Slatin MotoGear EZ-1 SuperFabric Mesh Jacket - GEAR EVALUATION

Safely keeping your cool on those blazing-hot rides

Slatin MotoGear EZ-1 SuperFabric Mesh Jacket
This jacket is a combination of high-quality materials, excellent crash-protection features, and good ventilation capabilities topped off by an exceptionally affordable price.Jeff Allen

Any time the thermometer starts edging up to triple digits, a common temptation is to ride in a T-shirt with no jacket at all. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Even a minor get-off can leave you with the kinds of mementos you’ll never forget. The smart move is to wear a jacket designed to provide as much crash protection as a conventional riding jacket while also preventing you from being fricasseed in scorching weather.

Slatin MotoGear’s solution is its EZ-1 SuperFabric Mesh Jacket. It combines 600-Denier outer shell construction with high-airflow ballistic mesh paneling on the front, back, and sleeves. Impact protection at the shoulders, elbows, and forearms is via tough-as-nails, abrasion-resistant SuperFabric over CE-approved Level 1 removable armor, all complemented by a Level 2 back protector. A gossamer-thin, zip-out Reissa liner is claimed to be both wind- and waterproof.

I wore the EZ-1 on several rides aboard an unfaired bike in temperatures at or above the century mark and found that the jacket allowed plenty of onrushing air to enter and exit through the mesh panels. Naturally, the result was not even remotely comparable to air conditioning, but the circulation of air throughout the interior made riding in blistering temps much more tolerable. I also spent equal time in comparable weather on a couple of sport-tourers—one with a tidy, sportbike-like fairing and the other fully faired. Obviously, the level of ventilation on both was reduced—less so on the former than the latter—but the EZ-1 nonetheless provided a bit of welcome relief from the sweltering heat.

Southern California hasn’t seen rain in months, preventing us from properly testing the waterproof aspect of the Reissa liner. We did, however, zip it in place when riding in mid-50-degree weather at higher altitudes and were impressed at how well it blocked the wind. The liner is a mere .008-inch thick and folds up into a rectangle slightly larger than a cell phone, so it’s easy to carry along.

rmotorcycle rider wearing Slatin MotoGear's EZ-1 SuperFabric Mesh Jacket
Slatin MotoGear's EZ-1 SuperFabric Mesh Jacket offers a lot of cool for not a lot of money.Jeff Allen

Here’s an important caveat, however: When riding in very hot weather wearing a ventilated jacket, you need to stay hydrated. The constant flow of hot air around your upper body might help keep you more comfortable, but it also can cause sweat to evaporate at a much higher rate than usual, and that can lead to dehydration. Either carry water or a legitimate rehydrating sports drink with you on the ride or stop occasionally to buy one along the way.

It’s no accident that the EZ-1’s MSRP is a surprisingly low $159. The company’s owner, Richard Slatin, personally works directly with the factory to control the design, production, and quality of his entire line of riding gear, and he then sells the products himself rather than through a third-party distributor—a classic case of eliminating the middle man. Slatin also has deliberately sized his jackets a bit on the large side to fit what he calls a “more mature” rider who is likely to have slightly greater “circumferential dimensions” than a typical younger rider.

Whether that proves to be a wise move or a regrettable one remains to be seen. But in a market that already serves up a fair number of hot-weather riding jackets, the EZ-1 SuperFabric Mesh is a legitimate player. With its combination of high-quality materials, excellent crash-protection features, and good ventilation capabilities topped off by an exceptionally affordable price, it offers a lot of cool for not a lot of money.

slatinmotogear.com
PRICE: $159.00

UPS
* Generous sleeve length
* Ultra-soft microsuede collar
* Available in nine colors

DOWNS
* Bulky sleeve closures
* Back protector not comfortably contoured