After owning my beloved long wishful bike Royal Enfield, i started off with couple of long drives either solo or with groups and more in the future. Riding is really a blissful moments a rider feels on the open road, yet at the same time riders safety comes at the highest most priority. Though i was using my trekking jacket for few rides, but it is not enough to protect me from a fall off bike. Hence, i started looking for a jacket. Read couple of reviews reports about Rynox, DSG, Spartan, aspada, Zeus. Rynox has most number of positive comments compared to the rest brands, who all fall under the price bracket of under 9K INR.
Till the previous day evening, my mind was fixed to for Rynox as a first choice and Cramster/Spartan as backup choice. Zeus and DSG though looks great and quite trendy in looks, but has a bad review as per few forum members. Hence, i had to drop the idea of DSG and Zeus. While i was looking for shops near by my area, i happen to stumble upon another shop called Solace Inc near to my area. Upon visited their store website, it came to be knowledge about the unsung jacket brand called Solace inc.
Started reading the reviews about this jacket upon getting impressed seeing the pics about their product Defender plus, which fits under my budget. However, it was to my disappointment that not many review articles were found on the internet, regardless of my an hour long search in various forums. Hardly found 2 review which were all in a positive terms.
Henceforth, i started with product comparison between Solace vs Rynox vs Cramster/Spartan. For the price bracket i was looking under, all products more or less had similar features and quality-safety undertaken. With still Rynox and Cramster/spartan as the preferred choice lingering in my mind, i thought of visiting solace shop near to my home, just to have a look and feel at the product and then proceed to another shop farther away in buying rynox.
Next morning, i went to the solace shop near Banashankari, the shop is owned by company itself and not a dealer, yet its not too big. There were 2 types of products (riding jackets) available at the shop, which is Defender and Defender Plus. These guys as well do some customization of the jackets for selling at less price.
The Defender Plus, being the latest model has gone through couple of modifications based on the customer feedback.
The jacket comes in a good plastic casing which can be hung via a hanger and it looks good. The quality of the cover itself is thick and so far holding onto the jacket weight well. I continued to analyze the product at the shop and in parallel started discussion with the office in charge lady there. This lady was very courteous, supportive with whatever questions or doubts i raised and did answered all the questions comfortably with a smile on her face. She as well explained all the features of the jacket even though at times i asked multiple times.
She even suggested with full confidence in trying out the jacket and go for a ride. I was surprised to hear this, as to not keeping any thing for assurance off a complete stranger, in handing over the new jacket to try for a short ride o_0. I thanked her and went for a short ride. The jacket did fit well and felt comfortable for that short ride. I as well openly discussed with her about the comparison of different brands vs solace. She nicely and very fairly explained the pros and cons of the product. As per her, this company is just 3 years old and so far, they are importing everything from Germany. Only any faulty repairs are carried here but every raw material required is imported.
The jacket looks nice and trendy/stylish, but for me safety was more important than any other. She explained about the comparison of protector pads of Knox VS Sas-tec. Also multiple air vents added to keep it cool inside. This version comes with fixed rainproof inside the inner lining and can not be detachable. The company claims 100% waterproof, but like every other jacket review says, i am mostly sure it is not 100%. After for an hour, i was convinced and went ahead to buy. Sadly the company is giving only 4 months of warranty on the product, though i wasnt happy about just 4 months. Expected atleast an year long.
I had a long drive of around 400 kms round trip with this jacket towards Horsley hills – Andrapradesh. I must say so far, i am happy about the jacket. The jacket during the ride and during the short brakes under the hot sun kept me cool. However, prolonged exposure under the hot sun does makes me sweat, just like other jackets. The jackets has 4 zipped vents at front and rear. And on shoulder as well a vent is available. Which is very much useful.
The elbow joints and the shoulder joints gets a expandable design, which is quite comfortable and is very flexible when needed.
This jacket has a back support pads which again is from Sas-tec, with rating Type 1, and is very flexible unlike Knox.
This helps in itself taking the body shape thus keeping rider flexible and comfortable. While some riders might not be satisfied with Type 1 and prefer to go Type 2, but for my purposes this is perfect.
The elbow and shoulder pads as well from Sas-tec made, with ratings Type 2. These pads are quite thick and strong yet flexible in nature. This giving the rider the comfort needed.
After wearing for more than 8 hours, i did not feel any blocking or irritated by the presence of these pads.
This jacket comes with a zip extension to attach the riding pant. Read reviews about other brands under same price bracket not giving such extension. For a pro rider, i guess this is a much helpful comfortable option.
Thermals is not that thick and neither at the moment i am able to justify its capacity in keeping rider warm in cold weather. However, it fits well and comfortable when i tried it out. It is attachable via a zip to the jacket, that way sits at a place than moving.
1. I am bit disappointed with not having enough outer pockets like Cramster do. Also the size should have been a bit bigger. It has only 2 external pockets than 4+. I wish it did give more pockets; helps in carrying small stuffs easily.
The inner lining cloth of the pocket does sometime gets in or gets stuck with the zipper thus have to be careful when closing the pocket zip.
2. Jacket is not that heavy. I was able to carry it comfortably all over the place on my hands when not riding.
3. Jacket has 2 strips of reflective clothing on front and back as shown in pic, but i felt a bit bigger size is required to make it more effective during night.
Over all, i am so far satisfied with the jacket and the features it has for the price range of 7K, it falls in. The material quality like rest is good, stitching as well good. Zip quality is good.