When you first hold the Weise Dakar Adventure jacket, the thing you notice is its weight and bulk, and you might be forgiven for thinking that this is a bad thing, but as this is a four-season jacket, there’s a reason behind it all. Let me explain.
The jacket is a system consisting of three parts: the outer, made in 600 Denier Polyester; the waterproof, breathable lining; and finally a 120 gram thermal liner.
The outer layer is, for a lack of a better phrase, the actual jacket. This carries the protective CE approved armour, outer pockets, a hydration pocket, plenty of air vents and a large removable pocket on the back, which comes with a waist strap so you can wear it like a bum bag (fanny pack). The pocket is large enough to carry one of the inner liners without a problem. It gets a bit bulky, but it does work.
The hydration pocket is designed to carry a water bladder. There’s a dedicated exit hole for the hose and even a little velcro’d tab on the shoulder to hold the hose in place. This pocket could come in handy when you’re using the jacket as the name suggests.
Next layer is the waterproof liner. It zips into the jacket with the bright blue zips, something that’s handy if you need to assemble the jacket quickly when the clouds gather above. Having the waterproof layer as a separate jacket has got its own benefits and drawbacks.
I used to be firmly in the camp that thought it was silly to have a waterproof layer under a layer that could get wet. However, after years of riding with jackets with a Gore-Tex bonded outer layer, I’ve learnt that this means that all ventilation has to come through this layer, usually via zips, velcro, and flaps. These will eventually leak, which in turn means that the ventilation is always a compromise between air flow and the inevitable water-flow. This is why I’m starting to come round to the idea that a better way to compromise is to have a separate waterproof layer.
I should also mention that all main zips are covered with a flap, and the flaps have got a rain/wind gutter in them too. This prevents water seeping in horizontally as it is guided down in the gutter instead.
Then we have the thermal layer which has got two inner pockets; one larger, regular one with a zip, and on the other side a smaller one with a velcro flap sized for your smart phone.
The outer jacket also comes with a neck/storm guard that zips on, and protects your neck all the way up under the helmet.
With all of these features you’ve got a very versatile jacket. You can mix n’ match the various layers and features to suit your ride and the weather conditions. Let’s not forget that for those of us who like to pack lightly, the thermal liner can be worn in the evening around the camp fire.
Granted, when you’re wearing all three layers, the neck protector and the pocket on the back, the jacket is quite heavy, but this bulk disappears quickly once you’ve got the jacket on you, and whilst riding, you wouldn’t even notice it. It’s easy to move around on the bike and it is all very comfortable.
We have many ways of keeping ourselves dry and warm with various extra layers when necessary, but as northern Europeans I don’t think we put enough consideration into how we keep ourselves cool and ventilated on those days when we’re out riding in warm conditions. This is why I’m always very pleased when I see an abundance of air vents on motorcycle jackets and this Weise Dakar Adventure has plenty.
There’s a vent on the front of each shoulder. Then there’s two long zips on the back, going top-down, opening up two large vents. There’s also a long zip on each arm that opens up even more ventilation. Finally there are two large panels on the front of the jacket at chest height, Pro-Air, as named by Weise. These have a panel that you can roll into the side which exposes two very large vents that let air get straight into the jacket. The operation of opening or closing these vents is quite fiddly, something to be aware of if you think you might be surprised by a rain shower.
The sizing seems to come up a bit on the big side, especially sleeve length. This is important to mention, not only because a motorcycle jacket has to fit well to protect you, but it’s even more important when you can remove two of the layers underneath the part that contains the protection. If this protection doesn’t remain in place it may as well not be there. My advice is that you definitely try this jacket on, in all its configurations, before you purchase it. The jacket on test is a 48/2XL. For comparison, my Halvarsson jacket is a 48 and fits my 5’9, beer-friendly frame snugly.
As I mention above, the fit of the jacket is important so that the CE-approved armour at the elbows, shoulders an back are in the correct location, and that they stay in the correct location in the event of an unscheduled dismount. Sadly the Dakar jacket worries me a bit when it comes to safety; the elbow protection seems to fit a bit too low and thus leaves my elbow completely exposed. The shoulder pads are also a bit small, probably so they can give way for the ventilation.
Both the shoulder and elbow protection are housed in a mesh pouch in the jacket. This sadly doesn’t give the wearer any way of permanently adjusting the pads into the correct position. We are all built differently so please check this when you try the jacket on and make sure you’re safe out there.
In the safety department I should also point out that the jacket has got reflective strips on it so you should be seen in the dark too.
Finally there’s a crotch strap that prevents the jacket from sliding up should you be exercising some abrasion tests on the black top.
Weise has priced this jacket at £269.99 in the UK, which is a remarkable price considering all the features it has. The three-layer system offers a lot of versatility and you can configure the jacket to almost any riding situation. It feels a bit bulky, but that disappears quickly when you’re wearing it in the saddle. This jacket is comfortable and practical.
The size does come up a bit big, so do try it on for fit and make sure that the armour is where it should be. You can get it in the ever-fashionable biker black, or as featured here in black/stone.
Male sizes go from M to 3XL.
For more information, visit the Weise website.
Review by Jocke Selin.