The “vented mesh” textile jacket has become an extremely popular riding apparel item in the sizzling hot days of summer, and there are tons of different brands to choose from. We originally shied away from wearing them, as the initial offerings left us more than a little suspicious as to their durability in a crash. But the newer vented textile jackets are of much better construction, and we’ve been testing a few of them. One offering that’s stood out lately is the AirVent textile jacket from AGV Sport.
One reason we used to cast a wary eye on vented textile jackets was because some of them had somewhat flimsy-looking material in major impact areas. The AirVent jacket addresses those concerns by placing actual leather reinforcement panels in the shoulders and elbows. The rest of the jacket is constructed using polyester MaxTex 600-denier fabric, with multiple-stitched main seams to ensure structural integrity and resist tearing. CE-approved (EN 1621 Level 1) armor in the shoulders and elbows provide hard protection, along with an 8mm-thick memory foam back protector.
The vented mesh panels for cooling airflow are located on the chest, inner arms, and back area, with a 100-percent polyester anti-bacterial fixed mesh liner helping to wick away moisture and keep you comfortable. Soft fleece material and neoprene are used in the collar to prevent chafing, and the arms feature pre-curved tailoring to prevent binding and/or bunching in a riding position. A removable lightweight waterproof and breathable Reissa liner zips into the jacket to ward off those sudden summer showers, and the arm cuffs feature water-resistant zipper closures with Velcro fasteners; adjustable Velcro straps in the arms and waist help keep the jacket’s fit snug. Reflective piping runs down the front and back of the AirVent for nighttime visibility, and there are two zippered hand-warmer pockets, a zippered inner chest pocket, and a zippered change pocket on the left arm. And finally, an 8-inch rear zipper allows attachment to one of AGV Sport’s vented textile pants.
There’s no shortage of cooling airflow with the AirVent jacket, that’s for sure. Even when worn behind the big fairing of a sport-touring bike on a hot day, the AirVent never had us wanting for more ventilation. Overall tailoring was nice on our size-medium jacket, with plenty of arm length that prevents the cuffs from pulling back and exposing part of your wrists when riding in an aggressive sportbike position. We especially appreciated the fleece/neoprene collar on the longer rides; we’ve encountered plenty of textile jacket collars (even those that were mandarin-style like the AirVent) that tended to annoyingly chafe on our neck after a while.
The only gripes we have with the AGV Sport AirVent jacket are that the elbow armor moves around a bit too much for our liking (an additional arm strap on the forearm would likely help here) and that the middle of the back of the jacket is basically all mesh material. Although the back protector is there between you and the jacket, we’ve had a few crashes where we slid on our back for a bit, and we’d prefer to have at least a section of more durable material in that area.
Oh, yeah, there’s one more big selling point with the AGV Sport AirVent textile jacket: the wallet-friendly list price of just $129. You’d be hard-pressed to find a comparable value in a vented textile jacket with the same features and overall quality build. Available in sizes medium to XXL, in both all black and the gray/black model shown.
AGV Sport AirVent Vented Textile Jacket
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