Review: Vikingcycle Warlock Mesh Jacket.
Like many of you, I’m often contacted by vendors about doing product reviews. I’ve resisted this for a long time because it’s not my intention for this blog to become a money-making exercise.
In fact, this blog came about because my daughter, The Pillion In A Million, dared me to do it… and I thought it would be a bit of fun too.
To date, any product reviewed on this blog has been purchased from my own funds, after much research and is something that I needed at the time.
However, having said that and for the sake of full disclosure, this post is about the Vikingcycle Warlock Mesh Motorcycle Jacket available from Motorcyclehouse that was sent to me free of charge for review.
Unfortunately, the jacket sent to me is fluoro yellow on black, which really isn’t my colour. So with a bit of prompting, I persuaded a guest writer to do the review, someone very close to me: The Pillion.
I was a little unsure on how to approach this review until Adam showed me the message Kiara from Motorcyclehouse sent him. In the message, she said she wanted an honest review. She also seemed encouraged when he mentioned the review would be from a woman’s perspective.
So here goes. This is my take on the Vikingcycle, Warlock Mesh Motorcycle Jacket:
We received the jacket in early November and I have been reviewing it since then. Adam and I have covered about 1500 km (900 miles) on the bike with me wearing the jacket. The weather was mostly fine throughout the review period, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C (77°F – 90°F).
We didn’t do any wet weather riding, so I won’t be commenting on the ability of the jacket to withstand a sub tropical downpour.
Two months might seem like an awfully long time for a review, but to give an honest review, you can’t just critique something out of the box. You need to use the product to be able to fully appraise it.
When we unpacked the jacket I was pleased to see it had adjustment for the waist, elbows and wrists. The elbow straps were the only ones fastened with two position press studs, the others are secured with Velcro.
I would have liked to have seen press studs on all of the adjustment points, because Velcro tends to let go after prolonged use. But for a jacket retailing at less than $70 Australian (+GST), it’s not a valid complaint.
Although sold as a summer jacket, it does come with a light weight zip out quilted liner that is fastened at the both sleeves with two small press studs. I like the idea of press studs here, because buttons tend to work their way loose, fall off and get lost.
There are two external pockets and one internal pocket that are sewn into the jacket outer, each of these can be closed off with a zipper and appear to have a waterproof lining, although as I said above, we didn’t test wet weather performance.
The quilted lining also has a series of pockets that could be used for anything from a mobile phone, hair ties, sun glasses, lipstick or a small notepad and pen. Only one of these pockets has a zipper, the rest are secured with Velcro. The downside of having all of these extra pockets in the lining, is that when you take the lining out, you lose all your pockets.
On their website, Motorcyclehouse states the armour is CE rated, but both Adam and I were unable to find any label sewn into the jacket which could confirm this.
There is non replaceable elbow, shoulder and chest armour sewn into the jacket. Back armour is also provided and is held in place with its own pocket that allows you to remove and replace it if you wanted, or needed to.
There is also a zipper at the lower back. Adam tells me this is to secure the jacket to your pants, I’ve got no idea why you would want to do this, but I guess its useful.
One of the things I found a little disconcerting was the jacket is 98% polyester (as stated on the label). I’m not too sure how this would hold up in a slide down the road, as polyester doesn’t perform well with abrasion (heat).
The other thing I noticed was the stitching was not quite as good as my RJays textile jacket. This is most noticeable on the liner which had no safety stitching (over-locking) and looks like it might fray easily after extended use.
The jacket outer on the other hand, looks to be well made.
Zippers used in this jacket are of good quality, and the main zipper has a waterproof backing flap to stop some of the rain when you ride in the wet. Again we did not test this, but the flap is full length of the zipper and about 40mm (1-3/4″) wide so should work as intended.
The only complaint I have with the main zipper is that its on the opposite side to what I’m used to (RJays). We have 6 motorcycle jackets in the house ranging from Aldi (Torque brand) to RJays to Stagg to Ixon, and all have the main zipper on the opposite side to the Vikingcycle jacket (see photo above).
We have since spoken to Kiara about this, and she has passed the information on to her production department for review. This is a plus for the company in my book, because it shows they are listening to their customers.
The first time I wore the jacket, it was about 25°C (77°F). I decided to leave the quilted lining in place because I was only wearing a light weight top, but even with the lining in place I found the jacket to be quite cool due to its mesh construction.
So the Warlock lives up to its description and is definitely a summer jacket with lots of airflow.
On the road at freeway speeds I found the jacket puffed up around the shoulders, this created quite a bit of buffeting even as a pillion. I don’t think this is a fault of the jacket because I’m sure if it was one size smaller the problem would not have existed.
In all, the jacket has held up well over the last 2 months. There doesn’t appear to be any premature wear, and the zippers and Velcro are still working as intended.
If fluoro yellow isn’t to your liking, the jacket is also available in red/black and solid black. I can see the benefits of wearing something as brightly coloured as the one we have in traffic though. You will definitely be seen.
If I’m honest, I am surprised at how good this jacket is for its price. Although not a high-end product which might cost 5 times as much (or more), the Vikingcycle is better than simply wearing a vest or t-shirt, and would suit someone on a tight budget.
Any protection is better than no protection as they say.
If you’re interested, you can find them at one of the websites listed below.
Thanks to Motorcyclehouse for giving us the opportunity to review one of their products.
Bye for now.
T (aka The Pillion)
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