Jackets were difficult as a new rider. I’m used to paper-thin women’s clothing, not well-made heavy leather. My body is a little atypical from most women, as well. I have a long torso, large shoulders, arms, and ribs, but small chest and midsection. It was a challenge to find a jacket that could accommodate the larger parts, while not actually being large. I currently have two: a leather jacket for spring through fall weather, and a mesh jacket, for those rides in the middle of Texas summer.
After trying a few different leather jackets, the Alpinestars Gal jacket (check it out on Revzilla) was the winner for my first real riding jacket. When it was first purchased, I was only a passenger on bikes (and then, a new rider), so it did take some getting used to the weight and bulk of it for a bit. Now it’s not an issue for me.
This jacket is not the sizing we are used to in our typical, US vanity sizing. I am in the largest size available in this jacket (XL), despite wearing S/M in normal clothing. Were I any bigger, this jacket would not zip up. With a 36″ chest measurement, and as someone who rides in a sports bra, I’d be skeptical about the fit for women with larger chests (granted, my ribs are large, so that could allow for some wiggle room for someone else). It is also snug around the hips, so hips larger than mine (at 42″) would need to take that into account (and either have a shorter torso, or accept that it would need to sit higher on the hips).
Without the thermal vest liner, I’m able to wear a base layer, along with a hoodie. With the liner, the additional layer of a hoodie is uncomfortably tight (at least for my shoulders and arms). It does provide some warmth though, but I would still not call this a cold weather jacket. It also gets hot if it’s above 75 degrees outside, even if your base layer is extremely thin.
- It’s really cool-looking, and the color is a unique one. Not black, brown, or gray, it stands out. It’s a beautiful blue-gray that isn’t common. It is available in black, for those with more traditional tastes.
- Just a really attractive jacket, with a flattering look, and leather that gets softer, and prettier with wear and age. I almost never see a photo of myself wearing it, and don’t like the appearance of it.
- Easy to zip up, and has adjustable sides and zips along the forearms for more/less airflow
- Relatively light-weight
- After having been road tested, I can attest to its protection (just ask the bug that was imbedded into my jacket). Bugs, rocks, and road debris have never even left a bruise on me while wearing this jacket.
- Side zipper pockets are easy to access.
- Despite the snug fit, there is some room near the top, and the jacket catches air, even with it completely zipped up (and with neck protection). This can be cold, and annoying at high speeds.
- I can fully zip at the wrists, but not close the wrist snap (I think this is due to the arm length of the sleeves). Wind does get in via this flaw, and on cold days, the air is felt throughout the jacket.
- Fairly limited in weather. Not for cold or hot weather, but more of a mid-season jacket.
- Armor was large, stiff, and hard to move in. It was immediately removed for fit and comfort. Go armor-less or swap out for some thinner/more flexible armor.