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Viking Cycle Asger Motorcycle Jacket Review

Review Date 18 February 2020

By Ren Withnell

Regular readers will notice how I'm always begging for stuff at the end of each posting. From contributions to plain cash - if you don't ask you don't get. That being said this is only the second time in 15 years of blogging and begging that a bona-fide actual business has sent me something. Wow! 

Viking Cycle's promotional chap contacted me and said as long as I link to their site and write a review then they'll send me a jacket to test. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth so what could I say? "XXL please."

XXL? I am not a big chap. I don't have muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger and while middle aged spread is here I'm not morbidly obese, so why XXL? Because in the winter I wear a lot of clothing under my bike jackets and in summer a loose bike jacket is cool. Cool as in temperature cool not stylish cool, I don't do stylish cool, apparently, according to Sharon.

After confirming with Viking Cycle's promo chap the jacket arrived... THE NEXT DAY! Well that's a good start. I gleefully unpack the jacket and start to see what's what and what's not. 

First off which jacket did I select? The Asger Grey textile jacket looked about right for me. If you follow the link you can see what the jacket looks like on a hunky, slim, stylish and well groomed model. If you look below you can see what it looks like when the jacket is oversize and over several layers of clothing on a scruffy oik from Bolton. 

Ren looks quite scruffy in the nice motorcycle jacket, but then Ren can make anything scruffy
Obviously the results will depend on you and your style, or lack thereof..

So first impressions? This is at the time of writing a £70 jacket, that makes this a cheap jacket and as such I'm not expecting much. However while handling and looking around the jacket it feels as good if not better than all the other jackets I have owned in this price bracket, and more. The textile is firm and thick, the stitching is tight and neat and the panels look equal, straight and tidy. I'm not sensing the high-end feel of Klim but I'm happy to compare it with Oxford, Frank Thomas, RST and the likes.

Size wise I'd say the sizing is oh-so-slightly generous. My 2 previous XXL jackets were "snug" when wearing full winter thermals, t-shirt, jumper and luberjack shirt. This XXL is not loose but there is just a tad more breathing space. 

The first quirk is the zip. I don't know if there's a universal standard but with nearly all my zipped jackets I'm used to the zipper being on the left, this is on the right. It takes my befuddled brain a few days to get used to this but otherwise it is of no issue or concern. The zip is the chunky type and works as prescribed.

The next thing of note is the number and variety of pockets. 2 zipped chest pockets on the outside. 2 zipped pockets at belly level on the outside. 2 zipped what I'd call "wallet" pockets just inside of the zip. 1 pocket in the quilted liner and 1 very large pocket inside the jacket liner. There's also much smaller pockets around the collarbone for I'm guessing phones or bluetooth or mp3 players. Lord only knows.

A sipped pocket just inside of the main zip of the jacket
There's 2 of these "wallet" pockets, one either side of the main zip.
The pocket inside the liner is zipped
Inside the quilted liner is another pocket.
A pocket at chest height on the outside
2 pockets high up on the chest.
A pocket lower on the jacket at tummy height
2 pockets at waist or tummy height.
Small pockets with grommet to route wires
Small pockets with wire routing, notice the clip by the zip.
Behind the quilted liner in the main liner is a huge zipped pocket
Behind the removable winter liner is a HUGE zipped pocket.

There's also grommets in various pockets where I presume you can push through earphone wires and other electrical nonsense. Think of it as an "I-jacket". There's even clips in places to retain wires. For luddites such as myself this is of no real use but for "da kidz" and aging technophiles this may be the bee's knees. 

As I look around the jacket I can't help but feel as though the designers have taken every possible "feature" and crammed them all into one place. Pockets (lots) - check, regular padding - check, additional panels of padding - check, plastic shoulder padding - check, electronic readiness - check, reflective panels - check, vents for hot days - check, quilted removable liner - check... You get the idea.

