Olympia AST 2 Jacket
A very good decision
I have used other olympia gear and decided that I needed a cold weather coat. The AST2 fits well, is really comfortable for me on a long ride and after 4 hours in the rain I am totally convinced in it's rainproof ability. A really good decision for me that I will enjoy for years.
December 2, 2013
Excellent textiles, nice Vents. Armor feeling but not rigid.
Comfortable even though the textiles have been designed to last. The internal armor is reconciled perfectly to the body. Something heavy, nevertheless very efficient at the time of facing rain burst and airflows.
December 2, 2013
Does it all
I have several specialty jackets but Olympia is the brand I come back to when I need something versatile. The AST2 can handle anything short of the most extreme weather and that makes it perfect for long trips. The quality and features are first-rate and I really like the way it looks. The armor is about average but it's a good idea to upgrade the armor in any jacket you get. I recommend this jacket if your priorities are for comfort, safety, and visibility.
December 2, 2013
Very good quality at a reasonable price.
The AST 2 fits my large frame well and seems to be well made. Only have used it in cool weather to date, no rain or heat. Real test will be on more extreme weather.
November 27, 2013
Great so far
I've used the AST 2 from 65F down to 25F--comfortable across that range. No opportunity to use it in warmer weather (yet). The back zipper is not compatible with the Olympia X-moto pants, as I found out.
November 25, 2013
Good winter jacket
First, let me start with what I ride to help give this review a little more perspective. I ride a sport bike so all my riding is done in the forward leaning position. This being a 3/4 jacket, it's obviously designed more for the upright rider than a sport bike rider. But I needed a winter jacket and this seemed like it might do the trick.
Because of the agressive, forward lean position of my bike and the length of the jacket, the jacket does bunch up a LOT when I'm on the bike. So don't be surprised by this if you're a sport rider and you buy a 3/4 jacket. The jacket does have 2 zippers so you can zip the jacket down when you take it off, but you can also unzip it upwards using the 2nd zipper. This is nice to try to prevent the jacket from bunching up so much, but I wouldn't recommend it when on a sport bike in cold weather, it just gives the wind an easy way to enter the jacket from the bottom and blow right up the jacket.
The elbow pads are a point of annoyance for me, they are super stiff and not re-positionable. because of the stiffness and where the 'bends' are made in the elbow pads, it doesn't flex where my elbows actually are. so when i try to flex my arms about 3/4, my elbows catch the elbow pads at the thick, unbendable spot and works as a resistance which makes it a tad bit uncomfortable. I'll probably swap those elbow pads out for the more flexible d30 armor instead since it really bothers me a lot.
There are a lot of vents on the jacket, though the velcro flaps used to cover the zippers tend to get in the way at times and because of their design, i find it can take a bit of time unvelcro'ing, unzipping then folding the flaps over to keep it out of the way of the vents to allow air flow. Then having to undo all that to seal the vent back up again, yea, takes way too much time. Would be nice to see a quicker method of opening/closing the vents being utilized while still being waterproof. I used the vents once since i got the jacket, and that's it. After that, I decided i'd rather just get warm instead of dealing with all the hassle again.
So far I've ridden with the jacket in temps varying from 30F up to around 77F.
The jacket works well in cold temps, i would say anything in the high 70's and up, this jacket could be too warm for some people. Highway speeds at mid 70 temps was just fine, but getting stuck in traffic jams or even stopping to fill up gas, I found myself getting warm and even a little sweaty #with the liner in#. With the liner out, 70's would probably not be too hot. But I doubt I would still wear this jacket in any temps above the mid-70's, especially with the hassle of using the vent system in this jacket.
So far the mornings here have been avg'ing in the 50's #30f being the coldest so far# and with the liner in, this jacket does really well to keep me warm in the 50's. In the mid-high 40's it can get a bit chilly and I wear a fleece neck collar #more about that later#. In the low 40's and colder #30F is the coldest for me so far# I use a heated liner in the jacket and it keeps me cool enough that I don't freeze. My winter gloves aren't that great so my hand tends to freeze while my torso is usually ok. I think if I buy much better winter gloves, this jacket with a heated liner will probably still keep me warm enough down into the 20's.
