Review: BiLT Explorer Air Adventure Jacket

Jan 26, 2015 View Comments by

Review: BiLT Explorer Air Adventure JacketDesigned primarily for warm weather riding, The BiLT Explorer Air Adventure Jacket has some added features that make it a viable option in cooler temps and wet weather as well. Constructed of 600 denier material (1200 in impact areas) with mesh inset panels, the jacket offers riders protection in the form of CE armor in the elbows and shoulders with memory foam (removable/upgradeable) in the back. Rounding out the jacket are five exterior and three interior pockets, a rear storage pocket, and a pouch for a hydration bladder (bladder not included).

The ¾ design is a bit shorter than most similarly styled jackets, but that isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t ride up like a sportbike jacket, but it doesn’t feel like I am wearing a trench coat either. Putting it to the test on a day-long trip into the Sonoran desert with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, I can attest that the airflow is quite good. One caveat is the memory foam in the rear, which creates a “hot spot” with or without the use of a hydration bladder.

Taking the mesh jacket one step further, BiLT adds a zip out waterproof/windproof/breathable liner along with a quilted detachable liner for cooler temperatures. While I question the “breathability” of the liner(s), I can vouch for its waterproof claims; caught in a late summer storm, I did stay reasonably dry with the liner in place. With all the liners installed, the jacket remains light and comfortable. Unfortunately, the rear pocket does not provide enough space to store the liner(s) when not in use.

Available in Black or Sand, I went with the latter option and in spite of the light color, it doesn’t show dirt even after a day spent playing in the desert. Obviously targeted at the ever-growing “Adventure” bike segment, the attractive, well-appointed jacket is equally suited for the touring or dual sport rider as well. Matching pants (not tested) can also be purchased.

Some important items to note are that sizing runs small (I had to go up from a small to a medium for a proper fit), and the outer pockets are little—it is pretty much impossible to get a gloved hand inside them. The overall construction of the jacket seems solid, with a few loose threads here and there. The zippers feel a bit substandard, but with a five-year warranty any issues that arise should be resolved.

BiLT Explorer Air Adventure Jacket
Colors: Black and Sand
Sizes: S-3XL
Price: $399.99
www.cyclegear.com

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About the author

I've been called a "Free-Spirit", "A Lost Soul", and "A Wanderer" for as long as I can remember. I prefer to think of myself as a Traveler. Most at ease when I am in motion, two of my favorite things are arriving somewhere new, and heading off for somewhere yet unexplored.