If you’re reading this from the United States, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of iXS. The Swiss company has been making motorcycle apparel since 1979, but it’s wares have only been available in the U.S. since 2014. The company has a broad assortment of gear, ranging from urban casual to full-on, race ready one-piece suits with just about everything in between. With that kind of history, it was no surprise that the iXS pieces we’d seen rivaled those of more established players in the American market in terms of construction and design. But we were keen to evaluate a few pieces on the road.
We needed some items that would stand up to the changing conditions as the riding season waned. That meant water resistance and warmth primarily, but we didn’t want to lose out on a little style either. One of the pieces, the Ridley Jacket, checked all the boxes.
Ridley Jacket Features
The exterior of the Ridley is a cotton and polyamide blend material that’s soft and flexible. It’s complimented by a soloTEX Z-liner that acts as a waterproof barrier, made from 50% polyester and 50% polyurethane. Inside is a full-length thermal liner that’s removable.
The Ridley has protective armor inserts in the shoulders and elbows along with a Velcro anchorage element in the back to hold the optional back protector in place.
It’s got three exterior pockets and five interior pockets, two of which are found in the thermal liner.
Fit can be adjusted with the Velcro straps and the waist and cuffs, while a full connecting zipper allows the Ridley to be secured to a number of pant options in the iXS line.
Looks and Performance
It might not seem so at first glance, but the Ridley is really effective at keeping cold air out. The soft cotton exterior isn’t nearly as porous as you might expect, and we were able to ride for most of the autumn without need for the thermal liner at all. We spent most of our time wearing the Ridley on a Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 and Kawasaki Z800, both bikes offering little in the way of wind protection, and were always cozy in the jacket.
Fit is another area where the coat shines. I’m a size large, and the large Ridley jacket fits quite comfortably. The thermal liner tightens up the fit a bit but not enough to be restrictive. In both cases, with the liner in or out, the pliable armor and soft exterior shell allow free and easy movement.
As for water protection, in light or sporadic rains the Ridley performs as advertised. In heavier situations, however, we wouldn’t discount the need for a good set of rain gear in addition to the Ridley. We weren’t ever caught out in a serious downpour, but ran a sleeve under a faucet for about 30 seconds and the exterior material retained a fair bit of moisture. Though it soaked in, it didn’t soak through, so there’s a decent degree of water resistance provided by the soloTEX membrane. Prolonged abuse under a seriously stormy sky would not be advised though.
The zippers were one area which could see some improvement. The material surrounding the zippers at the exterior hip pockets and cuffs has a reliable tendency to get caught in the slider, which is an annoying hassle when you’re getting ready to ride. We also weren’t huge fans of the large “Vintage” patch on the breast of the jacket. For a jacket that’s already sporting a vintage vibe, the patch declaring “Vintage” is overkill.
That’s due mainly to the fact that we really like the styling and cut of the jacket otherwise. Its simple lines are accentuated by reflective elements on the shoulders and down the arms and the iXS branding on the back and sleeve are subtle and classy. The blue and ivory colorway is also a nice break from the blacks and browns which currently dominate urban and vintage-styled riding gear.
At the End of the Day
We were impressed with the Ridley Jacket overall, which prices at $239.00. The zipper snagging problem we experienced is remedied 99.9% of the time by just slowing down a bit when suiting up and the “Vintage” patch is far from a deal breaker, just a bit of gratuitous flair on an otherwise sharp looking jacket. In the plus category it offers fantastic wind protection and even without the thermal liner it’s three-season warm. If you’re only dealing with colder temps in the winter and not serious amounts of rain, it could absolutely be an all-year jacket.
iXS Ridley Jacket
Colors: Blue or Dark Grey
Warranty: One year limited