Dainese Stradon Gore-Tex Jacket
Stradon strengths outweigh its few vexing flaws
Since October 7th I've been wearing the Stradon for commuting and short trips around the city. I don’t have matching cold weather pants for this jacket at the moment, just my Drake Airs, so trips have been kept short. So far, I love it. This is my second Dainese jacket.
First, my stats: 5' 10", 162 lbs, chest 40", waist 36 1/2", sleeve 34".
Here's what I like about the Stradon. size 50:
Gore-tex Pro Shell. No messing with a separate liner. My rides have included heavy fog #more than a week of all day fog here in Vancouver# and heavy rain. No water penetrated at all anywhere on the jacket. The surface stays wet more or less because water doesn't really bead on it, but it dries quick.
Storm-Guard. This is what initially got my attention about this jacket. I have a Rev'it Sand jacket that I wear with a neck warmer during the colder season, but I still wish for more neck protection. The Storm-Guard on the Stradon has worked flawlessly. No issues whatsoever with the snaps being too wide apart. The snaps on my jacket are spaced 1 ¾”, while the ones on the guard are 1 ½” apart. It takes no effort to snap them in place after I put the jacket on. Then I just attach the hook & loop fastener end to the collar. Done. My helmet does not interfere with its function at all. Air/water is blocked off completely to the top of the collar. However, I still wear a full head balaclava to cover my chin and mouth. The soft collar also feels quite nice against the skin.
Front Zipper Closure System. This is thought out well. It consists of an inner 16" zipper that starts midway from the collar, a 3 1/2" wide water tight closure flap, and the 25" front zipper. If water should somehow make it past the front zipper, it'll stop at the flap and just roll down and out of the jacket.
Styling. I wanted a black, slim cold weather jacket with simple lines without flashy colours or big brand logos. The Stradon fits the bill. The leather on the elbow area and behind the neck class the jacket up.
Thermal Lining and Overall Warmth. I usually wear a cotton t-shirt and a thin merino wool shirt underneath. At 4 celsius I feel neutral temperature-wise throughout the jacket. At 3 celsius, I can feel the cold just starting to creep into the front and on the arms. Unfortunately, at -3 celsius, while commuting to work this morning, I was feeling quite cold. When the temp drops this low again I will definitely swap out the thermal liner for my electric liner. But I’m still impressed with its performance in single digit temps above freezing.
Back, Shoulder and Arm Protection. I took them all out to have a look and they feel really well made. The construction is very solid, but they are not really noticeable once inside the jacket. They all stay in place and in one position; no problems with shifting. There’s a pocket in the front for a chest protector, which is one of my favourite features of Dainese gear. The medium size slips in very easy. I wouldn’t recommend the small for this jacket because it would probably fall out everytime you opened the jacket. Pocket opening is 10 3/4".
Gore Lockout Closures. This is my first bit of gear with these things and they are pretty cool. I haven't needed to open them yet on a ride, but they are very quiet when sliding the pull up and down. The Stradon comes with a "marker pen" of silicone lube that you can use on the lockouts. I'll have to see how they do in the long term.
Inner Cuffs. I don't have to worry about water traveling up my sleeve that’s for sure. They have a thumb catch to prevent them riding up the arm, but I haven’t had any problems by not utilizing them.
Comfort and Fitment. This jacket is very comfortable on and off the bike. It doesn’t feel bulky at all; it almost feels tailored. On the bike I have full range of movement even when riding a little more *cough* aggressively. Off the bike, I can walk around without feeling like the Stay Puft marshmallow man.
So, now on to my major issues with this jacket:
-the fabric behind the zipper on the cuffs always snags when closing. I mean, always. I have to use my middle finger to push it in while pulling the zipper pull along. Highly annoying. So I consider this a big design flaw here.
-one of the snaps on the right outside pocket flap broke a few weeks ago. The flange split and the snap fell out, so there’s no way to repair it without cutting some stitches on the flap open. I could make a warranty claim, but I really don’t want to part with the jacket for any length of time. Just a few stitches need to be cut and I can slip in a new snap. However, it’s just disappointing to see this on such an expensive piece of gear.
-A small handful of loose threads developed soon after wearing it. I was able to fix some by stretching the fabric around the thread taut, but I couldn’t fix them all. There’s one on the Storm-Guard that’s unravelling at the front edge, while the area around the cuff zippers are already starting to get fuzzy.
Some things to consider:
-the front edges of the shoulder armour can be felt while riding, at least for me. It’s not uncomfortably so, but enough to let me know they are there. If I raise my elbows they dig into my upper arms a little. All the other protection in the jacket I forget about while riding.
