by Gus Breiland
Trail riders, urban assaultists and minimalists listen up. If you don’t believe in large bulky panniers, tank bags or backpacks, but feel the need to carry essential tools and provisions while riding, the Rooster Extreme Convertible Jacket is the ideal piece of protective riding gear for you.
While I am not any of the above, I do appreciate good gear and I really appreciate good gadgets. It is hard to imagine a jacket would qualify as a gadget, but after you start to dig into this thing, you will see that it is the multi-tool of riding gear and for its price, well worth your consideration.
Let’s talk about the jacket itself. It is a full length textile jacket constructed of a Cordura Ballistic wear resistant shell with Reissa water-proofing fabric within. The jacket performed well in rain and excellent in the cold. Its integrated liner is quickly removable but, once installed stable enough to not bunch in the arms and shoulders.
Integrated armor is located in the elbows, shoulders and down the spine. The jacket is a nice, straight cut jacket for men, but not very suitable for the woman’s figure. The “skirt” area is too straight for the average female figure and the chest of the jacket would not accommodate girly bits unless she is of the early alphabet brassiere size.
The sleeves are removable which, while I am sure this is useful to some, it defeats the purpose of elbow pads. But the zipper to remove the arms does act well as a vent. The neck liner is soft and held in place by a hook and loop pad, and the cuffs are cut at an angle to accommodate your riding position.
Howerever, it’s all in the pockets however. The 2 hip pockets unzip and fold open to reveal multiple slots for wrenches, screw drivers and ratchets. Behind this area is another pocket to hold your sockets, tube sealants, zip ties, etc. The back has 2 long slots for long tire irons, a large pocket for a water bladder and another map / glove pocket across the butt. These alone give you an amazing amount of packing room along with a couple of breast pockets and an internal stash pocket over the left breast.
I have been very comfortable in the Rooster Extreme Convertible jacket. The padded exterior of the jacket is covered by a 3M reflective material that has little squares within the material to make you more noticeable at night. The waist has a couple of cinch straps to help fit your body and the base of the “skirt” has elastic to help reduce the amount of updraft.
There were 3 items on the jacket that were annoyances, but nothing to keep me from owning it. The first is the arm zippers give the shoulders structure, and when looking for passing traffic while turning your head or peering though the mirror, the shoulders are more square then a normal jacket. The Rooster logo on the left breast looks like you embroidered the nickname “Rooster” on yourself. What is most annoying for me is the zipper is not a 2 way zipper to open up from below when you are sitting on your bike for added comfort.
Rooster performance has plans to make riding pants that will zip into the waist of the jacket. The zipper is already there and ready to go. If you are looking for a versatile, well thought out riding jacket that will keep you well protected from the elements, consider the Rooster Extreme Convertible Jacket.
The Rooster Extreme Convertible Jacket is available at www.roosterperformance.com. While it retails for $225, they are currently on sale for $180. Sizes range from Large to XXXL. As a reference, I am 6’1” and about 260 lbs. My beer gut makes me look like a tall Fred Flintstone or a svelte Homer Simpson and I wear an XXL Rooster Jacket.