TUCANO URBANO ROUTER

THERE IS looking cool, and there is staying cool. There is casual and there is comfortable. And then there is the Router jacket from Tucano Urbano, which kind of rounds up all the ‘c’s in one package. Yep, we like this for the summer.

So what DO we like then? For starters, it’s super cool to look at. It’s made of an impressively breathable polyester mesh material. Okay, you say, so do other jackets from other manufacturers. But wait… what’s this, genuine cowhide leather inserts and reinforcements on the shoulders and elbows, plus there is a pocket for a back protector.

And, yes, there’s more…  a separate windproof and waterproof stretch membrane which clips inside the Router to help keep out the wind. If, on the other hand, the rider gets caught out in a rainstorm, the membrane can be whipped out and worn over the Router. And you won’t have to worry about being seen either, because it comes in a rather lurid fluorescent yellow.

The classically styled Router is Class A – CE approved, offers decent protection against both impact and abrasion, and includes zipped hand pockets and a zipped inner pocket, with inner press stud closure pockets where you can store the waterproof. Simple. The Router also has various adjustments to the collar, sleeves, cuffs and hem to make for the perfect fit.

Sizes S-3XL, £170, www.tucanourbano.com

VERDICT: Classic styling with plenty of pockets and bags of adjustment for the perfect fit.

OXFORD KICKBACK 2.0

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I HAVE A biker editor/friend who will never be seen without an armoured shirt during the Summer. They (and he) look cool, and whilst some may frown at wearing anything short of full protection that either a leather jacket or similar offer, allow me to point out straightaway that protection is most certainly guaranteed with the attractive Kickback 2.0.

As part of Oxford Products’ Urban Series, it is specifically named the Kickback 2.0 because it is riding on the successful back of its predecessor, albeit utilising more luxurious materials, better quality fittings, an improved fit and with the upgrade of the CE armoured provision.

The casual cotton shirt is lined with DuPont Kevlar fibre reinforcements with CE elbow and shoulder protectors, and it also has a back protector pocket. Abrasion resistance comes courtesy of the DuPont Kevlar fibre lining, and only top quality nylon bonded Coats thread is used. Hidden seams are also employed for added strength in the critical areas of the Kickback 2.0.

Features include a hidden high quality YKK zipper behind the press stud centre front closure, two external pockets and one internal, double stud and zip cuff, soft edge cuffs and belt  loops to attach to trousers, and woven Oxford branding label.

SizesS-5XL, £119.99, www.oxfordproducts.com

VERDICT: Casual fit comfort with technical protective features and great for Summer wear, and a nice price point, too.

RICHA TOULON 2 SOFTSHELL

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AS A PRODUCT reviewer for nigh on 20 years, I recall working as Editor for Camping magazine when Softshell first made its appearance on the outdoors scene. It was slow to take off, but soon earned its wings when people got to understand its versatility and durability, being made from a woven material as opposed to the stiffer material of hard shell (waterproof) jackets.

What I particularly liked about Softshell, and still do, is the fact that it bridges the gap between the less waterproof resistance and wind protection  of a fleece, and the less stretchy waterproof jacket. Softshell jackets are usually treated with a water-repellent outer so one can expect some level of protection from a shower or snow.

So, if you fancy riding in a highly breathable, water-resistant jacket; one that will keep you warm, dry and active, then check out the Toulon 2. Constructed of a polyester and nylon outer shell, it has a fixed waterproof and breathable membrane, and comes with D30 armour protectors to the shoulders, elbows and back, plus a short connection zipper for trousers. That the breathable membrane (waterproof layer) is fixed between the outer shell layer and the comfort mesh lining, means the rider will stay dry in normal rain conditions. Just don’t blame me if you get caught out in a torrential downpour though!

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Once off the bike, you can look even cooler by using the detachable hoodie, offering a range of wearing styles, depending on your mood. We also like the leather detailing to the exterior, and the seven, yes, seven pockets (four interior and three outer) offering bags of storage space if you do not have any bag storage accessories on your bike. Other features include zippered cuffs, high-visibility 3M reflective strips, a super soft Neoprene collar, and it comes as a regular fit with Velcro waist adjustment.

Sizes S-4XL, £199.98, www.richa.eu

VERDICT: Water resistant, windproof, armoured, neat detailing, comfortable, looks good on and off the bike… what’s not to like!

REVIEWER: MICHAEL COWTON

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