Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gear Review: Triumph Navigator Jacket

The Tech sheet on the Triumph Navigator jacket reads something like this. A highly functional adventure-tour garment, this jacket uses the latest in water and dirt repellence fabric technology. Large removable ventilation panels front and back allow in maximum air flow whilst the Sympatex performance z-liner and Outlast(R) technology allow for wet, warm or cold weather riding.

•500D nylon Cordora fabric featuring DuPont™ Teflon® fabric protector for water and dirt repellence
•Removable CE certified Knox® protectors- back protector,elbow and shoulder
•Sympatex® - Waterproof, windproof and breathable performance z-liner
•Removable quilted liner incorporating Outlast technology
•Superfabric™ ceramic laminated panel in impact zones
•Stretch flex zones for increased comfort and flexibility
•AirFlow Tech large removable ventilation panels front and back
•3M® silver reflective piping, inserts and printing
•Side adjustment zippers

But honestly Tech sheets may look good but the proof is always in the pudding. I got the Navigator in the beginning of July 2015 and since then have ridden with it for about 40 days through the higher reaches of the Himalayas and all the way down in the southern part of the country through the Western Ghats and the Nilgiries. All this riding was done on a mixture of motorcycles: my new Triumph Bonneville, a Karzima ZMR and Helmet Stories new fleet of Bullet 500's. 

First impression of the jacket is its a bit heavy but that is because of its thick removable quilted liner and the heavy duty Knox back, elbow and shoulder armour. Once you put on the jacket it is quite snug and feels really comfortable. For extra protection there are Superfabric ceramic laminated panels in impact zones not that I have tested that out yet and never honestly plan to. The jacket is a bit longer akin to touring so if you ride different kinds of bikes the jacket does not ride up or become uncomfortable. 

During my rides we dealt with lots of rain, hail,cold mornings and evening and the odd humid and sunny day. On those rare hot days we encountered the jacket did pretty well as its got huge vents in the front while in the rear most of the back can be zipped open to reveal a huge vent making for very cool riding. 

What surprised me was when it would start raining in the pitter patter the water would not seep in with all the vents open and once you zipped up even with heavy rain the water never found its way in. As a matter of fact while with the quilted liner in and fully zipped up I rode over Tanglang La and onto the More Plains in the rain and hail for about 25kms and the water never seeped in and I never felt the chill. That I think was the true test of the Jacket weather proofness. 

The Jacket has two front waterproof pockets which are as they are marked. The phone, bikes documents and the money never at any point got damp let alone wet. There are two other pockets one on the lapel and one inside so plenty of space to carry all your stuff. There is even a rear pocket at the lower back useful to carry a rain suit or an extra pair of Rain/Cold weather Gloves. 

I am totally blown away by the brilliance of this jacket and have ordered my self matching pants to complete the kit as I already got the Navigator Gloves (totally warm and waterproof and to top it off they match the jacket) I think it is the perfect kit for the mountains and will work quite well in the hot plains as long as you are moving and not stuck in traffic. The best part is you can go into any Triumph Store in the country try it on for size and order one for your self.