Showing up on a bike looks kind of cool, right? Whether it be the office, a date, or the coffee shop, rolling up to your destination on two wheels sets a tone that you’re sort of a badass (or so we’d like to think). The problem is, the second you walk away from the bike you’re an awkwardly-clad safety nut holding a helmet. Some folks forego the awkwardness by choosing the “no gear” option. I, on the other hand, go full-on awkward as much as possible. Regardless of where you end up on the ATGATT spectrum, making the transition from bike to no-bike can pose a dilemma: Dress for the ride, or the destination?
Thankfully, the latest trend in motorcycle apparel is urban gear, which allows you to dress for both the ride and destination. Spidi has one of the fullest lines of urban gear and thankfully they decided to send me one of their Combat Field H2Out jacket to help curb some awkwardness. When I first received the Combat Field H2Out I was shocked at just how normal it looked. It’s full of CE armor at the shoulder and elbows, with room for a back protector, but you’d never know. In fact I’ve worn this jacket out to many a dinner date with not a single person noticing I was ready to jump on a bike at a moment’s notice (yes, I did ask). My willingness to wear the Combat Field jacket when I’m not riding a bike has been the most surprising part about it. It fits amazingly well, is extremely warm with the liner, and does a great job of toeing the line of casual sophistication.
Being a casual jacket is one thing—being a motorcycle jacket is quite another, and brings a lot of expectations. I’ve hit on the CE protection, but an elbow protector a motorcycle jacket does not make! Spidi has made some pretty fantastic contributions to make the Combat Field work on road as well as the restaurant.
The shell utilizes Spidi’s H2Out Cordura cotton blend, making a jacket that cuts out all wind while still breathing. Waterproof performance is also top-notch from my experience thus far, which consists of some minor on-bike rainstorms and on foot snow flurries. Adding to the cold weather performance is the full-length liner. Unlike other liners, the Combat Field has a collar that extends past the shell. This extra bit of cold protection keeps one’s neck from having to endure any frigid temperatures.
The hood is another feature which is fantastic for off-bike use, but is easily removable if you find it interfering with your helmet. Other particularly helpful features are the accents on the shoulders, which are stretch panels helping out with mobility. Then there are the world’s best snap buttons. What makes a good snap button, you ask? Not having to use two hands to snap, while also remaining secure. With nearly every motorcycle jacket I’ve ever had, the button at the collar rarely gets used because it’s a pain in the ass to snap. Somehow Spidi has perfected this little detail and highlighted the fact that the Combat Field is dripping with quality. From the oversized zippers to corduroy collar you really feel like attention was paid to the details.
With all that being said, there are a few things I would add to the Combat Field H2Out. The very first being zippers at the cuffs, or maybe another fantastic snap button. It would be nice to be able to open up the sleeve to either let a little more air in or just make easier work of un-doing the liner. This is certainly not a deal breaker, but something I found myself wishing for when comparing to my other motorcycle jackets. Another potentially useful feature would be a reverse main zipper to allow the bottom of the jacket to open when riding. While the bunching of the lower portion of the jacket hasn’t been particularly bothersome due to the supple nature of the fabric shell, a little expandability would be appreciated.
The Combat Field surprised me. It disproved the notion that in order to for a jacket to perform on a motorcycle, it has to look like a motorcycle jacket. Offering a slim fit with casual luxury, the Combat Field H2Out surpasses preconceptions. The classification of “urban” is no longer reserved for those pieces of gear that are purely for looks, and extends to legitimate motorcycling apparel.
Now the only question you have to ask yourself is whether those sitting at the dinner table with you are impressed or disgusted by the amount of bugs stuck to your shoulders.
Photos Via: Essential Moto
Spidi Combat Field H2Out provided by Spidi.