Riders turn to mesh jackets for one express reason: ventilation. Classic leather construction yields the highest protection levels, but it also yields the highest heat levels. Modern mesh gear utilizes the latest technologies and advanced fabrics to maximize airflow while minimizing safety sacrifices. All the cutting-edge materials in the world can’t expand the use case for mesh jackets, though.
Once temperatures plummet, riders shed air jackets for more robust options. That one-season application certainly doesn’t elevate the value proposition, and mesh jackets sure aren’t getting any cheaper. While most category contenders specialize in one task, some manufacturers nudge their offerings toward general use with novel solutions.
Spidi is one such brand, and the firm’s Progressive Net WindOut jacket champions a dual-layer configuration to stand up to cooler temps. After enduring sweltering summer days, mild fall conditions, and a wet Southern California winter with the textile jacket, we know exactly how the Progressive Net handles the changing seasons.
Beat the Heat:
To shuttle more air to the rider, Spidi employs 3D mesh at the jacket front, inner arms, outer biceps, and back. Those large, high-flow panels ride on a chassis comprised of triple-twisted Extra Tenax nylon 6.6. The high-tenacity fabric safeguards common impact zones at the outer forearms, shoulders, and coat tail. Spidi only fortifies those abrasion-resistance areas with removable CE Level 2 elbow protectors, Level 1 shoulder armor, and external Warrior shoulder shields. A jacket-to-pants zipper and a clip-stop connector enhance slide safety as well.
Those wide-ranging protective measures don’t inhibit the Progressive Net’s aerating ability, however. In motion, oncoming wind streams throughout the jacket’s interior. Airflow is most prominent at the forearms, biceps, and upper chest. On the other hand, the windproof material lining the Progressive Net’s two exterior pockets obstructs ventilation to the rider’s lower abdomen. That blocked section only marginally impedes the jacket’s performance, though. At speed, air even flutters over the user’s shoulders with notable evacuation at the back.
Of course, adding a back protector would mitigate that Venturi effect – especially because Spidi doesn’t offer perforated back pads – but the airflow concession is certainly worth the extra protection. In stock form, the Progressive Net’s included armor lines Extra Tenax panels, which don’t occlude incoming air. What’s more, the elbow protectors extend to the rider’s forearm, providing additional safety and structure to the jacket. That extra framework results in a snug fit throughout the arms.
While Spidi favors a form-fitting silhouette, the Progressive Net remains comfortable at the shoulders, back, and chest. My five-foot, 10-inch, and 165-pound frame may suit that European-style cut, but the jacket’s front bottom hem comes up short. Even by street and sportbike jacket standards, the Progressive Net rides up higher than most category competitors. My torso isn’t particularly long either. For that reason, I’d encourage lanky riders to try on the jacket before purchasing. Although, average-sized customers can trust in Spidi’s sizing chart.
The Progressive Net sports a stylish design, but the mostly mesh construction tends to trap bugs in its webbing. Like dirt to white linen, insects seem to be attracted to the jacket, especially during the warmer months. The resulting bug splatter shouldn’t concern those opting for the Yellow Fluo and Black colorways, but the light gray mesh dominating the Red color option stains with ease. Fortunately, owners can hand-wash the jacket to remove such blemishes, but that small detraction may steer customers toward Spidi’s predominately black color options.
Out in the Cold:
When the leaves start to fall, the Progressive Net’s WindOut interior liner comes out to play. The wind-proof layer secures to the outer shell with two zippers at the center split along with two snaps at the upper back and cuffs. I frequently equipped the WindOut liner when the forecast called for highs in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. Delivering on its proprietary name, the WindOut layer foils the air-flowing capabilities of the jacket’s oversized 3D mesh panels.
That insulating effect kept the jacket in commission well into winter. Here, in Southern California, that includes daytime highs in the low- to mid-50s Fahrenheit. Mileage varies based on personal cold thresholds, but for me, the WindOut-equipped jacket held up until temperatures dropped below that mark. While the inner liner certainly serves a functional purpose, it doesn’t do any favors to comfort. Like wearing a windbreaker inside-out, the layer swishes about with every move.
Similar to a windbreaker, the WindOut liner also provides a modicum of water repellence in light drizzles, but I wouldn’t entrust the jacket when the rain comes down in earnest. That’s not one of the Progressive Net’s ambitions, however. For those cases, Spidi’s modular system allows customers to arm the jacket with the brand’s H2Out waterproof liner for true wet weather protection, further expanding the model’s use case.
Retailing for $339.90, the Progressive Net WindOut jacket goes beyond the call of most mesh gear. Spidi complements that versatility with Yellow Fluo, White/Light Blue, Black, and Red color combinations along with sizes available from Small through 3XL. Given the jacket’s ventilating properties, protective pedigree, and multi-seasonal application, that mid-tier MSRP seems more like a bargain.
The Progressive Net isn’t flawless, of course, forfeiting some comfort in the name of insulation and attracting stains like a tablecloth. However, the mesh jacket’s merits far outweigh its missteps. Riders will still turn to the Progressive Net WindOut for the express reason of ventilation, but the model’s flexible features extend its shelf life beyond the dog days of summer.