I have learned that it definitely pays to wear versatile gear. On a single tour covering several days–or even on a single-day ride–one could experience searing daytime heat, evening cold, a touch of rain and then, of course, the constant wind blast while riding. That’s why versatile gear is a real plus.
I obtained Tourmaster’s Transition Series 2 Jacket several years ago and have worn it extensively since, which is why I was excited to test the Transition Series 5. While comparing the two I noted more similarities than differences. The styling and features are very familiar, but one newer feature on the Series 5 is the patented stretch nylon Aqua-Barrier hood that folds up behind the zippered collar, from where it can be deployed. This super thin, stretchy hood is designed to be worn under the helmet to prevent rain from seeping down the back of your neck while riding.
The Transition 5’s shell utilizes abrasion-resistant 600 denier Carbolex polyester fabric, with 1680 denier ballistic polyester in the elbows. The breathable Rainguard barrier lives up to its name, as I did encounter some rain during my test period and stayed dry. The removable, full-sleeve thermal liner zips and snaps in place–and removes just as easily. Stretch panels in the back and elbows, in conjunction with various tabs and the waist belt, allow for adjustability and comfort whether the liner is removed or in place. Reflective striping adds to visibility, and protection is provided by the back protector and the CE-approved armor that lives in the elbows and shoulders.
On the outer shell are a large zippered pocket and wallet pocket, a pair of fleece-lined handwarmer pockets and a couple cargo pockets. There’s also a dual zippered fanny pack in back. Both the liner and the shell are equipped with a cell-phone pocket and an internal pouch.
For ventilation the Transition 5 offers two sets of paired, controllable slit vents in the chest, along with pairs in the shoulders and upper arms, and three sizeable exhaust vents in back. My only criticism is that the front vents are little more than slits, and despite their number they don’t move a lot of air, especially if your bike dictates a forward, crouched riding position.
Overall, the Transition 5 proved to be a very versatile jacket in terms of not only general temperature control, but also in adjustability with its belt and various tabs. It is available in several colors, in both men’s and women’s sizes, and retails for $269.99.
For more information, see your dealer or visit tourmaster.com.