Review: Adventure Spec Supershirt

Review: Adventure Spec Supershirt

Supershirt is a high and mighty name, but does Adventure Spec’s latest garment live up to its heroic appellation? On my recent travels through the cool mountains, roasting deserts, and humid beaches of Colombia and Venezuela, I put the shirt to the test.

Adventure Spec has combined ideas from the hiking world and the safety standards of motorcycle protection to create essentially a long-sleeved top with CE AA-level impact and abrasion protection.

As another unique point, the Supershirt is the same for men and women. Often, women have to contend with lower protection, fewer choices, and features aimed mostly at the occasional pillion rider.

Not this time. The Supershirt is made of a stretchy material that will fit any body shape snugly.

The casual yet sleek design looks good on everybody. Adventure Spec hasn’t made the annoying assumption that women want pink flower designs.

Maximum Protection, Minimum Bulk

When I first put the Supershirt on, it felt big with all the protectors a bike jacket usually has, plus back and chest protectors. But then I realized I was expecting a thin long-sleeve top when in reality, I was getting the full protection of a bike jacket without the usual volume and weight.

I gave the shirt a chance and, after a short breaking-in period, it felt super comfortable. It allows total freedom of movement during both road touring and off-road riding. It hugs your body closely, all the protectors stay in place, and the extra length ensures it doesn’t pull up.

At first, I assumed the thumb holes, while looking gorgeous, would annoy me. Yet, I don’t feel them inside my gloves and they keep the sleeves in place in case of a scrape.

Ironically, the Supershirt now feels as light and uninhibiting as any long-sleeved top. I completely forget it’s there, as if I wasn’t wearing any safety gear at all.

Women with small to medium chests—like me—will probably be fine, but larger-chested women will likely find the chest protector a bit uncomfortable.

Something I had to get used to was the temperature regulation. Coming from a three-season jacket, I was resigned to the heat having a slow boil-in-the-bag effect, while the wind chill was slow to creep in.

The Supershirt sits close to your skin, so getting stuck in traffic can lead to direct sunshine feeling a little hot on the arms, but the slightest riding wind is quick to provide cool relief. It means rethinking your layers, which is exactly what the Supershirt is for—layering up only when needed and staying safe even in minimal clothing. A riding jersey works great as a top layer.

My criticism is the seemingly flimsy zipper. That may be unfounded, though, as my zipper hasn’t actually broken yet. It just feels a little delicate for the daily abuse I put it through. On the plus side, it is out of the way to the side and looks great that way.

Now that I’ve traveled with the Supershirt for a couple of months, wearing it all day almost every day, I can honestly say it has become my favorite piece of riding gear. Gone are the days of dreading having to gear up in big, bulky jackets.

The shirt is so comfortable that I don’t notice I’m wearing safety gear on the bike. It looks good off the bike too, so there’s no need to get changed just to pop into a cafe for lunch.

Adventure Spec Supershirt
Sizes: XS-3XL