The rear of the jacket has zipped vents for summer cooling
Vents on the rear and at the front - just in case we ever get a "summer" thing. And padding, more padding.

You could look at all this as being gimmicky or you could look at this as being thorough and complete. If you want thorough and complete I did check for one little detail that is oft overlooked. When you remove the "winter" lining then put it back in, it's easy to get the arms "twisted" within the jacket. Colour coded buttons at the end of the arms where the liner connects to the jacket sleeve? Check. The devil is in the detail.

Of course every single detail is worth nothing if the actual jacket is poop. 

It's a jacket. You wear it and it keeps you warm and protected. As such it functions perfectly well. Nothing pinches or chafes or irritates me. I think I'd struggle to find the difference between a 20 year old used textile and a brand new £1000 jacket.  

You will have to forgive me if I try my very best not to crash test the Asger. There's padding in all the usual places and more, the material feels strong along with the stitching but the proof would be in the pudding. No, you'll be wanting someone braver than me to test the crash protection. 

So it's a bike jacket. It's affordable. It has many useful features. The construction suggests it ought to protect you. For the current price of £70 I'd suggest this is a very good price. I feel as though it can match if not exceed the standards of most jackets in this range and then it packs a lot of features. Pockets, lots and lots of pockets.

There is one elephant in the room. There is no mention of waterproofing and the website only suggests water "resistance". Wait what?!! What the hell is the point of a jacket in the UK's soggy climate if it's not waterproof? Bag of poop huh?

I disagree - and strongly. Having spent a small fortune on branded but admittedly low-end kit waterproof is not a thing. Unless you spend big bucks on something with "Gore Tex" then it will leak. Oh, you've had your RST, Oxford et al jacket for 5 years now and it's never leaked? Try 20,000 miles a year throughout the year. No I don't want to be "treating" it every 2 months either. I'm good at killing waterproofs, to the point I've given up. 

I ride with cheap waterproof overjackets and overpants. I would much rather Viking Cycles didn't claim this to be waterproof, rather than the usual claim that falls flat on it's face. No, this elephant in the room bothers me not, in fact I'm glad they're not pretending. 

And that's that, or at least I thought it was.

I've lived with the jacket for 3 weeks now. It covered me on a 600 mile trip to see my dad, it's been through 2 storms (Ciara and Dennis) as well as my usual commuting nonsense. The more I use it the more it's growing on me.

The liner is "slidey" or "slippery" which makes pulling it on and taking it off easier. The collar around the neck is unobtrusive. The excess of pockets is useful although I keep losing things (which pocket... not that one... repeat). It's warm. I don't know I can't put my finger on it but it just feels right, it's just working for me. It feels like a proper piece of kit. For £70 I think it's jolly good. 

FYI if you are from a land down under you'll want the Oz site - Asger Jacket in Oz and for them thar Amuricans Asger Jacket in USA

Cor! Send Ren more stuff to test -

Reader's Comments

Bill said :-
Ren it's getting bad you have to stare at a health and safety instruction poster just to put on a bike jacket, I hope you are not joining the snowflake generation.
24/02/2020 11:45:29 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Safety first Bill!! Yes I had to attend a 3 week course in the correct method of putting a jacket on and safely removing it too. There is a risk you can pull a muscle or sprain your wrist if you do it wrong you see. Also in the not too distant future you WILL NOT be allowed to put jackets on or take them off without the appropriate paperwork. This is merely the thin end of the wedge, the t-shirt course only takes 1 week but the underpant and trouser course is a staggering (sic) 6 weeks!

Type approval is coming too. In the interest of safety AND fashion you will not be able to wear any jumper with any pants, only type approved matching sets will be permitted. This will prevent dangerous activities such as getting your jumper hem stuck in your zipper or causing offence by wearing green pants with a red top. This could also cause you to be misinterpreted as a traffic light.

