This is quite possibly my favorite piece of gear.
I know that is a pretty bold claim but I’ll try and back it up with something resembling logic.
I’ve been commuting to work by motorcycle since I started riding in 2006, and in that time it has always been a struggle to stay comfortable on the bike. Being comfortable is the one thing that can make or break a great ride. This vest has done more for keeping me happy on a motorcycle than anything else I can think of right now.
As you may or may not know staying warm is all about keeping your core warm. If you can keep your chest all comfy your body will keep pumping all that lovely warm blood to your extremities. Meaning everything else stays warmer too. So to stay comfortable on a motorcycle mainly comes down to this, keeping your core warm. (and for me my fingers and toes)
This is where nothing else I’ve used even gets close to being as good at this as my Kanetsu Vest. It’s so good at keeping me warm I rarely even have to turn it on unless it gets below forty-five degrees. Seriously it’s that good.
It works by having an inflatable insert that you can blow air into, which creates a fantastic insulating layer to protect you against all that cold wind. Since it’s inflatable it is of course COMPLETELY wind proof which I’ve found is rare in motorcycle gear. With this on I never feel that chilly leak of wind anywhere near my core. This also has the added benifit of pressing the heating elements closer to your body making the heat transfer much better making you even warmer.
The great thing about it is that not only is it really good at keeping you warm, if you deflate it and unzip it it isn’t that warm either, I’ve often had it be the very last piece of gear I take of on a long days ride since it’s so easy to adjust how much you are being insulated by it.
I use this vest nearly every single day. In fact besides my boots and my helmet I think I’ve used this more than any other piece of gear. I wear it even in the summer for those chilly morning rides to work, and since it’s just a vest it packs up smaller than most of my other, less effective, pieces of gear for keeping the chill away.
It’s fairly durable, in fact mine just started having problems after six years of daily use. The vest is now leaking air from the seal from where the air valve connects to the air bladder. I’m not sure it’s a defect in craftsmanship, I suspect it’s a matter of proper care. The problem started when I left the vest deflated in the sun at Laguna Seca last year and it got very warm, making the seal very soft/slightly melted. It hasn’t sealed right since. Lesson learned, leave a bit of air in it and don’t leave it in the sun! Luckily for me Aerostich has repairs available, I’m going to be sending it in to look at soon… I’m just not sure I can be parted from it for long. Even broken it works really well.
All this and it’s made in the USA. Seriously I can not say enough about how much I love this vest. If you’ve ever been cold on a motorcycle, you might need one of these.