Ride With Icon

Leaving work for the 30-mile ride home, a light snow was falling. Temperatures hovered around 32-degrees so the roads weren’t frozen yet and I had no other mode of transpo home so I threw on my Icon Patrol Waterproof Jacket and Overpants, hitched a leg over the Harley Blackline I was testing and braced myself for the frigid ride home. Snow-covered hills were a chilly sight but my Patrol gear was winning the battle against the elements. As I rode on, Icon’s self-proclaimed “Foul Weather Riding Gear” was my saving grace.

Now we don’t advise that you ride your motorcycle on snowy days. There just weren’t many other choices that day. Living in Oregon, riding in foul weather comes with the territory. A week-long winter storm and plenty of rain did provide the perfect conditions to test out Icon’s Patrol Waterproof Jacket , though.

With its combination of zippers, snaps and straps, this jacket looks high-tech. The Patrol Jacket is constructed of durable, abrasion-resistant nylon. The nylon textile itself is fairly thin but is woven tightly to repel water and wind. Abrasion-resistant overlays cover the elbows and shoulders. It’s long in front, hanging just below the waist, and is equipped with several features to conform the jacket to your body. Two drawstring tabs cinch the fit at the waist while three Velcro straps – one at the wrist, one just below the elbow, and one around the bicep – tailor-fit the arms. The jacket’s permanent liner has an elastic band to cinch off the waistline further and comes with snaps to connect to Icon’s Patrol Waterproof Overpants. It takes a ride or two to hone in all the adjustments, but once you’ve got them set, it is one of the most air-tight jackets I’ve worn.

This Icon Jacket has a multitude of pockets and vents with zippers that are YKK waterproof. The longest one down the front has an extra storm flap over it that seals up with quick-action magnets to further prevent water seepage. On the front exterior of the jacket there are three zippers on each side. The top one is a vent, the middle is a fairly deep pocket, and the lower ones are fleece-lined hand pockets. The middle pocket on the left side has a stretchable cord sewn in with a cloth visor wipe on the end of a clip. Two zippered side vents run up the kidneys. The sleeves also have multiple zippers for pockets in the upper arm and smaller vents just below the arm pit. There’s also a large zippered vent on the lower back where you could easily store the removable hoody that comes with the jacket. All these zippers means there’s a higher potential for seepage, but even after riding in driving rain, no moisture penetrated the jacket. One helpful hint though. Be sure the vents are fully zippered. The first time I wore the jacket I unknowingly left the vent on the upper chest halfway undone. When I got to work, the shirt I had on was wet in that area. Since zipping the vent up tight, it’s never happened again. When the clouds go away and it warms up, the six vents provide a healthy amount of cooling airflow.

Inside the jacket, there are two liners, one permanent, perforated liner and a removable insulated liner, which adds an extra layer of comfort and warmth. The insulated liner has a soft, padded collar. Two zippers and seven snaps hold the removable liner in place, so attaching it back to the jacket takes a little patience. More storage is provided by interior pockets, two inside pockets formed in the permanent liner with Velcro closures and a small zippered stash pocket sewn into the jacket itself. There’s also an interior Dry-Pocket about chest-level on the left side of the jacket that’s perfect for cell phones and important papers. The permanent liner has cut-outs so you can easily access your inside pockets.

For protection, the Patrol Waterproof Jacket comes with ample-sized, CE-approved shoulder, elbow, and back armor pads. All of them are sewn into the permanent liner and slide out easily through the Velcro closure. Most rain gear is exactly that, strictly rain gear, so the extra protection is a welcome feature.

The Patrol Jacket I’ve been testing is in Hi-Viz Yellow. Don’t stare at it directly, it may burn your eyes. Seriously, though, its military-spec material and without a doubt makes you highly visible when it’s dark outside. Icon went the whole nine yards and added some reflective Icon logos on the chest, small 3M strips on the sleeves, another small strip on the upper back and a large reflective Icon badge on the lower back for good measure. The bad part about the Hi-Viz Yellow is that it gets dirty quick from water spray from wet roads. Icon recommends hand washing everything, but I tried to just wipe it down with a soapy washcloth and the road grime wasn’t coming off easy. Icon recommends using a soft toothbrush and soap and water for stubborn spots. In hindsight, I think more of it would have come off if I wiped the jacket down before it dried and the spots set in.

Bonus features of the Icon Patrol Jacket include a removable hoody that connects by two snaps and a zipper. It also has what looks like a small removable backpack that actually has a sleeve for a hydration pack. Four snaps hold the backpack in place and it is designed to hold a 50 oz. Camelbak hydration system, which is sold separately.

The Icon Patrol Jacket earned its waterproof designation. It kept us dry in heavy rain and light snow. It’s comfortable and warm down to about 40-degrees. After that, you’ll want to add another layer. A hoody easily fits underneath the jacket or a thin leather jacket can also be slipped on instead on particularly cold days, but nothing too bulky. It is a premium priced all-weather jacket at $370, but riding soggy sucks. The jacket is an investment, but if you live in a rainy climate, it’s worth it. Because of its rugged construction, abundance of storage pockets, and its ability to withstand the elements, the Icon Patrol Jacket would be valuable tool for everyday abuse by adventurer-tourers. It’s spendy, but definitely rates as some of the best “foul weather riding gear” on the market.