Speed and Strength Hell ‘n’ Back Jacket

Nov 01, 2009 View Comments by

The first thing that comes to mind, after testing this jacket, is there are a lot of great ideas. They include a hydration system, excellent airflow, thermoplastic external shoulder protectors, dual stage “kinetic cuff” adjuster, and removable sleeves. The hydration system is a must in an adventure jacket nowadays. The Hell ‘n’ Back has it installed on the front left of the jacket; and once the hydration pack is filled, it looks rather odd having your left chest bulging so prominently.

The airflow is truly excellent though, with a vent right above the elbow, two in the center of the chest, and three on the back to ensure you can feel some wind. The external shoulder protectors work great too, because you don’t have to sacrifice space inside the jacket. The jacket’s sleeves can be removed by opening a zipper around the bicep, exposing an inner mesh that is even more breathable. This way you can get more airflow, but still have the elbow protection. However, on the downside, this system has too many zippers and buttons around the wrist, which make wearing long gloves that go over the jacket uncomfortable after a couple of hours of riding. The exterior of the jacket has one zipper, and the inner mesh features a zipper on one side and a button system on the opposite side. It wasn’t a problem for me, as I mostly wear short gloves, but take note if you prefer longer ones.

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