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Leather or nylon ?

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I am picking up my 400SM tomorrow and I want opinions on a riding jacket.I would like to hear pros and cons of both.Suggestions to particular jackets would be great too.

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I personally would wear leather. Some of the mesh ones have good padding in them but not the support to keep it in place. If you where to fall the padding/armor would just move out of the way. Also depending on how you fall will depend on how the jackets will hold up. Chances are you wont slide a lot in a street crash. So the mesh will probably hold up ok. If you do happen to slide the mesh will melt and you will end up with nasty rash.

Leather might be a little hotter in the summer just get one thats perforated and has a removable liner for the colder days. As long as you're moving it's really not that bad.

Best thing to do is go to the shops feel touch and try on a few. Look for good quality leather and good protection in the right places (forearms, elbows, shoulders, and back). You probably don't need something super expensive but don't go ultra cheap either. Something mid range would be fine. All the big names make good quality gear.

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I bought a Joe Rocket Phoenix 4.0 just a few weeks ago for about $145. It is netted mesh rather than leather, so it won't be as durable or protective. However, when I bought it we were just going through a heatwave with 70% plus humidity here in So. Cal. I knew I would never wear leather in those conditions, particularly when on my way to work with a nice shirt underneath.

So, although mesh is less protective than leather, it's a lot better than not wearing a pretective jacket at all. Ideally, I would recommend getting both. On the colder days you could wear the better, leather jacket, and when it's too hot for that wear the mesh. However, if you can only afford one right now, get the one you think you're most likely to wear.

Try them on. That's why I bought mine at a dealership. I tried all of theirs on to figure out what I wanted. Then shopped it on the Internet and managed to negotiate my dealer down somewhat close to what I could've bought online. I figured they deserved a little extra for letting me try on all of their jackets.

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I'm on my 2nd Fieldsheer TiAir mesh jacket. I field tested the 1st and wore for a season afterward. The pads stayed in palce, did their job and are in another jacket that came with crappy pads. I wasn't going fast, only about 35mph when I found some oil approaching a red light. Landed on my right shoulder, rolled onto my back...woke up the next morning without racing rheumatism. Wouldn't have known I'd crashed if I didn't remember it, or seen the evidence(a small, quarter-size abrasion on the jacket shoulder)...

This is the only textile jacket I've looked at with hard-shell armor.

My perf'd leather jacket is miserable over ~90F, that's why I got the TiAir.

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