If you tend to gravitate toward low-key aesthetics then the Roland Sands Design Ronin jacket is for you. Read our review complete with a 1 year road test.

A nice leather jacket is a beautiful thing. If treated right, a quality jacket will last years and will only get better with time. The trick is finding the right jacket for you. Some prefer jackets with aerodynamic humps and big logos while others would rather go with something more understated. If you tend to gravitate toward low-key aesthetics then the Roland Sands Design Ronin Jacket might be right for you.

Roland Sands Design Ronin Jacket – Gear Review

The Gear

The Ronin is made from waxed cowhide that has a thickness of .9mm - 1.1mm in the main body of the jacket. It has a “performance” fit which features pre-curved sleeves and a shortened body to make most riding positions feel natural right off the bat.  The sleeves have multiple panels and perforated leather on the underside for enhanced airflow.

The exterior of the jacket is rooted in cafe racer style. A single breast pocket, sleeve zip pocket and two additional zippered pockets lower on the front of the jacket provide the wearer with easy outer storage. Two side zippers for fit adjustment run up the bottom of each side of the jacket. A snap collar and zippered cuffs further emphasize the classic styling.

Roland Sands Design Ronin Jacket – Gear Review

The interior of the jacket features a satin poly lining. Interior storage includes two stretchy mesh cargo pockets, a soft lined electronics pocket with snap and an interior chest pocket with zipper.

The Ronin does not come with any built-in armor, but is armor compatible. The jacket features pockets for elbow, shoulder and back protection that are sized specifically for Roland Sands armor.

The Ronin is available in sizes small to XXL and comes in five colors; black, tobacco (brown), oxblood/black, black/grey and clay.

Roland Sands Design Ronin Jacket – Gear Review

Price: $590.00

The Good

In terms of styling, I subscribe to a less is more philosophy, which puts the Ronin right up my alley.

I have been wearing my Ronin a bit over a year now as my go-to leather jacket and have yet to be disappointed. I am 5’10”, about 155 pounds and wear a small. At first I was a little concerned about the fit of the jacket; I could not decide if I should move up to a medium or stick with the small. After about a week of riding it became clear that I made the right choice. The jacket fits perfectly and can easily accommodate a sweatshirt underneath if the weather gets chilly.

Speaking of warmth, the Ronin is definitely a fair weather jacket. It is great on warm days but as soon as the sun goes down or the temperature drops, extra layers are necessary.

Continue Reading: Roland Sands Design Ronin Jacket – The Good, The Bad, and The Verdict >>The Good continued...

I have found that since I am on the cusp of moving up a size, leaving the side adjustment zippers open gives me the best fit and doesn’t sacrifice warmth or wind protection.

The pre-curved sleeves and other “performance” fit features made the break-in time for this jacket minimal. It was comfortable right away and has only gotten better with time.

The interior mesh pockets are the only pockets I use. They are very flexible and are great for storing glasses, books, hats, burritos and pretty much anything else, size permitting.

So far the jacket has held up wonderfully. I was wearing it when I had my first crash and despite sliding a few feet on the asphalt, the jacket experienced almost no damage (except for a few minor scratches).

Given its classic style, I have worn the Ronin to various social engagements that did not involve my motorcycle and received many compliments. I find it to be great for riding and everyday outings.

Roland Sands Design Ronin Jacket – Gear Review

The Bad

Other than the mesh pockets in the interior of the jacket and the two zippered pockets on the front, I have found that the pockets elsewhere are essentially useless. While the actual size of the other pockets (exterior breast, zippered sleeve, interior zippered and electronic snap) are pretty good, the openings are very tight and make it difficult to reach into.

I find the paneled sleeves problematic. In an accident, stitching is a weak point, in other words, the more panels, the more stitching. Although in my accident I didn’t experience loss of structural integrity in any of the stitching, it remains a concern if I am ever involved in a future wreck. Aesthetically speaking, I find the panels on the sleeves to be overkill and would prefer to see less of a pattern.

Ideally for a price of almost $600 this jacket would come equipped with armor. Unfortunately it doesn’t, so if you want additional protection you’ve got to spend a little bit more money, which is of course well worth it.

Roland Sands Design Ronin Jacket – Gear Review

Verdict

Classically styled, comfortable and functional. The Ronin is a great option if you are looking for a motorcycle jacket that is more understated. As long as you don’t mind pockets that are mostly just for show and spending a little additional money on armor, it is one to look at as I’ve had a very good overall experience with it the past year. Did I mention the mesh pockets can hold burritos?

Do you have a Ronin? What is your experience with it? What about sizing? What has worked for you?