Author Topic: Which Jacket to Take  (Read 534 times)

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Offline Rob9876

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Which Jacket to Take
« on: May 25, 2018, 12:04:58 pm »
I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to multi-day trips on the bike.  I'm about to leave for a 3 day trip, and I'm likely to encounter some rain on at least one day.  I have 2 jackets I can take -- please help me decide:

1.  Mesh Jacket -- This jacket is great for over 65 degrees Faren. but has no water-proof layer.  On my trip, even at night the lowest will be around 67 degrees and highs will be mid-80s or above.

2.  Touring Jacket -- This is a 2-3 season jacket with the liner removed.  It is waterproof.  Has zip vents for airflow but still hotter than mesh.

Given the temps, if it wasn't likely to hit rain I'd take the mesh.  I'm tempted to take it anyhow, since if I get wet the temps are still warm (I'll do most travel during the daytime).  However, I wasn't sure if taking the mesh would be a noob mistake?  What do you think?

Offline Rob9876

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2018, 12:45:28 pm »
Note: both are textile jackets if that figures into your thoughts.

Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2018, 12:48:17 pm »
I'd suggest the touring jacket. Mesh gear will greatly increase your requirement for fluids while the touring jacket will enable you to control the venting. Using the touring jacket, you can create a "micro-environment" that will keep your body temperatures more stable.

A few years ago, my wife and I were returning home from a trip across the USA. We came across Nebraska on "scenic" HWY 2. The temps were in the mid-90s. We were wearing Aerostitch Roadcrafters over our short sleeved shirts and shorts. So long as we were moving, the Roadcrafters provided plenty of ventilation. Additionally, (though we didn't need it) we would not have to stop to put on rain gear.

Take a look at what the IronButt riders wear. You won't see mesh on the experienced riders.
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Offline Rob9876

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2018, 01:09:22 pm »
Thanks Ranger Jim!

Offline Daboo

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2018, 01:32:49 pm »
You're right in that area that overlaps both jackets.  You mentioned the temps will be in the mid-80s or above.  It's that "above" part that can mess with you.

At 93F, our thyroid can no longer keep up with the demands for cooling the body.  Sweat (in the SW) dries before it can produce any cooling effect.  The air that hits our bodies, will actually heat out body much like putting a hair dryer on it.  The secret is to be able to limit some of the airflow so your sweat will stay on the body and cool you.  It seems counter-intuitive, but picture some Arab bedouin.  He's got these loose fitting robes that cover his entire body.

I took a compromise last year.  I opted for my mesh jacket...but...I also had on an airbag vest that limited the airflow to the body somewhat.  Under everthing, I had on the Heat Out moisture wicking t-shirt from Cycle Gear.  So even the arms that were exposed to the hot dry air flowing through the mesh, had something between the heat and the skin.  And finally, I would put on a Cycle Gear cooling vest when things really got hot.  It was like stepping into an air-conditioned room.  :)

So the upper range of temps that you're heading into will be important to plan for.  Ninety degrees is not the same as 95F.  And the humidity will play into that too.

Chris

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Offline Rob9876

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2018, 01:47:02 pm »
Thanks Daboo, I think the highest I'll be seeing is about 87 degrees.

Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2018, 01:53:48 pm »
Hope it helps. Daboo also has some good advice. :great:
JIM CULP
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Offline SantaCruzRider

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2018, 06:21:03 pm »
I'd probably take the mesh with a cheap rain layer to pop on when you need it.

That's essentially what I did for the OtP ride in Europe where temps were all over the place (but probably never above low 80s).

That said, I've ridden well into the low 90s with a vented jacket and been comfortable. The key for me has been staying hydrated and having a wicking layer underneath that I can soak with water from time to time.

Have fun
Dan Breeden
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2018, 06:39:18 pm »
Good point Jim. I never thought about creating a "micro-environment" to keep your body temperatures more stable.
NOTE: I live in Houston with high humidity and heat.
          While I agree the touring jacket would offer more protection in a crash, I always assumed I would cook.
              {Particularly in traffic}

I use Mesh Gear and layer under/over it as needed.
  Normally I wear a T shirt, light shirt, and the Mesh Jacket, and I have rain gear on the bike.

{like SantaCruzRider} I also took Mesh when I did the OtP Trip. {Europe}
   On that trip we rode in temps from 30* to 90*..
   When we were in cold, I added layers under the Mesh jacket and the rain gear over..
   When it warmed up, I removed layers..

Worked out great..

