Alpinestars is a name that has become synonymous with quality products. With a huge line of products for both men and women they have distinguished themselves as one of the leaders in the motorcycle gear industry. It was with confidence that I ordered, sight unseen, my Ladies V-Rebel Air-flo textile-mesh jacket and I couldn't be happier with my choice.
Warm weather riding gear has been one of the fastest growing segments in the market. As new-improved fibers have been developed to make gear lighter and stronger there is now a plethora of quality, mesh gear available in nearly every brand. While in 90 degree plus temperatures one cannot say that mesh is actually cool, it is certainly a reprieve from oppressive leathers.
The Alpinestars V-Rebel Air-flo is a woman's jacket that was actually designed for a woman. It is shaped to sit comfortably around a woman's natural waist and hips without hiking the armor out of position. It has a cordura textile body and a nylon mesh under the arms and at the side for ventilation. The jacket ships with the full sleeve liner and CE hard armor.
One of my problems with many of the mesh products out there is that the mesh doesn't seem very sturdy. Now I know that all of the manufacturers will wave their hands in the air touting crash testing, etc…but the simple fact remains that consumers base quality on how a product looks and feel. If the product feels thin and flimsy it stands to reason that it will not hold up as well in a crash and for general wear. Manufacturers like Fieldsheer and AGV offer and outstanding mesh fabric that not only feels more substantial, but is also less inclined to get snagged and fuzz up when Velcro hits it. The Alpinestars mesh is another fine mesh with a tight weave and comparatively high Velcro resistance. I am confident that the mesh will have high abrasion resistance. Also, that this jacket is designed with an even sturdier cordura fabric at the impact areas, your crash worthiness is even better
Many mesh jackets lack full armor or require you to add it in; not so with Alpinestars. The V-Rebel Air-flo comes with full, top of the line CE Armor and a foam back armor that can be upgraded. The armor is designed just for the jacket and is a perfect fit. Most of the time you hardly notice the armor is even in the jacket…in stark contrast to some other fully armored jackets I have worn. The comfort is a very important point for many women since they often will sacrifice the protection for comfort. This jacket offers both without compromise.
As with all of the Alpinestars products I have experienced, this jacket reeks of quality. When you put the jacket on you definitely feel that it is well constructed. I haven't noticed a single quality control issue, no irregularities in the seams, nothing at all. The armor pockets are placed just right and have Velcro adjustments for replacing. The snaps are not the small, puny ones that tend to come apart from the jacket over time but are instead the industrial type that look like they have a washer under them.
The inner lining is a cool and soft nylon with holes for extra venting. The additional full sleeve liner attaches using a zipper around the body and a snap strap in the sleeves. The liner is some sort of thin "space aged" material that looks like an astronaut would wear. The nice thing about it is that it rolls up very tightly and I can stuff it in my very small backpack and take it with me for the evening. The liner does a good job of keeping the wind off on cool mornings and late nights but certainly does not upgrade this to a winter jacket. On the other hand it is warm enough that if you have it in during an 80 degree plus afternoon you will be uncomfortable.
The neck is high on this jacket and snaps closed across the neck. The flap is edged in a soft, padded microfiber to keep from irritating the neck. The zipper has a metal logo marker on it but the zipper itself is hidden to keep from scratching the tank. The sleeves have two snap positions for aid in fitting gauntlet-style gloves. There is a front breast pocket which can be opened for additional ventilation, as can the side pockets and sleeve pocket. There are two inside pockets, but they get covered and become inaccessible when the liner is in place.
My favorite part of this jacket is the fit and style. Alpinestars goes a long way with their Stella line to make riding gear for women that is functional and stylish. The V-Rebel Air-flo fits like it was made just for me. It looks great and feels great and is a perfect match for my bike. This jacket allows me to feel like a girl even though I am in a sport primarily dominated by men. When I ride I don't want to be in an uncomfortable, bulky and ill-fitting jacket that I know was designed for a guy. I think most female riders feel the same and are with me in wanting jackets that they feel are stylish as well as safe. We want the best of both worlds and with Alpinestars we have it.
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