Icon Patrol Jacket Review

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Synopsis: A gratifying departure from the brightly colored and giant logo encrusted swag that is the bread and butter of the Icon line. The Patrol jacket looks great, is built-to-last and packs a ton of features into a killer riding jacket. Stylistically closer to a snowboard jacket than your characteristic adventure riding African safari fashion, the Patrol holds it down with its smart and subtle design. It’s not cheap, and there are a lot of other well made jackets in this price range, but when it comes down to fit, style and features, this one gets my vote.

2010-Icon-Patrol-Waterproof-Jacket-Black.jpgWhat I really dig
Overall design and aesthetic: Plain and simple, this is a good looking jacket. As far as textile jackets go, it’s one of the best on the market. Simple, clean, and understated. Icon was smart not to cover this thing with bulldog graphics or sick tribals; it’s nice to see them bringing their quality gear to guys outside the flaming skull set.

Details: Lots of pockets, lots of vents, the magnetic storm flap is genius, the waterproof cellphone pocket will give you one less thing to worry about when the clouds come out and the detachable hood can be a godsend when needed. The camel back pocket is useless to me (but thankfully removable) and an additional exhaust vent on the back would have been nice, but overall they fit a ton of features into a svelte package. The fleece lining on the neck and wrist closures is brilliant, all jackets should have this.

Build quality and fit: Every jacket I own has been a bargain bin special or at the bottom of the price spectrum. After riding with this day in - day out, it’s easy to see what you’re paying for when you move up into more premium gear. The build quality, finish details and most importantly the fit are all top notch. It’s so much better than the $99 jackets you find peddled at your typical biker events that it’s not even a fair comparison. Of course, for $370 is better be, but coming from the low cost alternatives, it immediately made an impression. Everything from the material to the stitching let’s you know you’ve got a well made piece of gear.

PatrolJacketInterior_Black.pngTemperature control: Taking one look at the specs and design, it should be apparent that it’s not meant to be a summer jacket. I’ve ridden with it up into the low 80s (half zipped, all the vents opened) and that’s where I’d put the high temperature limit. Anything hotter than that would be uncomfortable and sweaty. The flip side is that it’s great when the temperature drops. With the liner in, the jacket kept me super warm and comfortable when I would have been shivering in any other jacket I own. Your mileage will vary, but it definitely excels in colder weather.

Waterproofing: The waterproofing is a big selling point for Icon when it comes to marketing this jacket, but it honestly wasn’t a huge deal for me. I’m one of those guys who doesn’t buy into waterproofing textile jackets. If it’s a raging downpour, I want legit rain gear. I almost always carry full rain gear with me; New England weather will beat the “be prepared” into you. That said, for light to medium rain, the waterproofing is a huge bonus. My own neurosis wouldn’t trust it in torrential downpours but for those annoying but not bone soaking showers, it’s great to not have to pull off and throw on the plastic wrap. I’ve worn it a few times in light showers and it kept me completely dry.

What I’d change
My only real nitpick with the jacket is that I wished the adjustable elbow straps cinched down a little more as the sleeves tend to be on the baggy side for a skinnier dude.

The final word:
There are a lot of well made jackets in the general price range of the Patrol jacket - some a little more, some a little less. Frankly, most of them look like shit. I don’t want to look like a paramilitary commando or a photojournalist when I’m heading out for a ride. It might seam superficial, but the reality is if you don’t like the look and style of a jacket, you’re not going to wear it, so what’s the point. Not only does the Patrol jacket deliver on aesthetic design, but it has the build quality and technical features to make it stand out. I dig it a lot and would absolutely recommend it.

For more info and specs, click here: Icon Patrol Jacket

October 26th, 2011 by grail21 in Reviews | Comments (4)

NewAir G73 Electric Garage Heater Review

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With the majority of the northeast a deep freeze and buried in snow, the reality of a frozen garage/workspace is a reality for many of us. This year it’s been a reality for many across the U.S – at one point last week 49 out of the 50 states had snow, with many being totally engulfed by record snowfalls. It’s been a tough winter already and we’re just half way through it. Those of us who have trudged out to a un-insulated, unheated garage to get some winter rebuilding done know that sub-freezing temperatures + spinning a wrench = no fun. Everything from working with small parts to trying to concentrate can become trying, to say nothing of dealing with lubricants that have frozen solid inside aerosol cans. You can be a tough guy all you want; I can be frustrated enough by the task at hand, that last thing I want to be cursing about is freezing my ass off.

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January 27th, 2011 by grail21 in Spotlight, Reviews | Comments (3)