The first thing you notice when pulling on a Milwaukee Leather motorcycle jacket is the plush material. This is not a stiff, hard garment you’re going to have to suffer through or wrestle with until it’s broken in. Rather, it’s soft and pliable, supple and smooth, and from the first wear it feels like it’s been yours for years.
That’s how I felt after trying on the Sportster men’s jacket from Milwaukee Leather — at home. The distressed edges suit the worn feel of the cowhide, and the nylon mesh lining is also comfortable, not sticky or stiff like new nylon often is (the same can be said of the quilted nylon liner).
The Milwaukee Leather Sportster is made from full-grain, 1.3mm-thick black cowhide. Three exterior zippered pockets — two at the sides and one on the breast — couple with two inner breast pockets (one zipped, one not) to provide plenty of storage. The heavy-duty YKK zippers have plastic grommets on their pulls, making them easy to grab even with gloves on. Even the smaller zippers on the pockets, sleeves, and back vents (and underarm vents!) are a breeze to find and employ. The appearance is subtle and cool. On the back, between the shoulder blades, is the only evidence of the Milwaukee brand logo, and it, too, is restrained: embossed, raised leather, slightly distressed like the seams. Classy.
One drawback for riders, though, is the lack of body armor on this model, or pockets to accommodate those who wish to employ such armor. Still, it’s comfortable and looks great, which puts it head and shoulders above much of the competition. —Jon Langston
Hard Data: Milwaukee Motorcycle Clothing Company, Sportster, $249.99, 828/278-9870, www.MMCCLeather.com