Torian Women’s Race Hoodie
$306.99, Small through XXL, Black
When it comes to selecting motorcycle apparel, I scrutinize every piece of gear like a gemologist examines a diamond. Like a jeweler looks for the four “C”s—cut, color, clarity, and carat weight—I look for the four “F”s—form, function, fit, and finish. Most of the time, it’s a humorless process fraught with disappointment. Just ask the last manufacturer who bore the brunt of my frustration about another piece of apparel I recently reviewed.
You can tell by now that doing product reviews is serious business to me, and given my druthers, I’ll choose function and fit over form and finish every time. That is, until I got my first glimpse of the Torian Chopper Leathers Women’s Race Hoodie, and found that I didn’t have to make those difficult choices.
When Torian Market opened its doors last year, the company brought on Bob Kay as designer. Bob has been involved in various aspects of the motorcycle industry, including apparel design, for decades, and he wanted to offer a line of products with old-school sensibilities. He’s a long-distance, hard-core rider as well, so he knows what kind of clothing is needed for putting down some long, hard miles.
As soon as I tried on the Women’s Race Hoodie, it felt like it had been my favorite riding jacket for years. The high-grade cowhide exterior is soft, supple, and strong. The jacket hung on me like it was tailor-made for my body—unusual for me because I usually fall between sizes. It’s got a sewn-in, full-sleeve quilted polyester lining. When I asked why the lining wasn’t removable, Bob responded, “I don’t know anyone who takes their removable liner off or puts it on when they’re on the road. We make these jackets so you can add or remove your own layers. Just add a shirt, sweatshirt, or vest, and this makes much more sense than carrying around a liner when you’re traveling light.” I found that the jacket had a wider temperature comfort range than I thought it would, and I was quite comfortable wearing a sweatshirt underneath when the temperature dropped below 60.
The Race Hoodie is very sleek-looking, and it has plenty of storage space that doesn’t bulk up the jacket’s profile even when filled with the stuff I usually carry. There are six pockets altogether—two external breast pockets, two external side pockets, and two internal pockets. All external pockets have sturdy metal YKK zippers, and one of the inside pockets has a nylon zipper (I keep my cell phone here) while the other is open (good for chewing gum, pen, and paper). Both sleeves also have the same metal YKK zipper closures at the cuffs, allowing you to pull them closed when you want more warmth and open to let the breeze flow up your sleeves. The external pocket zipper pulls as well as the sleeve zipper pulls have leather strips attached, making it really easy to zip or unzip while you’re on the move (not that I ever do that, of course).
I consider the jacket’s main zipper in the front to be quite stylish, and there’s no mistaking the functionality of the heavy-duty metal YKK. In fact, it’s the biggest zipper I’ve ever seen on a women’s jacket, and I can’t imagine it ever breaking. Backing the front zipper, from top to bottom, is a 1.5″ leather placket that really helps keep the wind from finding its way through.
The entire jacket is constructed in a way that’ll probably last for a long, long time. You can see the high quality of the manufacturing process by looking at the nicely finished seams. There are no frayed edges or sloppy stitching inside or out.
One of the nicer features is the belt and buckle on each side of the waistband, allowing the wearer to adjust the fit of the jacket. And the hood is quite functional, as well. It’s lined for warmth, and it has a pull string so that you can tighten it if you ride with the hood up. I also found that when I ride with the hood down, it lays in such a way that the wind doesn’t pick it up and cause ballooning, distractions or visual obstructions.
The jacket can be ordered online, and shipping is free! In addition, Torian Market is so confident of the Race Hoodie’s quality and durability, each jacket comes with a 10-year warranty from the date of purchase. Torian has a generous 30-day refund and exchange policy for its standard products as long as they haven’t been worn or damaged and the company is notified that there’s a problem within 10 days of the shipping date.
My Race Hoodie has quickly become my riding jacket of choice for temperate weather. And it’s so stylish and flattering that I find myself wearing it even when I’m not on the bike! Form, function, fit, and finish—this jacket has it all.