Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air Jacket Review – Style or Substance?

I recently had the chance to test out the new Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air motorcycle jacket. Since this jacket seemed like it could fit the bill with its sporty style and breathable mesh design, I was eager to take it for a spin.

In this review, I’ll share my experiences testing out the features and fit of this jacket over several weeks of riding.

I’ll provide details on the protection, ventilation, comfort, and more so you can decide if this summer mesh jacket might be a good solution for your warmer-weather rides.

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

Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air Jacket

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Introduction to the Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air Jacket

The Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air is a women’s jacket created by Alpinestars, a reputable motorcycle gear company. It is a lightweight, mesh sportbike jacket intended for hot and humid riding conditions.

While mesh jackets typically aren’t as abrasion resistant as leather or textile alternatives, the tradeoff is superior airflow that keeps you cool in high temperatures.

This makes them ideal for riders in hot climates who still want protection without sweltering on their bike.

Design and Key Features

Sporty Styling

The Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air jacket features sportbike-inspired design elements like textured shoulder panels that resemble race suit construction.

This gives the jacket a performance look suitable for sportbike or aggressive street riding. I appreciated the tailored, curved shape through the waist, allowing the jacket to fit well without looking boxy.

Breathable Mesh Construction

Ventilation is the highlight of this jacket, with extensive mesh paneling placed strategically at the chest, torso, back, and sleeves.

Even the collar is made of a 3D mesh for maximum airflow to cool the neck. Inside, a full mesh liner enhances breathability.

During testing in 90+ degree F temperatures, I stayed remarkably cool thanks to the constant airflow. The mesh panels really work to let hot air escape while drawing in cooler air.

Abrasion Protection

Alpinestars integrates abrasion-resistant 600D polyester despite the mesh in the jacket’s high-impact zones. This adds durability without compromising ventilation.

Armor for Impact Protection

The Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air is equipped with Alpinestars Nucleon Flex Plus CE level 1 armor in the elbows and shoulders for impact protection. This advanced armor is flexible and articulated for comfort while still being protective.

It’s light and slim enough that I barely noticed it while riding. There are also pockets to add optional Nucleon chest and back protectors for even more coverage.

Pre-Curved Sleeves

The sleeves are pre-curved to match the riding position. I never felt restricted leaning over into turns. The slight stretch panels on the shoulders and elbows also enhance flexibility.

Secure Adjustments

Like all quality riding gear, the Stella jacket included secure closures to keep armor and pads from shifting once you get up to speed. Hook and loop tabs let me customize the snugness at the waist, cuffs, and biceps.

Convenient Storage

For carrying small items, the jacket has zippered external pockets plus Velcro-sealed internal stash pockets. A waterproof inner zippered pocket can hold a phone.

Visibility

Reflective detailing on the sleeves improves visibility after dark. Large Alpinestars logos on the chest and back also help with rider presence on the road.

Fit, Sizing, and Comfort

I’m 5′ 8″ with an athletic build, and I chose a size medium based on the Alpinestars size chart. The jacket fits well in a sporty, snug way while still allowing room for layers underneath.

The pre-curved, articulated design of the Stella jacket means it moves with you rather than binding or bunching. The collar lays smoothly against the neck, and the lightweight mesh liner feels soft against bare skin or lightweight base layers.

Overall the jacket is form-fitting without feeling too tight, although the stretch panels provide flexibility for the riding position. The sleeves run true to size and are long enough to meet gloves without exposing the wrist.

For reference, here are the detailed specifications on sizing:

SizeUS Numerical SizeHeightChest
XSmall0-25’1″-5’3″31″-33″
Small4-65’2″-5’4″34″-36″
Medium8-105’5″-5’7″37″-39″
Large12-145’8″-5’10”40″-42″
XLarge14-165’9″-5’11”43″-45″
2XLarge18-205’9″-6’1″46″-48″

So far, my experience with fit has been great. The jacket allows me to move freely in a tucked or upright riding position.

