Posted by: Jessie | October 29, 2011

Gear Review: Cortech Women’s LRX Air Jacket

I was suprised how many people wore mesh jackets to the club weekend at Hocking Hills.  They just put layers under and a rainsuit over and they were perfectly warm.  Cheryl has the same mesh jacket I do, only hers is pink, and she wore it the whole weekend.  This reminds me that when I first got my mesh jacket for Christmas in 2007 I was thinking it would be the only jacket I would ever need… I wonder how I got away from that?  I think it’s time to take another look at it.

The Cortech LRX Air jacket is an armored mesh jacket that comes with a couple different liners.  The wind/rain liner is a waterproof windbreaker and can be worn on its own.  The warm liner is quilted and zips into the rain liner, or it can zip into the mesh jacket.  The warm liner does not zip closed by itself, so it does not work on it’s own.  (Tried it.  Dorky.)  This jacket can be worn through a range of weather conditions.  I have worn it in the rain  and I was impressed at how well the wind/rain liner kept me dry.   It did seem a bit odd, though.  The jacket gets wet, and so does everything in my pockets, but I still stay dry.  Go figure.  This jacket is quite comfortable with both the liners in.  It has removable armor in the shoulders, elbows and back.

Actually, over the years, I had forgotten all about my mesh jacket having a warm liner.  Today I took it for a road test.  I waited until the weather warmed up to 52 degrees… I put on my traditional three shirts.  I put both liners into my Cortech LRX Air jacket.  (I was disappointed to find that a couple of the snaps to hold the liners in were broken.)  I put on the jacket and I set off on my Moto Guzzi, which has very little wind protection.  I rode for an hour and a half, and I stayed toasty warm the whole time.  The Cortech’s wind/rain liner has elastic around the bottom.  This is nice because it keeps air from leaking in, no matter how far forward you lean on the bike.  The wind/rain liner has extra folds and velcro that not only keeps water out, but keeps cold air out too.

Without any liners, this is a great summer jacket.  It is mostly mesh, so the air flows right through it.  It is lightweight, so it barely feels like you are wearing a jacket.  It is a light color, so it reflects the sun.  I think it’s cooler than riding with no jacket because it keeps the sun off me.  When the temperatures get in the upper 90’s I fill all the pockets with ice.  This has a nice cooling effect.

I had a little low speed accident in this jacket a few years ago.  The bike went down on it’s right side, and I landed on my right elbow and knee.  Fortunately I was wearing mesh armored gear that day and did not have a scratch!  All I got was a hole in my mesh jacket and a hole in my mesh pants.  I was able to patch the holes and keep wearing the gear.

The Cortech LRX Air jacket is not a fitted jacket.  Since it has all those liners it is cut with a more relaxed fit.  It is snuggley with all the layers underneath and loose without them.  If you are looking for a jacket that will show off all your curves and make the guys drool, this is not the jacket.

Final Summary:

The different layers fit well together, and once they are put together they move as one.  There are color coded tabs and snaps, so it is easy to tell what is supposed to snap where.  Unfortunately a couple of the snaps and tabs have broken over the years.  I would expect more durability at these high-stress points.  As shown by my wreck, the outer layer is abrasion resistant and the armor is effective.  With the versatility the liners bring, this jacket is good in temperature ranges from 90 degrees down to 50 degrees, depending on how many layers of clothing one wears underneath.  One could wear a heated liner under it and wear it in even colder weather.  The wind/rain liner can be worn on it’s own as a windbreaker.  This jacket will not make you look like a hottie, but it can save your skin and your elbows, and smooth skin is sexier than roadrash.  Cortech is still making it after several years, and mine has held up to some hard wear.  It is available in powder blue & white, pink & white if you like girly colors.  Non-girly colors are black & white and white & silver.  MSRP is $189.99, but it is widely available from $150 – $170.

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  1. Found this on MSN and I’m happy I did. Properly written write-up.

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