The Fieldsheer Highland Jacket has stood up to the test of three riders using it for three different purposes and didn’t disappoint us regardless of the circumstances.
We go through gear around here like six-year-old boys wear holes in the knees of their best pair of school jeans. Which means we want gear that’s not going to shred in case of a get-off, is durable enough to wear for days on end, shields us from water yet is still porous so that we don’t feel like we’re riding in a sweatbox, and has lots of pockets to stuff all of our necessities in. To meet our stringent list of demands, Fieldsheer sent over a solid riding combo in the form of its Highland Jacket and Booster Pants.
Our Fieldsheer Highland Jacket came in an attractive silver and black. The 660 Denier Nylon Taslan outer shell is flexible enough that it didn’t require a long break-in period like leather does. The shell is thick enough that it kept me plenty warm on chilly coastal mornings during our 1100 mile trek up California’s Highway 1 and ventilates well enough to continue wearing comfortably when the sun comes out. Riding along the Pacific coastline, we inevitably got rained on, so we can vouch for Fieldsheer’s claim that the jacket is waterproof.
A highlight of the jacket is its ability to be adjusted for a custom fit. The Fieldsheer Highland Jacket has Velcro adjustments at the wrists, waist and neck. There’s a pair of snaps on each arm to further cut down on cold wind shooting up your sleeve. This is part of Fieldsheer’s unique 4-step adjustable sleeve volume control in the upper and lower sleeves that aims to keep the armor snug for all arm sizes regardless of whether you have the liner in or not. Depending on how you like to wear your jacket, you can have it skin-hugging tight or a little more loose-fitting. The Highland Jacket has a Thermo Pilot Liner that is soft and comfortable. The liner comes out and Fieldsheer claims it can be worn separately as a jacket, but I only used the jacket in chilly conditions, so I never had a need to remove it.
The jacket has been tailored to fit riders in an upright riding position, so the bottom of the jacket sits just below my waist line. It does have an eight-inch waist zip connector and a universal snap belt connector in the back that easily attaches to the Booster Pants to keep it from creeping up and letting cold air in.
Another feature we liked about the Highland Jacket is its abundance of pockets. Check out this list – two zipped front hand warmer pockets, three upper chest plus one for your mobile phone, two lower cargo, one zipped map, one inside Velcro, and one other inside mobile phone pocket, just in case. There’s more than enough compartments to misplace your motorcycle’s keys, which I did once. But it still scores high for providing plenty of storage space.
The top of the pockets fold over the bottom and cinch down tight with Velcro, ensuring that water doesn’t get in and short out your electronic devices. The hand pockets work two-fold. The top pocket is large enough for a wallet or folded maps and the underlying pocket is smaller but has the bonus security of zipping up tight.
And while the quality construction of the jacket is guaranteed to keep you dry, we appreciated that the venting system worked well also. Two vents in front unzip at the shoulder and a larger vent runs between your shoulder blades. Open all three up and the Highland Jacket circulates enough air to cool you down quick.
One area where the Highland Jacket doesn’t score as high is in protection. There is a Ballistic nylon overlay that reinforces select areas like the elbows, but overall the armor is light. The padding in the elbows is the most protective, but it slides around slightly and you have to maneuver it back into place when putting on the jacket. There’s light padding in the shoulders and a soft armor plate in the back. All of the armor is CE-approved and removable, but it’s definitely not reinforced enough for hard impacts.
The overall design is very stylish. Even though there’s a ton of pockets, it doesn’t detract from the jacket’s appeal. It not only looks good, but Fieldsheer also keeps rider’s safety in mind, with reflective piping on tabs under the chest pockets and in the pinstripe-style trim that runs under the arms and around the shoulders. The piping is reflective Phoslite and increases a rider’s nighttime visibility, and includes a spot-reflective, high abrasive material in back.
And even though the Fieldsheer Highland Jacket and the Booster Jacket aren’t sold together as a full riding suit, they were built to complement each other. Our pants were the same silver and black as the jacket and when you zip them together it’s almost as good as having a full-length suit.
The Fieldsheer Booster Pants have the same high-quality construction as the jacket and kept us warm and dry on chilly coastal mornings.
The Booster Pants bare many of the same attributes as the jacket. They are waterproof, but the 600 denier Carbolex material is porous enough to allow the pants to breath. Airflow is assisted by two vents in the thighs. A removable liner adds another layer of protection and is comfortable on bare skin. The pants button at the waist and have a Velcro storm flap covering the zipper.
The Booster Pants don’t have as many pockets as the jacket, but all four of them (two front, two back) zip up tight. The pockets are about a hands-length deep, which is good for your license and cash, but there’s so much storage potential in the jacket that you don’t really need to use the pants’ pockets.
One of the Booster pants’ best features is its three-quarter length zippers up both legs. Even legs need a chance to breathe, and if you’re layering up for a cold-weather ride, it makes getting ready a tad easier. The leg-length zippers have the same style of storm flap that covers the zipper on the crotch, so wind working its way through the teeth isn’t an issue. The bottom of the pants cinch at the ankles courtesy of more Velcro attachments.
The only other detractor from an otherwise stellar riding suit is when it comes time to clean the nylon exterior. It got some pretty good stains on it when JC was kicking up some dirt on a recent off-road ride, and you aren’t supposed to machine wash or dry clean the outer garment. The liners are removable and washable, but the outside shell requires a thorough sponge bath with a non-biological treatment. Sorry, Clorox, but no bleach action here.
The Fieldsheer gear has proven its versatility. It got my seal of approval when I wore it on our 1100-mile quest up the California coastline, Bart wore it riding the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-14 one day when the local temps dipped into the 30’s, and JC also abused it – I mean, used it on a two day test of the 2008 BMW GS1200. And no, it’s not one size fits all, it just happens that all three of us happen to have similar builds and are in the six-foot tall range, albeit JC probably had to really cinch in the pants tight because he’s about 40-lbs lighter than me. After months of wear and numerous excursions, there’s not a loose thread visible anywhere. It has served us faithfully and gets Motorcycle USA’s three thumbs up.
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Color Options: Black, Red, Silver and Tan
Color Options: Black, Silver
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