Protection & Safety Features

Safety is a priority for me in motorcycle apparel. Here’s how the Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air jacket stacks up in protecting the rider:

  • CE-approved armor – Shoulder and elbow armor is CE level 1 certified. This is the minimum rating, but better than no armor.
  • Optional chest/back protection – Being able to add optional chest and back protectors boosts safety. I opted to add the Nucleon back piece for more coverage.
  • Abrasion resistance – Materials are abrasion resistant to hold up in a slide without shredding immediately upon impact. Not as robust as leather, but much better than regular textiles.
  • Reflective details – Reflective logos and panels improve visibility and make riding after dark safer.

While more protection can always be better, the Stella jacket provides a reasonable amount considering its lightweight and mesh design. Adding the back protector brought me extra peace of mind while keeping cool.

Pros & Cons

Based on my experience riding in the Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air jacket, here are the main advantages and disadvantages I observed:

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight and breathable due to ample mesh paneling
  • Sporty styling looks sharp on and off the bike
  • Good impact protection from CE armor at shoulders/elbows
  • Ability to add optional chest and back armor
  • Pre-shaped for riding comfort and flexibility
  • Multiple storage pockets for convenience

Cons:

  • Only rated for CE Level 1 armor (advanced riders may want Level 2)
  • No wind or waterproof liner included
  • Limited adjustability/removal of shoulder armor

My Final Thoughts

The jacket itself fits very nicely and has a flattering shape for a woman’s body, but I wish it had more robust protection.

The included armor is quite thin and lightweight, especially in the elbows, where it seems inadequate. While this does help keep the jacket lightweight, I would prefer slightly bulkier armor for more impact protection.

The mesh material makes the jacket extremely breezy and comfortable in hot weather, which is great. However, the inner mesh lining is a bit rough and itchy.

Overall, it’s a decent summer riding jacket, but the lack of ability to upgrade the armor is disappointing. I’m debating whether the stylish fit is worth the compromise in protection levels.

The previous version offers better safety features for just a bit more money. So I’m still unsure whether to keep this jacket or size up and switch to the other model.

Ideal Use Cases

This jacket best suits the needs of:

  • Riders in hot, humid climates seeking maximum airflow
  • Sportbike and aggressive street riders who want a sharp look
  • Anyone concerned about overheating and moisture buildup
  • Those seeking versatility from a jacket that can handle warm commutes or canyon rides
  • Riders who value comfort and a tailored fit
  • Women looking for a jacket designed specifically for the female form

Frequently Asked Questions

Below I’ve answered some common questions about the Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air jacket based on my testing:

Does this jacket have a waterproof liner?

It does not. The jacket is designed solely for breathability, so there is no separate rain or windproof liner.

What kind of weather conditions is the jacket best suited for?

Definitely hot, sunny conditions around 80 degrees F and above. Once temps start dropping below 60 F, you’ll likely feel chilly without a liner.

How does the sizing compare to other Alpinestars jackets?

The size chart is accurate. I’d recommend ordering your normal Alpinestars size in this jacket. The slim mesh fit is snug but allows for layering.

Is this a 3/4 length or full-length jacket?

It’s a full-length jacket with coverage that extends past the waistline. I’m 5’8″, and the medium size comes to my upper thigh.

How many color options does the jacket come in?

There are 5 color schemes available: Black, black/pink, black/red, gray/teal, and the camo print I tested. All feature black base.

What kind of riding position does the jacket accommodate?

It’s cut to allow a tucked sportbike stance fairly comfortably, thanks to the pre-curve and stretch panels. The mandarin collar allows room to look through turns.

Final Verdict

After thoroughly testing the Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air jacket in real-world conditions, I can confidently recommend it to riders needing a lightweight, ventilated summer riding jacket. The generous mesh paneling throughout exceeded my expectations for cooling airflow.

Despite the mesh, it still provides decent abrasion resistance and impact protection from CE-approved Nucleon armor.

Overall, the jacket offers an impressive balance of comfort, protection, and style that makes it a great pick for warm weather sport riding.

While it lacks a waterproof liner and extended adjustment options, these are understandable sacrifices in a mesh jacket designed expressly for breathability.

For riders in warmer areas, these omissions are worth it to stay ventilated in high temperatures.

At around $260 MSRP, the Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air hits a reasonable price point for a quality summer mesh jacket with sportbike styling.

It costs significantly less than a full race suit or hardcore adventure jacket while offering benefits those can’t – namely, outstanding airflow.

Next Article: Stella Smx Air Women’s Jacket Review

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