Macna Geo Motorcycle Jacket Review

(This Gearlab review was published in the July 2012 issue of Rider magazine.)

Twisted Throttle, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has added Macna riding apparel to its burgeoning inventory of motorcycle touring accessories and gear. Never heard of Macna? Neither had we.

The Netherlands-based company has been designing and manufacturing motorcycle apparel since the early ’90s. Before signing on as Macna’s North American distributor, Twisted Throttle’s gear experts, including company owner Eric Stephens, subjected the apparel to two years of rigorous testing, including cold, rain-soaked expeditions across Iceland and Alaska, and they came away believers in its versatility, durability and water resistance.

After a fitting at the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, Twisted Throttle sent me an extra-large Geo jacket in high-viz yellow (it also comes in black). Normally I wear size-large jackets, but Macna’s European sizing runs smaller than most apparel from American companies. Designed to be a four-season jacket, the Geo has three separate layers, plus an innovative venting system. The outer shell is made of three nylon fabrics: 420D Dynax with high abrasion resistance covers the shoulders, elbows and forearms; 500D C-touch with a cotton-like look/feel and medium abrasion resistance covers the inner arms and sides of the torso; and 600D R-tech with medium-to-high abrasion resistance covers everything else. Three small panels of tough, textured, flexible Superfabric provide extra abrasion resistance at the shoulders and elbows.

Zipped inside is a thin, waterproof layer, and zipped inside it is a quilted thermal layer with full sleeves (neither liner is designed to be worn separately). Each liner has a full 180-degree zipper that runs along the main jacket opening, around the neck and down the other side, as well as 360-degree Easycuff zippers. When it’s hot and rain isn’t a concern, both liners can be removed. A large Summer Comfort System panel covering the middle of the chest, around the collar and between the shoulder blades can also be removed, revealing 3D mesh that allows in plenty of fresh air. There are also slash vents on each forearm.

As with most do-it-all touring jackets, the Geo has many useful features. It has front, side and rear reflective panels, and accommodates an optional high-viz Vision Vest ($34.99) with additional reflective material—redundant on the high-viz Geo, but a smart choice for the black one. There’s CE-approved armor at the elbows and shoulders, plus a foam back pad (a CE level 2 back protector costs $44.99 more). There are eight pockets (four on the front, one on the back and three inside), adjustment straps at the arms and waist, and a short zipper to connect to pants.

Unlike Mr. Stephens, I didn’t go anywhere exotic to test this jacket, but a tempestuous SoCal spring presented me with just about every climatic condition the Geo was designed for except a brain-baking midsummer day. On cold, windy days, with both liners zipped in, I stayed warm. When we encountered frog-choking rain on the way home from our desert campout (see page 68), I stayed dry. And with the Summer Comfort System panel and liners removed on a hot morning, I stayed cool. Quality of design and construction is first-rate. The only nitpick I have is that the form-fitting shape, which hugs me snugly, leaves little room for additional layering on numbingly cold days.

The Macna Geo men’s jacket is available in sizes S-3XL for $409.99. We haven’t tested them yet, but Twisted Throttle also carries Macna’s Chameleon men’s jacket ($649.99), three women’s jackets (Lily, Oasis and Lunar for $269.99-$379.99), men’s ($299.99) and women’s ($249.99) pants and a wide range of gloves ($79.99-$195.00).

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