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Discussion Starter #1
trying to get some ideas for a jacket more suitable for washington weather. right now i have zero-60 leather roadking jacket which is great for moderate weather but it does have kevlar stretch panels which is great for the summer but not so great for cold weather.

i'm looking for something that is water repellant, has armor and will keep me warm. any recommendations?
 

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There's a new magazine out called Motorcycle Touring (or something like that - this month is the first issue) that did a good comparison of riding suits. Pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of each. I don't have a copy handy or I'd summarize, but you should be able to find it at any decent newstand.

I'll always say get an Aerostitch, 'cuz I love mine. They are ridiculously expensive, but last forever and work incredibly well. Living in CA I got the Darien Light, but in WA you probably want the regular Darien.
 
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I've had a Joe Rocket Ballistic jacket/pants for about 4 years now. I've never had it soak through, and it doesn't really get cold until the temp is under 38-40 degrees. Then a sweater underneath is usually enough to keep me warm. Good armor in the shoulders and elbows. The new jackets have even better armor.
 

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I don't know about JoeRocket... I had a ballistic jacket too, and it did everything you said it does. The problem was that the fit wasn't right. It always slid up on me, and the elbow armor didn't stay in place. I felt like if I actually ever fell down, the armor would not be lined up right to take the impact. I chalk it up to being made in China or wherever...
 
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You didn't mention what part of Washington. There's a big differerence from North to South and East to West.

One note regarding warmth: Don't buy a jacket for its warmth. Just find one that fits well and keeps the water out. The most important rule of thumb for ANY outdoor activity in the great state of Washington is LAYERS. I think this state has more micro-climates than any of the other 49. You can honestly find just about any type of weather possible any day of the year here in the Evergreen State. I always chuckle at the out of staters (ahem... californicators... ahem) who suffer in bewilderment when their t-shirts and shorts leave them cold when the weather changes.... or when they find themselves roasting in their down parkas in March.

For winter riding, electric gloves and vest are where it's at. Heck, for summer riding, electric vest is still wehere it's at: those mountain passes still get cold in July.
 
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