Thursday, 22 September 2016

Dainese Super Speed D-Dry jacket review

I bought this jacket a little over a year ago now and have covered around 9000 miles in it. Here's what I think...

When someone says Dainese you instantly think of two things: 'Protection' and 'Style'. This jacket is no exception. The jacket I bought was in the Black/Gull-grey colour scheme so is fairly low key and looks quite stealthy. However, there are several other colour options available (the hi-viz one is quite cool) if you fancy splashing a bit of colour to the jacket.

The jacket breaks down into two parts. There is the outer textile jacket with a fully removable D-Dry membrane on the inside. There is no thermal lining as this is a two/three season jacket really - it doesn't perform it's best in the depths of a UK winter or in really bad rain.

D-Dry membrane works a treat
D-Dry is Dainese's version of Gore-Tex if you like - it's a breathable, waterproof membrane that really works. It has never leaked for me but as the outer jacket constists of mainly mesh it can absorb the water up pretty fast. The water will never get through the D-Dry liner but the main jacket can still be fairly soggy the next day when you put it on. If it's hammering it down what I usually do is put a cheap waterproof over jacket on top just to help keep the rain off the Super Speed to avoid the damp feeling I'd get later on.

On a brighter note, when it gets pretty hot you can completely remove the D-Dry membrane and are left with an almost completely ventilated summer jacket and it is so nice. I may have only taken the lining out a handful of times over the past year but when I have, it almost makes the jacket worth all the compromises that you make in heavy rain. The jacket has sleeve length mesh panels to let air through your arms which is nice. There's also mesh paneling on the chest, sides and pretty much the whole of your back.

Shoulder protectors do the job and look the business
but make sure you don't scuff them!
The jacket has two exterior aluminium shoulder protectors which not only look pretty damn cool but also function as plate to try and prevent your collarbone from shattering in the event of a crash. They also are more likely to slide when hitting the floor rather than catching and tumbling like most textiles would. The only downside with these protectors is that only Dainese can replace them... so if you scuff up one of yours leaning against a wall having a chat - it'll cost you. Mine are slightly scuffed but I guess it doesn't bother me too much.

Manis G1 back protector insert
The jacket comes with CE certified elbow and shoulder armour but no back protector is provided. This is because it is recommended that you wear a strap-around one as they're much safer than an insert (they cover more of your back and won't move around much) but if you're lazy (like me) they provide a pocket for either a Dainese Manis G1 or G2 back protector. These back protectors are CE certified to level 2, they're comfy too which is good and they move laterally as well as with your spine. I went for the G1, which is the slightly shorter one, just because it fits me a little better. What's great is that Dainese won't charge you any extra for a longer pocket back protector - so buy which one fits you best. 

The only thing this jacket really lacks is pockets. There are two external side pockets which are obviously not waterproof (not even water resistant really) and that's pretty much it. There are two slots on each side of your chest which are actually designed for chest protectors - I guess you could use these as pockets but I wouldn't trust them that far as the lining is quite thin.

But here I am moaning about it feeling a bit damp around the wrists if it's been wet and whining that there's not enough pockets but at the end of the day - this isn't what the jacket is primarily for. It's a short, sporty lightweight textile jacket aimed for those nice summer or spring days which occasionally have the chance of the odd shower. I bought it with trips to Spain and Italy in mind as I can just imagine taking out the lining and having all that breeze flowing through the jacket.

Reflective panels that don't necessarily look reflective when not under light - Smart

If you want a jacket with pockets and touring capabilites you might be looking at the wrong one... but if you want quick blasts around in the warm weather with the odd chance of rain, maybe even to take on a foreign hot country trip - this is a great jacket to go for and I'd highly recommend it.