My home territory—New England—is famous for its four-season climate. New Englanders are also renowned for thrift, so I wanted to test Slatin MotoGear’s SMG-1 Four Season Riding Jacket, which sells for $199.
If you’re thinking, “I haven’t seen Slatin MotoGear in stores,” you’re right. Co-founder Richard Slatin says he has sold direct to customers since entering the market in 2015. Bypassing distributors, retailers and their markups enables him to include materials and features you’d expect to find in jackets that cost more.
The SMG-1 jacket has a 600-denier Cordura polyester shell with CE-approved armor in the back, shoulders, elbows and forearms. High impact areas on the shoulders and elbows/forearms are reinforced with SuperFabric, which features rows of tiny epoxy polygons printed onto Cordura. It provides abrasion resistance while retaining the flexibility of the underlying fabric. SuperFabric is highly heat-resistant and reportedly 15 times more abrasion-resistant than Kevlar.
I didn’t test SuperFabric’s abrasion-resistant properties personally, but Richard Slatin did. He had himself dragged over pavement and gravel road surfaces, both with and without SuperFabric on the test jacket. He said it made such a difference he decided to include it in his products. SuperFabric can be found on some other apparel brands, too, but typically on jackets that cost hundreds more.
The SGM-1 is cut long in back so it doesn’t creep up, and self-adjusting elastic keeps it snug so air doesn’t rush in from below. The collar’s inner surface is smooth microsuede. Zippers are all YKK with a big grippy pull on the main zipper. There are two zippered handwarmer pockets, a chest pocket with a waterproof zipper and reflective surround, and another zippered pocket behind the storm flap. Zippers let you widen or snug up the arm openings. A zip-out thermal liner offers flexibility as temperatures change, although it doesn’t function as a standalone jacket to wear around camp or into town.
There are two zip-open intake vents by your collarbones and one exhaust vent in back across the shoulders. You won’t mistake the SMG-1 for a mesh jacket (Slatin MotoGear sells those, too), but the intake vents are well positioned to scoop in cooling air at speed. Zip them closed and they’re hidden.
Under the shell, a breathable Reissa PowerSkin membrane keeps rain from penetrating. Water doesn’t reach your body, but in a steady rain the jacket’s outer shell still gets soaked—and heavy. That’s typical of jackets with waterproof membranes. If you’re an all-weather rider, consider applying spray-on waterproofing so rain rolls off the jacket shell.
The test jacket shown has high-viz color panels strategically placed to increase conspicuity from any angle. A black/gray model is also available. The Medium I tested was true to size…perhaps a bit roomy with the liner removed. The sleeves seemed long at first, but in riding position the length is right.
Slatin MotoGear’s SMG-1 Four Season Jacket offers quality materials and great features for the price.
For more information, call (602) 405-7613 or visit slatinmotogear.com.