I'm a massive fan of bomber jackets. So when I first saw these bomber jackets from ARMR I knew I'd have to get hold of one so I could wear it out on the bike for my everyday riding and find out if it's really a practical bit of protective kit.
Luckily for me, they've started stocking them here at LDMotorcycles.co.uk and I got my hands on one for 'testing' so I could report back, here on our blog, about what the new ARMR Moto Bomber jacket is really like out on the road.
Is it Practical?
First off. I'm a sportsbike rider. Which means I'm usually suited up in full leathers for weekend rides, but most days I'm on the bike commuting and doing short trips so I prefer to wear a hoodie and some kevlar jeans (ARMR jeans aswell actually) because that's a lot more comfy than squeezing in and out of leathers all day. This means I'm well use to riding in casual gear so know what to expect when I try some new protective gear.
I opted for the black ARMR Bomber instead of the green, (personal preference) which is actually a bit more of a very dark blue than a black depending how the sun hits you. First thing I noticed pulling it on was the weight of it, don't get me wrong, it's still lighter than your average textile or leather jacket but heavier than a standard softshell bomber.
All that extra weight isn't for nothing apparently cause when you open up the jacket you'll spot a quilted thermal liner, which behind it holds a few other important liners that I'll get in to soon. Normal fashion bomber jackets are pretty warm and not too bulky so a motorcycle one should be the same just a bit warmer, and after a few hours out riding in 15 degrees it seemed to do the job of keeping the heat in.
After I worked out it was warm enough the next big question that came to my mind was... will I get wet? Since it only spat rain while I was out in the bomber I didn't get to give it full test. But according to the spec there is another layer in there called the REISSA liner which is breathable and waterproof that's underneath the quilting. A lot of waterproof liners in the past have been great for keeping me dry by do make you sweat a lot because they don't 'breath' properly, and I'm glad to say that the sweating was kept to a minimum in the ARMR bomber.
Just before I get in to the protective rundown I need to point out that although most casual gear like kevlar jeans are really only for warmer weather the ARMR does do a great job of keeping the wind and cold air out. I got told this is partly because of the number of layers but mainly because the last outside layer is a tough polyester that feels quite thick to touch and stops a lot of the low-mid level wind getting through.
Is it Safe?
As far as riding a motorbike goes, nothing's really that safe is it?! But once I had a look at the spec of the ARMR motorcycle bomber jacket I was pretty convinced it had all the components of a safe textile jacket and I was sure of it after I went out for my first ride in it. It feels slightly heavy but sturdy once you've got it on plus the big selling point on safety for me was the 280GSM Aramid lining thats built-in below the outside shell. 280 GSM is a lot thicker and stronger than what you'll find in usual kevlar and aramid lined clothing so that gave me a lot more confidence to pick up the speed knowing that my skin was safe if I took a slide.
Hitting the ground is the next worry with every jacket or riding trousers and after a a couple crashes it's probably my biggest worry. In the past I've bought kevlar hoodies and jeans that don't come with any armour/protectors included and even one that didn't have pockets for protection! But as expected with a piece of kit from ARMR the aramid bomber comes with CE approved shoulder and elbow pads included in the price along with a velcro-up pocket that you can slide a back protector in to.
Other things I noticed...
Brass Zips! Just like a normal bomber jacket the ARMR bomber comes complete with brass YKK zips everywhere, on the front, in the pockets, and on the arm pockets which I really liked because it makes the jacket blend in even more when I'm out and about and off the bike.
Overall I was impressed with the bomber as a stylish option for general riding around town instead of bulkier textiles and leathers. For long distance riding at high speeds, like riding to visit your nan up north I'd say stick with your usual long haul riding gear mainly because it will be slightly warmer than the ARMR bomber but otherwise I highly recommend it for every other style of riding.