Ride safe, Ted
14 Connie (Traveler II) / 03 Connie (Buddy)
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2018, 06:49:45 pm »
The biggest problem with mesh (IMO) is the airflow is too much over the majority of the body. Riding at highway speeds in air temps in the upper 80s, low 90s you are exposing most of your body to the temps flowing out of the hand dryers in public toilets. Your perspiration evaporates before it can cool you. You need to control the airflow. Ask OMAC. He wears a 'stich Roadcrafter and he lives in VEGAS!
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Offline Daboo

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2018, 07:29:14 pm »
That's why I like the comments about creating a micro-environment.  It isn't just the jacket.  It's everything else that goes on under or over it to allow you to be comfortable in a wide range of temps.

Gloves can be an issue too.  I started my trip to Utah wearing some nice mesh Icon gloves.  Lots of air flow through them.  But too much.  After a couple days, I realized that something had to happen and soon.  My hands were chapping badly to the point if I didn't do anything different, I'd have some very painful hands.  Hand cream wasn't enough.  I was at the point of putting chapstick on, when I changed to a leather glove that had some small holes in the material.  The hands healed in no time after that.  And they weren't overly sweaty either.  I got some...but not too much...airflow.  Another micro-environment.

Chris
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Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2018, 07:34:32 pm »
Great topic.

I figure the experienced Iron Butt guys would know best, so I found this tidbit in their forum...

http://forum.ironbutt.org/index.php?threads/gear-choice-for-crossing-the-desert-in-june.586/#post-18406

I ride with a Camelbak to stay hydrated and I believe a mesh is great for short hot rides, but I think my full jacket will offer the best comfort in the long term blast furnace. I also believe more frequent stops will help keep heat stroke in check.
Harry in Wild and Windy Casper, WY - 1986 Vintage "Silverdammit" - 2015 "Greendammit"
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Offline 4Bikes

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2018, 08:16:48 pm »
This is a very interesting topic and great comments so far.  When planning multi-day trips, the “what gear to take” is always a big question. I would add.... ventilated summer boots versus rain boots (which are hotter) but drier during rainy days is also a consideration. I read more than a few rider safety books, so I can’t recall the book that had the chapter about riding gear. The author made the point that sweating inside a heavy zipped up leather jacket at highway speeds was healthier than a mesh jacket, based on the example above mentioning the hand drier. On long all-day rides, retaining body fluids is key, so not having it blow away with mesh gear may be the way to go. It’s counter intuitive, but if you think about it, it makes sense, and as noted, watch what the Iron Butt LD riders do.
Silver 2011 C-14. Previous rides: KZ-400, KZ-750, KZ-1000.  Keep the rubber side down.  Ride Fast......Live Slow......

Offline Max

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2018, 03:05:30 am »
i use either the roadcrafter or  a klim set. yes theyre hot in traffic so stay out of that. but the whole micro climate thing is real and it works. just enough airflow to evaporate the sweat and cool you down, mesh will dehydrate you faster than you think possible in hot dry environments.   go with the touring jacket and drink plenty of fluids   1/1 water- Gatorade is what we use to re hydrate people who are dehydrated badly. go 4-1 ratio water to Gatorade for everyday use.  i run construction crews and every summer we get people overheating/dehydrating  did it myself, ONCE, it sucked as in dropped in the ice bath overheated level suckage, never again.

Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2018, 04:00:15 am »
I changed my mind.  :-[

Still freezing here at the starting point. Leaving early in the morning in mesh ain't gonna cut it.  :(
The other jacket is gonna feel like a pressure cooker for sure in 100% humidity.  :(

I got room for two different jackets.  :truce:
Harry in Wild and Windy Casper, WY - 1986 Vintage "Silverdammit" - 2015 "Greendammit"
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Offline Rob9876

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2018, 01:14:15 pm »
Well, I'm back from my trip and took the touring jacket.  It was fairly toasty, but I was glad to have it when rain broke out on a couple of different occaisions.

Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2018, 02:22:30 am »
In Texas now, and I can tell you for certain the mesh jacket is absolute hell. I threw mine in the trash half way here. I am completely sold on my regular touring jacket. Open the vents, wear a thin t-shirt, and go riding. You will sweat and it is a good thing. The air riding up the sleeves with evaporate the sweat and the jacket will feel about 10 degrees cooler inside. You will feel like you are riding inside an evaporative cooler.

The mesh jacket feels hot and offers much less comfort, for me anyway. It will not feel cool at all.
Harry in Wild and Windy Casper, WY - 1986 Vintage "Silverdammit" - 2015 "Greendammit"
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2018, 05:25:15 pm »
Harry,, (Ya wussy) the temps at the National "were" cool {by Texas standards}..
I like the mesh jacket fine, can't imagine wearing a full jacket..

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Which Jacket to Take
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2018, 10:30:21 am »
TED, if you rode for an entire day in the temps we had in Kerrville you'd know what Harry's talking about. Controlled ventilation is the best solution.
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