Weise Atlanta Jacket Review © Brake Magazine 2015

Rated – Weise Atlanta Jacket/Marin trousers

This product test is a tale of two halves, quite naturally as we’re talking about a riding jacket and trousers, but also because I have massively different opinion about the two items of clothing.

I am a fan of Weise riding kit and have worn it plenty in different riding conditions and on different bikes. What I like is the usually smart styling, simplicity in design and to be honest the fact that it proves you don’t need to spend huge money to get good looking practical and functional riding kit.

The Weise clothing range sits in the middle of the clothing market in my view, not down the cheap end but certainly not up in the clouds with some. Within the range there’s plenty of variety to spend more or less depending on your needs or preference. Among that sit the Atlanta jacket and Marin trousers I’ve been using on an off since Spring 2015.

Both the Atlanta Jacket and Marin trousers have the required spec list: removable CE armour, adjustable Velcro fastenings and stretch paneling to improve fit, removable and washable quilted linings, loads of pockets – pretty much all that you’d want as standard. The trousers have removable braces and they attach to the jacket via zips. The jacket has more functions including more pockets and waterproof venting zips. Both come in wide range of sizes from small to 5XL.

Their 600 denier polyester outer material is light, durable and decent on the crash protection scale. I have no plans to go skidding up the road at 70mph which would certainly test the abrasion resistance. But a moderate spill off-road, which is where, if I’m going to crash I usually do, then this level of material density is absolutely fine. It’s a trade-off of course and if you want ultimate protection for falling down the road at speed you have to buy heavier, hotter clothing which usually costs more.

There’s something of an elephant in the room in as much as this isn’t really clothing design specifically for adventure riding. Weise makes a whole bunch of kit which is more adventure-oriented. But this gear, the jacket at least, is smaller, lighter and closer fitting than many more ADV-oriented style jackets. We try and test kit from different parts of the spectrum at Brake Magazine and this is simply at one end of the scale. It’s more road-based clothing if you like, which makes it a good test to see how it performs with all the on and off road riding we do round here.

The ‘hidden’ map pocket round the bum was indeed hidden for a few weeks, until I found it.

Both claim to be waterproof and so far the jacket has proved itself in, at times, very testing weather conditions. The trousers haven’t performed quite as well and have leaked slightly in the groin area on one terribly wet day of motorway riding. This is a problem area for motorcycle clothing manufacturers because it’s where water runs off the jacket down and ‘pools’, plus there’s a zip which no matter how they try to hide it all away, does always seem to be vulnerable in heavy weather conditions.

Removable quilted lining in both jacket and trousers has proved ample warm enough, although I haven’t used either in very cold weather. They zip out and stash away easily enough but as a rule, and because of the fit of the jacket, I’ve been removing other mid-layers and leaving the linings in place unless it was really warm.

I like the amount of pockets on the Atlanta jacket, I could always use a few more but the amount suits the style of coat. It’s a strange point to make maybe but pockets are useful and on a jacket that isn’t particularly designed with off-road or adventure riding in mind this coat comes up trumps. The “hidden” map pocket (as Weise call it) round the bum was indeed hidden for a few weeks until I found it. I like a bum pocket on a jacket to put layers, linings or tools in as I don’t always carry a bag. It’s another way of keeping things out the rain blast round the back there too.

The ‘soft touch’ collar is adjustable and comfortable but not adjustable enough and sits tight around my neck.

Speaking of waterproofing and pockets, the Atlanta has a separate stash of “waterproof pockets” inside (three plus a single “Napoleon” waterproof pocket which sounds good but I have no intention of riding one-handed to use it properly).

I think from experience people tend not to keep good enough care of their clothing so over time the external proofing can begin to fail. Having a safeguard for wallets and phones inside is logical given how lazy we can be with washing our kit.

The venting on the chest and arms is well positioned and works, although I wouldn’t mind a bit more free-flowing movement of air on hot days than these deliver.

Generally I like the fit of the Atlanta although the arms are a tad tight with the quilted lining in place but that does make fit just right with the lining out. It’s adjustable with the Velcro straps up the arms though. So often jackets can be too loose without their lining in place, which compromises the armour.

The “soft touch” collar is adjustable and comfortable but not adjustable enough and sits tight around my neck. I don’t have a thick neck by the way so it’s unusual to have too much restriction around the front, to the point where the Velcro only just reaches to do up.

My only other minor gripe about the Atlanta is the flatter type of CE armour it employs in the elbows, shoulders and back. It’s a general preference thing for me but the sculpted armour on the elbow fits better and stays in place. This flatter sort is less comfortable and moves more easily. Shoulders and back protection is fine and comfortable however.

I’m happy at this stage in my life not to look like an old giffer.

The Marin trousers are a different story, this is a tale of two halves if you like. For a start they are much more basic in design without the same level of functions such as pockets, adjustment, comfort and indeed tailoring it seems.

I’ll be frank and say I don’t like them because of how they fit me. As a rule I’m pretty good and not far off the shape of a shop window mannequin (though not quite so smooth). Large-sized clothing of any description tends to fit me pretty well whatever the manufacturer and whatever the purpose.

So when something doesn’t fit it stands out a mile and feels awkward. Which is the case here. The Marin trousers come up too high like an old man’s trousers over my gut. The braces extension makes sense in the winter when you want to layer up and get all tucked in to stop the cold but most the time I’m happy at this stage in my life not to look like an old giffer. The braces extension unzips but the tailoring is all a bit too wrong for me. The amount of space in the thigh area, amplified by the generous stretch panels above the knee, is out of proportion with the tightness of the lower leg. Fitting well around the outside of the boot is a good thing so why is the upper leg so baggy by comparison? This also makes them too loose around the knee so the armour is largely ineffective because it moves out the way too easily. With no venting the temperature inside isn’t controllable other than by removing the quilting also.

The zipper up the calf to allow the trousers to fit nicely over boots sits on the inside of the leg, putting it in the wrong place for my liking and the wrong place for riding a bike (didn’t anyone tell them?!). What that means is you end up with the zip puller catching on the frame of foot levers and either scratching or being pushed open by foot movement, or both. I’ve caught it on the end of the footrest a couple of times too which is slightly unbalances things when you’re on the way to putting your foot down. It’s also a prime place to get mud ploughed into the zip which makes it hard to open the zip without rinsing it first and is going to cause faster wear rate. The simple solution would be to position it around the back of the calf – like so many other trousers do.

Oh, and the pockets are just plain daft. I’ve never used them other than to make myself look like a goon.

Trousers aside, for riding kit that I quite like I’ve moaned a lot here haven’t I? In short the trousers are a bit wrong-headed but the jacket is good. The Atlanta jacket works better on road but performs well off it, an adventure-lite jacket you might say. Perfectly good at performing day-to-day in different weather conditions it looks smart too. I’d give it a taller, more adjustable collar given the tailoring choice but otherwise the niggles I found were mostly preference. Price is usually good with Weise and same rules apply here. Check out thekeycollection for more info.

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