Firstgear Kilimanjaro Jacket

Sep 21, 2013 View Comments by

Firstgear Kilimanjaro JacketTouring apparel has a tall order to fill; they must keep a rider dry, warm when it’s cool, and cool when it’s warm, provide protection in the event of a crash, and possibly help prevent a crash through high visibility coloration. The DayGlo/Black Kilimajaro jacket by Firstgear tackles this long list of demands admirably with a thoughtful blend of quality materials and detail conscious design.

The Kilimajaro is a textile jacket constructed from seam sealed 400-denier polyester/nylon blend fabric (polyester aids color retention in the DayGlo and is not used in other colors) with 640-denier reinforcements on the elbows and shoulders. The hypertex outer shell is extremely abrasion resistant, waterproof, and breathable. A removable quilted liner has adjustable neoprene cuffs and contains a large internal pocket and a cell phone pocket with a Velcro-secured closure flap.

For warm weather riding, the Kilimanjaro offers two nine-inch chest vents, two eight-inch armpit vents, and one thirteen-inch rear exhaust vent. Zippered closures (other than armpit vents) sport heavy-duty cord style zipper pulls for easy operation with gloved hands.

Four easy-access front pockets (two low, two high) give rainproof protection for items within easy reach. The upper pockets contain smaller inner pockets for organization of small items.

Attention to detail continues with comfort aiding features such as stretch fabric panels located at the arm, shoulder, and elbow joints, an adjustable collar closure, waist, bicep, and forearm hook and loop strap adjustments, and an under-helmet rain hood integrated into the collar to prevent water from running down the back.

Addressing safety concerns, the Kilimajaro is fitted with adjustable D30 T5 CE armor in the shoulders and elbows. This armor is thinner and more flexible than standard CE armor, yet provides the same protection. An EVA dense foam back pad and reflective strips on the front, back, and upper arms round out the list of safety features. The DayGlo Kilimanjaro is highly visible in any lighting situation.

When referring to the Firstgear sizing chart, it is my opinion that the chart allows ample room for additional layers under the jacket. I was on the border between small and medium sizes, and although the chest should have been too tight according to the chart, it fit perfectly. The fabric is slightly stiff and requires a bit of break-in before becoming supple, but the jacket was comfortable enough the first time that I wore it. The adjustable collar was noted and appreciated immediately. The only feature I found missing is the ability to wear the liner independently from the jacket. It can be put on, of course, but not zipped up. I’ve found that a liner that can be worn independently as a light coat simplifies packing when luggage volume is limited.

The Kilimanjaro DayGlo jacket by Firstgear is an extremely well designed and constructed jacket, with a myriad of thoughtful comfort and safety related touches that the serious motorcyclist will appreciate. The jacket is capable of handling a wide range of weather conditions while dramatically improving rider visibility, and it is sure to become a favorite touring companion.

Firstgear Men’s Kilimanjaro Jacket

Sizes: Small thru 4XL, with Tall sizes available in LG, XL, and 2XL

Color: DayGlo/Black, also available in Silver and Black

Cost: $299.95

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