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What’s lightweight, breathable, waterproof and stylin’?

By Susan Swan

Spirited 3-in-1 Functional Jacket


Regular sizes XS–3W, tall sizes S–XL; $250–$260 per size and/or color

I have to admit it; I didn’t expect to be impressed by this jacket. From an appearance standpoint, it struck me as a piece of apparel a younger, cuter, smaller person would wear. I liked the gusseted feel and slimming of what H-D calls “Power-stretch side panels” at the trunk, even though it reminded me of torture devices of a bygone era (girdles).

No nonsense me
I’m near 6′ tall, over age 50, and for the past 15 years have been in­clined to wear a black armored Hein Gericke leather jacket and chaps. In the rain I wear water­proof coveralls over the leather gear. And in fairer weather it’s the classic denim jacket. Simple.

Who knew what I’d been missing? Certainly not me.

One of the drawbacks to my trusty leather gear is the jacket is so heavy that regardless of conditions, I have to keep it zipped at the waist simply to spare the weight on my pencil neck. Keeping protective clothing zipped and free from potential slippage might make an MSF instructor smile, but since I get downright bitchy when I get hot, the idea that I could be protected and not overheat held more than an ounce of appeal.

Granted, there’s a perceived sense of security with a heavier jacket. But that’s just so much smoke and mirrors when things go sideways.

The Spirited 3-in-1 ushers in a new riding era for me. It was light enough without the vest to wear zipped up in mild weather, maintaining the armored protection, or unzipped at the two arm and two back vents when the mercury rose.

Waterproof and that’s no spoof
Recently riding with a group and wearing only the armored shell, we en­countered rain (lots). Rather than pull over and don the 100-percent cotton vest underneath, I kept pace, closing the vents I could reach, and surprisingly, remained comfortably warm and dry for the last 60 miles. The overlapping waterproof storm flap at the front zipper worked like a charm.

Another surprise? The zippered cuffs were sized appropriately enough even for my small wrists, so I didn’t scoop up any bugs on the trip—something I’m used to with my wider cuffed leathers.

Another advantage? I’m long and lean, so hats/helmets off to Harley-Davidson for making an elongated (L) version of this jacket, as well as providing sizing for plus size women (W), and extra-small riders (XS). Sleeve length on the petite is 1 1/2″ shorter; sleeve length on the long is 1 1/2″ longer. The jacket fits very well.

The Spirited 3-in-1 is a waterproof, 100-percent polyester jacket with poly-mesh lining. An inside back pocket is large enough to allow a pair of rain pants in the pocket’s Velcro top sleeve, but there is also room for the intended $25 addition of FXRG back armor. And while the body armor at shoulders and elbows can be removed, it boggles the mind as to why one would want to. Once the jacket is on, the armor is scarcely noticeable.

Wearing the jacket as a pedestrian revealed that the 3M Scotchlite reflective piping caught the lights of passing cars. While my awareness of it came courtesy of a mirror-like storefront picture window, one can only guess how eye-popping the jacket might be on the roadway.

Hey, I’ll let you know.

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