Olympia Nomad Jacket
Does exactly as it claims!
I've been hesitant to buying a multi-layer solution as I always wonder if you give up too much by trying to do too much. I also looked at the 'shell' solutions thinking I'd be able to layer myself, but then you get back to the load of clothes to carry issue. Or, I'd need to invest in thinner technical layers which would cost even more. No matter which option, there is an investment and potential show stopper issue that could make it all for nothing.
This jacket fits me pretty well. It is snug with the liners, make no mistake, but fitting a base and mid layer seems to be fine if they remain thin. In my case, this was a 100 weight polypropylene shirt and a thin wool 'sweatshirt'. With the Nomad on top. I was actually too warm at 40 degrees, so this setup will do fine for any temps I'm likely to ride. I estimate that I'll be perfectly comfortable down to at least 20 degrees if not lower. With just a long sleeve t-shirt under the Nomad, I was perfectly comfortable on my morning commute at 35 degrees. I'm finding that I don't need nearly as many extra layers with the Nomad as I had to in the BMW jacket. I think the wind protection is the key. I feel no added cooling from the air regardless of the speed in the temps I've used this in.
With the liners in and a base and mid layer in place, the combination is bulky. You won't be doing jumping jacks in this, but then you don't need a lot of movement to operate the motorcycle. In that activity, I found no issues at all.
On the one day that the afternoon temps were nearly 70 degrees, I pulled out the waterproof and thermal layers and not only was the jacket much more comfortable (less bulk) but also blocked the wind just fine to keep me from needing anything more than the long sleeve shirt I had on under it.
I did open up all the mega-vent panels and went for a quick ride on that 68 degree afternoon. The jacket flowed quite well. The difference was amazing between the open and closed conditions. While this wasn't flowing quite as well as my mesh outfit, it was a lot of air and I was getting quite chilly as a result. I suspect that I might reach for this more in the warmer temps if the airflow is as good as it seems - especially since I can zip up the covers for those evening rides where mesh can get too cool. It is certainly a better alternative than throwing on the rain shell which does not breath at all. At least with the Nomad, I can vary the venting.
The internal pockets are just a little too shallow to comfortably fit my iPhone 5. The pocket will close, but the flap does not lay flat and I can feel it when wearing a thin shirt under the jacket. That said, sticking it in an outer pocket seems to work just fine. Of course, the outer pockets are not waterproof. I typically store the phone in a compartment on the bike as my bluetooth hands free can take a call easily enough.
The velcro held neck strap is irritating. Put pressure on my Adam's Apple when attached loosely. But when tucked out of the way the collar was very comfortable. I usually wear a neck gaiter when it is really cold to help seal the lower edge of my helmet, so this wasn't a big deal in my case. I do have an 18" neck, so a smaller person might not have this issue.
While I can close the jacket cuffs over lighter gloves without the liner in place, the same can not be done with the liner in place. In fact, closing the velcro cuff with just the liner is not easy as the reach of the velcro is a bit short. I really have to use my thumb to get the cuff to compress to get the strap to reach. Be aware you will need to have your glove fit over the cuff when the liners are in, not under the cuff. Since most cold weather gloves are designed with a gauntlet that goes over the jacket cuff, this isn't a big deal usually, but it makes it hard to use my Lee Parks DeerTour gloves if the liner is in. I end up with a mess on at least one cuff.
I did have a chance to ride in some fairly heavy rain and as expected the outer shell got quite wet, but the waterproof liner did not leak at all.
If you shove the mega vent flaps into the pockets fast, they bunch up and might be uncomfortable. However, if you take the time to lay the flaps into the pockets neatly (which really does not take all that long if you have the jacket off) then you can get them in without any noticeable lumps or pressure points even in the back when pressed against a backrest.
I wear a fairly large wristwatch and unless I have it under a long sleeve shirt, it tends to snag the thermal liner a bit. While this hasn't been a big deal, it is something to keep in mind as you dress for the ride.
I've been wearing the Nomad with Rokker Revolution 'jeans', so the pant zipper has not been useful. However, the two snap straps do attach to my belt, but not easily. The best way is to attach them with the jacket off, but that makes putting the jacket on much harder. Not sure a zipper would be much easier given the stiffness of the jacket. Having a spouse or riding buddy fasten it is the preferred solution, but that isn't always possible. Still, I have to give Olympia credit for having the alternative solutions in place. The snaps hold very well and I doubt you'll have one pop free on its own.
It has been nearly two weeks of riding with the Nomad daily and it has remained as stiff as it was when new. In many ways this is a testament to the quality of the materials, but it also means that if you are not comfortable when first putting on the jacket, it is not likely that it will 'break in' all that quickly. So, either plan for an extended period of break-in before a long ride, or exchange it quickly before you remove the tags and otherwise render it as 'used'.
My bike has a feet forward upright riding position. As such, I find that long jackets do not work well as they bunch up on my legs. The Nomad, even while shorter, does the same thing a bit. At first, this resulted in having a bulge up near my neck as the material in the front was pushed up. I had to work the lower edge and ease off on the side adjusters to allow the material to flare a little at my legs. This took several days to really get right, but the jacket now sits better and no longer seems to be riding up in the front.
Reaching up does cause the jacket to ride up. Opening the visor seems to be the highest range of motion I can get, which is fine, but taking off helmet will result in the jacket riding up.
