Would have been perfect, except for the armor pockets
I just received this, and first thing I did (thankfully) was check the armor pockets because I had concerns about the Icon D3O armor I purchased not fitting. Good thing I did, because the pockets were WAY OFF. For reference, I'm 5'11", 42" chest and I got the medium.
Bang for the Buck: On the one hand, this is a $220 perf leather jacket that feels and looks as good as any I've seen on the market. The leather doesn't feel cheap, the construction feels solid, no loose threads, beefy zippers, good pockets. The armor pockets is where the jacket is let down big time.
Protection and Durability: Two points in protection for leather inherently being more protective than textile or mesh. But no more, because despite there being armor pockets, there is no CE-2 rated armor that will fit in any of the pockets of this jacket without substantial trimming (First Mfg's own armor pack is CE-1 in the shoulders and elbows, not rated on the back). Even if you did trim to fit, the shoulder and back pockets are very small, and the area of protection is highly questionable. The back pocket measures 12" at the longest points, 10" at the widest and is the winged-tapered shape. Knock off about a quarter inch in each dimension to accommodate thicker CE-2 armor. Shoulder pockets are about 5" square - ridiculous. Elbow pockets are a bit more generous and there might be something that fits, but I gave up knowing that I'm not willing to sacrifice the shoulder/back protection that this jacket asks for.
Features: As noted in the video review, this is a stripped down jacket which was part of its appeal to me. Looking past the armor pockets, it has everything I wanted in a summer leather jacket with nothing I didn't which I'm sure helps keep the price down. The plackets (or whatever they are called) that run on the inside of the sleeve openings kind of get in the way if you're trying to zip up the sleeves while moving, not a huge deal. I like the two inside pockets, very handy.
Comfort: The mesh liner was soft and did not chaff at all, I could see myself wearing this comfortably over a short sleeve tee and being OK. I love the open cuff sleeves, good waist adjustment, and mandarin collar. It's got some weight to it being leather, but the leather is fairly soft and drapes well over the arm or bike with no kinks. Air flow is very good. I rode in 85* F muggy and sunny weather, and I felt absolutely comfortable the entire ride, even stopped at lights. I feel like the air flow is even better than my AGV Sport Torque textile hoodie.
Style: The medium fit great on me with a tailored look. I really like the way this jacket looks on me, it has great style without being loud or flashy.
Overall, I'm disappointed that the jacket came with such small armor pockets because otherwise I'd say its an absolute steal at $219, even if it didn't come with armor stock. I ended up squeezing the Icon D3O armor into the pockets without trimming.
-The back protector fits in without being curled/warped, but the pocket cannot be sealed. The upside is I didn't have to trim the pad, the downside is protection is still limited to the area of the pocket, which sits very high on the back and leaves the lower back exposed.
-I shoved the shoulder armor in as far as I could, and a good 2.5" sticks out of the pocket and the pocket cannot be sealed. Front to back coverage feels about right, but lengthwise coverage covers more of the top of the shoulder than the bottom. Ideally the pocket would have been positioned lower (and obviously larger).
-The elbow armor actually fit in just fine, with some room to spare in the pocket. I was able to seal it.
-On the bike, the most noticeable thing for me is the height of the back protector. I can feel how high it sits and I'm constantly conscious of that but thankfully it isn't that visible when off the bike. The shoulder armor and elbow armor are also discreet off the bike, but I did begin to feel pressure from the shoulder armor after about 30 minutes of riding (I may just get used to it).