REV’IT Shield jacket review

I know not every motorcyclist is consumed by the pursuit of the perfect jacket. “Consumed” is too strong a word for me, as well, but I am on a more or less endless quest to find jackets that do everything I want without adding unwanted complication or expense. My most recent test case is the REV’IT Shield textile jacket.

REV'IT Shield jacketKeep in mind that I am not one of those riders who wants to own one jacket that can adapt to every possible riding condition. I’d rather buy three $200 jackets to cover the range of warm, cold and wet weather than buy a more complicated $600 jacket that tries to do it all, just as I’d rather have a dual-sport, a sport bike and a touring bike to cover dirt roads, track days and road trips than have one bike that tries to do it all. My general strategy for street riding is to have a three-quarters-length jacket for cold weather, a sporty, waist-length waterproof jacket for moderate weather, a mesh jacket for hot days and a rain jacket to put over any of the above if needed.

With that in mind, let’s see how the REV’IT Shield, a fairly straightforward, waterproof, sport-styled, waist-length textile jacket fits into that plan, now that I’ve tested it.

BMW G 310 R and REV'IT Shield jacket

The REV’IT Shield was an appropriately sporty but no-nonsense jacket for riding the BMW G 310 R in California’s mild December weather. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Testing the REV’IT shield jacket

I got this jacket when RevZilla told me to wear it for the BMW G 310 R press intro I went to in December. (When your client tells you to wear something and sends it to you at no expense, I’m not one to quarrel.) I wore the Shield in mild California weather and then, back home in Ohio, I tried it in temperatures down to the 30s. Only recently have I had a chance to wear it in hot weather and significant rain. My review is coming out a little late, because this jacket is already in the closeout aisle from various vendors, but I wanted to give it a full test before writing about it. The good news is that if you’re interested in it after reading this review, you can get one at a discount.

The Shield has a polyester shell, a built-in waterproof liner and comes with CE-approved armor at the elbows and shoulders. It comes with no back protector (not even one of the flimsy foam pads you get with most jackets) but has a pocket designed to take REV’IT’s Seesoft back protector insert, which will cost you about an extra $50. The Shield has a removable thermal lining.

Adjustments include hook-and-loop adjusters at the waist, a two-snap adjustment at the biceps and a two positions on the snap at the neck.

vents

The small vents on each forearm don’t do much because they don’t flow air to the body, but rather to the waterproof liner.

There’s not much ventilation: Two scoop vents on the forearms and two vertical exhaust vents on the lower back. Since the vents allow air to flow over the waterproof liner, and not to the rider’s skin, the effect is minimal to none, in my opinion.

How the Shield holds up to the weather

There’s one feature on the Shield that makes it much more capable of standing up to wet or cold weather, and you might not even notice it at a glance. The jacket has two main zippers. The zippers essentially form the rain gutter in the front. If water gets through the outer zipper (which it will, in bad conditions), there’s still another barrier between you and the elements. This double-zipper setup is one reason I greatly prefer the Shield, in foul weather, to the Alpinestars T-Jaws WP jacket I reviewed earlier. The main zipper on the Alpinestars not only let water through in serious rain, but also left a cold stripe down the middle of my chest in the winter, because there was no material or insulation behind the main zipper. Not so with the Shield.

dual main zippers

The REV’IT Shield has dual main zippers, which helps keep out cold and rain.

I have now ridden in the rain in the Shield a few times and have yet to have any leaks. To be fair, I have not been in a torrential downpour yet, but I have ridden in a couple of hours of steady drizzle with no infiltration. As with most waist-length jackets, one weak spot is that water can wick in underneath it at the waist. That’s why the best bet for really foul weather is a three-quarters-length jacket.

The thermal liner on the Shield is also quite effective and the waist adjustments and collar snap let me snug it down. Cool air can sometimes sneak in around the waist, just like water (mentioned above), but that’s true with any waist-length jacket. I rode in the 30s with a base layer, a flannel shirt and the thermal liner and was comfortable. Keep in mind that although I ride all winter, that doesn’t mean I like it. I hate the cold and whine about it a lot. Years of living in the tropics made me a wimp about cold weather, but I could live with the Shield just fine all winter.

At the other end of the temperature range, I wouldn’t consider the Shield a summer jacket. As far as I’m concerned, the venting is insignificant. To me, this is a spring and fall jacket. When it gets much above 80 degrees, I’ll switch to my mesh jacket and put in the windbreaker liner if the morning is cool or put my rain jacket over top of the mesh if the day turns wet.

Things I like about the REV’IT Shield

In addition to the all-important weather protection, there are some small touches I appreciate. For one, the snaps that keep the ends of the sleeves of the thermal liner in place at the ends of the jacket sleeves are color-coded. One is red, one is black. With most jackets, about one out of every three times I put in the thermal liner I get the sleeve twisted because I get the two snaps reversed. Won’t happen with the Shield. It’s a small thing, but thoughtful.

I like the simplicity of the Shield. You give up some versatility by having a waterproof liner that can’t be removed, but it also means fewer zippers and complications. If the weather is anywhere between the 50s and the upper 70s, I just choose the right base layers and throw on the Shield. If it dips into the 40s, I put in the thermal liner.

Looks are subjective, of course, but I think the black-and-white version I have is pretty sharp. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well the white areas have shed dirt and splattered bugs.

Things I don’t like about the REV’IT Shield

There are a few small things about the Shield I don’t like, starting with the pockets. Or, rather, the lack of them. The Shield has two handwarmer pockets with zippers and one interior pocket at the waist, so you only have one waterproof option. This is the only jacket I own that doesn’t have a Napoleon pocket on the left chest. I’m used to stashing a pair of earplugs in that pocket in every jacket I own, so I’m never without. With the Shield, it’s not there.

Also, remember those color-coordinated snaps I mentioned earlier? One of them on each sleeve tore off.

The final item is not really a problem or a complaint, but an observation about fit. I have never been called burly or mistaken for a bodybuilder, but the two-position snaps at the biceps and neck both fit me in the looser position. I have to believe there are more men out there who have bigger biceps and thicker necks than me than there are men with skinnier arms and necks.

Notes on fit

Speaking of fit, the Shield is sporty in cut but not an extreme race-like fit. I find it to be comfortable on all my bikes, from my very upright Kawasaki Versys to my race-replica Triumph Daytona 675.

I am five feet, 11 inches tall and weigh 172 pounds. That often puts me somewhere between a medium and a large. I’m wearing a medium Shield and it fits snugly, which I like, because it feels like the armor will stay in the right places, if I need it, but the jacket is not restrictive. With the thermal liner in, it’s a bit tighter than I’d like and doesn’t leave room for adding bulky layers. If you’re between sizes and you want to have more flexibility with layers, go up a size, is my recommendation. But if you’re looking for a sporty jacket like this one, you probably want a trim fit, and that’s what the Shield provides.

Conclusion

The REV’IT Shield can now be found for under $200 if you look for closeout deals. It’s a fairly basic jacket and, for some riders, it will have a limited temperature range. Also, in my opinion, the added expense of a Seesoft back protector is a no-brainer necessity. But despite those qualifications, the REV’IT Shield makes sense for any rider looking for a sporty textile jacket. It has kept me as dry as any waist-length jacket I’ve worn and comes in several color options. I think it’s a good choice for the price, especially now that close-out deals can be had.

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One Response to “REV’IT Shield jacket review”

  1. Phil says:

    I got one of these at motorcyclegear.com on closeout for $170. Its a lot of jacket for that kind of money.