FirstGear Kenya Jacket - 2013
- Hypertex™ waterproof/breathable shell
- Removable insulated liner
- Zipper adjustable underarm and chest vents
- CE-approved armor at shoulders and elbows
Read on for more details.
FirstGear products in general are a “full” cut, aka “American Cut”, which means the jackets are generously sized in the torso, shoulders, etc. The 2013 Kenya is cut that way also. We tried a size Medium jacket on Huey and an XL on Dewey (our Fit Check mannequins) and they fit just fine. You can see some shots of how they look by clicking the “View Larger Images” link above.
These jackets have some adjustments which will help you get comfortable in the best size for you. There are some nice sleeve size adjusters to snug the material and thus hold the armor better in position. The neck size also has an adjuster. Then there are Velcro straps at the waist to help customize the fit.
Firstgear publishes a chart which summarizes the max chest and max waist/belly (whichever is bigger) for each size and we’ve included that below. Since the overall cut is generous, then I’d advise that if you are between sizes, you should try the smaller.
FirstGear offers this jacket in tall sizes. The tall selection of each size adds about 1 1/2 to 2 inches to the torso and sleeve length. If you normally have to buy “talls” then these should work for you.
Our Two Cents
The Kenya jacket by FirstGear for 2013 is a continuation of the Kenya line from previous years. Commuters and touring riders are the main focus of this jacket. And climate-wise, this jacket is best suited for cold to mild-to-warmish (but not hot) weather use. As I said, the target audience is commuters and touring riders. The “must have” for those folks is storage and convenience, so there is a big focus on pockets with this jacket. Two large front pockets with 9 inch vertical zippers are easy to access and provide a ton of storage space inside. There are organizer pockets within these pockets so you won’t have to dig around for your stuff. A place for everything and everything in its place! There are also two hand warmer pockets as well as a full complement of interior pockets. One nice feature of all FirstGear jackets: they replicate the interior pockets in the jacket shell and in the liner, so whether the liner is in or out, the pockets are in the same places. I mentioned use in cold weather. When it gets cold there is a fully sleeved removable liner which is insulated. There is also a neck wrap which is held in place with Velcro. This piece can be extended up and wrapped around your neck, a great feature in cold weather! The neck is usually one of the spots that remains painfully exposed with most riding gear. For warmer weather the liner can be removed, and there are 6 vents which can be opened. Two shoulder vents, two underarm vents, and two rear exit vents. All the zippered vents have waterproof zippers. In previous Kenya designs, the jacket was supplied with a waterproof liner, but with this model, the actual outer shell is made to be waterproof (hence the waterproof zippers, double closure over the main zipper, etc). Manufacturers SAY waterproof, but almost universally, a better description would be water resistant IMHO. Regardless of how much care is taken, it is just darn near impossible to achieve a total waterproof design with all the venting, pockets, etc. Anyway, moving on to crash protection… the Kenya has standard CE approved armor in the elbows and shoulders, as well as a foam back pad; all of which is removable. One area that almost all 2013 products from FirstGear will shine (pardon the pun) is with the new nighttime reflectivity. Larger/longer reflective trim pieces are used and the material they use works great. We have some “nighttime” shots for you in our photo gallery which you should have a look at. (Click the “View Larger Images” link above). Lastly, a comment on colors… I like it when FirstGear experiments with new colors each season. Some sell well, others don’t, but let’s give them credit for trying something other than black, blue, red! I personally like the Olive and Silver/Black selections. I’ll have to be careful with the light color though to keep it looking nice! :: Paul, 09-17-12