If riding gear is uncomfortable to wear, you’re less likely to wear it. I’m an ATGATT sort of rider (All The Gear, All The Time). And yet, during a couple of rides this weekend, I was uncomfortably warm in my textile jacket, even with all the vents open. Part of the problem is that I have a large fairing and windshield keeping the wind off me. In cooler weather that’s great, but when it’s warmer it makes it easy for me to overheat, since my vents aren’t in the correct places to catch what little air does move around me. This past weekend was a perfect example. It’s only mid-May, yet I was hot enough that I needed to open my modular helmet from time to time just to cool off a little bit. I’d rather not need to do that, since I’m less protected with the face open.
So I decided it was time to buy a mesh jacket. Most of the jacket is one great big vent, aside from the armor, so that should help keep me a bit cooler. I’ve had great luck buying gear from MotorcycleGear.com, so I went for a FirstGear Venture AT jacket on closeout. From the looks of it, I got the last one they had in my size. It doesn’t have an insulated liner like my textile jacket, but I can just pack an extra layer for warmth if I think I’ll need it (my Mt. Washington ride, for instance). It would be nice to have a one-jacket-fits-all-seasons solution, especially for a cross country trip where you can run into practically any kind of climate from desert to mountains, but for my more local trips I should be able to get away with one or the other.