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Before purchasing the Dainese Avro D-Dry Jacket, my gear closet consisted of two things: a summer dedicated jacket, with lots of mesh for hot days and no liner, and a winter dedicated jacket which is 3/4 length, fully waterproof and has no venting to speak of. Obviously, this created a gap in my riding season.
Frankly, I thought I could just bridge the gap by wearing the winter jacket on cooler days, or the summer jacket with a wind-stopper layer on warmer days. I tried this over spring and realized it wouldn’t work. The summer jacket couldn't be worn for warmer, wet days and the winter jacket was simply too warm above 55 degrees, leaving me with about a 20 degree gap in riding comfort.
Thus, my decision to buy a spring/fall jacket was born. The Dainese Avro D-Dry Jacket bridges the gap between 50-80 degrees and has a built in layer for waterproofing. Admittedly, 80 degrees and wet is not ideal; it does get hot and clammy in the Avro D-Dry, but it keeps me dry (ridden over an hour in steady, hard rain without getting wet) and is much more comfortable than a summer jacket with a rain jacket over top, or my winter waterproof jacket at 80 degrees. Once it dips below 80, it’s in the perfect temperature range for its purposes. At closer to 50 degrees, it has a removable thermal liner that I can add to keep me warm.
With the weather and climate challenges conquered, let me move on to some other niceties... first off, pockets! The Avro D-Dry has plenty of pockets: two handwarmers, one breast pocket, one napoleon and an interior pocket on the thermal liner. To be honest, the exterior pockets can’t really be considered waterproof. However, due to the water-resistant treatment on the exterior shell, they will keep their contents dry in a light rain. Secondly, I thoroughly enjoy the fact that this jacket does its job as a sport-cut jacket. It is often difficult to find something quality with these features that isn't a 3/4 length. The flexibility allows for a more comfortable ride and free range of motion for sport riding. Lastly, the connection zipper to Dainese pants works like a charm. It keeps the tail of the jacket low to keep out cold air or rain and it doesn't cause the jacket to bunch up (especially on a tall guy like me, 6'4") as it has on other jackets.
The protection on this jacket is what I am used to on my Dainese Shotgun -- Mugello fabric that is strong but flexible and the composite shoulder and elbow armor attached via velcro for adjustability. In addition, I can quickly swap my Wave G Back protector back and forth between my two Dainese jackets without any trouble. I also appreciate Dainese’s attention to detail in including several reflective inserts to keep me visible at night. While I understand the concept of High-Viz, I don’t like the aesthetic, so I try to stay visible with a combination of bright colors and reflective piping or paneling instead.
Under $400, you can find jackets with similar features to the Avro D-Dry and you can even find a few cheaper options. However, I don’t think you will find a jacket that performs as well in changing weather conditions, or one that does its job with such exquisite style and form. I will always dream for a waterproof mesh jacket and be hung out to dry. However, if you can get over sweating it out on the hot and wet days, the Avro D-Dry Jacket fits the bill for the in-between months with ease.
-- Chris K.