A surefire grin-enhancer for a motorcyclist is the arrival of the new Aerostich Rider Wearhouse Catalog. If the 2007 version somehow missed your mailbox, dog-ear this article and quickly call for a free copy before some consultant persuades Andy Goldfine that “it can all be done on the ’Net, so why continue to print and mail such an expensive product?” Many items in the recent edition were interesting, but a jersey incorporating W.L. Gore’s Windstopper Membrane System caught our eye, and seemed worthy of an evaluation.
To better understand why a pullover should cost nearly $70, we did some research into the Windstopper concept. Cynthia Amon of Gore provided some explanation, and pointed us to a website devoted to its technology (www.windstopper.com). Delve deeper if interested, but think of Windstopper as Gore-Tex for wind and you get the general principle. For those of you who believe the only good fiber is a natural fiber, keep an open mind on the subject. To achieve the necessary degree of resistance to wind and moisture, while maintaining breathability, a blend of modern fabrics is necessarily incorporated in this product. Aerostich’s jersey is 100 percent polyester but bears no relation to the leisure suit material John Travolta wore in the ’70s.
If your recurring fantasy is the command chair of the Starship Enterprise, the styling of the tan pullover (also available in blue) will make you a good Captain Kirk pinch-hitter at any Trekkie convention. We picked an ample size that allowed layering, and saw no shrinkage after repeated wash/dry cycles. A critical consideration for traveling motorcyclists is multipurpose garments that fold compactly and dry quickly without wrinkling. Aerostich’s pullover qualifies, and is much better than fleece in both respects. The long shirttail works great by day as an outtie; at night, simply tuck it in and the jersey looks sporty when hitting the town! Knit cuffs and collar keep out the wind and add to style factor. The elbow padding is spiffy, and several sewn-on labels add to the ready-for-command appearance. Even better, it’s made in America.
Our initial experience with the jersey was on a trip where 100-degree heat was anticipated. We packed an unlined vented jacket, only to be greeted by morning temps in the 30s and 40s. Cold air easily penetrated our jacket, but the jersey’s Windstopper membrane worked amazingly well in maintaining body warmth. However, none of the “clammy rubberized” feeling you oft times experience in a rainsuit was present, as there was ample air circulation to eliminate sweating. Gore-Tex for wind actually is an apt description.
We regularly pack this jersey anytime we expect to encounter cool temps. The only wear shown is a couple of loose threads we caught in our jacket’s zipper. Available sizing is M-XXL, and if Andy’s listening, this could be a good unisex garment by adding smaller sizes and additional color options.
No doubt, you can buy a pullover for less than $67. But if a quality garment designed to the needs of motorcycling is important, the Aerostich Windstopper Jersey deserves your consideration.
For more information contact Aerostich RiderWearHouse, 8 South 18th Avenue West, Duluth, Minnesota 55806-2148; (800) 222-1994; www.aerostich.com