We got a box of Levi’s Commuter gear in recently, and while some of the pants fit, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my 40 year old self isn’t of the generation that gets along with skinny, tapered jeans. Luckily in the same box were two Hooded Trucker jackets.
Not that I’ve spent a lot of time around truck stops, but I don’t recall a lot of truckers wearing jackets like this, but maybe the hipsters are moving from wanna-be lumberjack to wanna-be trucker. Wanna-be or not, this is a good looking jacket, cut nicely for riding and standing around, with some very discrete features that work well for riding.
The jacket is 98/2-precent cotton/elastane denim treated with Levis NanoSphere water resistant finish. Button tabs at the waist and cuffs adjust he fit and help to seal in body heat when needed. A billed, nylon hood rolls up into the collar, which where I will likely keep it most of the time.
The sleeves are gusseted at the shoulders and have an extended cuff which prevents binding and riding up in even a pretty aggressive riding position. The back has flap vent with tiny reflective triangles, and two rear pockets that look perfectly sized for three beverage cans each. The front of the jacket has snap-closure chest pockets and two hand warmer pockets. The front closure is traditional button closure, which looks great, but can be a pain in the ass with gloves and frozen hands, which I got to experience first hand. Zing!
Maybe it was the few days I spent in sunny Arizona but I let my guard down when choosing my commuting wardrobe, which can be a mistake during Pittsburgh winter. The Trucker jacket had been hanging out in my office waiting for warmer weather, as it is uninsulated and makes no claims to wind resistance. Figuring I could always swap back to my more weather appropriate jacket, I grabbed the Trucker jacket and headed out into low 30′s and the wettest snow I’ve seen in years.
Within minutes my pants were soaked, my sneakers full of water, my wool socks waterlogged. I expected the denim jacket to be out-gunned, but as I continued to ride, the snow didn’t soak in, and the wind didn’t penetrate to any kind of uncomfortable degree.
Over an hour later my helmet had a solid crust of ice on the front, my gloves were soaked through and my glasses needed constant wiping to clear them of snow build up. The $128 Trucker jacket remained unperturbed, keeping my upper body warm and dry, even as ice formed on the sleeves. In fact, the Trucker jacket was more wind-resistant that the $250 soft-shell stuffed in my backpack.
I’ll keep riding in this jacket, I’m pretty curious to see how well the water-resistant coating holds up to washing and wear, but I’m highly impressed with it so far, especially for something so unassuming looking.