As an avid motorcyclist, I’m always looking for gear to protect me in any riding condition. That’s why I decided to test the Alpinestars Halo Drystar jacket.
In this review, I’ll share my insights after extensively evaluating this jacket’s ventilation, storage, protection, comfort, fasteners, drawbacks, and overall versatility.
But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Is this the best waterproof motorcycle jacket for you? Let’s find out!
Alpinestars Halo Drystar Jacket Overview
The Alpinestars Halo Drystar jacket features a waterproof and breathable Drystar shell construction. It’s designed for use in a wide range of conditions while providing excellent airflow. Key attributes include:
- Asymmetric front zipper enabling full chest venting
- Rear vent panel for airflow through the back of the jacket
- Removable outer sleeves with CE armor remaining
- Waist belt allowing the jacket to be worn completely open
- Pockets and storage options throughout the jacket
- Compatible with Alpinestars Tech-Air airbag system
This adaptability is what drew me to the Halo. Riding in Southern California means dealing with anything from cold ocean winds to scorching desert heat. The Halo seemed uniquely qualified to handle this ever-changing environment.
After several months of testing, I’m pleased to report that the jacket has lived up to expectations and become my new go-to gear. Let’s get into the details.
Unrivaled Ventilation Options
One of Halo’s biggest selling points is its excellent ventilation. It truly provides cooling capabilities beyond any other jacket I’ve worn.
The key features enabling this unmatched airflow include:
- The asymmetrical front zipper allows the front panel to open fully for a vent across the chest.
- Rear vent window – A full mesh panel unzips to allow air to flow through the back of the jacket.
- Removable sleeves – Taking off the outer sleeves drastically improves ventilation while retaining CE armor.
- Waist belt – With the belt fastened, I can open the jacket for maximum airflow.
By combining these attributes, I can fine-tune ventilation based on riding conditions. Just having the front partially unzipped on cooler days provides a nice breeze. Removing the sleeves and opening the rear window makes a huge difference on hot days.
And on extremely hot rides, I’ll wear the Helite Turtle 2 airbag vest under the jacket with both sleeves removed and the front hanging completely open. This offers amazing airflow while the belt and vest keep everything securely in place.
Abundant Storage for All Your Riding Essentials
Another top convenience feature is the ample onboard storage. Between the nine exterior pockets and two interior compartments, there’s room to carry everything I need on a long ride.
Key storage areas include:
- Spacious front kangaroo pocket with additional zippered compartments behind
- Two large side cargo pockets with fold-down storm flaps
- Rear kangaroo pocket with extra zippered pockets on either side
- Waterproof inner wallet pocket for valuables
- Padded sleeve pockets to hold armor when sleeves are removed
And everything is intuitively placed. I typically store:
- Sleeves in front of the kangaroo pocket
- Rain liner in the rear kangaroo pocket
- Wallet, phone, and power bank in a waterproof inner pocket
With sufficient storage on the jacket itself, I can travel lighter and leave the tank bag at home. The abundance of intelligently designed pockets is a key advantage on long rides.
Protection and Safety Features Provide Peace of Mind
Though touted as a highly vented jacket, the Halo doesn’t compromise on safety and protection.
Key elements giving me confidence in the jacket’s durability include:
- CE Level, 2 shoulder and elbow armor, made from Alpinestars Nucleon material
- Armor keeps CE Level 2 rating with sleeves on, CE Level 1 with sleeves removed
- Multiple arm adjustments to customize sleeve fit
- Compatible with Alpinestars Tech-Air** airbag system**
The armor provides flexible impact protection while remaining comfortable and non-restrictive. I also appreciate the bicep and forearm adjustments to tailor the fit. This prevents the sleeves from shifting in a crash and reduces abrasion.
Knowing I can plug in the Tech-Air vest for additional protection further puts my mind at ease. For technical and sporty riding, the Halo has me covered safety-wise.
Innovative Features Make Jacket Highly Adaptable
Beyond the core ventilation, storage, and protection, the Halo contains various innovative features that make it exceptionally adaptable.
