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Xelement CF-625 jacket review

Old 11-08-2010, 11:19 AM
MZ5 is offline
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Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 296
Default Xelement CF-625 jacket review

First, let me be clear that this is my first (and only) street jacket, so I can't give a direct comparison to other street jackets. I do have a lot of experience with dirt armor and clothing, though. This is a very 'value-priced' jacket, so I thought maybe other newbies (or broke people!) like me might be interested in this review.

This is a textile jacket with the "Level-3" armor in it. I have discovered since purchase that "Level-3" is purely a brand name, and does not indicate the performance level that it strongly implies in the advertising. The protectors are made by YF Protector, though, and they're CE certified (they post their type certificates on their website). There are good armor pads in the elbows, shoulders, and back. I'm not positive whether the back pad is CE certified or not, but the elbows and shoulders are. The shoulder areas of the jacket also have rubberized 'caps' over them for some additional protection. There is no mechanism provided to cinch or secure the elbow armor in place (like how lots of jackets have 1 of 2 sets of snaps), and I kinda wish it had something like that.

The jacket supposedly has a waterproof membrane between the inner and outer fabrics/materials, and there's a zip-out quilted liner. The jacket has 2 slash pockets and 1 chest pocket outside, plus 1 internal chest pocket in the jacket itself. The liner has several internal pockets as well. There are also 6 zippered vents on the chest, back, and arms.

Since I got the jacket, it hasn't been above ~70-75, but at that temp the jacket is plenty warm without the liner and with the vents closed. I'm thinking it's gonna get hot next summer. Unfortunately, the liner doesn't really do much of anything when it gets cold. There's only a slight difference between riding with it in vs. out for me in the cold. I also find the liner super-itchy if I'm even contemplating a tiny bit of sweat. There's a large difference when it's warmer, though. I've been riding to work until today (it's snowing), and the mornings have been ~20 - 30 degrees. At that temp, I can still ride in this jacket if I'll put a sweatshirt on underneath, but an even better choice is a lined windbreaker I have from work. For me, it's a matter of stopping the wind, rather than providing gobs of insulation at that temp. The jacket does a fair job stopping the wind, but it's far from excellent/perfect.

The jacket has absolutely nothing reflective of any kind anywhere on it. I don't care for that, so I'll end up sewing something to it somewhere. The material itself is as thick as many textile jackets, but it lacks the extra thickness that something like a Fieldsheer Congo 2, for example, has at the elbows and shoulders. I haven't crashed in it, so I don't truly know how it'll hold up.

The sizing chart at LeatherUp (only place I've seen this brand) is correct for this jacket. Ignore suggestions to buy one size larger, unless you're buying the jacket specifically to fit over other outerwear. The cut of the jacket is definitely _not_ athletic. In fact, I find the body area quite bulky. It has velcro at the waist, so that can be closed down, but then you have that Michelin Man thing going on in between the shoulders and waist.

It almost doesn't rain here, so I can't give much of a review on waterproof aspects of the jacket.

Overall, I don't hate the jacket, but I think I'd probably choose something else if I had it to do over. Maybe if I did/do get something else in the future, I'd feel the same way about whatever my alternate choice was, though? Hope this info is helpful to someone out there thinking about budget jackets.

Last edited by MZ5; 11-08-2010 at 11:22 AM.
Old 11-08-2010, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Omaha,Ne.
Posts: 568

My SHIFT jacket is windproof, you dont feel anything coming through. I dont get hot in it either(unless its 90 degrees). Its got all the armour in it. Its got reflective striping on it. Got for under $100 shipped. Good jacket.
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