Unless you’re a lottery winner, £900 is a steep price to pay for a motorcycle jacket, even if its packed with the latest technology and finest super-fabrics. Mention the word Rukka though and you might get a bit more interest, such is the Finnish firm’s reputation for quality. Yet, almost a grand is still a most salty price for real-world biking – can it really be worth it?
Mayfield 07, a non-lottery winning member of the CBRXX.com forum, rides in the item every day, and the following is his unbiased owner’s opinion. Not surprisingly, the two biggest issues turn out to be quality and price, but there’s more to it than that….
Rukka’s Cosmic jacket sits just below the top of the range Armas which, at a wallet-worrying £1100 is probably the most expensive motorcycling textile top-half on the market. Like its more expensive brother the Cosmic is packed with features. Most important of these is a true Pro-shell. Unlike conventional waterproofing systems, where a membrane sits behind a non-waterproof outer layer, this material has Gore-Tex bonded directly to it, meaning that water is repelled at the surface of the jacket. Result: 100% waterproof and no soggy heavy clothing after a downpour.
Overall quality and toughness is excellent – as solid as the proverbial brick outbuilding. Double Kevlar stitching, Armacor fabric and heavy duty Cordura everywhere. No surprise that it comes with a five year warranty.
Good though the Rukka is, it’s not perfect. The front of the built-in collar is somewhat inflexible and can be uncomfortable. The Velcro attaches itself to anything and everything – thermals, t-shirt, interior of helmet, passing pedestrians, the whiskers on my neck. Hmm. On the other hand, the detachable extra storm collar is excellent and helpfully has both hook and loop sections so it can be folded onto itself out of the way.
I counted eight pockets and sub-pockets, both inside and outside the shell, with magnets built into the shell to clamp the exterior flaps down. There are easy-grab textile tabs on the YKK zippers so you can operate them with gloves, a nifty magnet/latch system on the midriff belt, Velcro waist adjusters and zipped waist relief flaps, both upper and lower sleeve width adjustment snaps – it’s got all of the angles covered.
The jacket is designed as a three-season (Autumn, Winter, Spring) Jacket. To keep you cool when the sun shines, the jacket has waterproof zipped vents in the front of the shoulders and a full-width zipped exhaust vent across the back of the shoulders. There is absolutely no wind ingress when the zips are done up. Scotchlite logos in silver are highly reflective and large. Headlights will pick this jacket up as you sit waiting at a junction, no problem at all. Zipper is a conventional toothed affair with a storm flap, not the more expensive ‘lock-out’ fastener of the top jacket.
The liner is as trick a bit of kit as is the outer. Removable, it’s a “phase-change” material, trade-named Outlast, which is supposed to regulate body temperature by absorbing heat and giving it back out when required. This works – to a point – but does struggle when temperatures rise, when you’ll need to remove the liner.
The Outlast liner zips in around the torso of the shell but the ends of the sleeves are held in place by two elasticised loops that go around colour-coded buttons in the shell, which seems like a weak design point in an otherwise bomb-proof item. Both of the loops on the right arm of the liner have failed, so I’ll be bothering that warranty soon.
Do I Recommend? Well, while it’s the single most expensive piece of clothing I’ve ever bought, what will hopefully be a long life should offset some of the cost. I’m impressed by the quality overall and the bottom line is that it does its basic job of keeping you dry and protected superbly well.
Being someone who hates the thought of lugging a rain suit around, it’s a joy to know that this jacket genuinely is 100% waterproof and makes such baggage unnecessary. It’s tough, well put together and wear-and-forget practical. I like it – a lot. In my view it IS worth the price.
Thanks To Mayfield 07 for this real-wold rider’s review!