The high collar is nice, and I'm sure it works really well in a sit up riding style, but when on a forward leaning bike like mine, it just works as a funnel to catch and force air down the front and back of my jacket. In cold temps I have to wear one of those fleece neck collars to seal the gaps in the collar to keep the wind out of my jacket. I have to do this with my other jackets as well, so it's not much of an issue, but the high collar does feel like it's a wind trap and catches more air than my other jackets.
The fit of the jacket, I normally wear a medium in all my gear, this jacket sizing bordered between a small and medium. I went with the medium since I knew I would layer it with a heated liner at a minimum. With or without the extra heated liner, the fit seems a shy big, but still wearable, a small probably would've been a better fit for me #I'm 5'6" and ~165lbs). I have a feeling if I get back down to my normal riding weight of 150, this jacket may end up being too big.
The thermo liner that comes with the jacket can be removed and use as an independent jacket when not riding. I haven't used it like this yet, but it's nice to know it's there if I ever need it.
So far I haven't had to use the jacket in the rain, but I have a feeling that the forward lean position and high collar might make it a water trap just like it does for the wind so I'm not really looking forward to testing it out in wet conditions.
All in all, this is a nice jacket, one of the better cold weather jackets I have. This is actually replacing my rev'it sand jacket as my winter jacket as that one just couldn't hold up to the cold at all, not even with a heated liner. So this will be my winter riding jacket from now on, the sand jacket will be my spring/fall jacket since it's easier to use the vents on it and has better air flow IMO, and my mesh will be my summer jacket.
If not for the vent system on this jacket, I would've considered using it for fall/spring as well, but since it's such a pain and the temps range SO much here in fall/spring (lows in the 40s, highs in the 80s on the same day), having to open/close those vents multiple times a day is just too much of a pain with this jacket. I'd rather just use a different one that is quicker to open and close then this one is.
November 19, 2013
it lasted through a 10 foot slide
an oncoming minivan turned left and I grabbed a handful of brake to avoid a head on collision. the bike and I slid for 10 feet or more. I hit my shoulder pad than slid on my front and back. Needless to say I have to replace the jacket but it saved my skin. besides bruises it could've been worse. The seams in the shoulders held up ok to fair considering the impact and slide. The padding abosorbed and protected. The velcro closures for the venting also look worn after the slide. All the armor is still intact. None of it is exposed as the material held up. I would recommend this jacket for the safety features.
November 18, 2013
Great Cool/Cold/Wet Weather Jacket
Shame on me for forming an opinion about Olympia before actually buying the product. I had thought of Olympia as "low end" until a friend (who rides 20K mi a year) bought one on closeout special and recommended that I do the same.
I needed a jacket that was 3/4 length, relatively windproof and waterproof and didn't cost three bike payments. The AST came through in spades.
The liner is quite nice as a light jacket, but I took it out in favor of my non-Olympia heated jacket liner, which fit inside nicely.
The shell is pretty waterproof as near as I can tell - I wasn't riding in a downpour, but definitely misty fog that was causing water to bead up all over the bike as if it had been in a downpour. No leaks.
The collar is tall, and it can be a bit cumbersome to fasten up while wearing a helmet and gloves at the same time. I'd recommend donning the jacket first, then your helmet, then your gloves. I'd also prefer meatier zippers - they're a bit small for the larger, thicker gloves that you're likely to be wearing with this jacket.
I still haven't figured out what the two pull-down straps are for on the chest pockets.
Speaking of pockets, there are tons of them, and plenty of adjustment straps to get the coat fitting correctly.
Because it's fairly wind-proof, I could see roasting in the jacket on a hot day, even if you open the vents all the way up - it's simply never going to flow air the way a good kevlar mesh jacket would. But as a 3-season jacket, it's a definite keeper.
Take advantage of the close-out pricing if you can. You'll feel like you got away with something.
And I'm now an Olympia believer.
November 18, 2013