It’s wonderful to be seen on a motorcycle—especially at night. The Glowrider Jacket goes beyond passive reflective material to make riders more visible in low-light situations. Wearing gear with strips of highly reflective material is critically important, but Adpativ Technologies takes this one step further by augmenting the Glowrider jacket with three, 2mm-wide electro-luminescent panels. An electrical charge from the supplied lithium battery (a battery charger is included) causes the panels to emit a highly visible, but not distracting, blue glow. These electro-luminescent panels, combined with reflective material of the same width, run across the chest, shoulders and back. This combination allows even the black-colored jacket to be highly visible at night.
The outer shell of the jacket is made of 600-denier nylon and the interior is lined with polyester. It’s waterproof—if you remember to close all the zippers.
Even with the zip-in thermal liner removed this is a fairly warm jacket and, for obvious reasons, the black color is warmer than the neon yellow-green on a sunny day. Zippered vents on the sleeves (7 inches); sides (9 inches); and two on the chest (4 inches) are coupled with corresponding zippered vents in the polyester lining. Both the outer and inner vent openings are covered in mesh—they don’t want an angry bee to slip through during a ride. However, the zippered vent (9 inches) across the upper back is not coupled to one in the lining.
Protective CE-approved armor fits into pockets with hook-and-loop closures. These cover the forearms, elbows and shoulders. The back armor is only ¼-inch foam, but its contoured shape at a maximum width of 13 inches and 17 inches long provides maximum coverage. In addition, the lower tail of the jacket has three internal, non-removable foam-armor pads. The armor is unobtrusive and hardly noticeable when the jacket is being worn.
There are a number of details that make this jacket especially comfortable. The collar is padded and lined with velour. The sleeve cuffs also are lined with velour and have hook-and-loop cinch straps. Each arm has two cinch straps with metal snaps. The waist has two elastic expansion panels coupled with 1.5-inch wide hook-and-loop cinch straps. The main, double-pull YKK zipper has a 2.5-inch wide storm flap that seals with hook-and-loop. There are handwarmer pockets and two outer cargo pockets with hook-and-loop flap closures, as well as clear acetate windows on both sleeve cuffs. One holds the lithium battery that powers the luminescent panels; the other is suitable for a cell phone.
The electro-luminescent panels definitely create visual recognition. The Glowrider jacket is an important consideration for any rider who commutes to work or frequently rides during dawn or dusk, and the price is reasonable at $299. I tested a black jacket, but would recommend the eye-burning neon yellow-green for daytime visibility. Sizes run XS-3XL, but for an appropriate fit I suggest buying one size larger than what you normally wear.
For more information:
Visit adaptivtech.com or call (646) 722-0253
(This Gearlab product review was published in the March 2013 issue of Rider magazine.)