Finding a balance of protection, ventilation, and versatility can be difficult when looking at summer jackets; however, the Super Speed textile jacket from Dainese does a pretty good job at the balancing act. While it is not new in Dainese’s line-up, it is year-after-year a bestseller that will keep you calm, cool, and collected on your summer rides.
How do I know this jacket is a bestseller? Full disclosure – I previously worked at the Dainese D-Store in Orange County while going to college. Before you shun my thoughts of the jacket and disregard my opinions consider the following; I have crashed in this jacket (more on that later) and I have always been a gear nerd. I buy gear, use it for a while, and move on – and the process continues. I have had plenty of experience with different brands. That being said, it also should be noted that every male employee of the OC D-Store has owned one or multiples of this jacket. Now, let’s get into the product.
The Super Speed Textile jacket’s shell is made up of Cordura and Boomerang mesh. With protection being Dainese’s first concern, they have placed the mesh panels out of any potential crash zones other than the back. You have three large mesh panels on the front, one up the inside of each arm, and a large mesh panel covering the whole back of the jacket. The entire back is certainly a potential crash area, so I would suggest using one of Dainese’s back protectors.
The jacket comes equipped with CE-rated shoulder and elbow protection while having a divided pocket for back protectors and a chest pocket if you want to use the Dainese full chest protector (The chest protector this jacket uses is the one piece, not the split protector found in newer models from Dainese.)
Certainly some of the reasons this jacket is so popular could be due to the plethora of features and fit. The Super Speed textile is one of the few textile jackets that Dainese has offered with aluminum external shoulder sliders similar to what you would find on the sportier leather offerings. The jacket comes with a removable wind-stopping liner that, when removed, can pack down small enough to fit into any pocket on the jacket. The liner is very thin so don’t expect it to keep you warm through the winter months, but if you were to wear a hoodie underneath, you could certainly stretch the jacket’s usable range through the seasons in a mild climate, like here in Southern California. Fit is sporty but not overly tight. Stretch paneling across the scapulas give the rider full range of motion while riding.
Like most Dainese products, the jacket will zip to any Dainese pant, giving you the option to pair a mesh pant to have a fully protective summertime outfit. The jacket also offers Velcro waist adjustment to really let you fine tune the fit. Two snap adjustments can be found at the wrists as well as a two-position snap at the collar. I will say that the collar when snapped tends to dig into my throat a little while in a sportier riding position. I usually wear a neck tube during longer rides and leave it unbuttoned during short rides, so it has never bothered me much.
I have had many people ask me how textile holds up in a crash, so let me tell you how this jacket held up when I hit the deck. It was a day just like any other day – except this day was finals day in college. I had one final in the morning and another in the afternoon. After finishing and feeling good about my first exam, I wanted to ride home quickly to have lunch before my next test. Alas, on my way home my speed overcame the grip of my KTM’s new ADV front tire and I had a little lowside at approximately 50 mph.
Most of the sliding was on my left arm, as you can see below, and the Cordura gave way to the armor underneath. This is one reason why I’ve always liked Dainese’s armor. It is made up of a foam for comfort on the inside and a hard plastic facing out. In this instance, the Cordura giving way made no difference as I kept sliding on the plastic armor underneath. Thankfully, wearing full gear, I ended up walking away unscathed and the bike only needed minimal fixing. The very next day I went in to the D-Store and bought another of the exact same jacket. Textile fabrics are lighter and cheaper than leather, but they are less able to withstand abrasion than leather.
While there are other offerings from Dainese and other manufacturers that may flow more air, the balance of protection, versatility, and ventilation on the Super Speed are a perfect fit for what many riders are looking for in a summer textile jacket.