Alpinestars Andes v3 Drystar Jacket Review – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!

If you’re looking for a versatile, affordable 3-season adventure touring jacket, the Alpinestars Andes v3 jacket deserves your attention.

I recently had the opportunity to test out this jacket to see how it performs in real-world riding conditions.

In this detailed review, I’ll provide an overview of the Andes v3 jacket’s features, discuss its protection and comfort, highlight the pros and cons, and ultimately help you decide if it’s right for your needs and budget.

But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Is this the best adventure motorcycle jacket for you? Let’s find out!

Alpinestars Andes v3 Drystar Jacket

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Key Takeaways

  • Great value
  • Surprisingly protective
  • Versatile 3-season usage

Alpinestars Andes v3 Jacket Overview

The Alpinestars Andes v3 jacket is intended for three-season riding use. It features a waterproof and breathable Drystar membrane bonded to the chassis for 100% waterproof performance in wet weather.

The jacket also introduces Alpinestars’ newly developed Direct Ventilation System (DVS) comprised of zippered chest air intakes and back exhaust ports for high airflow when opened.

Removable Nucleon Flex Plus elbow and shoulder protectors are included for impact protection. The jacket has compartments to fit Nucleon chest and back protectors as optional upgrades for even more protection.

Other key features:

  • Reinforced polymer-printed texturing on elbows and forearms for abrasion resistance
  • Reflective details for visibility
  • Upper chest storage pockets
  • Waterproof cargo pockets
  • Large external utility pocket on back
  • Integrated soft-edge collar
  • 3D mesh construction for comfort
  • Removable long-sleeve thermal liner (100g torso, 80g sleeves)
  • Pre-curved sleeves with stretch panels
  • Waist adjustment belt for a customized fit
  • Adjustment cord on the jacket’s bottom hem

With a budget-friendly price point of around $280, the Andes v3 looks to deliver a lot of value for riders seeking a well-rounded, protective touring jacket. Let’s take a closer look at how it performs.

Rider Protection and Safety

The Andes v3 jacket is CE certified as a Class A protective garment according to the EN 17092 standard. This represents the lowest level of rider protection, though it still provides a meaningful level of safety.

The main chassis uses a durable 450 denier polyester construction, with reinforced overlays using 600 denier polyester on the shoulders and elbows. This adds abrasion resistance in key impact zones. The elbows also get an extra polymer-coated overlay on top of the standard reinforcement for even more durability.

For body armor, Nucleon Flex Plus pads are included for the elbows and shoulders. This CE Level 1 armor provides great flexibility and comfort while still offering proven impact absorption. As an upgrade, I’d suggest Nucleon Flex Pro pads for Level 2 protection without sacrificing comfort.

The jacket has a pocket to fit an Alpinestars Nucleon back protector. Adding one of these CE Level 2 inserts is highly recommended for full back coverage. You can also take advantage of the built-in chest protector pockets by adding Nucleon Flex Pro chest pads for even more protection.

With the recommended armor upgrades, the Andes v3 can provide a safety level on par with much more expensive touring jackets.

Other protective features include:

  • Minimized structural seams enhance burst resistance
  • No vulnerable vertical back seam
  • Tapered, pre-curved sleeves aid retention and coverage
  • Comprehensive reflective details for visibility

Overall, the Andes v3 provides excellent safety for the price point. With the suggested armor upgrades, it’s very capable as a protective touring jacket.

Weather Protection

The Alpinestars Drystar membrane bonded to the Andes v3 jacket provides 100% waterproofing. I rode for over an hour in a heavy downpour and remained completely dry. The waterproofing performs as advertised.

For insulation, the jacket includes a removable thermal quilted liner. The liner features 100g insulation in the torso and 80g in the sleeves to retain warmth while maintaining flexibility. I found the liner surprisingly cozy and was comfortable without a heated layer down to about 45°F.

Venting is admittedly limited, with direct chest intake vents and rear exhaust vents providing minimal airflow. The non-removable Drystar liner also inhibits breathability. I overheated around 95°F and above.

Considering its design for cold and wet weather riding, the Andes v3 delivers excellent insulation and waterproofing, given the affordable price point. Just don’t expect great venting performance in very hot temps.

Comfort and Convenience

The Andes v3 has a smooth, pre-contoured chassis with stretch fabric at the back, shoulders, outer elbows, and wrist cuffs. This provides great freedom of movement without binding or restriction.

The collar features a neoprene perimeter and 3D air mesh backing for a comfortable, non-irritating fit. I found it stayed in place well when riding hard on a sportbike.

Storage options are plentiful, with ample exterior pockets plus a waterproof inner wallet pocket. The back pocket can hold the jacket’s liner when removed.

Customizing the fit is easy by using the waist belt, forearm straps, and wrist cuffs. The straps stay securely fastened and don’t require constant re-adjustment.

Overall, the Andes v3 delivers outstanding long-distance comfort and convenience for the price. The chassis dexterity and storage options match jackets costing significantly more.

Quality and Value

Alpinestars managed to incorporate quality traits of premium jackets into the budget-friendly Andes v3:

  • Durable construction with minimal, safety-oriented structural seams
  • Heavy-duty waterproof zippers function smoothly
  • Reinforced fabric in high abrasion zones
  • Articulated stretch panels aid movement
  • Straps and adjustable tabs stay securely fastened
  • Easy to remove insulation liner
  • Very lightweight and packable

The jacket showed no signs of loose stitching, frayed fabric, or dye transfer after repeated 30+ minute rides. Construction quality exceeds similarly priced competitors.

At around $300, the Andes v3 provides outstanding value. The protective features and weather protection rival jackets double the cost. Thoroughly impressed with the quality and performance at this price point.

My thoughts Of the Andes v3 Jacket

As a skinny 6-foot tall rider weighing 170 pounds, I ordered a size large