Bilt Storm Waterproof Jacket
The full-featured Storm Jacket is the jacket to have if you could only have one. Exceptionally water resistant and with a removable fleece lining, you're covered over a wide-range of weather conditions. Get ready, there's a Storm coming! Only from BiLT.
- 600 deier Pro-Flex durable outer shell
- 1200 denier Endura-Brade shoulder and elbow panels
- 100% waterproof lining
- Removable fleece liner can be worn separately
- Air-flow inner lining
- Removable CE approved armor at shoulders and elbows
- Foam back pad
I wasn't sure what I was after, but after trying on the grey version of this jacket in medium (5'10", 186 lbs) it just felt right. It looked great in the mirror, too. I was just about sold, but held off as I told the guy working there that i probably shouldn't go with such a dark jacket since I commute amongst some of America's worst drivers during tropical storms, rush-hours and nights. He led me over to a rack at the other end of the store that had the same jacket in the high-vis yellow. Granted, the "looks" just lost a little bit, but I had to go with it as it really was the color I needed. For the ADV crowd it's not a problem, but for oh-so-stylish south Florida… it probably does look pretty funny to the squids.
Anyway, during the next two days of that cold snap I was in seventh-heaven with my new-found warmth. Eventually it got warm again and I found out how to take the liner out. Even with the liner out and the vents open, I found that it is still a bit warm in anything over 70 degrees, so I switch to a mesh jacket for that.
Fast forward to the monsoon-like rains that were crossing south Florida non-stop for four days straight. These were remnants of Hurricane Rina that reached up from central America. I was commuting to work in darkness and tons of water (falling, and standing, and spraying from other vehicles), so I decided to wear this higher-vis jacket to block some wind and to be better seen. I was shocked when, after 40 miles of rain, my upper-torso was pretty much dry. Multiply that times 6 for the really wet down-pour rides and, well, it seemed like a good jacket. It wasn't until just now, in looking the jacket up, that I see that it is advertised as being water-resistant. It wasn't even a mentioned selling point at the store (even though the younger guy working there pretty much told me that no-one in south Florida wears this stuff - meaning gear - as opposed to wearing kevlar jeans).
At the moment, after two weeks of owning it, the only downside I have found is that of the front main zipper. On a day that got warm I had the vents open and the front zippered, but not snapped. Apparently so much air got into the jacket at speed (the highway speeds in Florida are pretty high sometimes) that the zipper separated due to the pressurization. I had to pull over to the side of the highway to try to unzipper it and re-zipper it, then made sure to snap the buttons on the front flap to prevent so much air from coming in through the front (hard to believe, but it did seem as though air was coming through the main zipper as well). I don't foresee this as a problem at speeds below 60 MPH, though, but it has me a little concerned about the quality of the zippers. Still, at the price I am sure it will last me at least an entire season, if not two – and, really, if it's cold enough to wear this jacket over another one, then why not snap the front flap shut?
The jacket does have a zipper at the rear that mates with the zipper on my Bilt pants that I bought seven months ago, so that turned out really well for me. I didn't think much of it until I rode into a weird wind-pattern on the way to work this evening that had the back of the jacket filling up with air and lifting up a little… That hasn't happened before, but it would have been a non-issue had I zippered the jacket to the pants back there, which I will do in the future.
PROS: Zipper to mate Bilt pants, Pockets, Styling, Shorter three-quarter, Well-thought-out, Warm
CONS: Main zipper not YKK
BEST USES: Cold weather riding, Rain riding
PROS: Comfortable, Well Insulated, Weather Resistant
CONS: Bad Velcro Placement
BEST USES: Cold weather, Wet Weather, Bad Weather, Long Rides
PROS: Warm, Comfortable
PROS: Weather Resistant, Abrasion Resistant, Well Insulated
CONS: Not The Best Finish
BEST USES: Safety, Long Rides, Bad Weather
PROS: Comfortable, Stylish, Well Insulated, Weather Resistant
BEST USES: Safety, Long Rides, Bad Weather
The main zipper design is very nice with a flap that double folds over the zipper and fastens with snaps, which I prefer to hook & loop.
The cargo pockets have a fold over design to keep water out, also use snaps, and there's plenty of storage space. Plus the "Fanny Pack" pocket is of the same fold and snap design.
Fit is very good with arm, waist, and sholder adjustment
I've been wearing it in January Chicago temps under 30*F and have stayed perfectly warm even at expressway speeds (with some layers underneath).
The liner makes a stylish zip-up sweater/jacket that you can wear around and actually comes out pretty easy so you could wear it once you get to your destination. One issue with the liner is that it is un-lined fleece so if you have a long sleeve shirt it sticks when putting your arm through. Also the loops that connect it to the jacket seem a little flimsey and I will likely remove them and replace them with something sturdier. I may also line the sleeves with a smoother material.
Cuff opens nice and wide and fits nicely over my gloves. I prefer to put the gauntlets in my jacket so water runs off them in not into them.
The water-proof liner runs the entire jacket and seems like it will keep you very dry. I've only encountered snow and not rain so waterproofness is not tested. This does effect ventalation as the many vents open up to the waterproof layer so the wind will not make it to your skin. This will likely make this not a good hot weather jacket. Also, the zippers are not the rubber sealed "Waterproof" type zippers so it is likely that you will get some leaking into the lower pockets and vents. Though since the vents open to the waterproof layer you should stay dry.
I do wish it had a little more reflective material but it's still very visable. I may stitch some more reflective material on.
The collar is nice with soft material and has great height for protection and adjustability.
It was also a great price!
PROS: Comfortable, Well Insulated, Weather Resistant
BEST USES: Long Rides, Bad Weather, Safety, Casual Wear
It does get warm once the weather hits the mid 70's, even with the vents open. But it's not built for hot weather, so that's pretty ok in my book.
Admittedly, I don't use the liner often. Instead I wear either a Northface or Columbia liner (depending on the temperature). They are just more comfortable for me and they ball up smaller for the warmer days in my backpack or saddlebags. But that's just me being picky.
I've worn this jacket in the lower 20's with no problems at all. It's waterproof and windproof. And it makes a great 3-season jacket.
PROS: Comfortable, Stylish, Well Insulated, Abrasion Resistant, Weather Resistant
BEST USES: Safety, Casual Wear, Bad Weather, Long Rides
The Hi vis color has definately reduced the number of cagers pulling out in front of me. Used the stock liner the last winter. Had the same complaints other users have with the fleece lining catching on other garments. Stock liner is a nice stand alone jacket also. Upgraded to a heated liner 6 months ago. Enhanced the jacket over the stock liner. I use the jacket in temps below 70 degrees. After that it's like riding in steambath from your sweat even with the vents open. Also the vents in the sleeves seem to leak cold air when temps are below 40 degrees given me cool airpits. Blocks the wind everwhere else. Been thru a few light rains, no leaks. Love all the pockets! Wish they made a mesh version in the same style and hi vis color.
PROS: Weather Resistant, Comfortable, Stylish
CONS: Doesn't Breathe
BEST USES: Safety, Long Rides
PROS: Weather Resistant, Stylish, Well Insulated, Comfortable, Abrasion Resistant
BEST USES: Bad Weather, Long Rides, Warm Weather, Casual Wear, Safety
PROS: Weather Resistant, Comfortable, Stylish, Well Insulated, Abrasion Resistant
BEST USES: Long Rides, Bad Weather
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