I recently had the chance to test out the new Alpinestars Stratos V2 Techshell jacket. Over the course of a few weeks and hundreds of miles, I tested it in various weathers, from cold winter rides to warmer sunny days.
In this article, I’ll share my hands-on impressions after riding with the Stratos V2 Techshell and reveal how it performed in key areas like protection, comfort, and breathability.
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!
What Appealed To Me
Here’s a quick rundown of what initially appealed to me about the Stratos V2:
- 2-in-1 design – With a removable fleece liner, I could potentially wear it year-round and adapt it for different weather conditions.
- Understated look – I prefer gear that can transition seamlessly from bike to everyday wear. The Stratos V2 has a low-key technical jacket aesthetic.
- Waterproof yet breathable – Having a waterproof and breathable Drystar membrane seemed ideal for staying dry without overheating.
- CE-rated armor – The included shoulder and elbow protectors provide crucial impact protection.
Alpinestars Stratos V2 Techshell Review
Protection is one of the most important factors I consider when choosing motorcycle gear. The Alpinestars Stratos V2 comes equipped with CE-rated shoulder and elbow protectors right out of the box. This provides a basic level of impact protection that can be further enhanced with additional armor upgrades.
- CE-rated Bio Armor shoulder and elbow protectors included
- Shoulder armor features a softer composite for flexibility
- Hard shell elbow armor for abrasion resistance
- Armored compartments for optional Nucleon back protector and chest pads
I was pleased to find that the Stratos V2 includes built-in compartments to accommodate optional Alpinestars Nucleon back and chest protectors.
During testing, the included CE-rated shoulder and elbow pads inspired confidence that I had crucial impact zones covered.
Knowing I could add optional upgrades like back armor down the line definitely provides peace of mind.
Comfort is right up there with protection when it comes to importance for me. An uncomfortable jacket can ruin your ride, while a comfortable one lets you focus on enjoying the miles.
The Alpinestars Stratos V2 Techshell has a number of features designed with comfort in mind:
- 4-way stretch polyester shell for flexibility
- Pre-curved sleeve construction
- Fleece liner for added warmth
- Adjustable wrist and waist straps for a custom fit
- YKK zippers at cuffs, waist, and front placket
I immediately noticed the flexibility of the 4-way stretch polyester shell. It moved freely with my body through the full range of riding positions. The pre-curved sleeve construction also reduced binding when gripping the handlebars.
The inclusion of the removable fleece liner made this a very versatile jacket comfort-wise. When temperatures dropped, zipping in the liner added noticeable warmth and insulation. For warmer rides, I could remove the fleece liner and just wear the jacket’s polyester shell.
Being able to customize the wrist and waist fit via Velcro straps and adjustable snap buttons ensured I could dial in a secure fit that stayed put at speed. The YKK zippers at the cuffs, waist, and front opened and closed smoothly.
Overall, the mix of 4-way stretch fabric, fleece liner, and adjustable fit points made for a very comfortable next-to-skin feel. The Stratos V2 lived up to its billing as all-day comfort gear.
Color and Size Options
Choose from two different color options, Black and Black/Asphalt/Red, and select your size from 2XL to 4XL, keeping in mind that certain options have limited stock availability. Here is a table that provides a quick overview of the available color and size options:
- Waterproof and breathable Drystar membrane
- Rear exhaust vents
- Perforated collar liner
I definitely noticed airflow inside the jacket increasing when opening the rear exhaust vents. These side vents on the back of the jacket allowed built-up warmth to exit. Keeping them open helped reduce that sticky moisture build-up during high-exertion riding.
Even with the vents closed, the perforated collar liner and 4-way stretch fabric helped prevent an overly stifling feel.
Quality & Durability
- High-grade polyester shell fabric
- YKK zippers throughout
- Velcro brand fasteners
- Smooth zipper pulls
- Reflective logo hits
- Embossed logos
- Microsnap brand snaps
The jacket simply feels sturdy in hand. The shell fabric has a nicely textured look and feel while remaining light and flexible. Brand-name hardware like YKK zippers and Microsnap fasteners provide confidence in long-term durability.
The zippers operate smoothly across the life of the jacket. Velcro wrist and waist straps show no signs of losing adhesion, even after repeated fastening and unfastening. Reflective and embossed logos add visual interest without feeling overdone.
My testing showed the Stratos V2 to be well constructed and able to stand up to regular use. I would not hesitate to trust this jacket to provide safe protection for many riding seasons to come.
To test this, I wore the Stratos V2 through light to moderate rainfall during my testing period. Here were my impressions:
- Water beads up and rolls off the outer shell initially
- Light to medium rainfall can be handled reasonably well
- After 30+ mins of steady rain, moisture starts soaking through
- Not intended for heavy downpours or prolonged wet weather
However, in sustained wet weather or downpours, you’ll eventually experience moisture soaking through. For those situations, I’d recommend layering a separate waterproof rain shell over the Stratos V2.
You’re getting a lot for your dollar:
- CE-rated shoulder and elbow armor included
- Water-resistant Drystar shell
- Removable fleece liner
- Premium materials and brand-name hardware
- Understated, technical styling
- Armor compartments for upgradeability
When you consider you’re essentially getting a 2-in-1 jacket combo, the value proposition is quite good. The Stratos V2 will serve as a versatile year-round companion that works both on and off the bike.
Here are some quick hit technical specs on the Alpinestars Stratos V2 Techshell jacket:
- Main shell fabric: Polyester with ripstop reinforcement
- Waterproofing: Water-resistant Drystar membrane
- Removable thermal liner: 180g fleece with taffeta lining
- CE armor: Shoulders and elbows (Level 1)
- Armor compartments: Chest and back protector (sold separately)
- Cuffs: Hook and loop wrist adjustment
- Waist adjustment: Hook and loop waist tabs
- Pockets: 2 exterior hand pockets, one interior waterproof pocket
- Ventilation: Rear exhaust side vents
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the jacket come with a back protector?
No, the Stratos V2 does not come with a back protector. It has an interior compartment to accommodate optional Nucleon back armor that must be purchased separately.
Is the jacket fully waterproof?
How does the sizing run?
The sizing seems to run true to size. Refer to the Alpinestars size chart and consider sizing up if you plan to layer heavily underneath.
What colors is the Stratos V2 available in?
For 2023, the Stratos V2 comes in black, gray/black, navy/red, olive/gray, and light gray color options. The colors vary slightly by year.
Is the fleece liner removable?
Yes, the fleece liner can be easily zipped in or out to adapt the jacket for warmer or cooler weather.
After hundreds of miles in the Alpinestars Stratos V2 Techshell, I’ve been impressed with its performance and versatility.
It offers a compelling mix of protection, comfort, weather resistance, quality construction, and understated style.
For the urban rider seeking a solid all-around technical jacket, the Stratos V2 warrants strong consideration. I will certainly be getting a lot of use out of mine this coming riding season.
Previous Article: Alpinestars T SP X Superair Jacket Review