(Complete with comparison charts with other Alpinestars air/ mesh jackets, prices and links for purchase)
If you would rather hear me talk about it than read the text, skip over to the video at the bottom of the article where everything is covered. Come back to the article for comparison table with other Alpinestars jackets and links to purchase.
Owning a quality riding jacket with CE certified armour was always something I wanted. It meant that I had to save to be able to eventually afford one. I wanted a quality product and exceptional ventilation. As most of parts of India, Kolkata is also warm through all round the year apart from the two and half months of winter season.
Hunting for the right jacket was easy once I eliminated the Indian brands. I wanted quality and assurance and as an online purchaser big brands seemed safe. Now if you already follow motoGP or Superbikes you already know that a lot racers ride in Alpinestars. Their vast presence in road riding and off road events always gave me confidence. There was a very positive review of it in BikeAdvice as well. The jacket was on sale at Planetdsg and I decided to go for it.
It has been six months that I have purchased it. I have ridden it through all conditions. I wanted to make this review from the real world performance of this jacket and not just the features which you can get on the product page of Alpinestars. So here it goes:
Alpinestars T-GP Plus Air Riding Jacket Review:
The jacket fits well and works well in the normal as well as race crouch riding position. I have worn this jacket on sportbikes, nakeds and tourers and all of the riding position is supported by the jacket. When I ordered, small was not in stock and I had to order a size medium, it fit me okay on the shoulders and chest. The Velcro on the waist is really good thought as that adjusted the waist to give me a very snug fit even if it was one size bigger for me.
The only problem was the arms which felt a little bigger for my size. But the Velcro there also eliminated most of the fitting issues. So the jacket has a potential to be adjusted to a lot of extent. However, for my next jacket, I will ensure to get a small size and see how the fitting improves. 360 zipping on the jacket means that it can pair up with select Alpinestars pants to form a 2 piece suit.
The strongest point of this jacket is its ventilation. Looks like a jacket and feels like a T-shirt. Even at the lower speeds of 20 km/h you feel the ventilation and this makes is wearable even in the hottest days of summer. However, if you get stuck in traffic, the interiors heat up. Zipping down helps a little but stalling yourself in traffic in the middle of summer day won’t be very comfortable. Also if you wear a backpack, a long ride may drench the back in sweat.
Usability through seasons:
The jacket doesn’t have a rain or a thermal liner. So usage in winter is impossible unless you are wearing something inside that will take care of the cold. In the rain the body of the jacket remains absolutely dry but the arms get completely wet. The positive point of the mesh is that it ventilates but doesn’t let a single drop of water come in. The arms however are abrasion resistant fabric and this is not waterproof at all.
I personally feel that if they had managed to make the arms waterproof this would have been the best rain jacket, as it keeps on ventilation even in rain unlike other jackets which use a rain liner which shuts down ventilation as well.
CE rated Alpinestars proprietary armor in elbows and shoulders. This is one step below the GP level armor, but feels quite solid and works well enough. The fit is very ergonomic and you don’t feel any restriction in the movement for the armor. The chest and back pads are EVA foam and that means practically no protection for you there.
If you decide to go for this jacket or any other jacket from Alpinestars, I would strongly recommend upgrading to a basic bionic back protector and chest protector to replace the foam parts. That would make the jacket a complete package. Also I have noted that being an entry level jacket it doesn’t have the higher end protection bits of a track riding jacket such as the external TPU sliders on elbow and shoulders. So this is for street riding but a lot of Indian riders are taking it for a casual track day as well.
Apart from safety, styling is one part where a brand like Alpinestars is sure to win big. The attention to detail is everywhere you look and the quality of logos used; be it a silk screen or the stitched ones, it just adds to the sportive image of the jacket. This jacket is available in a variety of colors at Revzilla.com but in India the more subtle all black option is only available. I would like to mention that buying this jacket from DSG will make is cheaper. Since shipping charges are lesser. But I mentioned Revzilla in case you decide to go for some other color options.
- Like I have mentioned the arms should have been made waterproof.
- There could have been an extra adjustment option on the arms for a tighter fit.
- There could have been a thermal liner to make this a 4 season’s jacket.
While saying all this I would again stress that this is the entry level option from Alpinestars. All these minor drawbacks have been updated at Alpinestars Fending air Jacket. The protection bits on the fending air jacket remain the same but it comes with the windbreaker liner. The Viper is another option from Alpinestars which allows you to wear the jacket in wet weather and winter as well. Since all these jackets are similar and I want you to find the right one according to your requirement, I have drawn a table for you for an easy comparison.
|NAME||Dsg price||Revzilla price||thermal||Rain|
|T GP plus Air||9900+ 400||13,197+3950*||No||No|
|Fending Air||11,999+ 400||NA||Yes||Yes|
|Viper Air||14,999+ 400||11,997+3950*||Yes||Yes|
So from the above comparison we can clearly see that the T GP plus air jacket is the cheapest in India at only 10,300 (including shipping). If you decide to go the full distance the Viper air is for you. Here DSG has the upper hand as well in pricing, due to the higher shipping charge of Revzilla.
But Revzilla has a lot of color options and most sizes are available. Fending air jacket is placed in the middle; it’s only available at DSG and not on Revzilla.
The Fending air jacket wins this shootout just due to the practicality and value for money both built into that Rs. 12,000 price mark.
Alpinestars T-GP Plus Air Riding Jacket VIDEO Review:
So I have given you the detailed breakdown of the Alpinestars air jackets. I have noticed that a lot of people end up asking in the comments section where can I buy this? Well, I leave you with a list of links for your convenience. This is Rahul and I will see you next time!
Where to Buy Alpinestars Jackets?
Alpinestars T GP Plus Air jacket:
Alpinestars Fending Air Jacket:
Alpinstars Viper Air jacket:
– By Rahul Mazumder