“We’ve spent years researching and improving every single feature on the Alpha Jacket. Put simply, the new Alpha 3.0 is the finest motorcycle jacket we’ve ever created.“- Talk about putting it all on the line! Those words came from Max Duff who created the Australian riding gear brand Akin Moto. After reading Max’s spiel about the latest edition of their Alpha jacket range, the 3.0, I decided it was time to put one to the test.
I’ve seen riders kicking around in the previous versions of the Akin Moto Alpha for a few years now and really liked the look of them. The jacket is styled to pass as regular streetwear and the all-black finish makes it ideal for pretty much any situation. Akin has also kept the branding subtle on this jacket which appeals to me greatly as I tend to avoid anything with ostentatious emblems. One design feature however that some may dislike is the hood, but Akin has shown they are conscious of that by making it removable.
The Alpha 3.0 is essentially a winter jacket. It’s designed to withstand a beating from the elements so you stay dry and warm. That said this jacket is flexible enough to be worn most of the year thanks to the liner being removable and the built-in ventilation. In summer you’ll probably opt for something else, but I’d happily label it as 3 seasons compatible.
The Alpha 3.0 has tailoring that falls somewhere between slim and casual. The internal liner keeps it snug against you for better heat retention when it’s attached but without it, there’s enough room for air to circulate. The jacket is cut long with added length at the back to keep your tail covered when you’re seated. The sleeves have enough length to prevent your wrists from being exposed when your arms are outstretched. And the wrist closures use velcro which allows for quick adjustment when you’re on the move.
Storage comes in the form of 5 pockets, 3 outer and 2 inner, each with ample space for stashing your stuff. All 5 pockets utilise Premium YKK Aquaguard waterproof zippers to prevent water ingress. The pockets themselves are also individually waterproofed making them an ideal place to store a phone during a heavy downpour.
The way Akin has designed the main closure of this jacket makes it one of the better winter motorcycle jackets I have tested. The closure uses a combination of a zipper, press studs and a storm flap to prevent water and wind ingress. The storm flap itself is very wide and has a lip designed to stop water from being pushed past it by the wind. The zipper goes to the top of the collar where it tucks into a pocket to prevent it from irritating your neck. The zipper also uses a 2-way design so you can open it up at the base depending on your riding position. Usually, I’m not a fan of this as the lower zip introduces the risk of tank scratches, but again Akin seems to be across this. To avoid any scratching issues they’ve positioned the base of the zipper high inside the jacket which keeps it well away from your paintwork.
Inside the Alpha jacket, you’ll find Akin’s new removable Thermoline thermal lining. It’s thin yet impressively warm and is easy to install/remove using a single zipper and 2 press stud buttons at the end of each sleeve. For added comfort, the entire collar is padded and lined with a soft suede-like material which feels great. On the interior of the jacket is also where you’ll find pockets to store armour. The jacket is equipped to accept elbow, shoulder and back armour all of which you’ll need to purchase separately (or borrow from your summer jacket as I did).
During the development of the Alpha 3.0 Akin also revised the material they used to improve the jacket’s functionality. For improved abrasion resistance the outer shell now utilises a Protective Maxtex 600 D material. As for waterproofing and breathability, an internal Humax membrane provides protection equivalent to that of most snow gear. All of the seams of the jacket have also been taped and sealed to keep water out.
Additional features that the Alpha 3.0 offers over the previous models include zippered armpit vents to help keep things cool in warmer weather and wrist gaiters. The wrist gaiters hook over your thumbs so when you put on your gloves they create a steadfast wind barrier.
I’ve now ridden in the Akin Moto Alpha 3.0 in a wide range of weather conditions. From a 30 degree Celcius day to one of the wettest days we’ve had this year. I can confirm that the Alpha 3.0 isn’t your best companion on a hot day – instead, I’d opt for something like the Akin Moto All-Day motorcycle shirt. However, on that very wet cold day, the Alpha 3.0 surpassed my expectations.
After an hour of riding in the rain, half of which I’d consider torrential, my gloves, boots and even the plastic pants I was wearing failed me. But the Alpha 3.0 did its job. The removal of the hood prior to the ride was definitely a good decision as was using the thermal liner instead of a jumper. As the shell of the outer layer got wet the wind cooled the jacket down considerably. With only a t-shirt on underneath the jacket, the thermal liner was sufficient to prevent my core from getting cold and I doubt a sweater would have been able to do a better job. It wasn’t a ride I’ll be repeating in a hurry, but if I do have to I will be reaching for the Alpha again for sure.
I’m happy to report that there isn’t all that much to complain about with this jacket. If anything I’d like to see a few additional features such as reflective details for added safety, included armour and perhaps something to allow you to fasten the hood down, but that’s just nitpicking. The Akin Moto Alpha 3.0 has a fit that makes sense, it performs exactly as promised, looks great and is packed with features. What more could anyone need?
Available from: AKIN MOTO