Integrated Rain Liner Offers Waterproofing and Cold Weather Ability
The jacket ships with a waterproof Drystar rain liner that can be worn under or over the main shell. It packs down into its own carrying pouch for easy storage.
I typically wear the rain jacket over the shell if needed. But I’ve found wearing the liner underneath provides excellent cold-weather performance. It adds substantial warmth and wind resistance when temperatures drop.
The hi-vis yellow liner also works fine as a standalone rain jacket while off the bike. This “two jackets in one” versatility is a nice advantage.
Assembled Sleeve and Waist Adjustments Allow Full Customization
I appreciate how the Halo incorporates multiple adjustments to dial in the fit:
- Bicep sleeve snaps – For adjusting arm girth
- Forearm velcro straps – For refining sleeve tightness
- Elastic waist belt – For securing jacket when open
These let me tailor the jacket to my body. And the waist belt is crucial for safely wearing the jacket fully open in hot weather.
Clever Fasteners Improve Convenience
A few handy fastener details on the Halo improve the wearing experience:
- Waterproof zippers – On main front closure and rain liner
- Zipper garage at collar – Prevents chin irritation from the zipper
- Thumb loops – Integrated into lower sleeve cuffs
- Inner sleeve pull tabs – Make donning the jacket easier
Small touches like these enhance comfort and convenience every time I ride.
Room for Improvement
While clearly an innovative piece of riding gear, the Halo isn’t without some flaws:
- Limited sizing guidance – Alpinestars offers minimal info to direct buyers
- Rain liner sleeve attachments – Fiddly and complicated to secure the inside of the jacket
- Minimal instructions – Lack of guidance on how to utilize features
Including more detailed instructions would also be helpful. There are so many clever features that many buyers will never discover or use. Alpinestars should provide guidance to get the most from this extremely capable motorcycle jacket.
My Initial Thoughts
On my first ride with the jacket, when the temperature was 98 degrees, I was impressed with the airflow. With the sleeves removed and the chest and back vents open, it provided great cooling even with my level 2 back armor installed.
It works great for both on-road and off-road riding. When you need maximum protection, you can ride with the sleeves on.
Then when it gets really hot, you can remove the sleeves in seconds for excellent airflow while still retaining the chest and back armor. This gives you the flexibility you need for changing conditions.
While it is on the expensive side, I think the Alpinestars Halo Drystar jacket is worth the investment. With all of its ventilation options, waterproof liner, and ability to convert into a sleeveless jacket, this is a jacket that can handle multiple seasons and types of riding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size Halo Drystar should I order?
- Alpinestars’ sizing guidance is limited, but I recommend ordering your normal motorcycle jacket size or sizing up at most one full size. The jacket has an athletic fit but accommodates layers underneath.
How is the wind noise with the vents open?
- Surprisingly minimal! Large mesh panels in the front and rear vents prevent excessive wind buffeting. Noise remains reasonable even at highway speeds.
Can the sleeves be reattached while riding?
- Unfortunately, no. You’ll have to stop to reattach the sleeves once removed fully. I see this as a necessary compromise to enable exceptional ventilation.
Does the jacket include a back protector?
- No, but it is pre-fitted for Alpinestars Nucleon back armor, which can be purchased separately. Chest armor is also available.
What inner layers can be worn under the jacket?
- I comfortably wear anything from a t-shirt up to a mid-weight fleece sweater. Lots of adjustability in the sleeves and torso to fit over layers.
Conclusion: The Most Versatile 3-Season Riding Jacket
The Alpinestars Halo Drystar is the most adaptable motorcycle jacket I’ve ever tested. Its unmatched ventilation, storage capacity, and innovative features offer advantages for multi-day trips under varied conditions.
While it has a few areas for improvement, the versatility and performance outweigh any shortfalls. If I could only choose one jacket for all of my riding, the Halo would be it.
It’s become my new go-to touring jacket, and I don’t foresee it changing soon. I can’t recommend the Halo Drystar enough for riders seeking the ultimate adaptability.
Previous Article: Alpinestars Monteira Drystar Xf Motorcycle Jacket Review