Gear Review – REV’IT Zircon Jacket

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Over the last few months, I’ve had a particular hankering for motorcycle gear that doesn’t necessarily look like motorcycle gear. So when I went to see my buddy Dennis Afanasyev of Beach Moto for something to wear while riding the REV’IT #95, he was quick to suggest the Rev’It Zircon jacket. I’ve made the Zircon part of my regular rotation over the last couple of on if you want to know what I think about it.

What I like:
  • The most comfortable liner I’ve ever worn.
  • One of the few pieces of motorcycle gear that passes my girlfriend’s ‘style’ test.
  • You’ll never wish you had more pockets.
What I don’t like:
  • Putting this jacket on requires buttons, zippers, AND buckles. Way too fussy.
  • Sleeve cuffs don’t cinch down enough.

The Verdict

Comfortable, stylish, and warm: the Zircon is a solid 2/3 season jacket for those of you that don't want to look like Rossi wannabes. However, the waist and neck buckles are a pain to do up each time. I find them frustrating enough that I'd look into REV'IT's Jackson jacket instead - that removes the waist buckle and replaces the neck buckle with a button (plus it's $20 cheaper). The Zircon is available in Dark Green (what I'm wearing), Sand, or Black in sizes between Small and 3XL for $379.

Check out the REV'IT Zircon Jacket!

Considering that Zircon is a mineral, I’m not really sure where REV’IT got the idea for the name of this jacket. What I am sure of is where the inspiration for the styling comes from. This is a reasonably-priced modern take on the classic 4 pocket British jacket made iconic by companies like Belstaff.

$379 vs $1,595 (of course it’s also waxed polyester vs waxed leather)

The water repellent outer shell is made of wax-coated polyester, while armored sections in the shoulders and elbows are set off with slightly different colors of Polyester Oxford. The armor is CE-rated Knox® Lite, and there’s a pocket designed to accept REV’IT’s SEESOFT CE-level 2 back protection. It’s not included, but I purchased one. Here’s a photo of it with one of the shoulder pads.

While the outer shell is water repellent, the four pockets on the outside are not waterproof. All the pockets use buttons as fasteners, and that leads to my biggest complaint with the Zircon: to fully do up the jacket you have to deal with 6 buttons, a zipper, and two buckles. The buttons and zipper are fine but the buckles are an absolute pain in the ass. The waist buckle is there to cinch the jacket down but it’s not required and is thankfully removable – you’ll just have to get over the belt loops that remain on the jacket and look out of place. The neck buckle is just about impossible to put on without looking in a mirror. I’ve given up on it and I just wear the jacket with the neck buckle open all the time. I can get away with this because it never gets too cold here in Los Angeles.

For me, what’s underneath the outer shell is where this jacket truly shines. With the removable thermal liner installed, this is the most comfortable motorcycle jacket I’ve ever worn. It feels so good that I’m actually disappointed that REV’IT didn’t design the liner so that it could be worn separately when off the bike. It’s more comfortable with the liner installed than not, but as I said above – it never gets too cold here. Especially in the last few summer months, I’ve had to wear this jacket with the liner out and even then it feels a bit warm because there’s no venting.

For some reason, the liner has its own sales pitch built into it…

…but the liner’s description is accurate. It’s waterproof and breathable, as I’ve had the pleasure of verifying:

A small but thoughtful touch is the use of different colors for the straps that secure the liner inside the jacket sleeves. It makes installation much easier and quicker.

Another plus for this jacket is the cargo capacity – it rivals some ADV-style jackets. You’ve got 4 pockets on the outside – and the bottom two pockets each have additional pockets behind them:

In addition to those 6 pockets, you’ve got a hidden chest pocket accessible via zipper that’s still part of the external structure, and two inner large inner pockets that just have little strips of Velcro to keep them close. The inner pockets are not reachable when the liner is in, so the liner has two even larger pockets. This is a long way of saying that your biggest concern about fitting small things like your wallet, phone, or earplugs is not going to be if you can carry them, but where you’ll carry them.

When I first got into the sport of motorcycling, I wanted a race replica (specifically the ’02 Yamaha R6, if you’re wondering) and I figured I’d be wearing the brightest leather suit that Alpinestars made. Over time I came to realize the benefits of motorcycle gear that doesn’t look like motorcycle gear, and I love that manufacturers are expanding their offerings in this segment. I think the Zircon is a strong offering which would be excellent in the spring and fall for most people, as well as the winter in milder climates. However, I find the belts to be so fussy that I would actually go with the very-similar Jackson jacket, instead. As I mentioned in the Verdict up top, the Jackson loses the waist belt and replaces the neck belt with a button. I think it looks cleaner, it’s easier to use, and it’s $20 cheaper, too.

How I’d spend my money.

It’s about to get colder for many of you as September approaches, so if you’re looking for a jacket that will keep you warm and looking good, take a close look at the Zircon/Jackson.

Photos by Nathan May