Aerostich Darien Hi-Viz VS. Olympia AST Hi-Viz
I've been wanting a new jacket to augment my Roadcrafter. I had pretty much decided on the Darien, and lo and behold, Mrs. Supersig bought it for me for my birthday. Unfortunately, she didn't account for my undying devotion to all things Hi-Viz yellow, and the jacket arrived in red. I love my wife, but I don't do red. So, the jacket is off to Aerostich to be replaced with the new Higher Hi-Viz Darien.
I think you know the rest.
I'm surfing Advrider, and I see the new Hi-Viz is recalled and the old Hi-Viz is back (only possibly more school busy). Now, I'm currently riding with a "old old" Hi-Viz Roadcrafter. It's a light yellow with a somewhat Pollack-esqe patina of road grime and bug guts. It's no longer really Hi-Viz, but it isn't black leather either.
So, I'm pissed. Without stumbling into the info, my Darien would have showed up in "old" style when Daddy was expecting new pimping neon Hi-Viz.
My boss has an Olympia jacket which burns out my retinas each time I ride with him. So, I start thinking an Olympia AST would look good on me. I tried one on, and it was bulky, but comfy. I've deduced the following:
School Bus (WTF?)
Olympia AST Pros-
Holy shniky! It's bright!
Holy weiner schnitzel, it's cheap
Olympia AST Cons-
Could this thing have more zippers and snaps?
What am I missing? :usa
Aerostich Hi-Viz vs. Olympia AST
I have a new Hi-Viz Aerostich one piece with black ballistics, an old color Darien Hi-Viz and an Olympia AST in Hi-Viz. Thoughts:
The A/S one piece really stands out, is easy to put on and is effective but the sleeves are a bit tight when you have a liner in. You really can take it off in 10 seconds. Difficult to store especially with the back pad in. Have been accused of being a crossing guard. Not convenient to remove in a restaurant when people are watching as you need lots of room and a wall or able to lean against. (I am 66) Does feel good on the road though. Unless it really fades, I won't be sending it back.
The old Darien is great up to about 85 degrees F, plenty of room for a Kanetsu liner. VERY waterproof. Lots of easily accessible pockets on the outside. Roadcrafters have a lining while the Darien does not. Thus Darien better for hot weather. Has become and old friend.
The AST is new, stiffer than the Stiches but the liner fits well and looks good when worn as a jacket. The vents in the sleeves can be opened when riding but it is easier when stopped. Aerostich uses much better quality Velcro than Olympia. Biggest problem is the Chinese Velcro on the pockets is so stiff it scratches the back of the hand when you reach into the pockets. The zipper pockets work better. Collar is not as comfortable as either Stich. The front has a zipper (or two with the liner in) and two sets of snaps so is slower to close than the Stiches. Have not worn it in the rain yet so don't know how waterproof. Chest vents seem to leak some air in when cold even when closed.
All three really show the dirt. I use spray auto upholstery cleaner to take spots off. I really like the zipper pockets on the Stiches to store keys and ear plugs. The Stiches have better quality armor than the Olympia. As to color, remember that red looks black at night. The Stiches have more and better reflective panels than the AST. Also like the little loop on the collar of the Stiches to keep the Velcro flap from blowing around when not fastened. Also like to buy American and love Aerostich service.