I still remember the day the Ixon Stratus VX HP jacket arrived at Gassit HQ. I was stoked to be getting new gear to try out, but our Editor seemed even more excited. As Chris (somewhat reluctantly, I thought) handed the jacket over, he waxed lyrical about one particularly soggy AMCN road trip, and how the Stratus kept him dry – much more so than the other riders who were all wearing serious wet weather gear. “You’re going to love it,” he said.
And he was right. Granted, I haven’t worn it through a three-hour deluge, and since I received it in spring of last year it has mostly been tested at the warm to hot end of the scale, however, it has been a constant companion for every bike ride since then, and has passed every test thrown at it with flying fluoro colours.
The Stratus caters for all kinds of riding conditions and excels in the wet thanks to the drymesh waterproof, breathable lining. There’s also a thermal insert for those really chilly days. It’s simple to remove one or both linings – as well as the neoprene collar – and it’s just as simple to put them back in. There’s even a 360º connection at the bottom for Ixon pants.
Comfort-wise, there are straps, Velcro and press studs at various points on the waist and arms to adjust the jacket to your particular form. Though I prefer the relaxed fit, it’s a cinch to tighten up.
When it comes to safety, the jacket is made from high-resistance polyester and there is built-in armour on the elbows, shoulders and back. There’s also reflective piping on the front, sleeves and bottom rear. Visible and cool.
Finally, as a beginner rider, one of the things I’ve had to come to terms with is the difficulty of accessing your stuff while riding, whether that be wallet, phone or especially the beeping beeper to open the garage door. The Stratus has seven pockets in total, including two hand pockets at the front and one waterproof pocket – very useful!
We didn’t like
It’s hard to pick a fault in this fantastic piece of gear. It is getting towards the higher end of the price range for textile jackets, but the cost is justified by the quality and the fact that you feel you’re almost getting three jackets in one.
When you start riding you are faced with a big list off expensive must-haves, so you want to make sure that one piece of equipment can cover you for most situations. And if I just had to buy one jacket, I would not hesitate to get the Stratus VX. It ticks all the boxes for safety, styling and comfort, and it will serve you in all but the most extreme of Aussie conditions.
Lots of pockets!
Not the cheapest
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