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Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Jacket
The Alpinestars Valparaiso is robust and durable and makes an ideal all-weather touring ensemble when matched with the Valparaiso Pants. Benefits include a waterproof and breathable DRYSTAR membrane, superb comfort levels afforded by the Jet Ventilation System (JVS) air intakes and its ergonomic, class-leading CE certified shoulder and elbow protection.
- Superior, multi-material main shell construction for durability, with abrasion and tear-resistant panels in critical impact areas
- Removable and interchangeable waterproof and breathable DRYSTAR® full liner with taped seams to ensure long term water-repelling performance
- Long sleeve thermal liner (130g on body, 100g on sleeves) can be fully removed and has zipper connection for easy identification with integrated stretch comfort edge
- Thermal liner is ‘sonic quilted’ for improved insulation performance and reduced material volume
- Sleeves cuffs include Velcro closure tab as well as open mesh gusset with innovative two-way zip structure for improved airflow and volume adjustment. Sleeves are removable for hot climate riding
- Featuring Jet Ventilation System (JVS) large zippered air intakes on torso with large rear air exhaust window on back and on the arms for cooling performance on long rides
- Removable CE-certified Bio-Armor shoulder and elbow protection for superb impact protection
- Chest and back pad compartments with PE padding (Alpinestars Nucleon chest pads and Back Armor available as accessory upgrade)
- Anatomical, pre-curved sleeve design incorporate Velcro volume control adjustment straps for improved comfort, fine-tune adjustment of garment and to help keep elbow protections in place
- Increased reflective detailing and logos for increased rider visibility
- Accordion stretch inserts on shoulders and elbows for improved fit while riding
- Waist adjustment belt for customized fit and secure closure
- Elongated rear profiling for comfort and protection in the riding position
- Pre-curved, articulated sleeves with gusseted VELCRO® brand closures cuffs enhance fit and comfort in the riding position
- Highly water resistant external storage provided by two chest front water resistant zips and one internal waterproof wallet pocket
- Convenient storage options with two front cargo style pockets and large rear utility pocket
- Premium YKK zippers with twin sliders on front zipper
- Two internal waist connection zippers (on main shell and on DRYSTAR membrane) for attachment to Alpinestars riding pants
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Reviews & Questions
I also own the Valparaiso pants. I'll throw up a pants review soon, but a short synopsis in case you're looking to buy both: they're good as a system from 30-85 deg F, wet or dry.
Back to the Valparaiso Jacket.
-This is only a 4 season jacket if you live in a climate that doesn't involve 90+F and humidity. Here in Houston, it will be late fall-winter-early spring jacket, but I see how you could use this all year elsewhere.
-Lots of venting! When chest and back vents are open you can really feel the air flow.
-Removable Drystar layer works well.
-Expandable collar does great in the cold.
-Large back vent is a great idea and works well.
-THE COLLAR. Seriously, at this price point why isn't there a collar retention system? In warmer weather you'll want to have it open for more air flow to the neck and chest. There's a small elastic retention piece that lowers the collar tab but doesn't hold it out of the way. I had an alterations shop sew in a piece of velcro to the inside of the collar tongue so I can at least keep the tongue of the collar from flying around causing chaffing on my neck. The velcro was attached just behind the Astar's logo on the neck of the collar.
-THE COLLAR 2.0. This time it's the small piece of velcro that is meant for the tongue to stick to on the right side of the neck. It's a long piece of "hook" type velcro, which loves to grab your helmet straps and fray the fabric on your helmet. Easy remedy though: Get some loop velcro and sling it across the area that grabs the helmet. There's still plenty of room for the collar tongue.
- Chest and back armor. It's thin foam. Seriously, at this price point Astar's could step it up a little. If I didn't already have chest and back protectors from my other Astar's gear then I would be looking at other products that included it... COUGH - REV'IT?? It's approximately an extra $100 if you're looking to beef up the protection.
-Arm Vents. They work okay, but once you open them up all the way you lose retention of your elbow/forearm protection. If you were to go down, that pad may not be in place to save your bones. Therefore, I only unzip partially from the top, which makes the jacket too hot for 90+F. You're basically just working with chest and back venting, really.
-Thermal and Daystar layers. They work well, but like the other reviews suggest, they bunch up at the neck/collar.
-Sizing. If you're used to Astar's, then you'd know that they run "euro" or smaller than you'd think. I'm normally a XL in their gear and at 200lb & 6' tall and 42" chest. I was surprised that the XL fits slightly loose this time. However, this jacket is a little larger than what you'd expect. It's more of an American cut. I didn't return the XL for the L since with the two layers included and upgraded chest/back armor installed, the chest/abdomen area is fine. Without the layers I made it work with the sleeve and waist adjustability. Although the sleeves are about a 1/2" too long. I'll live.
If I lived in the mid-atlantic states or similar temperate regions, then this jacket would be my go-to. However, I don't. So it'll only be my go-to late November through early March. Rev'it Cayenne Pro will be my next purchase.
If you're okay with taking some time to fix the collar issue on your own, (it cost $5 by the way) then this jacket is pretty good. The jacket and pants do well as a set too.
Just don't be afraid to look at other manufacturers. Competition is stiff at this price point and I certainly had my blinders on due to Astar's familiarity and steep discount.
The jacket is made very well (as expected for an A* at this price point) I wanted a true 4 season jacket and the different configurations make that easy to achieve with this jacket. So far I have ridden it on a cold, rainy day that was in the lower 50's WITHOUT the quilted liner and just a long sleeve t-shirt. I was cool, but not cold, more importantly I stayed completely dry.
