Icon Airform Retro Jacket Review: Does The Retro Style Come At A Cost?

Icon is known for making stylish street motorcycle apparel, but how would this lightweight shell hold up in real-world riding conditions?

I took the Airform Retro out on daily commutes, weekend rides, and road trips to put it through its paces. In this review, I’ll share my experiences testing out the jacket’s safety features, aerodynamics, comfort, and more.

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

Icon Airform Retro Jacket

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Key Takeaways

  • Lightweight yet protective
  • Packed with safety features
  • Stylish and aerodynamic

A Lightweight Shell Packed with Safety Features

Weighing in at 3 pounds, the Icon Airform retro lives up to its name with an ultra-lightweight feel. But don’t let the featherweight design fool you – this jacket is jam-packed with safety features to keep you protected on the road.

The Airform jacket meets the CE safety standards for armor, meaning it has passed rigorous impact testing according to European criteria.

The armor consists of Icon’s top-of-the-line D3O padding in the elbows, shoulders, and back. This innovative material is soft and flexible when at rest but instantly hardens upon impact to absorb and disperse energy.

I’ve worn D3O in other jackets before, and it’s some of the best armor I’ve tried in terms of comfort and protection.

The jacket’s outer shell is constructed from 420 denier polyester, a durable and abrasion-resistant material. Including armor and protective materials means you can ride with confidence, knowing this jacket has your back if the worst happens.

Built for Aerodynamic Performance

Another reason this jacket stands out is its aerodynamic performance. I really noticed a difference in wind resistance compared to other jackets I’ve worn.

It starts with the overall cut of the jacket. Icon designed the Airform retro with what they call an “attack position” tailored fit.

The sleeves are pre-curved to match your natural riding stance, while the back is elongated for coverage in a tucked position. This race-inspired fit means less flapping and buffeting at speed.

Venting is another highlight. The Airform has large intake and exhaust vents across the chest, back, and inner arms. I was able to adjust airflow using the large zippered gussets easily.

Opening them up kept me cool even on hot summer rides while closing them blocked cold wind in the winter.

The stowable hood also cuts down on wind resistance when not in use. It cinches securely with elastic cords when needed, so it won’t blow back.

I found it provided decent protection from the elements without impacting peripheral vision.

Convenient Features for Daily Use

While safety and aerodynamics are key, the Airform Retro doesn’t skimp on everyday functionality. The jacket is packed with features that make it a pleasure to wear on a daily basis.

  • A waterproof exterior keeps you dry in wet conditions
  • Zippered chest pockets provide secure storage
  • Vented cuffs allow you to adjust airflow up the sleeves
  • The silicone grip print on the waist prevents the jacket from riding up
  • Reflective trim increases visibility at night

I also appreciated that the jacket is fairly lightweight, even with the included armor. It worked well as an outer layer on cool mornings but wasn’t too warm once temperatures started rising. The mesh lining helped with airflow as well.

For access, the Airform Retro has an easy-entry side zipper that runs the full length of the jacket. I could slip it on and take it off quickly while allowing the armor to stay in place. The zipper is heavy-duty with an oversized pull tab that’s easy to grasp with gloves on.

Style That Stands Out

As expected from Icon, the Airform brings some serious style to the table. I chose the blue colorway, which really pops.

The mix of textured fabric panels combined with perforated patterning gives it a modern, aggressive look.

Icon offers the jacket in over a dozen unique color combinations. There’s everything from basic black for a stealthy vibe to brighter hues like orange or yellow that practically scream, “Look at me.” The colorful options definitely help you stand out in traffic.

I’d categorize the overall styling as sporty but not over-the-top. The relaxed fit accommodates wearing a back protector without looking bulky.

I found the jacket paired well with everything from jeans to full racing leather. It really works well with any style of bike or rider.

Breaking Down the Specs

Here’s a quick rundown of the Icon Airform’s key specifications:

Materials:

Armor:

  • D3O elbow & shoulder cups (CE certified)
  • D3O back pad (CE level 1 certified)

Features:

  • Full sleeve zipper for easy on/off access
  • Zippered chest pockets
  • Vented gussets on chest/back
  • Cinchable stowable hood
  • Reflective details for visibility

Fit:

  • Relaxed performance fit
  • Pre-curved sleeves
  • Adjustable waist and cuff velcro

Available Sizes:

  • S – 4XL
SIZECHEST (IN)ARM (IN)
SM36 – 3831
MD38 – 4032
LG40 – 4233
XL42 – 4434
2XL46 – 4835
3XL48 – 5036
4XL52 – 5437

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the fit like compared to other Icon jackets?

I found the Airform retro fits slightly larger compared to other Icon models I’ve worn. I recommend going down a half or full size if you’re between sizes.

Is it a fully waterproof rain jacket?

The outer shell is waterproof and holds up well in light rain. But for heavy downpours, you should layer the Airform over a separate waterproof liner.

How’s the nighttime visibility?

Reflective details on the sleeves and back provide good visibility of your outline at night. But for maximum visibility, I recommend pairing it with a reflective vest.

What climate is the Airform best suited for?

With its mesh lining and venting options, the Airform works great for warm to mild weather. You’ll want to layer fleece or a thermal liner underneath in colder temperatures.

Can aftermarket armor be installed?

Yes, the Airform has Velcro armor pockets that allow you to install upgraded aftermarket armor if desired.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I’m highly impressed with Icon’s Airform jacket. It offers an unbeatable mix of protection, aerodynamic performance, and everyday functionality.

While not a heavy-duty winter jacket, it excels as a lightweight all-season shell. Add in the classic Icon styling, and it’s a very attractive package for riders looking for protection with panache.

The Airform sits at a very appealing price point as well. Given the features and quality, it’s a tremendous value for the cost.

For riders in the market for a versatile street riding jacket, the Airform should be at the top of your list. It delivers everything I look for in a go-to riding companion.

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