Merlin Alton Jacket Review: My Thoughts After 2 Years Of Use

I recently tested the Merlin Alton leather motorcycle jacket because I was looking for a good quality black leather jacket with armor for riding my motorcycle.

In this article, I will share my experience with this jacket’s sizing, fit, features, and overall quality.

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

Merlin Alton Jacket

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Key Takeaways

Construction and Features

The Merlin Alton is a high-quality leather motorcycle jacket with several useful features:

  • The leather feels thick and durable but remains soft and pliable.
  • YKK zippers throughout the jacket.
  • Adjustable snaps on collar, waist, and sleeve cuffs for custom fit.
  • Quilted polyester lining in sleeves.
  • Zip-out thermal vest lining in the torso.
  • CE-rated elbow and shoulder armor (no back protector included).

In addition, the jacket has several exterior pockets and vents:

  • Two vertical chest pockets with zip closures. Mostly aesthetic.
  • Two usable waist pockets with snap closures.
  • Side waist adjustment belts with dual snap positions.
  • Upper back vent controlled by dual zippers. Limited airflow.

The overall construction and hardware seem very sturdy. I especially appreciate the armor and quality of the YKK zippers used throughout.

Ventilation

One of my priorities for a motorcycle jacket was ventilation and airflow. Unfortunately, the Merlin Alton is lacking in this area:

  • No rear exhaust vents – This significantly reduces airflow.
  • The upper back intake vent provides minimal airflow.
  • Side chest vents are primarily decorative.

Sizing and Fit

  • The Merlin Alton 38 fit me very well at 5’5″ and 140 lbs.
  • Motorcycle jacket sizing is inconsistent across brands. This 38 is similar to a US/British 38 suit jacket.
  • The torso and sleeves are not overly long, which is perfect for my body type.
  • It has a nice tapered, slim European cut rather than the boxy American cut I wanted to avoid.
  • The waist and sleeves can be tightened for a more snug fit while riding.

Overall, I was very pleased with the sizing and slim tapered fit of the Merlin Alton jacket. Finding leathers tailored this way is difficult, and the size 38 was ideal for my measurements.

SIZECHEST (IN)ARM (IN)
3836-3832
4038-4033
4240-4234
4442-4435
4644-4636
4846-4837
5048-5038

Branding and Logos

I prefer jackets with minimal branding and logos. The only exterior logo on the Merlin Alton is a small embroidered patch on the upper left chest.

  • The Merlin patch is fairly subtle and non-obtrusive.
  • There are no logos on the back or sleeves, which I appreciate.
  • The red/black patch adds a slight pop of color.

The discreet front logo is acceptable to me. I’m glad there is no large text or graphics across the back or shoulders, which can look cheesy.

Price and Value

I purchased this jacket from RevZillaOpens in a new tab. for $300, which is admittedly more than I hoped to spend. Based on my research, comparable leather motorcycle jackets often cost $600+ from major brands.

The Merlin Alton provides very good value at this price point, considering the quality, construction, armor, and premium YKK zippers. The lack of ventilation does bring the value down slightly.

Overall, I feel the quality and fit justify the $350 price tag. It meets my most important criteria and should last for years of riding use.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fit is excellent for my proportions and riding position
  • Slim, tapered European cut
  • High-quality, thick leather
  • Sturdy YKK zippers throughout
  • Useful armor on elbows and shoulders
  • Subtle branding with a small front logo

Cons

  • Very limited ventilation and exhaust airflow
  • Back protector not included
  • Higher price point for the non-major brand

How Does the Merlin Alton Compare to Other Jackets?

I considered several other leather motorcycle jacket options in the same price range before choosing the Merlin Alton, including:

Roland Sands Clash Jacket

  • More vents and airflow
  • Removable liner and neck warmer
  • Comparable protection

Alpinestars Oscar Charlie Jacket

Joe Rocket Ballistic Revolution

  • More adjustable armor
  • Perforated leather version available
  • Bulky and loose fit

The Merlin Alton was most comparable overall to the Roland Sands Clash in quality and protection. But Alton’s euro cut and fit ultimately won me over.

Final Verdict on the Merlin Alton Jacket

In conclusion, I highly recommend the Merlin Alton leather motorcycle jacket, especially for riders looking for a slim, tapered fit.

The quality and construction are top-notch, and the discreet branding is a plus. My only reservation is the lack of ventilation.

For $300, it’s an outstanding jacket packed with premium features and custom-fit options. The Merlin Alton will be my new go-to leather for cooler-weather rides.

The Roland Sands Clash may be a better alternative if ventilation is a top priority.

I’m thrilled to have finally found a leather jacket that checks all my most important boxes. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Merlin Alton jacket run small or large?

The sizing seems accurate to size. I recommend ordering your normal size unless you prefer a loose or very snug fit.

The adjustable snaps and velcro straps allow you to customize the waist and arm tightness as needed.

How is the sizing for tall or short riders?

The proportions should work well for most heights. Since it runs slightly short, taller riders may want to size up or ensure longer arm length. The slim euro cut will likely suit shorter riders who want a non-boxy fit.

Is the Merlin Alton jacket comfortable in warm weather?

Due to the minimal vents, the Merlin Alton will get hot and uncomfortable in warm weather. Depending on your climate, it’s best suited for fall and spring riding. A mesh or perforated jacket is better for summer.

Does it have adequate wind and rain protection?

Yes, the non-vented design and quilted lining provide excellent wind resistance. The leather should repel light rain, especially if treated with a waterproof spray. A rain liner can be added for heavy rain.

How long does the sizing last before getting loose?

The leather quality should maintain its shape even after significant break-in time. As long as you get the right snug fit upfront, it should continue to fit well for many years of use.

Conclusion

Finding a quality, affordable leather motorcycle jacket with a flattering tapered fit was no easy task. However, after extensive research, the Merlin Alton exceeded my expectations.

While I wish it had more vents, the protection, construction, and slim cut make this an exceptional value for the price. If you ride a sport bike or prefer a sleek, non-boxe

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