The last 2 weeks I also rode in temps that were in the mid 80's and sunny, I kept the rain liner in and had a just a t-shirt underneath. I opened the chest vents, zipped open the arm vents, as well as the large back vent and the amount of of air moving thru the jacket was incredible! I was worried this might be a "hot" summer jacket, and while it's no air textile; I feel anything into the 80's and it will still be my jacket of choice.
Today I commuted into work in the coldest weather of the year, it was 44 when I left my house and I had both liners in and just a t-shirt and wifebeater on underneath. I should also mention I was using a Rev'It Windstopper Balaclava tucked into my collar. My speeds ranged from stop & go to 70mph. I was comfortable on the cool side but definitely not cold. Had I been wearing a proper long sleeve base layer I think I would have been perfect.
Now onto my only gripe about the jacket that stopped it just short of 5 stars. When you zip the outer shell all the way up and fasten the velcro collar, due to the design it causes a slight fold of the left side collar at the top of the zipper that causes it to hit my throat/adams apple. It's a bit uncomfortable especially when turning my head from side to side which causes it to tug on my throat and has caused some chaffing, even though Alpinestars has lined both the rain collar and the shell collar with soft fleece. Is it a deal breaker? Hmmm...I love this jacket, but lets just say had I been more aware of this prior to riding it and removing the tags....I'm not sure I would have bought this jacket. I do not have an obtrusively large adams apple or anything and this issue may not bother someone else. But I felt it necessary to add to my review. That being said I still recommend the Alpinestars Valparaiso Jacket...especially given the heftier price tags of some of its competition.
I'll be adding a full review of the Valparaiso pants as well once i have an opportunity to use them in varying climates.
The armor seems very good in the shoulders and elbows and it fits in such a way that I think it will be where it needs to be in the case of a crash... this was something that I couldn't say for some of the more bulky jackets. One negative is that the back pad is a joke, especially at this price point. I upgraded using the ForceField for Alpinestars as I'm too cheep to spring for the 80 dollars air A-stars pad.
The construction of the jacket is very nice, with great attention to detail. As I said before, the look is just plain awesome, especially in the red, grey, and blue. The materials seems beefy enough without being too much. I agree with Anthony that it would have been nice if they had a forearm strap to ensure that it would not split in the event of a fall with the arm vent fully zippered. I think you can mitigate this by not zippering it to the extreme. The venting appears (just got it and haven't tested it in the hot weather) to be very good and something that can be used in the summer, which was a critical selling point for me. With the two liners in, I also have no doubt that this will be good in all but the very coldest winter riding. It has ample pockets/storage, again without too much bulk.
All in all, I am very happy with this jacket and am thinking that it will last many riding seasons. FWIW, I wound up getting the A-star Oxygen Air Pants to go with it and the connection zippers work perfectly.
As for protection, just as in other reviews for similar products in the same price range, I think it should have back protection too. Shoulder and elbow protection seem good enough. The fabric feel very resistant and the finish is quite good. It looks and feels like a quality product. At one point I left the jacket on the seat when I got off the bike and didn't notice that part of it was resting right on the pipes which were hot as for a barbecue. I thought that that was it for the jacket and to my surprise, although the fabric was quite hot, it had not the smallest damage. Not even a dark dot. That was quite reassuring on the good choice I had made by buying it.
Another serious issue: Part of the thinking behind getting this jacket was the rain liner. I initially thought it would be more convenient and comfortable than having to pack and wear a second rain jacket. That might have been the case if it were comfortable enough to ride with rain or shine. Unfortunately, it is a major endeavor to install. One has to locate and zip two separate zippers and then locate and fasten two loops at the top and bottom and two loops on the insides of each sleeve, making sure that the sleeves do not twist so you can still get your arms through. It takes about 5-10 minutes in my living room to do this properly. The idea of having to go through this process on the side of the road in a sudden rainstorm leads me to the conclusion that a second rain jacket is a much better idea. As to comfort, as noted above, the rain jacket compounds the chafing problem substantially.
On the plus side, the ventilation system does seem to work well, but this does not even come close to making up for the problems with this jacket.
To sum up, this is a seriously uncomfortable jacket, and it might not be apparent just how uncomfortable it is until you get out and ride with it, thereby foreclosing your ability to return it.
The fact that this is intended to be a long-distance touring jacket makes this an epic fail by Alpinestars. Looking back on all the fun I have had on long motorcycle tours over the years, every one of them would have been a nightmare if I had had to wear this torture device wrapped around my neck. In fact, I would honestly rather not ride at all if I had to ride with this jacket.
Style is quite good, fits my frame well without being overly restrictive and can layer underneath when it gets cold. Could even wear a blazer underneath if I have to. Colours are nice, and my wife approves. Not as flashy as some A-Stars pieces. A bit of reflectivity helps at night.
Pretty warm jacket for cold weather (but that means trade off in summer, air flow is reduced) - have used from 0 to 32 degrees Celsius so far. Vents are as good as can be without sacrificing the safety
The pockets are really useful. I am using the rabbit pouch alot
Minor, but the velcro around the neck catches my helmet strap too often. Someone else has already mentioned this...
Also the price is kind of high, but that's relative - the Spidi and Klim jackets I was also considering are even more $$
For reference, I am about 175cm tall, 70kg athletic build. (Perhaps 5'8" and 155 pounds).
I got the medium and it is a good touring fit - hope that helps others choose the right size the first time around
Great around the city and highway touring. But sitting in traffic in the summertime, I'm starting to feel the heat... might have to get a mesh jacket, but I think this is a good compromise if I keep moving and avoid bus exhausts
I live in Florida and typically take the liner out. It fairs well in the heat of the day and the chill of the night. I feel that this jacket will provide the protection that I need and it has lots of places to vent. Warm or Colder, this jacket is a home run.
7 months ago
I need it for three seasons (0°-30°C). I cant see and try each one, I only must to decide and buy.
sincerely Glenn D (connecticut USA)