The armor seems substantial. However, under the heavy 2000 weight Cordura, it almost seems to vanish. Again, as the material breaks in slowly, this might change but I find that the armor stays in place and isn't all that noticeable - even in the back protector as I lean against my backrest. This was a pleasant surprise as every other jacket I've owned makes the back armor fairly obvious against the backrest. None of the layers is uncomfortable on top of just a T-shirt and I don't seem to have any seams hitting me in annoying ways.
From the limited testing I've done, it does appear that the vents will flow some significant air. While I have no doubt the venting is not as good as a good true mesh jacket, the protection seems far superior to all but the very best mesh designs, and until you reach the upper end of wanting full flowing air might give those mesh designs a good competition. When it gets really hot and your best solution is to close up and use evaporative cooling, this design might even be better than a true mesh.
I'm never one to consider fashion over function, so the looks rarely has a bearing in my choices. However, I did want to address a few things. I got the Hi-Vis version which uses a more subdued application of the bright yellow material than some designs. Many people have commented that the jacket is certainly visible without being garish. I tend to seek out lighter colored garments so that I don't get baked in the sun, but for this I was not as concerned due to my plan to use it for cooler conditions primarily. However, that said, the grey/pewter color of the body is not terribly dark. The black arms and shoulders are heavy black. I've already mentioned that the liners look good as a jacket. Given some of the clownish styles and not wanting either a 'biker leather' look or a 'off road rally' look, this is a nice street jacket.
November 3, 2014
Lots Of Features
I followed the reviews and ordered a size bigger than normal which made it a Large for me. I'm glad I did because when I tried it on with the thermal liner and waterproof liner it seemed to fit nicely, maybe a little extra room for a sweater if it got really cold. I just broke the jacket in on a 1,300 mile trip from Kentucky to Texas and it worked great. It was hot at times but that's what you're gonna get with a 4 season jacket, it's gonna perform well (but not great) in all situations. I hit rain every day and the waterproof part worked great until the last storm when I got wet mid belly and down, not sure why. But I'm really happy with it, it will be warm in the brutal Texas heat but it's a jacket I can foresee trusting in all types of weather.
June 9, 2014
The Nomad combines function, comfort, and high-viz style.
The Nomad is an all year jacket that offers excellent protection and flexible features like self storing vent panels, and easily adjustable elbow cinch straps and wrist closures. The fabric allows dead bugs to be wiped off without getting stuck in the weave. Two liners allow seasonal adjustments. The slash pockets are a little high to reach while riding, but keep stored items from bulking up the waist area.
December 11, 2013
Good jacket but needs a hood
Great jacket but you will get wet in the rain. Water enters around neck, waist, and at cuffs. Liner needs to be improved.
November 26, 2013
Great airflow and safety
Ordered the Pewter/Neon Yellow jacket and received the jacket a short while ago.
Day I got it went for a ride in 35deg C heat (95F) and it was a dream. Plenty of air flow while riding with only the front panels open! This is my first bike jacket, other than the one provided during my lessons and much better quality of design and air movement.
Bought the neon safety yellow for extra visibility on the road. Wife was driving a-ways down the road, and was wondering what was ahead of her - it was me. Colour is eye catching to other motorists.
Have not needed to ride with the waterproof/thermal liners yet (as it is coming into summer in Australia) so can not comment on these yet.
*Great jacket with loads of features.
*Lots of air movement.
*Neon colour is eye catching to other motorists.
*Sturdy construction but not overly heavy for the amount of protection.
*Not as long as I had hoped for. Currently ride a cruiser so no issue, but could see this being an issue for more bent over riders.
*Armor in the shoulders moves easily - have had to readjust while trying to put a backpack on.
*Mobile phone pocket could be larger - iPhones would be fine, but non-apple might be a bit of a squeeze. My Samsung does not fit.
November 12, 2013
Good value product-lots of special features
I thought the workmanship was really good and the details seemed to be well installed. I have only had it for a couple of weeks so it will be some time before I can comment on durability of this jacket.
November 11, 2013
Great four season jacket!
I hadn't replaced my previous jacket (First Gear) in many years because I couldn't find a non-mesh textile jacket with the protection and ventilation equal to what I already owned. I had actually purchased what I thought would be the perfect replacement (Tourmaster) from another retailer but returned it after the tailoring just didn't fit my body properly and vents that wouldn't stay open. Then I found the Nomad. Absolutely perfect for what I needed. Dense textile fabric, two separate liners that can be mixed/matched/or even worn individually, high grade adjustable armor, and extreme ventilation options for high temp riding. No other jacket comes close to the wide variety of options that the Nomad provides. A+ on product quality as well as A+ on Revzilla service! $25 in Zilla-bucks from my Leo Vince purchase didn't hurt either! PLUS FREE SHIPPING! I ordered on a Thursday night and received my jacket on the following Tuesday morning. Great job Revzilla.
November 4, 2013
Great functionality but feels short while sleeves are too long
I really liked the functionality of the jacket with all its liners and vents. However, it doesn't fit me right. I ordered the Nomad because I didn't want the extra length of the 3/4-style X-Moto. I'm 5'9, 190 lbs, 34 sleeve, 42 -44 chest and ordered Large.
The sleeves were a bit too long for me while the jacket itself felt too short. At the same time there was plenty of room and extra fabric around the chest and the collar was cut too big to close tightly around my 16" neck. I love the four-season functionality but no aspect of this jacket seemed to fit just right. So I'm returning it an ordering an X-Moto in Medium.
October 23, 2013