French gear maker Helstons is known for its retro race-inspired design. From the brand’s Stirling leathers to its Eagle Air gloves, Helstons has garnered a strong following that prizes both form and function. However, with the leaves and temperatures dropping in the Northern Hemisphere, more riders are turning to more comfort-oriented gear. To cater to the crowd, Helstons released the new Duke jacket in its latest fall-winter 2021/2022 drop.

Featuring textile material throughout, the new full-length jacket delivers a lightweight construction while still remaining abrasion resistant. Despite the understated design and slim-cut silhouette, Helstons adds its signature retro flair with quilted panels at the shoulders and back. The diamond-stitched flourishes may be aesthetic in nature, but they also provide a modicum of protection.


For even more protection, however, Helstons equips the Duke with removable armor at the shoulders, elbows, and back. The protectors gain the jacket PPE certification, but the Duke also protects from incliment weather. A waterproof membrane ensures that the rider stays dry through damp conditions, while a removable thermal vest insulates the rider from the cold.

Tightening at the wrists and hips also keeps out the elements while the velvet-lined high collar is equal parts luxury and comfort. When the temperatures rise again, the fixed liner keeps the rider cool, but without additional ventilation, the Duke is best worn in the fall and winter seasons. The utilitarian jacket also features four large exterior pockets, two zipped internal pockets, and one wallet pouch.

Retailing for €199 ($230 USD), Helstons packs a lot of function into the fashionable Duke jacket. The brand also offers the fall/winter jacket in black or brown colorways serving a wide range of body shapes and types with in sizes S-4XL. Helstons may be known for its retro racer style, but the Duke proves it can pull off refined ultility as well.

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