LS2 Bond Textile Jacket – The new Trail Master?
Finding the right bike jacket is a tough job. You want something that makes you look as cool as hell, but keep you as warm as toast on those chilly winter rides. That’s why the all new LS2 Bond Textile Jacket is ticking all our boxes in the Ride Expeditions test HQ. It could very easily become our favourite jacket for everything from motorway cruising to trail riding or just nipping to the shops …
OLD SCHOOL COOL
Back in the late 80’s, in the days before scientifically developed smart fabrics, waxed cotton was one of the best ways to keep out the weather. So to accompany my daily commute on my Suzuki TS185, I invested my meagre wages in a Belstaff Trail Master jacket and trousers. Looking back they were heavy, stiff and took an absolute age to dry out after a soaking, but that didn’t matter one jot. Because in my mind, every time I set out to work I was Steve McQueen and it wasn’t a dull drive through the traffic, it was the ISDE,
Now had Google existed at the time, I’d have been able to find out that the gear McQueen actually wore for the 1964 ISDE was in fact made by Barbour, more often favoured by the country set than the more bike focussed Belstaff kit. But let’s not let facts ruin a good story – the truth remains that I immediately liked the look of the LS2 Bond Textile Jacket because it reminds be of that uber-cool look from the golden age of motorcycling.
The difference is that unlike the Belstaff Trail Master or indeed the Barbour worn by No: 278 in Germany – this jacket is warm, waterproof and packed with clever design features and proper protection. We’ve come a long way since rubbing wax into jackets ..
With ever increasing popularity in the helmet market, Barcelona-based LS2 have launched a whole clothing collection for 2019, featuring a wide range of jackets, jeans and waterproofs. Ride Expeditions are lucky enough to be the first to test and review their new range.
So how’s the Bond put together? Well the outer shell is a hard wearing 300D*600D polysester, which feels tough enough to shrug off the brambles on the trail while still being soft enough to make this bike wearable in the pub afterwards. Inside there’s a fixed waterproof membrane and a mesh lining, and for those chilly days there’s a full winter lining that zips into the outer and secures at the base of the sleeves with loops and poppers. The liner also has some soft back padding sewn into it, but this is probably of more use to soften the weight of a back pack rather than genuine crash protection.
There are two colour options – classic Black or the Smoke option we’ve chosen. It’s actually a tad more khaki than some of the photos make it look, but that’s not a bad thing.
The LS2 Bond Textile jacket has all the protection you’d expect from a modern motorcycle jacket. There are removable CE rated shoulder pads, with similar pads on the elbows too. Curiously the elbow pads have two different position options available, but as both my elbows always stay in the same place, that’s not something I’ll be using too much – maybe it helps if you’ve got really long or really short arms!
If the padding in the winter liner is not enough, or for use in warmer conditions, the Bond jacket has a back pocket and can be fitted with an optional EVA foam back protector (non certified) or upgraded to something like a D30 or SAS Tech protector depending on your preference.
So what features does the Bond have – Internet connectivity? Smart fabric? Build in headphones?
Well only one of those actually, and that’s all in the jacket’s favour. The fabric is indeed smart enough to let some of the air in, allow some of the moisture out but keep the rain away, but there’s no overcomplicated tech to go wrong.
On the front, there are two upper pockets with popper closure, with the left one being a Napoleon pocket that allows access while wearing a back pack, will allow larger items or can be left open for a lot of air flow. There are two larger zips at the rear of the jacket for summer ventilation.
Below them there are twin pockets each side with a popper secured top entry and a separate pocket from the side with a zip closure. On the inner of the jacket there are additional pockets, including a fully waterproof one for your phone and an a higher one for your wallet, which remains when the winter inner removed
In terms of adjustment to personal fit, the Bond has popper adjustments on the sleeves, cuffs and bottom of the jacket , with an internal drawstring at the waist. The lightly padded collar is secured with a buckle and strap, in true old-school style. An to do the whole thing up – a simple central zip with velcro tabs, and there’s also a zip at the back to attach compatible trousers.
Sizes go from small up to 5 XL , but the fit is unisex rather than there being a different cut for men and women.
ON THE ROAD
As a road jacket, the LS2 Bond works really well. The fit is good but not too tight, and with a well made outer ands padded inner, you don’t need to wear too many layers underneath to feel cosy. That said the arms are not very roomy around the lower sections, so don’t pile on stupidly thick jumpers. The sleeves are however wide enough to tuck in winter gloves, even if the poppers are a bit tricky to fasten once both gloves are on.
The drawstring around the middle ensures you can pull it in snug, or indeed you can zip in your trousers if they are compatible. The strap around the neck also keeps things nicely draught free around your neck, achieving this far better than the velcro fastenings used on much more expensive jackets.
We like the amount of pockets that are easy to access with gloves on, but as yet the Napoleon pocket remains as unused as the Pope’s Tinder account …
ON THE TRAIL
So taking out a brand new jacket on the trails always feels a bit awkward – when it’s all clean and unsullied, subjecting it to a beasting on the trails in the depths of a British winter feels cruel.
But once over that, the LS2 Bond works well, handling off-road duties with the same competence as on the blacktop. The winter liner does make thinks quite snug if the going gets a bit physical , so you might want to ditch that and replace with removable layers or a race shirt that can be removed easily and stored in your back pack if you are more into harder trail riding than softer adventure bike friendly trails.
The jacket is not machine washable, so if you are heading out into really snotty conditions, bear in mind that you need to remove the dirt by sponging it off, before gentle handwashing. I’d be tempted to cover it over with a thin washable jacket rather than get it soaked in mud, but then I am mildly OCD about things like this, whereas I ride with guys who haven’t washed their jackets in decades ..
OK so you might have guessed but we’re giving the LS2 Bond Textile Jacket a solid five. The combination of old school looks and modern materials looks killer.
As a brand spanker, it’s hard to assess the durability of this jacket, but it’s well put together, well designed and functional – it should last for years if looked after.
A clean five again here – the LS2 jacket feels snug in cold weather and suitable designed to allow moving about when off the tarmac and onto the trails.
The LS2 Bond Jacket comes in at £179.99 in the UK, which in a sector that can see prices go past £500, is very reasonable for this quality of jacket.
RIDE EXPEDITIONS RATING - LS2 BOND TEXTILE JACKET
For a new range of clothing in the already packed motorcycle market, the LS2 Apparel range has hit the ground running with a great range of designs and options. The Bond Jacket ticks all the boxes, with a great combination of old school cool and modern materials making an instant win in our biking wardrobe.