When I got my first motorcycle, my wife at the time took me straight to a motorcycle shop to buy a leather motorcycle jacket, because safety is important. As a new rider, I knew nothing about gear besides wearing a helmet. The jacket I got was heavy, hot, and had very little armor. I wore it because it was all I had and I hadn't discovered textile gear, which is all I've worn since. I always liked the look of leather, though, so when Rev'It sent me their Prometheus jacket to review, I gave leather another chance.
When I opened the box containing the jacket I was not disappointed. The Prometheus is a stylish jacket, with the Rev'It logo tastefully embossed on the front and back, and racing stripes on the sleeves that make you go faster (at least, that's what my mom always told me they did). It's a very cool look, probably too cool for my Honda PC800. The buffalo hide is thinner than my old jacket, but definitely thick enough for a motorcycle, as opposed to a leather jacket designed strictly for style. This jacket has both.
Normally, I wear a large jacket. The one I received was an extra large. At first, I was resigned to trying a jacket that was slightly too big for the purpose of this review. As it turns out, though, an extra large is a perfect fit for me. If this is any indication, it may be worth trying a size larger than you normally wear to see how it works out.
On the inside is a removable thermal liner. It's extremely thin, yet it kept me plenty warm during my cold morning commute over the mountains of New Hampshire in April. Thanks to its thinness, I could wear an additional warm layer underneath it on particularly cold mornings. Generally, though, above 50 degrees I'm comfortable with just a short sleeve shirt underneath this jacket with the liner in. The liner is easy to zip in and out, which is great when it's cold in the morning but warm for the afternoon ride home. It's also thin enough that it'll fit into even the smallest of luggage so you can take it with you in case it suddenly cools off.
Under the liner is a breathable mesh layer, which also contains Rev'It's SeeSmart CE level 1 armor in the shoulders and elbows. There is also a pocket for the optional SeeSoft CE level 2 back protector. I have to be honest—my review jacket came with this armor, and it's so lightweight I didn't even know it was there. This is how all good armor should be. It gives you the protection you need, but at the same time it isn't bulky or uncomfortable, and it doesn't hinder your movements.
As spring moves on into summer, I suspect I may still end up switching to my mesh jacket on hot days. While the Prometheus has a mesh layer, there are no vents in the leather to open up for better airflow. Unzipping the cuffs allows air to flow up the sleeves to keep you cool, but there is no extra ventilation in the torso. Behind my large windshield, I don't think I'll get enough airflow through the jacket to prevent me from overheating in the middle of summer.
Except for those hot days, though, this is now the jacket I use every day. In fact, I wish I could send this jacket back through time to when I rode early 1980s Japanese motorcycles. It would perfectly match the aesthetic of those old bikes, as well as provide superior comfort and protection to the leather jacket I had back then.
Rev'It's Prometheus Jacket is available in black with white highlights (seen here) or a bold red and gray. It runs $479.99 and you can grab your own at over at Revzilla.