-the inner sleeves extend only 5” from the end of the cuff up the sleeve, so some gloves with long or big gauntlets will have issues fitting under the sleeve. I have several pairs of gloves, however two of them conflict with the Stradon. My Held Phantom 2’s 10 XL have a long stiff gauntlet. Whether over or under the sleeve it pushes the glove away from my fingers. My Gerbing T5’s have a baggy gauntlet that fits much easier over the sleeve. It’s a struggle to get them to fit under the sleeve and get the zipper closed.
-the outside pocket openings are only 5 ½” wide, so trying to retrieve something like keys with regular gloves on is a challenge most of the time.
-the mesh pockets on the outside of the jacket can fit a one litre thermos, but I’m on the fence if I’ll have any need for them.
-the jacket with the liner and protection in place, not including the thorax shield, weighs just under 7lbs if anyone is curious.
Since I haven’t tested the airflow performance I’ll give it a 3 for now. If Dainese addressed the quality control issues and tweaked the design a little more, I would easily give this jacket an overall rating of 5, but as it is with its premium sticker price, it's a 4 to *maaaybe* a 4 1/2 for me. Despite the flaws, this jacket is still impressive in terms of features, performance and comfort. Every time I put it on for a ride I feel ensconced. Bring on the bad weather!
November 21, 2013
Warm and stylish touring jacket
I have bought a lot of Dainese equipment over time and this is the piece I am most happy with; it's the most expensive but the build quality, feel and fit are exceptional. I haven't owned a touring jacket before and the reason I got this was that here in Norway the weather is mostly cold, unstable, and a normal leather jacket left my back exposed to the cold and didn't cope with rain that well. I got this one because it has Goretex (didn't like the idea of the multiple layer insulation system of d-dry) and because it looks absolutely great, imo.
I got the size 50 which fits very well (I am of a "supple" build, aka thin), though my suit size would be 48 with long sleeves. The fit is good, I can put a few layers underneath without feeling bulky, and matches the Lontan pants I got with it very well.
The zippers work great, and the special vent zippers are brilliant; I've worn the jacket for more than a month now and feels and works fantastic: keeps me warm, dry, and the only complaint is that the zippers on the arms (on the front, just under the shoulder) open during riding, probably because of the riding position and the wind. The adjusters are nicely positioned; I don't have experience with other brands for comparison but they work fine for me.
For crash protection, it is good but not great; when ordering I thought the chest protectors were included, and that was part of the reason I decided to spend so much money (900eur...) on the jacket; the back protector is great and the shoulder/elbow protectors are also very solid, and very well positioned; I don't have issues putting the jacket on, wearing it and taking it off.
For finishing, the jacket is amazing, all the details are just great. I do have a minus, which is that the back pocket's zipper pull is missing (should be a small nice pull like the front lower pockets) which makes it very difficult to open.
To close, the internal lining is top quality, the neck soft lining looks strange and needs to be adjusted when putting the jacket on but works great, and also the front neck closure system is a bit difficult to operate (has 2 small clips on the lower side, and velcro on the right but also works just great.
Overall I'm extremely happy with the jacket.
June 25, 2013
Quality Quality Quality!
As an extremely picky customer, which always has something to complain about, I am very pleased with my new purchase. Well don Dainese!
March 19, 2013
Dainese Stradon Jacket Review
Overall, this jacket is pretty ridiculous, but for the price, I think it should be closer to perfect than it is. Construction and protection is top notch and it feels like it will stand up to a lot of abuse. Its got a ton of style to boot, but there are a few issues (2 of them being pretty major).
If your considering this jacket, remember the bulk added by the liner and back protector. I am +/- a few cm on the majority of size 48 measurements and the jacket fits just right. I have just enough room for a t-shirt and mid weight fleece layer and its on the verge of being too tight (Its wicked warm though).
The things I like:
Great adjustability to suit various weather and temperatures.
Great quality materials and construction.
The armor is awesome and I feel very protected wearing the jacket.
Armor placement is perfect.
Thoughtful placement of pockets (More on pockets later).
The jacket is super comfortable in riding position.
So far, it has kept me completely dry but have not worn it in rain lasting any longer then 20 minutes.
The things I'm not too fond of:
#1 major issue-The storm guard doesn't work. On my jacket, the distance between the two front snaps on the jacket are much further apart than those on the guard itself. I'm unable to snap it to the jacket when I'm wearing it. Beyond that, you have to yank the heck out of it to even get it to reach the snaps. This is a pretty big issue and am considering a warranty claim over it because I'd love that storm guard to work in my climate.
#2 major issue-The wrist zippers snag on the inner material and it is really annoying. I consider it a pretty big design flaw.
Exterior pocket zippers are too short. I don't have big hands and find it difficult to reach the bottom of the front pockets.
The jacket is a bit long but this is easily fixed with the two way front zip.
The water bottle pockets detract from the jacket's overall good looks and functionality.
February 27, 2013