A jacket can make or break a ride, especially a long one. Comfort, weatherproofing, cooling and body protection all come into play as the miles roll on. Months of testing the Macna Oasis jacket, which included riding with Patrick Kant, owner of the Dutch company that makes Macna clothing, gave me an in-depth experience with their mid-priced jacket. With that came a few lessons in European moto-clothing design.
Macna sews the mesh-lined Oasis from polyester fabric, with overlays of abrasion-resistant Dynax nylon in the shoulders and forearms; construction quality is excellent. The jacket closes with a hefty single-pull zipper and a snap-closure storm flap. The collar tab fastens with hook-and-loop, as do the thin, easy-to-grab tabs that cinch down the cuffs. Two handy pouch pockets ride at the hips, but are missing much-coveted (by me, anyway) handwarmer pockets behind them. Finding no handy chest pocket for my camera, I asked Kant why not. His answer was, “Safety,” because landing on a camera in a chest pocket can smash the ribs over your heart. Point taken: the camera rode in a lower pocket. A single, phone-sized pocket at mid-chest seals with a weatherproof zipper. However, there’s no vest pocket in either the jacket or rain liner–a basic feature that I count on. Where else to put sunglasses?
Two zip-in liners handle the weather—a breathable membrane for rain, and an insulated one for warmth. Macna’s Easycuff system improves liner installation and stability by fastening sleeves to the jacket’s cuffs with fine-toothed zippers. It works well, although the weatherproof zippers become stubborn when dusty. Wiping with a damp cloth is the fix. With both liners zipped into the Oasis and wearing just a long-sleeved shirt, I was comfortable riding at 45 degrees for over an hour. Kant told me that waterproofing is a key for the European market, and he makes sure that Macna garments get it right. An hour’s ride on the freeway in a steady rain soaked the outer jacket fabric, but not a drop of water got inside, nor did I feel clammy. When I mentioned to Kant that I prefer removable jacket-style liners that I can wear separately, he explained that Europeans wouldn’t consider doing that—too casual for their tastes, apparently. That’s fine for them, but this American finds them quite handy, especially when camping.
In warm weather, the liners come out and the vents open—a long exhaust one high on the back, zippered forearm intakes, and a pair of effective chest vents that open into air scoops. All that’s missing is a two-way front zipper for extra air when needed. Protection comes from CE-approved armor in the forearms and shoulders, with a too-soft back protector that can be upgraded to CE Level 2 armor for $35 (do consider the upgrade). Other features include a sturdy external hanging loop, fittings for Macna’s $34.99 Vision Vest and plenty of reflective treatment. The made-in-China Oasis retails for $335 and comes in sizes S-3XL, but they run small—I’m wearing a large instead of my usual medium. Colors are Black and Desert Gray. The Oasis fits well, handles weather changes with ease, and looks sharp doing it. There’s a lot of jacket here for the money…with the exception of that missing vest pocket.
For more information: Call (855) 255-5550 or visit twistedthrottle.com
(This Gearlab review was published in the July 2014 issue of Rider magazine.)