Every now and then a new riding gear manufacturer enters the competitive motorcycle apparel market. Some grow while others wither and fade away. What typically separates the rising newcomer from the soon-to-be also-rans is usually quickly apparent in the form of missing necessary features or comfort issues when riding. Motorcycle gear places a high emphasis on function, and often, that function also dictates the styling. What if you’re looking for function with a less flashy style? Reax Motorcycle Gear may be what you’ve been looking for.
Developed by Comoto, the parent company of RevZilla and Cycle Gear, Reax appears to have benefitted from that lineage. After a couple months riding with a selection of Reax gear, if I had to sum up my experience with the products, my impression would be that it is well thought out, practical riding gear. In my time with the Jackson Sport Leather Jacket, the 215 Denim Riding Jeans, and the Castor Sport Leather Gloves, the items have, with one small exception, performed like products from a much more established brand.
Jackson Sport Leather Jacket – $429
Reax Jackson Sport Leather Jacket
Editor Score: 84.0%
Motorcyclists love their black leather jackets, and the Reax Jackson Sport Leather Jacket combines sportiness with a subtle style. Constructed in Vietnam from 1.2-1.4mm oiled buffalo leather, the Jackson offers the abrasion protection riders need. The reinforced double layers on the elbows – along with Superfabric inserts – cover SAS-TEC CE Level 2 armor, while the shoulders contain similar CE-protection in addition to padding.
The leather on the front torso, upper arms, and on either side of the back is perforated to flow cooling air to the rider’s body. Arm and shoulder stretch inserts help keep the cut of the jacket slim without restricting movement when in a riding position.
The articulated sleeves feature zippered closures and neoprene comfort panels for a snug fit that is perfect for fitting under gauntlet gloves. The soft neoprene rims the entire circumference of the collar, preventing neck irritation during long hours in the saddle.
The exterior also includes two zipping hand-warmer pockets – one of which has a snapping key ring holder. The waist is adjustable via a pair of hook-and-loop fasteners. Finally, the upper chest, elbows, and back all have retro-reflective patches for nighttime conspicuity.
The Jackson’s interior is equally well thought out. The liner is moisture-wicking fabric that draws sweat away from the rider, promoting cooling on hot days. The inner chest pocket is waterproof, giving riders a safe place to store a phone when caught in an unexpected shower. The two other interior pockets can hold small essentials. Additionally, two snapping, elastic belt loops keep the jacket from climbing up on the pilot’s back when in a sporty riding position. The only omission in the Jackson is the lack of a back protector in the pocket specifically designed for one. (The $30 Sedici Aria-Pro Back Protector fits perfectly, though.) A jacket in this price range should include a CE Level 2 back protector. This oversight is the only obvious miscalculation in an otherwise solid jacket.
The Jackson Sport Leather Jacket is available in black only in sizes S-3XL for $429 and can be bought directly from Cycle Gear here.
215 Denim Riding Jeans – $199
Reax 215 Denim Riding Jeans
Editor Score: 82.0%
What can we say? Motorcyclists are like most people; they like wearing jeans. So, creating riding apparel that looks and (mostly) feels like jeans when off of the bike is a big deal. The Reax 215 Denim Riding Jeans are classically-styled, straight leg, 5-pocket jeans, and that’s what they look like, too. Where some manufacturers design technical riding gear made out of denim that doesn’t look like street clothes, Reax has crafted the 215s in such a way that only the slight break in the fabric as it flows over the removable (optional) Rokker D3O Knee Armor ($30) betrays their true function, protecting a rider’s legs.
The Reax 215 Denim Riding Jeans are made in Portugal and constructed out of 11.5 oz 100% cotton denim, which is why they mostly feel like your regular jeans. However, underneath the denim, in all the abrasion zones, a layer of aramid twill will keep the rough surface of pavement away from your skin long after the denim has given up. For increased durability, the key seams are also triple stitched. During hot weather, the aramid layers do not breathe as well as plain denim, so they are a little warmer but not unpleasantly so.
The 215s are only available with a 32-inch inseam, so riders with longer requirements are out of luck. Shorter riders can have the legs hemmed or roll them up, which reveals reflective fabric on the inner cuff. Alternatively, you can simply leave the legs alone, as the pants will naturally ride up once you’re moving. The waist sizing ranges from 28-42 inches, and the fit is similar to Levis zippered regular jeans.
The 215 Denim Riding Jeans can be bought directly from Cycle Gear here.
Castor Sport Leather Gloves – $89
Reax Castor Sport Leather Gloves
Editor Score: 83.0%
The Castor Sport Leather Gloves are cleanly designed short sporty gloves. Constructed out of 0.8-0.9mm cowhide on the the back and tough goat leather on the palm, the Castor also features a high density flexible insert right where your palm would touch down in a tumble. Similarly, the outer edge of the pinky receives an additional layer of leather and padding. The backs of the fingers are protected by thermoplastic rubber while the knuckles benefit from leather-wrapped hard armor. The short wrist closure is secured with a hook-and-loop fastener. In a nice perk, the thumb and forefinger are also touch-screen enabled.
The Indonesian-made Castor is available in sizes S-3XL. However, if the pair I tested is representative of the line, sizing runs a little small. Typically, I wear a large glove, and the Castor was initially a bit snug. (Using a leather relaxer to saturate the hide before a couple of rides resolved the issue.) If your hands are between sizes, I’d suggest going up to the larger size.
The Castor Sport Leather Gloves are a good-looking daily use glove that I have been wearing regularly for a couple months. They are available in black, black/gray, black/white, and white/black/red color combinations.
Buy the Castor Sport Leather Gloves directly from Cycle Gear here.