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Forcefield Pro Jacket X-V Review

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Published in: Gear

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After a decade of working in the motorsports industry, I’ve managed to collect enough riding jackets to clothe a small army. Some came with used bikes I’ve purchased, others I found abandoned in a dusty corner at the dealership where I worked. Then there are a few of what we like to call at ADVMoto HQ, the “1KJs,” or $1,000-dollar jackets. We wear jackets for several reasons—style, utility, abrasion resistance, comfort, and safety. To me, the most important feature separating the jackets is the quality of the armor.

Sometimes I find myself loving a jacket but hating the OEM armor it came with. Manufacturers often do this to meet a certain price point, and sometimes we’re left with gear that looks awesome with great ventilation, but simply uncomfortable or even fatiguing to wear. I’d end up trying to swap in armor from 1KJs—sometimes they fit, and sometimes they don’t.

Forcefield makes some of the most comfortable armor I’ve ever tested at ADVMoto. Motonation recently sent us their new Pro Jacket X-V with CE2 Armor for testing (thinner CE1 armor is also available). The Pro Jacket X-V is not a full-blown riding jacket, but rather a base layer that zips up like a coat to be worn under any jacket you desire. The Pro Jacket X-V features high energy-absorbing back and limb armor that is lightweight, flexible, and uses heat-activated 3D molding to conform to your body.

The Pro Jacket X-V fits snugly, just as any base layer should. Connecting the armor pieces is a durable, moisture-wicking and machine-washable mesh which Forcefield calls BeCool Base Layer Fabric. The reason I don’t usually wear base layers is because of eczema, and any uncomfortable clothing that doesn’t breathe makes me itch like a schoolboy with chicken pox. The Pro Jacket X-V, however, features X Vents that increase airflow to areas like the inner elbow, a hot spot that, for me, gets irritated often. In my testing, the X Vents and the BeCool fabric hasn’t caused a flare-up—something I’m sure my fellow Eczeminions will appreciate.

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Sometimes I don’t want to look like I’ve been recruited for the 2030 Mars Expedition, and I’ll wear the Pro Jacket X-V under a casual leather jacket for a night on the town. It’s easy to slip on, with thumb holes on the wrists, and so comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing it. I’ve also worn it under a jersey during hot-weather dual-sport rides and felt just as comfortable with it on as off (with the added peace of mind). The jacket also extends past the waist line, saving onlookers the sight of a full moon every time you bend over.

The Pro Jacket X-V 2’s back armor is the shining feature of this garment. Forcefield packs a lot of R&D into their armor and claims the re-designed back piece is more flexible than competitor options, while optimizing safety. The whole jacket is constructed with breathability in mind, and “armor windows” that provide extra venting. That being said, the Pro Jacket X-V 2 is not a base layer that will keep you warm during the colder seasons.

If I could add one feature to the jacket, it would be a zip-up pocket on the hip or chest area, just large enough for a phone or wallet. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. The Pro Jacket X-V has become a regular piece in my kit and, with it, I can wear whatever I want without having to sacrifice safety or comfort.

MSRP: $249 (w/CE 2 armor)

Motonation.com

PROS:

  • Armor is easy to remove for washing
  • Fit is consistent with most clothing brands
  • Base layer fabric is comfortable, breathable, and doesn’t irritate skinProjacket 
  • Armor forms to the body instead of restricting movement or being shuffled around

 

CONS:

  • A zippered pocket would add convenience
 
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