Alpinestars TZ-1 Reload Jacket - 2012
- 1.1mm full grain leather construction
- Perforated front leather panels for enhanced airflow
- Removable CE certified Bio Armor protectors in the elbows and shoulders
- Back and chest protector compartments with foam padding (Alpinestars CE-certified Nucleon inserts available as upgrades, see below)
- Snap connection system to integrate CE level 2 certified Bionic Race Back Protector
- Internal waist connection zipper allows attachment to selected Alpinestars leather and textile pants
This product is sold in European sizes. You can choose a European size based upon your US chest size using our Alpinestars Sizing Charts page, but in simple terms, the European size will be 10 points more than your US chest size (suit coat size).
This jacket is a street-cut style and therefore has an “average” sport-cut fit. The max belly for any given size will be about 16 points lower than the European size. For example, the max belly for a 56 Euro/46 US jacket will be about 40 inches. So if you have a bit of a belly it’s best to consider that before choosing a jacket size.
Based on the size charts, we chose a size 52 for Huey and a 56 for Dewey. The fit is snug, but appropriate for a jacket style like this. You can see how those jackets fit by taking the “View Larger Images” link above.
Our Two Cents
I personally like the Alpinestars styles that are most “normal”. And I think I’m not alone because they sell the best too. For me, the TZ-1 Reload jacket falls squarely in the “normal” camp. The overall styling is attractive and sporty. The piping and logos add just enough style without being overt. This is a sport cut jacket, but it’s not extremely tight or too forward-leaning like some of the more race-oriented styles, which means you’ll be more comfortable wearing it every day. There is no doubt that this is a quality jacket that will give you the protection you want on a bike. I’ve not seen an Alpinestars product yet where corners have been cut in materials or manufacturing. And leather, of course, is the ultimate weapon against injury from abrasion in a fall. Except for those in pretty cold climates, leather can get hot to wear, so having partial perforations like this jacket has is a definite advantage. If a jacket is hot or uncomfortable, then you probably aren’t going to wear it, so those perfs will go a long way toward your enjoyment and the number of days for which you’ll find this jacket to be comfortable. Overall, I’d recommend it for cool to warm weather use. The jacket has a plain mesh liner, so when temps cool, you can layer underneath with something slightly insulating and wind stop. This jacket includes the full complement of armor in the shoulders, elbows, chest and back. Upgrades are available too (see below). Check out the feature pictures we’ve taken by clicking the “View Larger Images” link above. We are also including a couple “night shots” so you can see how effective the reflective piping is on the jacket. It works well! And we have a couple shots showing the jackets on our Fit Check mannequins. You’ll be able to get a feel for what the jacket looks like on an almost live person (these mannequins have become my friends!). :: Paul, 04-22-12