I’ve had plenty of experience with REV’IT! gear, so I had very high expectations for Sand 2, REV’IT!’s four-season, all-weather jacket designed for the dual-sport/adventure crowd.
At an MSRP of $490, the Sand 2 is priced between REV’IT!’s (still quite sophisticated) entry-level jackets, starting at $200, and their top-shelf–read: Gore-Tex-equipped–offerings, which range from $600-900. Even though very well-heeled ADV riders might spend $1500 or more on a premium jacket elsewhere, a virtually $500 price-tag will prompt most shoppers to look hard at what they’re getting for their cash. The answer here in short: A whole helluva lot!
The original Sand jacket was a REV’IT! best-seller. The Sand 2, boasts greatly increased ventilation, special provisions for neck-brace use by hard-core off-roaders, and a host of other upgrades.
Starting with that improved ventilation, the Sand 2 sports two large, vertical, zippered vents on the front and rear torso, as well as along the bicep and forearm. That’s certainly a full complement of vents, but it’s the detail work that really stands out. All but the forearm openings are backed by nylon mesh to prevent inhalation of insects and other undesirables, and the front torso vents can be held wide open with a clever elasticized strap (three settings), dramatically increasing the volume of air entering the jacket’s interior. Conventional vents “get in their own way” to a great degree –take a look at your own jacket’s “openings” when you’re in the riding position; just how open are they? Now imagine what happens when wind presses against the material around them. he Sand 2’s gaping scoops kept me comfy into the upper-80s.
If you’re more concerned with keeping the wind out and warmth in, the Sand 2 comes with a removable thermal liner that we found reasonably effective, making highway speeds (barely) tolerable at 57 degrees with only a t-shirt underneath. In genuinely cold temps, additional layering would be required. We found the Sand 2’s cut to be true-to-size, yet also versatile enough to allow said layering without serious reductions in mobility, as the arms offer extensive width adjustment for both upper and lower segments, and at the simply hemmed cuffs. Likewise, the waist can be cinched via two wide belts on each side. Adjustable elastic drawstrings snug down the torso’s lower edge, and the microfiber-lined, rolled-edge-equipped collar’s snap can be set to any of five positions. This jacket allows custom fitting as snug or loose as most any rider within a given garment size could ever want.
For wet weather, the Sand 2 includes a removable liner constructed with REV’IT!’s Hydratex membrane. This breathable material is assembled with taped seams, has a zipped, snapped and storm-flapped front closure and microfiber-lined collar, and can be used with or without the thermal liner. Although we hadn’t ridden through an extended downpour by the time this review went to press, light-to-moderate rain found no entry during several half-hour stints of riding upright without a fairing. Gore-Tex likely holds some advantage for those planning to ride through hours of continuous soaking; it’s the gold standard for staying dry, and we feel Hydratex’s breathability isn’t quite as good, even if it were to prove comparable in waterproofing. Plus, Gore-Tex gear usually has the membrane built into the shell, instead of requiring a separate rain liner. For the average rider, however, these differences wouldn’t be worth the big jump in price.
Using either liner is made more convenient in the Sand 2 by the inclusion of a large storage pocket on the jacket’s tail. Flaps on this and the two front cargo pockets are secured with strong hook-and-loop strips, and the tops of the compartments fold over for additional protection. Handwarmer pockets hide behind the front cargo pockets, each liner has a left breast pocket to replace the one it obstructs in the jacket shell while it’s in use, and there’s a hydration bladder pocket in the jacket’s upper back.
Impact protection is top-notch at the elbows and shoulders, with REV’IT!’s removable CE-approved elastomer ProLife armor supplying safety without sacrificing comfort. We wish we could say the same about the flimsy foam pad in the jacket’s back, but it’s little more than a placeholder for something more substantive, like REV’IT!’s optional new CE Level-2 SeeSoft back protector (see sidebar). The Sand 2’s shell is built from sturdy stuff, with most of the chassis comprised of highly abrasion-resistant 500D PWR Shell (Cordura) and 600D polyester. Outer forearms and elbows get even stronger 1200D PWR Shell. Even without either liner, the shell is thoroughly windproof with its vents closed, and will resist light precipitation for brief periods.
Laminated reflective panels of 3M Scotchlite on the upper arms, chest and back boost visibility, and all materials and construction exude a very high level of quality. For example, snaps are spring-loaded and external zippers are beefy YKK units, most with nicely designed glove-friendly pulls and little “garages” for their tabs to tuck into at one end of their travel. A short (8”) tail zipper for attaching riding pants can be found inside the shell, while the rain liner has both short and long (28”) tail zippers for maximum closure security. Users of Leatt or Moveo neck braces, or REV’IT!’s Hi-Viz Connector Vest, will appreciate the dedicated mounting points on the jacket’s front and rear.
Overall, we found the handsome Sand 2 extraordinarily comfortable, functional and adaptable, with more very well-designed/executed features than we’d expect at this price-point. Understandably, installing both full-sleeve liners together is a slightly fussy task; we’re still put off by REV’IT!’s Euro-spec left-handed front zippers; and the included back pad is just plain silly. But otherwise, this jacket gets nothing but our highest praise. It’s available in black/silver, silver/black, black/orange, silver/red, and silver/blue, in sizes S-4XL. There’s also a hi-viz black/neon yellow version for $10 more.
REV’IT! Sand 2 Jacket, $490
REV’IT Sport USA, LLC
275 Conover Street 5P
Brooklyn, NY 11231
email: [email protected]