Good as-is, could be better (or worse based on use)
Was looking for a warm-weather new jacket that would be casual , flow air well at speed, provide high-levels of abrasion resistance and be somewhat cheap when factoring in complete at least CE Level 1 armor (sub $350). I have a Knox Venture armored shirt, here is what I ended up cross-shopping.
1. S&S Kill Switch: price, airflow, abrasion resistance and protection when paired with Knox shirt all fit the bill. Also has belt-loop pant attachment, huge plus. Only misses were on the style (not my taste), and I'd be wearing at least 3 layers (Kill Switch, Knox Shirt, base T-shirt) which felt cumbersome. Also, no built-in reflectivity.
2. S&S Go For Broke Hoody: Almost full marks on this one but it did not have the abrasion resistance of full kevlar sleeves and back that the AGV has. Otherwise, it was the perfect match including belt-loop attachments AND zippered hand-warmer pockets, as well as Sas-Tec CE level 1 all around. I think it has a little built-in reflectivity so that was a small plus for it too.
3. Dainese Air Crono Mesh: nearly pulled the trigger on this plus CE level 2 back protector, until I realized the package would still have less abrasion resistance and cost $60 more than the AGV. It would definitely have had better airflow though. Also, no pants attachment just like the AGV. Other mesh jackets from Dainese, Rev'it and A* fell behind. Also one of the few options I cross-shopped with some color and built in reflectivity!
4. Rokker Raw Denim Shirt: was going to allow myself an exception to the $300 cap with this one, but I've got black riding jeans and the (only) blue offering would have looked awful. If this was offered in black, I would have gone with this paired with my Knox shirt. I'll deal with the three layers and extra $100 for the superior protection.
5. Saint Unbreakable Jacket: $200 above target and seemed very short in the back with no pants attachment. It may have still worked (sew in a belt loop) but another strike against it was no reflectivity. Also, $500!
I went with the AGV Sport Torque Hoody plus a Forcefield Pro Lite K Size 001 back protector based on the video review's suggestion from Spurgeon. The star ratings I provided assume that people use the hoody AS-IS. That means, no upgraded back protector. My comments below factor in:
1. Including upgraded back protector
2. Late spring/Summer/early Fall use in Chicago
3. Measurements: 5'11, height 41" chest, 34" waist, 24" arms (top of shoulder to wrist), and "normal" torso length (19" from hips to armpits).
4. I got the Grey in Medium
-Nice casual look with some tasteful stylistic pops.
-High quality feel of materials
-Good construction, no loose thread ends, feels sturdy
-Slim(ish) fit, maybe this is because I intentionally sized down to ensure armor doesn't move around.
-Quilted interior patches on the elbow and shoulder are a nice touch, should make getting in and out more easily.
-This is a THICK hoody. It should be in no way considered a light-weight hoody, like a layering piece that you may find at Gap or H&M.
-The mesh inner lining of the Grey version I got is bright red.
-Since no size chart is not available, I'm not sure if all sizes are the same but the medium has a very short length. The bottom of he hoody sits about 3" below my belly button. I'll settle for this as a large would have been too loose in my shoulders I think.
-No reflectivity on the back, but you could sew/iron on reflective patches if you want given the material.
-No belt loop attachment. Though this seems like it should be easy to sew-on.
-No monkey-paw/thumb loops. Sleeve length is OK for me even in riding position (I ride a Honda 919 standard) but not sure if the sleeves will stay down a speed.
-No zipper or pocket closure. And the pockets are fairly small, definitely do not want to put anything in them when you ride other than your hands.
-Back protector pocket opening is small, making getting a real back protector in there very tough. The FF Pro Lite K is flexible but thick, I had a heck of a time getting it into the pocket being careful not to rip the mesh. Don't see why AGV could not have made the pocket opening larger, its all closed up with Velcro anyhow.
-With the FF back protector in, the lines on the back of the hoody are totally ruined. The outline of the protector is very visible (maybe less so on the black) when standing, and you will look like a straight-up bunch back in even the slightest tuck.
-The back protector sits very low. I definitely did not get the wrong size as the FF Pro Lite K 001 fits just right, its just that the pocket is too low. While the top of my tailbone may be protected (good!), my spine from the T3 vertebrae on up are all exposed (bad!).
-This will probably get very warm sitting still in the summer, and I sweat easily. But that would have been the case with mesh jackets too, and I prefer the kevlar to mesh.