Icon 1000 Hood Jacket Review

MotorcycleUSA Staff | October 29, 2014
Living in Oregon, hoodie jackets aren’t just a fashion statement. They’re a necessity, shelter from the cold, a barrier against the rain, a way to keep heads warm when an unexpected wind whips in from the Pacific or down the Columbia River Gorge. Admittedly, fashion does play its part in its role as our cultural identity.Considering Icon’s design team is based in Portland, where ice storms can shuttle the city and rain is a fact of life, it’s little surprise the crew tapped into the style’s popularity with the 1000 Hood Jacket. The jacket is a member of Icon’s 1000 collection, the brand’s next generation line of top-shelf gear, an evolution in style designed to bridge the gap between protective gear and smartly fashioned attire. For the last couple of months, I’ve worn the jacket almost daily, from 90-degree days at the tail end of summer where I stripped out the liner to 45-degree morning fall commutes where I couldn’t wait to get it back in.

The first thing I noticed when pulling the Icon 1000 Hood Jacket out of its shipping box was how heavy it is. There’s got to be half a cow in this thing. I mean this in the most complementary way, because all that premium cowhide, ranging from 1.1 to 1.3mm thick, serves as the primary buffer between your skin and asphalt. Soft to the touch, easily bendable in the elbows, yet thick enough to be abrasion resistant in the unfortunate case of a get-off, which fortunately we haven’t had to test. I ordered an XL and it fits comfortably between the shoulders and arm length is ideal as it sits right at my wrists when I reach for the bars. Flex panels in the shoulders and elbows eliminate the need for break-in time.

The black stitching against the brown leather not only looks sharp, at junctures like the elbows and shoulders it has been double stitched for reinforcement. It rates with the most solidly constructed jackets I’ve worn in eight years of test riding bikes. A heavy-duty zipper runs up the front, there zippers running up each side that provide a little more adjustability in the waist, and two short zippers on the sleeves that can be opened up to allow air to run up the sleeves on hot days. There’s no vents to open up, Icon opting to outfit the jacket with small perforations in the chest, under the arms and along the sides, and mid-back instead. On those 90-plus degree days, it was toasty because of the sheer amount of leather you’re wearing. On those mid 40-mornings, the jacket’s been my best friend.

The interior of the jacket features a non-removable polyester liner in addition to a soft, quilted removable liner. The removable polyester liner has three small stash pockets, two of them zippered, to go along with a convenient slit cut into it so you can access the big pocket of the permanent liner. The second liner has a small zippered pocket in the right-side chest area and two deeper pockets sewn into the left side, the first sized perfectly for a cell phone and the second about map size (remember those things?) Another zippered, hand-deep pocket is cut into the leather inlay of the chest on the left side. On the outside, there’s four more pockets, two hand-sized ones at the waist and two smaller ones on each side of the chest. I’ve been using the two lower ones primarily because they zip up so stuff doesn’t fly out when you’re riding. Overall, the 1000 Hood Jacket gives riders plenty of places to stash necessities.

The inner permanent liner also serves to house the jacket’s full complement of D30 armor, including shoulders, elbows and a large back protector. All of the armor is removable, cinched into place by small Velcro tabs in the elbows and shoulders while a fold-over tab holds the backplate in place. The elbow pad stretches down to cover a bit of the forearm as well and the back protector is full-size. Best part is, the armor blends in so well with the jacket it isn’t bulky and doesn’t restrict movement while still providing a secondary level of protection.

Though styling is subjective, I find the Icon 1000 Hood Jacket to be a fine-looking piece of motorcycle gear. This sentiment is reiterated by my wife, a truer barometer of fashion sense who loves the styling. The hood is made of the same high-quality leather of the jacket and is removable. A zipper and two buttons keep it in place. I haven’t noticed it ever acting like a sail while riding and it served its purpose while walking down Virginia Street in the rain during a recent trip to Reno’s Street Vibrations. The brown jacket we’ve been testing has a rugged, slightly distressed look. Badging is succinct and tasteful, a solitary Icon metal badge on the chest the only visible identifier on the outside. There’s a couple Icon and 1000 series patches on the inside along with a “Designed and Developed in Oregon” label.

The Icon 1000 Hood Jacket blends a clean, modern look with good-old fashioned ruggedness, from the heavy leather to the full arsenal of D30 armor. There’s handy pockets throughout and a useful hoody when you’re off the bike. Stylish enough to wear on a “Gentleman’s Ride” yet masculine enough to walk down Main Street Sturgis with. At $600, buying one is a commitment, but if I was going to plunk down six bills on an everyday riding jacket, the Icon 1000 Hood Jacket would be it.

Buy it at the Motorcycle Superstore!
Sizes X-Small to 5X. Black or Brown. $600

MotorcycleUSA Staff