Finding quality ladies gear is a lot easier than it used to be. It wasn’t that long ago that the lady CanyonChasers were forced to look for the overly small men’s gear and deal with the frumpy shoulders and an overall bulky feel that did nothing for the feminine form.
There are more options today, but many of them seem to sacrifice the protection and features of true riding gear in order to be cute. We were shocked to learn at a recent vendor show that ladies leather jackets of one mainstream company are made with thinner (less protective), softer leather. They also omit the armor because it “makes the ladies look like football players”. This makes us very much not happy. Women deserve the same levels of protection as men.
Enter the Tourmaster Trinity ladies jacket ($129.00). It’s a textile jacket that has all the same armor as the men’s version and is definitely cut to fit a woman. It has a longer torso and is tapered at the waste; an elastic band around the small of the back helps the jacket maintain its fitted form while being worn.
The jacket is creatively thought out like so many Tourmaster Jackets we’ve sampled. It has pockets in the cleverest locations such as a map pocket and what tour master calls a “mobile media” pocket for your cell-phone or mp3 player. The pockets are extremely functional and useful even if you don’t use them as intended.
Full CE approved armor lives in pockets on the inside of the jacket. The standard shoulder and elbow, but the spine protector, “articulated, Triple Density” as Tour Master calls it, is super narrow at the top but is really wide at the bottom providing protection for the kidneys. We’ve been really impressed by this internal back protector as it appears as though it would provide a higher level of protection than the average fare. The jacket also uses liberal amounts of retro-reflective piping and triangles for added visibility in low light conditions making this a very safety conscious jacket from tip to tail.
Vents adorn the front of the shoulders, the biceps and two exit vents on the back of the jacket facilitate air flow, however they are somewhat small, smaller than mens jackcet vents, not allowing for as much airflow as they should. The smaller vents also cause the jacket to puff up, which makes the jacket to move around more than we’d like. The puffing also causes the spine armor to press itself against your back when the wind shifts or turning your head for corners.
The jacket also has other nicely thought out features like a snap that holds the neck open during warmer weather, full sleeve cold weather liner for additional warmth and softer “Microfiber” around the wrists and neck for additional comfort. It also has adjustable sleeve straps to snug up the arms.
The wrists closures are the style that uses an overlapping Velcro strap to snug the wrist. We really dislike this style of wrist closure because more material is required and it makes it difficult to get gauntlet gloves over the wrist of the jacket resulting in things feeling crowded and kludgy. We much prefer the traditional, simpler and more elegant zipper closure on wrists because much, much less material is required.
Overall we really like the jacket. Because of the wrist closures and the marginal vents the jacket feels frumpier than it looks. It also performs better in cooler climates than the mid-summer heat waves. Also, another odd thing about the jacket is the texture of the nylon shell seems to cling to bug carcass more tenaciously than other textiles we’ve sampled. Dual closures over vents and the front zipper have done an admiral job at keeping out the cold and the wet.
For the price, $120-ish, the jacket is jam-packed with great features and functions extremely well at this price point. We think its a fantastic jacket for the new rider or those with a limited budget. If Tourmaster would revise the wrist closures and improve the venting/airflow of the jacket then it would compete on par with much more expensive alternatives.
More information about Tourmaster products can be found at www.tourmaster.com.