Alpinestars Viper Air Jacket - 2016
- Constructed from hard-wearing 600 denier shell reinforced with PU for excellent tear and abrasion performance
- Extensive mesh panels on front and rear panels for unsurpassed airflow performance
- New two-way sleeve zippers offer safe closure as well as allowing you to regulate air intake
- Removable windproof inner vest ling to allow jacket to be worn in wet weather, lining features Velcro®-closing wallet pockets (Author note: caution here folks…. this is a waterproof vest… meaning your arms get wet!)
- Full interior mesh liner adds to the cooling performance and incorporates Velcro®-closing wallet pocket
- Removable CE-certified Bio-Armor shoulder and elbow protection for excellent impact protection
- Chest and back pad compartments supplied with PE foam padding (CE certified Nucleon protectors available as accessory)
- Light mesh edge collar for breathability and comfort
- Pre-curved sleeves for increased comfort in the riding position
- Elongated rear profile, plus Velcro® and D-ring waist adjustment for added riding comfort and customization
- Velcro® and D-ring waist adjustments for a secure and customized fit
- Multiple internal compartment pockets feature Velcro® closures for additional security
- Reflective details on front and back for improved rider visibility
- Waist connection zipper allows attachment to Alpinestars riding pants
Read on for more details.
These jackets are sold in US based “alpha” sizes, so selecting a size is basically pretty easy. For most people, you would choose the size you normally wear in men’s clothing. Alpinestars publishes a super-complicated size chart which can be used to pick a size based upon your chest and waist. We’ve condensed their chart down to make it easy to read (see below). The waist is adjustable with Velcro tabs. Overall this should be a very easy style to fit.
I found the taper from chest to waist of these jackets to be on the sporty side, but not so much that it won’t work for most people. So if you have a bit of a belly, please check to make sure that the size you pick will be big enough for both your chest and belly. Example: an XL is a 46” max chest and the max belly would be about 42”.
|Jacket Size||Chest Range||Max Belly|
|Small||37.5 to 39||35|
|Medium||40 to 41.5||37|
|Large||42 to 43.5||40|
|XL||44.5 to 46||42|
|XXL||47 to 49||45|
|XXXL||49 to 51||47|
|XXXXL||51.5 to 53||49|
Our Two Cents
This 2016 Viper Air jacket is a slightly updated version of the previous incarnation. You’ll like the Viper Air if you live in a hot climate and want a sporty fitting and sporty looking full mesh jacket. The overall “heft” of this jacket is minimal and there are a lot of full-mesh panels so the air will blow right though. But unlike MOST other mesh jackets, this one has a trim, European cut (like most other Alpinestars sport jackets).
And even though the jacket is lightweight and breezy, you can beef up the armor package by adding upgraded chest pads and a CE rated back pad. With most other brands, the armor is there, but not quite the quality of the Alpinestars armor. Please note that the back pad and chest pads that come with the jacket are THIN foam and are there only as a “place holder” for the beefier stuff sold separately.
This jacket has a removable windproof vest-liner that will help block the flow thru air which will come in handy during cooler times. Alpinestars mentions “waterproof”, which it may be, but without arms, the fact that it is waterproof is a bit academic, don’t you think? Anyway, it will be useful to block the wind on cooler days. One point to mention with regard to rain… the jacket does have one waterproof breast pocket, so you can stash the phone and wallet if you get caught out. They’ve added an additional venting option on each sleeve. The cuff closure is long and is “two way”, so you can zip it open to create a zip vent for the lower arm.
Check out our photos to see the liner, pocket arrangements and a few of the other features. We also got a good shot of the jacket’s nighttime reflectivity. It lights up well.
Alpinestars mesh styles are a few bucks more than other brands, but the overall quality is there, and with the upgraded armor options, this jacket stands out for those wanting the sporty style. :: Paul, 03-22-16