22 May 2023
Half mesh, half textile, all for a great price.
Half mesh, half textile, all for a great price.
French brand, Furygan, has been in the business of protecting motorcyclists for some time now, and the marque has offered a stunning range of products for the summer riding season. Now that we’ve entered some of the hottest months of the year, a proper mesh jacket could probably be a great bet to get from your local gear dealers and online retailers.
The summer jacket from Furygan makes sense for my use case as an everyday jacket for the moderately fast, moderately excited, and moderately conservative rider in hot climates. Your mileage may vary depending on where you live, but I see this as a good all-year all-season jacket provided you take a few things into consideration.
When it comes to jackets, knowing what weather you frequently ride through is extremely important in order to get the most value out of your purchase. For about $120 to $160 USD depending on the retailer you get it from, the Mistral Evo 3 has got a lot of things going for it, especially with regard to its build quality and design. Does it have more going for it, however? After a few months of riding with it, I’ve gathered a few thoughts.
Since I frequent sport naked motorcycles, sportbikes, sometimes adventure bikes, and sometimes cafe racers, I’ve rarely come across a jacket that really meshed (pun intended) well with the bikes that I ride. Sporty jackets are more my speed, but I don’t mind a jacket that can be worn on almost any bike in almost any situation. In my opinion, the Mistral Evo 3 has a certain universality about it when it comes to design. Typically, motorcycle jackets are either really sporty with a bunch of logos and colors plastered on the chest, the back, and the sleeves, or super subtle but in a more retro or casual aesthetic. The Mistral is just right. Not too sporty, but still sporty enough to match a broad spectrum of motorcycles. Whether you’re on something that’s a bit retro, like my Honda CB650R, or a little more modern like my KTM 790 Duke, the Mistral doesn’t feel out of place and I dare say that it looks good on a Vespa or even something like a neo-retro motorcycle.
White is a great color for the Mistral. Not only does it look great paired with the black mesh panels, but it also reflects heat and did I mention that it looks awesome? When new, the jacket looks great, but after a few miles of riding the textile material gets dirty quickly and in a hurry. To fix this, a bit of fabric protection spray goes a long way. However, if looking clean without maintenance blue, brown, and black are available as an option.
I will admit that a bulk of my praise for this jacket stems from its white and black colorway plus the clean design. If I got this jacket in black, blue, or brown, things might have turned out differently. However, one thing that will be constant throughout the range is its quality and its features.
When it comes to features, jackets are jackets. Just know that this jacket has reflective hits, a mesh liner, pockets, and armor pockets, but what sets it apart will be the other small details that Furygan was able to stitch in for the price. You get two more pockets in the chest area, one on the left and one on the right. You get accommodations for a rain shell to be attached on the inside, either that or a supplementary chest protector for even more safety. There is a pair of elasticated belt loops that I’m happily annoyed at because they actually work, unlike the other jackets I have in my collection. On top of that, it’s also airbag ready, and ready to work with Furygan’s own system, which is rather rare in a street jacket, but not for Furygan.
Save for the chest protector accommodations, I’ve found myself using almost a hundred percent of the jacket’s features. I’m all for the extra pockets and the extra storage and the well-thought-out belt loops. On top of that, the pockets are spacious and easy to access, the zippers are smooth, and putting stuff in it is a smooth experience thanks to the pocket liners. I feel that these things are worth mentioning because I’ve experienced other jackets in the past that haven’t really thought these things through. Oh, and one last thing, the hanger loop is a godsend of a feature that I’m happy to see in this jacket. It’s the little details that make me like the Mistral Evo even more, but we can’t weigh it based on features alone so let’s move on.
Performance and fit
I’m not a big guy, and I often find it hard to buy motorcycle gear that actually matches my body type. Being so lanky, I gravitated towards slim-fitting jackets and either Asian or European brands with those kinds of fit profiles. Furygan tailors their fit a little slim compared to other brands I’ve tried. The Mistral Evo 3 runs long slim, and you might find it a tight fit around the biceps if you work out. The waist of the Mistral is also tapered, so guys with guts might want to try it on just to be absolutely sure about the size. The fit is definitely European, more tapered around the arms and waist, which is why I was happy to get my Mistral Evo 3 in a small size. Size up if you have a bit of a gut going on downstairs or if the length isn’t enough for either the torso or the arms.
On the bike, there are a few key things that I have to mention about the MIstral and other mesh jackets. Typically, the material of a mesh jacket will be naturally thinner than standard textile offerings, more so if the jacket is designed to be an affordable model in the lineup. The Mistral beats other budget offerings since the textiles on this jacket are much thicker and don’t flap in the wind as much. The mesh is quite structured as well, but still allowed a decent amount of airflow through. The garment does get a little toasty especially while you’re trudging along through without airflow, especially under the textile sections, but if the tradeoff means that it will be a competent highway rider, then that more than makes up for it.
The liner on the inside of the Mistral Evo 3 is not all mesh. There is a smooth section where the pads sit and I’m not too fond of the feel of this kind of fabric on my skin because it can feel a little hot, but that’s part of the Furygan Skin Protect lining which is a three-part system that offers comfort while still retaining protection for the rider.
For safety, the Mistral Evo 3 has CE Level 1 D3O pads, some of the most comfortable armor pieces in the industry today. The chest and back protectors are not included with the jacket and are sold separately—a bummer that’s expected. The elbow and shoulder pads are very flexible and also rather thin which allows the jacket to look svelte as a bonus. Following that, slide protection is there where you need it. I can safely say that this jacket will not break apart the moment it touches asphalt like my other mesh pieces. I’ve slid in a few mesh jackets in the past, and the materials were predictably fragile sliding down the road. The Mistral’s textile panels are placed in key areas plus it’s much thicker than what I’m used to with my other mesh jackets, resulting in a class A slide rating and one that I can be confident with. Asking for a double A rating would be much for a mesh garment, but I feel that the mesh panels are to blame for the single A rating and that the textile sections are durable enough to resist asphalt for a reasonable amount of time.
For about $160 USD or cheaper depending on what retailer you go for, this is a great deal. This jacket is a great middle-ground in terms of practicality and protection. There’s enough mesh to keep you cool and there’s enough textile to keep you protected if ever a slide occurs. D3O armor is a great choice since it’s flexible and thin, and the well-thought-out features are a huge plus on my daily commute.
I have to say, however, that my fondness of the Mistral really comes from its design and its colorways. The fact that I’m not turned into a walking and motorcycle-riding billboard every time I put this jacket on is a huge bonus on top of the two-tone design that I don’t mind spraying a bit of fabric protector on from time to time. I got this jacket from my local Furygan distributor for P8,500, or about $150 USD. The price is right for a jacket that’s this well-built and this sturdy, with features that I don’t normally talk about when faced with a mesh garment. My verdict on this jacket is that it is a must-buy in the summer. It looks more classy and sophisticated compared to my other jackets, and it also feels cool enough to go out with in the summer.