Hello, everyone! I’m back with another blog entry and as usual- I find it easier to blog about the items that I’ve got my eye on personally. This time I’m looking for a new jacket and I’ve got a bit of a crush on the Oxford Melbourne 2.0 Motorcycle Jacket! Not to be confused with the Melbourne Air 2.0 Jacket, the Melbourne 2.0 is much more versatile and yet, is somehow the same price at just £101.99.
Now it may seem like I must own a lot of the stuff I blog about but I’m not made of money, so I do have to be very selective about what I want to get. So like when I bought my last pair of boots I came up with a short mental list of the things I want out of my jacket. That way I know that I’m getting the most for my money, my jacket is going to perform the way I want it to and its going to last me a good long while. Allow me to go through my personal list and give reasons with each of the points why the Oxford Melbourne 2.0 is a great biker jacket.
The outer shell of the jacket is made from Polyester, a pretty common material in the construction of protective motorcycle apparel. It’s a light weight, very abrasion resistant and since it’s man made- it doesn’t retain much water when the weather is wet. It’s also been made with a slightly shorter, sporty cut instead of a longer, tourer cut, which saves on a bit of material. All of these points combined result in a comfortable, light jacket despite the other features inside it. It makes the jacket easier to move in and less tiring to wear.
Its a pretty basic point but quite important. Buying a jacket with a specific purpose like a summer jacket is great but I want a jacket that can hold it’s own in a number of environments and situations. The Oxford Melbourne 2.0 accomplishes this in a couple of ways. The first is that its waterproof by making use of a waterproof liner to keep the wearer dry. As someone who commutes to work on a bike every day- having a jacket that can hold up in the wet is really important. Not worrying about whether its going to rain is so much less stress.
Another reason for the jacket’s versatility comes in the form of another liner- a removable thermal liner. On the colder days you can leave the thermal liner in and keep yourself nice and warm but on the hotter days you can take the liner out for a bit more air circulation. Personally I like to remove my thermal liner and wear a hoodie under my jacket anyway, so being able to take the liner out means I can keep warm without adding any extra bulk under the jacket.
The last point for versatility isn’t a liner this time, its on the outside of the jacket. The jacket features open-able vents that can be secured in an open position for maximum airflow under the jacket. A vent on each shoulder shunts air in through the front of the jacket and a vent on the back allows air out. The motion of air going in and out of the jacket at the shoulders and back also draws more of the hot air up and out of the jacket as well. So this jacket is designed to perform well in both warm and wet weathers.
I’ve already mentioned about the shell material- Polyester that’s good with abrasion resistance. Not only is this useful for a lightweight material but it’s also important for protecting your skin. An abrasion resistant material is essential in a biker jacket, we all hope it never happens but its something we would rather have just in case we find ourselves sliding down the road.
On top of an abrasion resistant shell there’s the armour. The Melbourne 2.0 only has armour in the shoulders and elbows but it does have a pocket for a back protector. Since I already own one and would no longer need my old jacket, this is not and issue for me but if you wish- you could invest in a new set of CE Approved Soft Armour for £24.99 and give the whole armour system in the jacket an upgrade. This is the same stuff I use too and I’m singing it’s praises all the time so it’ll definitely be going in my new jacket.
I have a few requirements when it comes to zips on my jackets. The first is that the main zip of the jacket is substantial and doesn’t feel weedy. While the zipper on the jacket has smaller teeth and appears quite thin- it is also very tough. The smaller teeth actually help to keep rain from getting through but any rain that might get through is quickly thwarted by a small storm flap beneath it that is part of the waterproof liner.
The next zip I want my jacket to have is a decent connection zipper on the back so I can connect it to my trousers- or at least have the option. Which the Melbourne 2.0 actually provides, there’s a small connection zipper at the back so I’ll be able to connect them to my Oxford Trousers once I’ve decided which of those I want too.
Many people want options when it comes to the cuffs of their jackets. Some want tighter cuffs that can be easily tucked into the gauntlet of a glove and others want a looser fitting cuff that gloves can tuck in beneath. By using a double adjustment on the cuffs of the Melbourne 2.0, the wearer has that choice, a zip that goes up the wrist and arm allows for the cuff aperture to open up wider and a velcro fastener on the end of the cuff allows for more smaller tightening adjustments for a perfect fit.
The jacket has to be comfortable. Oxford gear is more often than not a pleasure to wear because they take great care in providing great quality but it’s not just the over all fit of the jacket that helps in this. Adjusters on the arms and waist help for a custom and comfy fit but I’m more interested in the smaller things they do.
Smaller things like the suede collar lining with the rolled neoprene edge so that the skin doesn’t, itch or become irritated from turning my head. The little areas of padding on the shoulders, although likely not put there for this purpose, would make wearing the straps of my backpack a bit more comfortable too. Or at least help in keeping the straps where I want them without tightening the straps up more which can affect handling, comfort and even how well ventilated the jacket is. Small detail, huge difference.
And lastly it needs good pockets. The pockets have to be secured with zips and waterproof for keeping belongings safe. While the two outer pockets are designed as somewhere to keep your hands while you’re not riding, they aren’t waterproof. But the do secure with zips, so any items you may have that won’t be harmed by water are safe to go in there. As for your phone, the Melbourne 2.0 has an internal pocket that is touchscreen compatible for smart phones and will keep it safe.
The Melbourne meets all of my biking needs, it’s comfy, dry, safe, versatile and I can trust it to look after my valuables as well as myself. I’m completely sold on getting one for myself and I highly recommend if for everyone else who has the same requirement in a jacket that I do. It’s available in Black, White, Red and Blue at Ghostbikes.com for £101.99 and I’ll be ordering mine as soon as my next pay day hits! We have plenty to see in our Oxford Range too, so if the Melbourne isn’t for you, there’s sure to be something to meet your own list of needs.
Thanks for reading, everyone! Until next time!
-MattW at Ghostbikes.com