket is is CE rated to AA standard and has Level 2 CE Seeflex shoulder and elbow protection completed with CE level2 Seesoft Air back protection.
Construction 2L 200D and 400D nylon Gore-Tex fabric, and neoprene
Type All season light adventure
CE Rating AA
Armour CE level 2 at shoulder, elbow and back
  • Ventilation zips to front, back and upper arms
  • Waterproof zip
  • Reflective details
The Suki jacket from Rukka is a premium Gore-Tex 3 layer laminate jacket with CE approved D3O air back protector and Armacor elbow and shoulder protection. The detachable 60g thermal liner and ventilation zips make this a versatile jacket. The waterproof pockets allow a safe place for devices and belongings. The reflective details allow for better visibility in poor light conditions and the connection zip allows you to attach the jacket to the matching trousers.
Construction Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer stretch laminate
Type All season, light touring
CE Rating Unkown
Armour Level 1 D3O armour to shoulders and elbows
  • Waterproof and waterproof pockets
  • Adjustments at upper and lower arms
  • 60g removable liner
  • D3O armour
  • Connection zip

So what’s the verdict?

The Alpinestars Stella ST-7 is great touring suit for spring and summer use. The vents are plentiful and well thought out, and the Gore-Tex 2L laminate does a faultless job at keeping rain at bay, no matter how heavy the weather. The suit is also well made, extremely comfortable in terms of its ergonomics, and looks great.

However, it’s just not insulated enough to be a true all-season jacket for those of us in northern Europe. The thermal layer is pitifully thin – and even with an extra mid-layer, the jacket still seems to lose heat at a chilling rate of knots.

Price: £617.49 (was £649.99)
Tried and tested by Emma Franklin for five months

Pros

  • Lightweight and reassuringly high quality
  • Waterproof
  • Versatile
  • Thoughtful features

Cons

  • Not very warm - be prepared to wear layers beneath
  • Comfort
    3.0
  • Practicality
    4.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    3.0
  • Value
    3.0
  • Verdict
    3.0
Construction Textile Gore-Tex laminated
Type All season, light adventure/road touring
CE Rating AA
Armour CE level 2 Nucleon Flex Pro armour at shoulder, elbow, knees and hips
  • Pre-curved arms
  • Stretch panels
  • Waterproof outer pockets
  • Rear map pocket
  • Chest/arm/thigh vents
  • Waist/arm/collar adjusters
  • Removable thermal lining
  • Pocket for additional back protector
Price: £503.49 (was £529.99)
Tried and tested by Emma Franklin for five months

Pros

  • Lightweight and reassuringly high quality
  • Waterproof
  • Versatile
  • Thoughtful features

Cons

  • Not very warm - be prepared to wear layers beneath
  • Comfort
    3.0
  • Practicality
    4.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    3.0
  • Value
    3.0
  • Verdict
    3.0
Construction Textile Gore-Tex laminated
Type All season, light adventure/road touring
CE Rating AA
Armour CE level 2 Nucleon Flex Pro armour at shoulder, elbow, knees and hips
  • Pre-curved arms
  • Stretch panels
  • Waterproof outer pockets
  • Rear map pocket
  • Chest/arm/thigh vents
  • Waist/arm/collar adjusters
  • Removable thermal lining
  • Pocket for additional back protector

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