ARMR Moto Tottori Evo jacket review

ARMR Moto describe their Tottori Evo as a “go-anywhere adventure jacket, designed for the serious ‘world rider’ whatever the conditions.” Sadly we didn’t have time to go round the world to test the claim, but we always do our best to achieve real world long term testing of products at Overland, so did ride a rough circle of Europe taking in Italy, Greece, the Balkans, Romania etc back to UK. And we took it up the Himalayas. So, after 6,000 miles, we can make a judgement.

As the name suggests this is an evolution of the earlier Tottori jacket which we tested thoroughly and only really complained about the lack of internal pockets. ARMR Moto have taken on the point about pockets, and with the Evo have included enough storage space front and back such that you could almost leave your panniers at home. But unbelievably, they haven’t addressed the most important thing – an internal pocket. There still isn’t one that you can put a passport, documents or a wallet in which is an incredible faux pas for a jacket meant to be designed for world travellers!

There is a small internal mobile phone pocket but it’s set very low and not at all easy to reach. It is also situated in the outer layer of the jacket so is not waterproof.

There are 8, possibly 10 pockets on the front, 4 of which claim to be waterproof and have good sealed zips. So far they seem to be. The remainder aren’t. There might be 2 pockets near the shoulders which have small storm flaps, but they have mesh insides and may in fact be vents. If they are this mesh inner can be aimed to permit air to flow upwards over the shoulder and then exit via the full width zipped rear vent. If they are vents, there’s no way of keeping the storm flap open to let the air in…

2 more conventional mesh panels exist in the chest area and are opened by a very nifty flap, retained by magnets in either opened or closed position; a great idea employed by many manufacturers. Sadly, that’s it for venting. The sleeves don’t have 2-way zips from the cuffs and there’re no other induction vents. This is another oversight as much of the world is a good deal hotter than Britain. I had to ride with the main zip ¾ open which wasn’t ideal and did let a few wasps and hornets in. Thankfully in addition to the zip and Velcro front closure, there is also a press stud at the bottom (and top) which gave me the illusion that the jacket would stay closed if I came off.

For the wearer to remain dry the detachable DRY TEK Waterproof/Breathable Membrane has to be in place and it certainly works well even in torrential rain. But a traveller doesn’t want the hassle of storing a liner somewhere and then fitting it if there’s a sign of rain. If you leave it in place it negates the minimal venting and makes the jacket much too warm to wear in hotter climates.

The substantial weight, (in part made up of the back, elbow and shoulder protectors) before you fill the pockets, also acts against this Tottori Evo.

It sounds like I’m slating this jacket but I’m not. I am taking issue with the marketing of it though. Given its lowly £179 price tag it has a lot going for it. It certainly has the rugged ‘deer stalker’ look in Gun Metal grey and the lighter ‘Stone’ colour we chose, and if the number of pockets doesn’t confuse you then the storage is massive. The sales blurb says there are hand warmer pockets too, but I couldn’t find them.

With both thermal and waterproof liners fitted it’s a snug jacket when the weather demands that, and the neck lining material is just lovely. The velcro adjustment to hem, waist and sleeve ensures the fit is correct and there’s a zip to attach riding trousers if it’s your choice. The reflective material on sleeves, shoulders and back is dark and subtle which is nice and if you are an MP3 user there is a locator for the earphone wire.

In practise, this jacket was warm enough in the cold but not cool enough in the heat. The venting is poor and the lack of internal pockets a huge oversight for anyone who really travels. The generously low cut at the rear though, ensured no untoward drafts.

The paler colour we chose, as you might expect, became very grubby quickly, but also of note is the material – POLY TECH 600DN Fabric – which snagged and tore very easily on the sleeve.

This is a pretty good budget jacket but I’m afraid we can’t concur that it’s a “go-anywhere adventure jacket, designed for the serious ‘world rider’ whatever the conditions”.

For someone 5’11” and 12 stone the ‘L’ fitted well, but sizes available are S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL

SRP £179.99