Oxford Baltimore textile jacket, £109.99
Time tested: 200 miles
What’s good? This is my first ‘proper’ bike jacket so I’ve not got much to compare it to, but wearing it for my two-day CBT and then a short-lived rider assessment on which I crashed, it was comfortable and cool, especially once I’d removed the inner lining halfway through my CBT as it was too hot for riding in the UK in April! Loads of vents, on the shoulders and back, help with cooling and they’re all zip-closed and easy to adjust on the move. There are loads of pockets, including a handy mobile phone inside the jacket that was ideal for my instructors’ radio, and a pocket built into the zip that’s perfect for easy-to-reach cash/cards for fuel stops. The mesh lining did a good job at keeping me from getting too sweaty, and even with a back protector on a hot day I wasn’t quite as whiffy as I’d expected to be after a full day riding.
What’s not? When I crashed my Yamaha YZF-R125 long termer, I was only doing 25mph, yet both the jacket and trousers wore through wherever they made contact with the ground. The elbow shredded through and it was only the armour that kept my skin from the ground. I still ended up with some abrasions on a part of my arm that wasn’t covered by the armour.
Quality rating: 2/5
Value rating: 2/5