Spada Ascent jacket review

This Spada jacket proves you don’t have to spend huge money for great spec and performance

Spada Ascent jacket in action on a Yamaha Tracer 700 GT

by Jim Blackstock |

There are some genuine bargains around when it comes to motorcycle clothing. Inevitably, inexpensive kit lacks some of the features or touches of more expensive gear but as we have seen on many occasions if you are looking for something to keep you warm, dry and protected, then if you look around – or rather, let us do the looking around for you – you can get properly looked after for decent money.

One brand that embraces this ethos is Spada, a British name even though many assume that it is Italian. It seems to prioritise protection and many of its products get excellent CE ratings and they also manage to offer the highest level of armour in many of its garments.

One such product is the Ascent textile jacket. It has a proper touring cut to it, and it also has an element of adventure-touring as well, with its harder material sections over the shoulders.

Spada Ascent
Spada Ascent

It is formed in cotton canvas on the outer with additional Armorflex reinforcement in key areas to improve abrasion resistance. It comes with a Reissa breathable and waterproof membrane drop-liner fixed inside the outer layer and it also has a removable thermal liner.

It has plenty of adjustments, including waist, upper arm and forearm adjusters and it also has vertical zips at the hem to allow for movement on the bike and more room when seated. It has plenty of pockets, including two at the chest, two at the base of the front with hand warmers and a poacher’s pocket on the rear.

The Spada jacket has several vents to allow cooling air in and comes with a full five-piece suit or Teknoform armour, rated Level-2 at the shoulders and elbows and Level-1 for the back protector. Overall, it is CE rated AA – about as good as textile jackets get.

Spada Ascent on the road - rear
©Photo: Bauer Media

In use, the Spada Ascent is a very nice jacket. It’s a slim fitting cut but does seem to come up big – I usually go for an XL but a Large fitted me very nicely, though even then, it still needed a little pulling in at the waist for my personal preference, which is always encouraging...

It’s very easy to tailor the fit with the various adjustments and because the thermal liner zips in all the way around, there are no cold spots or draughts. The main zip is backed with a proper double storm flap, so similarly, there are no draughts and it is cosy when on.

The collar has a stretch panel and neoprene edging and is very comfortable though it can feel a little tight sometimes. There are stretch panels across the shoulders that allow you to move easily on the bike and the Ascent's fit doesn’t seem to alter hugely if you remove the thermal liner – this can be an issue sometimes; despite feeling fairly thin, it is quite effective.

Spada Ascent shoulder detail
©Photo: Bauer Media

The jacket can feel a little clammy as the temperature starts to climb but opening the vents can help a bit here – they give some airflow with the liner in but are much more effective with it removed. All can be easily accessed on the go except those at the top of the shoulders, as they don’t have the large tags the others – chest, arm and back – all have.

Waterproofing is pretty good but does highlight the only real criticism of the Ascent. When testing in heavy rain, no water entered the jacket, which was great. Sadly, the pockets leaked which was a bit of a shame.

Related: Best textile motorcycle jackets

However, it’s how it feels that can be an issue. Because it is constructed with a canvas outer backed with an internal waterproof drop-liner, the outer layer becomes saturated. While the drop-liner stops this from getting into you, it does make the jacket heavy and means that it potentially will take a while to dry out.

So, for example, if you are on a multi-day tour and get caught in heavy rain, it may still be damp or even wet the next morning.

Spada Ascent poacher's pocket
©Photo: Bauer Media

Verdict

The Ascent is another great jacket from Spada. It looks great and offers exceptional protection, both in terms of construction and abrasion resistance as well as in the event of an impact.

It is a great fit – though try before you buy to make sure you get the right size – and is very comfortable with a broad range of features, including a thermal liner and plenty of vents and pockets.

Its only drawback is the amount of water it holds on to when it's in sustained rain; it will keep you dry inside but it will get heavy and hold on to that water for some time. If you can get past that, it’s a great jacket which, at £60 less than RRP at Sportsbikeshop at the time of writing, is a proper bargain.

Pros:

Excellent CE ratings and protection

Comfortable and adjustable

Keep you dry in heavy rain

Cons:

Canvas construction holds on to water in heavy rain

More textile jackets:

Richa Cyclone
Oxford Mondial
Dane Ikast

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