I’m not much of a cruiser guy, but this past July Motorcycle.com sent me to my first media launch for the 2018 Indian Scout Bobber (which ended up being pretty rad). As I have mentioned in previous articles, I am a gear nerd and have amassed plenty of jackets, pants, boots, helmets, etc., over the past 10 years since I began riding. With all of that gear I still found myself without a subtle jacket that one might classify as a cruiser jacket. The folks here at MO tasked me with finding a jacket that might fit the bill and suggested I look at the new line-up from Rev’it!.
The styling instantly caught my attention. I know Rev’it! makes quality gear with good protection, so that wasn’t at the top of my mind, as I assumed safety would be there regardless of which model I chose. Initially, the Akira Vintage Air had caught my performance-oriented eyes. It was sporty but subdued enough that I thought it may work, so we reached out to the nice folks at Rev’it! only to find the Akira Vintage Air jacket was being discontinued in the North American market. Bummer.
They then suggested the Vaughn jacket from their Modern Classics collection. While that jacket is gorgeous in my opinion, there was one big problem: the Vaughn jacket doesn’t come in a perforated option. I was headed to the Midwest in July, and most of the rest of my riding would be spent in southern California. I needed to have some airflow and a solid leather jacket wasn’t going to cut it.
I perused the Modern Classics collection a bit more and found the Stewart Air jacket. It would work perfectly. Subdued styling that would transcend motorcycle genres to work with everything while being perforated and offering a removable full-sleeve quilted liner. Check, check, check. I was set for cruising.
Being that it is summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, I immediately pulled the quilted liner out to use the jacket a few times before my trip to see how it fared in the heat. I had been wearing my Dainese Super Speed textile jacket mostly since it has large mesh panels that work well in hot environments and could only assume the black leather of the Stewart jacket would be a decent amount warmer than the Italian summer jacket. Not so. The Rev’it! Stewart Air jacket has a massive amount of perforation that, coupled with the mesh lining on the inside, flows a metric ton of air to the user. Go ahead try and fathom a metric ton of air. It’s a lot.
I was pleasantly surprised, and throughout my Midwest excursion I seemed to be faring quite a bit better than the other journalists in solid leather or Kevlar denim. This jacket fits a little bit loose, which I believe lends to air getting into the jacket and moving around the wearer to increase the cooling effect of the perf. I would say if you’re in between sizes and plan to wear the jacket without the liner, size down as you will most likely still have a jacket that fits well through the shoulders while still having some room in the torso.
Since we wear and buy motorcycle jackets not only to look cool on our bikes, but to be safe, let me delve into that aspect of the Stewart Air jacket. The jacket is made up of perforated bison leather that is incredibly soft and supple and will likely break-in and patina nicely over time. On the inside, Rev’it! uses their proprietary Seesmart CE-level 1 shoulder and elbow protectors. The Seesmart protectors are soft to keep the jacket comfortable and looking casual while still offering great impact absorption. One thing I noticed, which Rev’it! recently changed, is that the Seesmart pads used to be flat and flexible whereas now they are shaped to better fit the curves of your shoulders or elbows. This helps them to be more comfortable and to stay in place in the event of a crash.
The jacket does not come with any back protection but has a pocket to accommodate its CE-level 2 Seesoft back protector ($49.99). I opted for the back protector as well. You really should not ride without spine protection. You only get one of them, you know? The Seesoft back protector flexes well while inside the jacket and is made up of multiple layers of foam that disperse energy to only allow nine or less kilonewtons of energy through upon impact which grants it the CE-level 2 moniker.
The Stewart Air is also well thought out in design regarding the liner and pockets. On the outside you have your standard hand warmer zip pockets on each side. The inside features one pocket on the left which is accessible with the liner in or out, and then two snap pockets on the right; one integrated into the liner and one behind the line in the actual jacket. I was very happy to see this because other jacket manufactures (cough, Dainese, cough) build some jackets with liners that cover their internal pockets. It’s annoying.
The jacket includes a zipper attachment that you can zip to the Rev’it! Safeway belt or you could use the included section of zipper attached to the jacket which you can unzip and have sewn to anything you want to connect your jacket to. Don’t like zippers? There are also two elastic snap loops that you can attach to your belt loops or belt to keep the jacket from riding up.
I do have one potential cause for concern to note. That wonderful airflow comes at a price. Other manufacturers use what they call localized perforation to ensure there are no weak spots in potential crash areas. Holes make leather weaker. Well, the entire torso of the Stewart Air jacket is perforated, including the large seam running up the back. That means more holes in leather that already has a bunch of holes. I hope I never have to test the tensile strength of those seams, but it is something I thought about the first time I gave the jacket a once-over.
Overall, I am very satisfied with the Stewart Air jacket from Rev’it!. With airflow that rivals my other summer textile jackets and style that works with any bike, it has been my go to for nearly every ride recently. The added versatility that the removable full-sleeve liner gives allows this jacket to pull double duty in warm or cool weather. At $449.99 it’s what I would call a mid-level price point in terms of leather jackets, however, I feel it could easily be more with the number of features it offers.
If you’re looking for a leather jacket that can keep you both warm or cool while looking great, you can’t go wrong with the Stewart Air.