Versatility is the name of the game with riding apparel. There’s a lot of competition in today’s market, and manufacturers are always trying to outdo each other in terms of features, style and price. Kevin and Karilea Rhea, Olympia Moto Sports’ owner/designer husband-and-wife team, are 26-year veterans of the apparel industry and hardcore motorcycle enthusiasts, testing their gear in demanding, far-flung places like Alaska and Peru. They have the experience to know what works, augmented by long hours spent at rallies and industry events gathering feedback from riders.
The four-season Nomad jacket combines strengths from its predecessors, including the Mega Vent Panel System that debuted on the X Moto jacket (Rider, August 2010) and the two-stage liner from Olympia’s all-season jackets, offering an exceptional level of versatility. The sport-length shell is made of 500 and 2000 denier Cordura, with a neoprene-lined collar and hook-and-loop tabs that adjust fit at the neck, wrists, elbows and waist. Large panels on the chest, back and inner arms can be unzipped and folded into storage pockets to reveal durable mesh, allowing a huge amount of fresh air into the jacket. Six pockets, removable CE-approved elbow/shoulder/back armor and reflective piping and details on all sides round out a full complement of features. The two-stage liner—a waterproof/breathable inner jacket with a zip-in quilted liner—provides protection from wind, cold and rain and can be worn as a separate garment. The version I tested has panels of high-viz fabric on the arms and collar to increase conspicuity, though it’s also available in more subdued pewter/silver.
Because it is so comfortable and works so well in such a wide range of conditions, I’ve racked up thousands of miles wearing the Nomad in nine different states and five different countries. High-quality
zippers with rubberized pulls are easy to operate with gloves on, allowing quick opening and closing of the vent panels and pockets. Athletic mesh inside the jacket allows it to breathe well and circulate air when the vent panels are open. Attention to detail has always been a hallmark of Olympia Moto Sports apparel, and the Nomad lives up to this well-earned reputation.
The Nomad jacket is available in pewter/neon yellow or pewter/silver in men’s sizes S-4XL for $329.99. It can be connected via an 8-inch zipper to Olympia’s X Moto pants ($299.99), which have Mega Vent Panels on the thighs, to create a versatile, color-matched ensemble for any type of riding.
For more information: See your dealer or visit olympiamotosports.com
(This Gearlab article was published in the December 2012 issue of Rider magazine.)