Initial Impressions: Aether’s Mojave Jacket Might Be My New Favorite Piece of Kit

Breezy yet strong? Yes.

byJonathon Klein|
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I’m a sucker for a cool-looking jacket. I have so many, my wife just rolls her eyes whenever I start talking about a new one. So when Aether’s Mojave motorcycle jacket showed up at my door for a test, I was all about it and she asked, "Another one?" Yes, another one!

On paper, it has everything I look for in a motorcycle jacket. It’s got armor, safe stitching, and is built out of some seriously hardcore fabric. But from the pictures, it looked heavy and hot. Like a jacket that’s meant for fall temperatures in the Pacific Northwest or Atlantic Northeast. Not for my hot-as-hell Utah summer forests, as we've seen multiple 90+ degrees every other week and one heat wave that lasted three weeks. 

What I didn’t consider was how much I’d fall in love with this jacket. But hot damn, have I ever.

Hotter Than Hell Doesn't Phase It

Though I have proper summer jackets in my riding arsenal, like Dainese's Smart Jacket LS, I found myself grabbing the Mojave over and over again. As though it looks hot and heavy, ready to tackle a pre-winter snow, it felt as if I was wearing a light windbreaker in terms of cool breezes flowing through its fabric.

Where I believe the airiness comes from is through the fabric itself. According to Aether, the Mojave’s outer layer is made “from 100% heavy duty, abrasion-resistant Halley Stevensons® cotton canvas.” And that, combined with a “poly mesh liner on the interior to ensure breathability” allows the entire jacket to keep the rider—i.e. the 200-pound gorilla that is me—cool, even when the mercury skyrockets or I decide to twist the throttle and hit the desert trails just east of my house. 

I tend to sweat a lot, even in cooler summer temperatures, but I've yet to remove the Mojave and feel like I'd just climbed out of a pool.

Jonathon Klein

Strong Like Ox

There will be those, however, who call into question why Aether didn’t go with a fabric like Kevlar or the textile summer jacket fabric like that on the Dainese. But this canvas is seriously strong, as I’ve accidentally tested just how strong it was on numerous elk-hunting scouting trips while ripping a Honda 500X—review coming soon—through the backwoods of Utah, including once thanks to a very greasy mud puddle. 

I had turned onto a path I’d never been on before, hoping to get deeper into the woods to find where elk were summering before hunting season opened in August. And though it hadn’t rained for weeks, the snowpack from winter had left muddy puddles throughout the trail in the high elevations I was traversing. The first few were handled easily, but the Honda was on more road-going dual-sport tires. As such, when I tried to stick to the side of a supremely large mud puddle, I lost grip, lost the front end, and fell over onto my right side. 

It was a low-speed fall, but one where I knocked my right elbow and shoulder into a stump covered in mud and water. It could’ve been bad, as I hadn’t seen another soul for quite some time. And I was far, with only my Garmin inReach to contact the outside world and ask for help had I needed it. But I didn’t thanks to the Mojave. 

In fact, I didn’t even have a bruise the following day because the armor and fabric protected me so well. And the jacket itself doesn’t even show a scratch from the fall. Nor does it from the subsequent low-speed spills. 

More Trails, Please

I’ve now used the Mojave a ton more since that day, both on the 500X and the CB1100 Bagger I have on loan, and can say with certainty, this is becoming my new favorite jacket. I was actually talking it up to one of my friends, who unbeknownst to me, also owned one, and is his favorite jacket too. It also looks sick, so that’s a plus. 

The Mojave is also priced well for a jacket of this caliber, and I’d even call it a deal given the abuse and resiliency I’ve seen from it, as Aether wants a cool $550 for the Mojave. That’s pretty average for most motorcycle jackets, and downright cheap for something as excellent as this. If you’ve got the cash, and need a new jacket, one that keeps you cool during the summer, looks awesome, and can take a beating, I highly recommend this puppy. 

I can’t wait to put clock more miles in it, and that’s truly unheard of with most motorcycle jackets. But let me know what you think and what you’d like to know more about in the comments below.

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