Living in Texas, it’s pretty tough to have a single go-to motorcycle jacket. You definitely need a couple options. Making my first road trip of the year in April, the temperatures in the days before my trip varied from 42 to 90 degrees. That’s a pretty wide range when trying to plan what to wear on your ride. Heavy leather would be great if it stayed under 90, but once you get above that threshold wrapped in leather, you start to bake.

I was able to get my hands on an ICON 1000 Varial Jacket, and after breaking it in for a few days, I decided to take it on my 500-plus-mile road trip.

(Left) A large back vent helps keep the cool air flowing. (Right) The inner chest pocket on Icon's 1000 Varial Jacket is plenty big and zips up securely. 

Let’s get into the specifics of the Varial. The cut of the jacket is like a really heavy-duty, zip-up hoodie. Its outer shell is made of both leather and textile. It’s lightweight but layered with a t-shirt and flannel and will definitely keep you warm in the 50-70 degrees range. If it gets above 75, shed the flannel and you’re good to go. The two chest pocket vents as well as the single vent across the back of the jacket definitely circulate plenty of air flow. The outer shell has Icon’s Waterproofing Level 1 and should keep you dry if it’s only raining lightly, but it’s not designed to be a shelter in the storm.

The inside of the jacket has a mesh lining to keep you cool on those warmer days, along with an ample-sized inside chest pocket for your phone or wallet. I have an iPhone 8S which is ridiculously big, but it fit in there, no problem.

What gave me a bit more peace of mind in wearing this jacket is that it comes equipped with D30 CE-certified removable back, shoulder and elbow protectors. The great thing is that you hardly notice they’re in there.

D30 armor is good stuff, and the big back protector comes standard on the Icon 1000 Varial Jacket. 

To round out the design, it’s got ribbed closures, an AquaGuard YKK reflective zipper, and reflective trim for added visibility, which is always a plus once the sun goes down. The only real concerns I have on this jacket are the hood pulls. Even though they have a slit to be placed in, going 80 mph they don’t really stay put so there’s definitely some helmet slapping going on.

Overall, it’s a solid jacket at a decent price point at $295. I’m 5’ 9” 205 lbs and a large fits great, even layered with a t-shirt and a Dixxon flannel. I’ll definitely keep this jacket in the lineup for those under 90 degree days.