Buffalo Sonar motorcycle jacket review: We take it on a 2700 mile trip through Europe… does it fit the bill?
This 600 Denier jacket boasts 11 pockets to choose from; 4 external and 3 internal (and waterproof) – and a map pocket at the rear. Additionally it comes with a zipout thermal liner and velcro strapping to the arms (to aid unwanted billowing) and zip-able air vents front and rear for when things get hot.
Not forgetting the twin Velcro’ed belt on the waist!
At £120 odd, that’s a real bang for your buck 🙂
The fit is snug. I personally would have gone for a size up had I been in the shop rather than getting one in the post, but there’s no dodgy looking seams and the manufacture is visually very good.
But I do have a couple of points:
1. There is a 2mm foam back protector supplied which wouldn’t help too much in an emergency, however, it’s something which is better than what a lot of manufacturers give by default.
2. The amount of ‘wiggle room’ in the cuffs. In any rain, the water runs down the inside of the sleeves and ends up at your wrists; with the gloves underneath the sleeves, the water will then run off the gloves… But with the Sonar, despite the zipper on the cuff releasing some space, I just couldn’t get the gloves underneath and that was going to throw the whole premise of a ‘waterproof’ jacket into disarray?!
The Sonar was destined to join me on a 10 day Euro tour; some 2500 miles planned in 7 countries and so it was that I wore it non-stop from Dover to Liechtenstein in all sorts of weather. Zipping out the thermal liner and opening the vents worked well enough when it was too hot and when colder – I was kept dry and warm with it all sealed up and the thermal back in. The collar was particularly good I felt. It’s quite common in budget jackets to see poorly placed Velcro (and Velcro that isn’t that ‘sticky’) leaving a significant gap around the neck that doesn’t actually really help in cutting down heat loss – the Sonar had it bang on right.
As far as waterproofing is concerned, it didn’t really rain that hard for any extended period of time (just luck I guess :-), but even with my gloves on the outside of cuffs I was still dry, so as it stands I certainly happy to call it water resistant… All I can say is that I will take it out in the rain (shouldn’t have to wait too long, the English Autumn is approaching!) and amend this post when I can.
Overall then, this is good jacket for the price… but budget to replace the back armour*. If you already have shortie gloves, rather than the gauntlet style that I habitually use, then do take them down to the dealers and try it all together. Better to check that you’re happy in the dry rather than being miffed in the rain!
See other Biker47 reviews HERE