The safety sheet in the image is there to remind myself and the folks I work with how to open a door without risking others and ourselves.
24/02/2020 12:58:28 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Hey, Fat Boy. Yes you XXL man.
That coat looks like a nice jacket as they say in Welsh Wales.
I'm with you on this waterproof nonsense. Although shower proof would have me a little worried on a bike, but there is no denying the power of water to seep through every available space. Both my HG jackets (bought for about £100.00 on offer) are "Waterproof", until it rains.
24/02/2020 17:01:00 UTC
Bill said :-
You need to watch this safety film before you hurt yourself Ren
24/02/2020 22:54:51 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I have watched your instructional video Bill - I did not know you had an Oz accent and worked on building sites though? My brother lives in Sydney, I'll ask him if it's really like this.

Fat boy Upt'?? I like to think of myself as in shape, round is a shape.

After the mind bending deluges of the last 3 weeks I have been dry. This is due to the cheap(ish) "pack-a-mac" style waterproofs I put on over this new jacket. When the pack-a-mac gives up in about a year or two I shall pop into Sports Direct/Go Outdoors/Decathlon and replace it with another pac-a-mac. I'll leave this for now as I might make an article out of this subject.
25/02/2020 09:18:24 UTC
Upt'North said :-
I used to ride with a plastic two piece over leathers. Very nice it was too. Warm, dry and I didn't weigh 500 KG when it rained.
But you've got to carry the damn things, then stop to put them on,take them off.
25/02/2020 13:35:06 UTC
Borsuk said :-
I have a cheap pair of Summit over trousers from Tesco that I wear underneath my “waterproof” biking trousers in the winter. It is cold enough that sweating like a pig isn't a problem and they can handle anything that gets through the biking trousers and the jacket. The only size they had was extra large so they actually come to just under my armpits keeping most of my torso dry as well.
I like the plethora of pockets and it is made from a decent grade of Cordura so I don't see it being any less protection in a slide than any other jacket and the large vent panels are good. As my main criteria for buying clothes is the number of pockets available then it ticks my box.
I am looking forward to seeing your photos appear in their website rogues gallery Ren. Be a bit more down to earth from all the hipster types they show.
26/02/2020 07:45:07 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I daresay they'll "cherry pick" the stylish photos for the rogues gallery Borsuk. I'll be surprised if I make it. Yes the cordura is 600D, 600 denier, up there with the much more costly brands. Upt', stop it, you're spoiling my future post :-)
26/02/2020 08:54:16 UTC
Ross said :-
Surprised you picked a jacket, I thought you might have gone for the chaps! Or have you already got some of them in your dressing-up box?

I've been tentatively looking at a possible textile jacket purchase recently so this is quite appropriate, I'd be interested in some regular updates of how it performs day to day. It does seem very well speck'ed for the price given what else is on the market! One thing that did worry me a bit about the seller was that on their website nearly everything was 'out of stock'!
26/02/2020 15:35:54 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yes I noticed that too Ross. Maybe they're just getting to grips at this end, face it I know next to nothing about the business. I'll keep ya'll in the loop... if someone reminds me.
26/02/2020 16:46:01 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
The best waterproof trousers I've ever had were Helly Hansen bib and brace type - made for fishermen and the like. Came up nice and high at the front, held up by good strong braces and with nice wide legs to help getting on and off. I still have them although rarely ride in the rain these days as 40-odd years of doing that cured me of the habit......
27/02/2020 11:52:32 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I have some bib n brace bright orange waterproofs that fell off the back of an oil rig. They are very good but an absolute nightmare to put on at the roadside, especially if it's tipping down. I have heard Helly Hansen are good, were the pants breathable Ian?
29/02/2020 07:25:11 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
No, not breathable - reinforced vinyl type material. Wide legs meant they were relatively easy to put on but of course the jacket had to come off first.

