It doesn’t come as much surprise that Roland Sands was able to transfer his eye for design to the world of apparel, too. He’s already demonstrated his creativity in the custom motorcycle realm and has splattered his artwork on a Bell Helmet or two. So when the RSD Mission Jacket arrived for us to test out, we were pleased to see it fits his M-O and rocks the same machismo as everything else he creates.
Look closely and you’ll see that the Mission Jacket has a bunch of subtle detailing, from the ribbing in the lower back and elbows to the collar snap to the built-in clasp in the right front pocket. The RSD Mission we tested came in the two-tone charcoal/black scheme which defines the various leather panels and highlights the design well. The jacket is made of quality distressed leather, thick enough to offer some degree of abrasion resistance but not so thick that it prohibits full-range of movement.
Combine its pliable leather with pre-curved sleeves and the jacket needs little break-in time. We had heard that standard sizing might be a little tight in the chest for a size 46 so we went a size up and the length and fit is spot-on. Comfortable from the moment we put it on, it sports a soft satin permanent liner inside. With small perforations in the elbow and under the arm, along with big zippered vents in the back, the RSD Mission Jacket circulates plenty of air. When the small waistline zippers on the sides of the jacket are opened up, it allows a bit more air flow to creep in from underneath, too. The Mission provides a solid buffer from cold down to about 50 degrees, but beyond that we’re throwing on a hoodie underneath for added warmth because otherwise you’ll get a great demonstration on how much air small perforations actually let in.
Besides the natural protection leather provides, the jacket has extra padding in the elbow and shoulder panels. It comes with pockets sewn into the liner for elbow, shoulder and back protection, but doesn’t come standard with them. This is a little puzzling seeing how comparably priced motorcycle jackets generally come equipped with CE armor included in the sticker price, and the RSD Mission Jacket ain’t cheap, in design or price.
Motorcyclists by nature like to have plenty of pockets to stuff things in, so the Mission Jacket is equipped with two exterior pockets that are hand deep and zippable. Stitched into the inner liner are a couple of stretchy cargo pockets while a small buttonable breast pocket sits on the right. Opposite it is a small zippered pocket and both inside chest pockets are fairly secure for items you don’t want to lose like a license or phone.
Most of our time spent in the RSD Mission Jacket has been in a cruiserish, upright riding position and we like that the jacket doesn’t lose much length in the arms, even when reaching for a set of mini-apes. We also dig the flexibility the flex panels in the elbow allow. Keeping the cut of the jacket long in back so it doesn’t ride up if you have to lean forward benefits riders, too. The one gripe we do have about its design is the collar that sometimes rubs right under my Adam’s apple when riding.
Throw on an RSD Mission Jacket and you’ll feel like rock star. Ruggedly stylish, it has the same attention to detail as Roland shows his bikes. Of course, you might need to make rock star-like money to be able to swallow the $500 sticker price.