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Tourmaster Element Cooling Leather Jacket Reviews

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  • Retail Price ~$399.99 Shop Now
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When looking for a riding jacket suitable for a sport bike, the selection seems nearly endless, with new features and styles added practically every year.  However, if you ride a cruiser, the selection seems limited to mostly simplistic leather jackets with some vents; just not a whole lot more. I was glad to come across the Tourmaster Element Cooling Leather Jacket because it seems to bridge this gap nicely, maintaining the classic cruise jacket appearance while adding in modern materials and features often overlooked for cruise riders.

 

 

Product Overview
 

The Tourmaster Element Cooling Leather Jacket has quite a few features that make it stand out from the crowd in the cruiser world.  First and foremost, the leather (1.1mm cowhyde) is coated with a TFL Cool System treatment that is made to reflect UV rays and lower the temperature of the leather up to 15°F.  There is also CE approved armor at the elbows and shoulders with non-approved articulating armor in the back. Keeping with the cruiser look, there are subtle, yet effective reflective strips that are visible from all angles.  A 100 gram zip-out thermal liner with sleeves, as well as chest, shoulder, and rear exhaust vents aim to make this a three season riding jacket.

 

 

Sizing

 

Tourmaster offers a pretty wide selection of jacket sizes ranging from XS to 5XL, with most available in normal and tall sizes.  At 6’ tall and 160lbs, I fell into multiple sizes based upon the the chest, waist, and sleeve measurements taken. I typically wear medium or large in street clothes, so was a little leery of ordering the sized small as suggested by their sizing chart. It tips the scales at 5.8 lbs, but feels much lighter once you put it on.

 

I first tried the jacket on with the thermal liner installed and I was a little concerned.  It felt pretty tight when I was standing up, mainly in the chest and forearms.  However, when I sat in a mock riding position, the fit is much better, but still a bit snug. I then checked sizing without the thermal liner installed.  There is a zipper that runs up and down both sides as well as across the shoulders to hold the liner to the outer shell, along with two snaps on each wrist.  With the thermal liner removed, you gain quite a bit of room and after a few rides, I’m happy with the fit. It is by no means big, but it’s nice to have a snug jacket to eliminate any flapping in the wind or material bunching up into your neck.  

 

Overall, I’d say that the fit is on the tight side, but quite comfortable when in the riding position.  It was definitely designed for this posture.  When I’m standing and walking around, it can feel a bit restrictive, but it’s manageable and makes up for it with the comfort you get while riding.  The pads in the shoulders, elbows, and back are comfortable (for armor) and go mostly unnoticed when riding.  My sizing recommendations? Obviously, it’s always best to try on before you buy. If that's just not feasible, round up. If you fall in multiple size categories according to the manufacturer charts, order the largest of the two (or three).

 

 

Performance
 

I tested the Tourmaster Element Cooling Leather Jacket throughout the spring in Iowa on my Honda Shadow 1100 ACE with temperatures varying from 45-85°F.  I logged over 300 miles with the jacket, both around town, on highways, and freeways.  When riding in cooler temps, the thermal liner kept my core and arms warm, even at highway speeds.  I didn’t feel any chill coming through any of the zippers or closed vents.  Once the temps got to be around 60°F, it was time to shed the liner and just wear the outer leather shell with closed vents.  The vents worked great to keep you cool on the warmer days up to around 80°F.  Any warmer, it gets less comfortable, but is still manageable.  You can feel the air flow around your chest, under your arms, over your shoulders, and out the back when the vents are open.  They are properly positioned so that the jacket sucks into your body instead of inflating like a balloon.  As with any non-perforated jacket, if you’re stopped at a street light, it gets warm.  There aren’t any sleeve vents so it's no surprise that your arms get a little hot with the lack of airflow.

 

I really like the Kevlar inner elbow panel and expansion panels at the shoulder blades.  They do a great job of keeping the material from bunching up and aid in freedom of movement.  The leather is very soft to the touch and flexes easily, so no break-in required.  It also doesn’t "creak" like some other leather jackets that I've worn.  The non-locking zippers on the forearms stay put once they are closed and never started to pull open when riding.  You will only be able to use Gauntlet style gloves with this jacket, since the arms zip up pretty tight.  The torso length is spot on.  It covers all the way to the pants, but isn’t so long that it starts to bunch up in the belly, chest, or neck.  All of this makes for a very comfortable riding jacket that gives plenty of motion, whether you are sitting straight up or laying back and on the highway pegs.  

 

I laid the Tourmaster jacket and my old Hudson jacket out in the sun for a bit and the Tourmaster was noticeably cooler to the touch. There must be something to the TFL leather treatment. Overall, the build quality of this jacket is top notch. The zippers feel strong; like they will hold up to years of use.  I was surprised how easy it was to clean up with a wet cloth.  Bugs and road grime wipe off easily, even after sitting a few days.  The pockets are sufficient, but nothing special.  The dual purpose chest pockets/vents are 7-8" deep and work fine, but don't plan on storing anything bulky there.  The stitching all around the jacket appears durable, but there was one stitch on the left chest vent that was off, missing about half the length of the zipper fabric.  I doubt that it will rip out, but this shouldn’t be an issue on a $400 jacket.  I contacted Helmet House (Tourmaster's Distributor) about the issue and they were eager to get the jacket back for inspection, also sending me a replacement, covering postage both ways.  It's great to have companies out there like this that will stand behind their products. 

 

I never tested the crash protection of the jacket (luckily), but the combination of strategically placed armor and leather should provide decent protection from minor spills. There is an 8” rear and 360° waist zipper to zip to your riding pants and keep the jacket from pulling up in the event of a wreck.  Both sides of the zipper are provided so that you can have this stitched to your existing pants if they are not compatible. Excellent feature.

 

 

Pros   :thumbsup:

  • Looks great with subtle logos.
  • Comfortable.
  • Multi-season usability.
  • Integrated armor.
  • Reflective striping for night/dusk.

 

Cons   :thumbsdn:

  • Lack of vents on sleeves.

 

Bottom-line   :prof:
 

Overall, the Tourmaster Element Cooling Leather Jacket is a premium cruiser-style riding jacket that carries a premium price.  Other than the one stitching that was off, I was hard pressed to find something that I didn’t like about this jacket.  It’s extremely comfortable to wear when riding, provides good venting for a leather jacket (sans around the arms), and looks nice. It's warm enough to use on those early and late season rides and cool enough for highway rides in the summer, allowing one jacket to cover me throughout the year.

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