- Product Review (submitted on November 6, 2011):
Having owned an Aero Transit jacket for nearly a year now, I think I can chip in with a worthwhile review. I’m a 12-month a year rider who lives in southeast VA, so I face a wide spectrum of weather, from 20-degree cold in the winter months to humid, boiling hot 100+ degree days in the summer.
I should preface this review that I’m a bit of a bike clothing/gear hound and experimentalist. I highly value PPE while riding and I’m willing to try various brands and various items, always seeking to tweak what I use and striving to have “just the right gear for that 1 particular ride in that particular weather”. Along with owning various Aerostich gear (Darien jacket, Falstaff Jacket, and Roadcraft jacket), I regularly use a lot of non-Aero gear. My favorite pants are a Fieldsheer mesh pant, and I have Icon and MotoPort jackets that get a ton of use. So, I’m not “wedded” to ‘Stich and I readily use other products.
Any-hoo, the Transit jacket is a superb jacket. The leather is spectacular grade A+++ quality and the protection is stupendous. You put this jacket on the first time, and you can just feel the protection, sturdiness, durability, and quality. Actually, the pictures of this jacket, while of good quality, don’t do this jacket justice, and I would proffer that no photos will do a jacket like this justice. You truly have to see it, feel it, and wear it to appreciate the incredibly high quality of this jacket.
You can get a ton of use out of the Transit during about 9 months out of the year, obviously depending on where you live. Although the jacket breathes well, in broiling 90+ degree weather, it’s a bit too hot, and I much prefer a mesh jacket such as my MotoPort mesh. The Transit can be used in the cold, although my Aero Falstaff and my FirstGear Kilimanjaro are better options in cold, windy weather.
The jacket repels rain quite amazingly. I’ve been through my share of rainstorms in the year I’ve owned this jacket, and its waterproof qualities defy belief. This makes the utility of this jacket quite impressive. I commute 28 miles each way to work and often work 10 hour days, so it’s nice to have a versatile jacket like the Transit when the weather changes unexpectedly and rain, wind, and cold move in out of nowhere.
I happen to like the mandarin collar of the Transit, which some folks complain about. It’s soft and pliable and works pretty well. Can a little bit of water slip in under the collar? Yes. Maybe it’s the old GI in me, but that doesn’t annoy me.
The sleeves on the Transit have been criticized, and rightfully so. Yes, I understand that sleeves on a bike jacket should be long, due to the crook in the arm while riding, blah blah blah. And yes, I ordered the correct size, as I spent a good 25 minutes on the phone with the helpful ‘Stich folks before ordering my size 46 jacket. Fact is, the sleeves are at least 1-inch too long; maybe even a smidgen more too long. While using gauntlet gloves, the excess length gets bunched up under the gauntlet. Now, the good news is that, as the jacket gets worn in, the end of the sleeves softens up some, and this is manageable. I wouldn’t bypass this jacket based on the sleeve length problem; am just pointing it out to be objective and to manage expectations.
The other small problem is the “skinny-ness” of the sleeve “tunnel width”, particularly in the elbow, forearms and wrists. I’m a fairly average guy -- 5’-9-1/2” tall, 194 pounds. I don’t have “Popeye forearms”, yet the sleeves on the lower arms are abnormally tighter that they should be. This becomes a problem when you try to wear under the Transit, oddly enough, the Aerostich TL Tec Wind Blocker Fleece liner, as the bulk of that liner can get gummed up in the sleeve. To alleviate this, you merely have to do a small tug of war, back n’ forth, as you put the Transit jacket on. Instead of this grappling act, I’ve resorted to thinner liners, such as ones made by Nike, Helly Hansen, UnderArmour, and especially a Windstopper ™ liner made by NorthFace. Sure, these aren’t biking-specific liners, but as I noted above, I do a lot of personal experimentation with a variety of items to find solutions that work best for me. The Transit by itself is adequate in weather down to around 45 degrees, but in lower temperature than that, and you absolutely need a liner of some sort underneath, unless you grew up in Alaska and have incredible tolerance to below-freezing temperatures. .
Overall, I have been quite pleased with this jacket and I would recommend the Transit to serious riders looking for protection, style, and utility. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worthy of the price.