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Icon Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket Review

Thursday, January 19, 2012
Icon Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket
Icon's Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket is lightweight, durable, vents well and is reinforced with field armor, all wrapped up in a sporty textile package.
The fun factor is definitely there when riding the Can-Am Spyder RSS.
Icon is known to inject a little swagger in its gear. The Icon Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket is no exception. With a throwback design reminiscent of vintage racing jackets and doctored up with sponsor badges from K&N, Barnett, Wiseco and Champion, the Icon styling team has once again hit the nail on the head.

The Brawnson Sidewinder is made of durable textile that’s woven tight, giving it the power to deflect wind and shed water. Though it’s not billed as a water-proof jacket, it kept us dry in light rain, but you wouldn’t want to get caught out in a deluge in it. The textile is going to offer somewhat of a buffer against road rash, but Icon has reinforced vital areas as a primary source of protection, with field armor in the elbows, shoulders, and a dual-density foam back pad. Icon’s stitched convenient little pockets in the mesh liner to hold the armor, so all of it can easily be removed.

The jacket comes with a removable padded vest liner and with the liner in, the jacket’s good down to about 45 degrees. Below that, cold air seeps in through the teeth of the front zipper. With the liner removed and the vents open, its lightweight construction makes it a great sunny day jacket, too. The jacket circulates plenty of air thanks to two zippered vents on the shoulder and two on the back. The sleeves can also be unzipped to allow air to rush up the arms, as long as your aren’t wearing gauntlet-style gloves.

Don’t anticipate carrying more than the necessities because the Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket only has a few pockets. The two zippered exterior pockets are hand-deep and there’s also a cool button-down cell phone pocket on the outside of the jacket as well. There’s a deeper “internal stash pocket” just inside the left breast, but that’s it as far as storage opportunities go. It’s a sporty, bar hopper jacket more so than a tourer anyways.

After wearing the Brawnson Sidewinder for the past few months, we’ve come to appreciate the soft cloth collar stitched into the liner which zips up high on cool evening rides home. The jacket is lightweight and folds up easy if you need to stash it in a saddlebag, taking up much less space than bulky leather. The Brawnson is cut long in back, so it’ll hide your plumber’s crack if you’re in a leaned-forward, sportbike riding position. The length of the sleeves on an XL comes down perfectly just past our wrist, so sizing is spot-on. There are a couple of snaps with two settings on the sides of the jacket to cinch in the waist.

We went with an orange and white color scheme that is highly visible at night. When we first got it, the white was so bright we had to wear shades, but we’ve since grunged it up a bit. Of course, we’ve been known to wear our sunglasses at night, too. OK, I’ll stop with the cheesy ‘80s Timbuk 3 and Corey Hart one-hit wonder references, but you get the drift. Maintenance is straight-forward. Everything’s wiped off with a damp, soapy cloth so far, except for deep-set grease stains on the white sleeves.

The Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket is a solid all-around jacket. Lightweight, durable, and reinforced in all the right areas, you’ll blend right in whether you’re cruising into the next bike night or catching a flat track race. And its $230 sticker price also is a little easier to swallow than leather jackets which can cost two to three times more.

The Icon Brawnson Sidewinder Jacket is available from the Motorcycle Superstore in black, orange or red.
MSRP $230
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