I used to wear them with a pair of Dunlop trials wellies on my Brum commute and it was easy just to shed the whole lot ready for a swift getaway. I did note that some of my colleagues pointed out that having a malodorous crumpled heap in the corner hardly projected a professional image. Did I care?
29/02/2020 10:10:36 UTC
nab301 said :-
I ended up buying one of these jackets , they are exactly as Ren describes , ordered on a Sunday evening and received on the following Wednesday which is as good as it gets in Dublin. A nice comfortable jacket which i'll probably use just for short commutes and keep my ageing Hein Gericke goretex versions ( one of which is on its second replacement zip) for longer trips. In the end I went for an XXXL version which fits me perfectly! , I guess I have broader shoulders than Ren...
05/03/2020 21:26:03 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Wow! Does this make me an internet influencer? Or is that influenza? I still can't believe I'm not being paid a small fortune for this blog, why have I not been discovered yet!! I'm charming, nice, handsome, positive and an all round good guy...
06/03/2020 09:24:05 UTC
nab301 said :-
Now available in a liquidation sale for £30 , if only i'd known, and waited, definitely worth that!!
07/04/2020 20:57:55 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Whaaat??? Link nab301?
07/04/2020 21:33:52 UTC
nab301 said :-
07/04/2020 23:23:09 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Not that I am a conspiracy theorist but Ren reviews a jacket. 3 months later the world is in lock down, companies are reducing prices and all is chaos. Coincidence, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

You could even get yourself a set of these for 30 squidlies Rem.
08/04/2020 11:09:08 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Cheers nab301 - well spotted. That's a good good price.

Borsuk - during the lockdown and being at home all I've been wearing are chaps, and only chaps. I'll just leave that image in your mind, see if you can get rid of it. Did you manage to get home?
09/04/2020 07:56:17 UTC
nab301 said :-
@ Borsuk and Ren why did I click on that link ?.... I'm going to have to do a full reboot of my brain to remove all residual images

09/04/2020 11:07:44 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
noab301 - even a full reboot will leave some residual scarring.
09/04/2020 14:11:08 UTC
Borsuk said :-
I now seriously regret even mentioning it. I am going to get lobotomized when I get off of this thing.

Currently my relief can`t travel until after 26th April which means his getting on board around the 12th of May as we have a 14 day quarantine period before we join.

09/04/2020 14:24:02 UTC
nab301 said :-
I've been wearing this jacket (for biking purposes...) continuously since purchase and it always draws comments on how good it looks from non biking colleagues. During winter , I always wore it with the obligatory over jacket but after 12 weeks of drought , I always had the over jacket with me but not on me, on the first wet day I was too lazy to use it on the short commute home . Just to confirm these jackets aren't waterproof! I arrived home with water running down the inside of my sleeves!
16/06/2020 21:01:25 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Good good good, it's good to know I was right at least once in my miserable existence. I do hope your soggy arms have now dried out. Tell me - did the jacket dry acceptably quickly?
17/06/2020 07:44:57 UTC
nab301 said :-
A year too late I know but yes Ren, the sleeves do dry out quickly....
I've worn this jacket almost exclusively since I purchased it admittedly with a cheap nylon Hi Viz to keep it waterproof but it's amazing, it's like new . Washed and ready for winter! Currently using my other jackets which are better equipped for (warm) summers.

04/07/2021 13:59:44 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
According to the date on this post I received my jacket in Feb 2020. Those of you "in the know" and with their ear to the grapevine may have noticed after that point motorcycling (and one or two other activities) were slightly curtailed for some "reason". This being said the jacket has been in use for all my (albeit somewhat limited) riding.

It remains as new, much like yours nab301. Once I accepted it is entirely NOT waterproof it is proving itself to be a perfectly fine jacket. I always get my jackets too big for me. In winter this allows me to wear many clothes underneath to keep warm, in summer the baggy fit keeps me cool with air flow.

'Tis good to hear you are enjoying the jacket too. Thanks.
05/07/2021 08:40:39 UTC

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