The Olympia Dakar jacket is a new warm-weather adventure riding jacket for this season. After testing this jacket extensively, I wanted to provide riders with an in-depth review of its features, fit, and performance.
But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Is this the best mesh motorcycle jacket? Let’s find out!
Olympia Dakar Jacket
- Excellent value for the price
- Versatile 3-season protection
- Athletic contemporary styling
I evaluated the Olympia Dakar Jacket over several months of riding in warm weather conditions. This new jacket replaces the popular Olympia Moab in the lineup, featuring a completely revamped modern style and improved features.
I’ll also compare it to other Olympia jackets like the Renegade and Ranger. By the end, you’ll completely understand this new warm-weather riding jacket.
Style and Design
The most noticeable upgrade on the Dakar is its contemporary adventure style. Olympia gave this jacket a clean, crisp look compared to the boxy Moab.
The slimmer cut has an athletic fit while retaining the American sizing that provides room for layering. The Dakar looks right at home whether you’re riding trails or grabbing a bite in town after a long day.
It’s available in four color options:
- Patriot (red, white, and blue)
- Hi-Vis Yellow
- Fatigue Green
The minimalist color blocks and mix of materials give it an upscale appearance. Reflective piping adds visibility while complementing the overall aesthetics.
Construction and Materials
The Dakar uses a rugged 500 denier Cordura shell reinforced with SuperFabric panels on the elbows for extra abrasion resistance. 500D withstands the rigors of off-road riding while keeping the jacket lightweight and promoting airflow.
Along with abrasion resistance, the materials also provide weather protection. The jacket has a waterproof and breathable Aquatex liner that can be worn independently or zipped into the shell. When not in use, the liner stows in a zippered waterproof pocket at the rear.
For cold weather, a removable 80g Thermolite insulation liner adds warmth. The shell, waterproof liner, and insulation liner make this a true 3-season jacket.
Ventilation and Breathability
With all-mesh sleeve panels and direct vents along the front, sides, and back, the Dakar prioritizes airflow for riding in warm temps.
Air flows directly through the jacket rather than just circulating inside, preventing heat and humidity buildup.
The waterproof liner is also designed with an airflow mesh interior and underarm vents to prevent moisture buildup, keeping you dry without overheating.
Fit and Sizing
I’m 6’2″ and 205 lbs pounds with an athletic build. I tested a size large, which felt roomy but not overly baggy. It has a comfortable American cut tailored for riders needing more chest and arms room.
There are 8 inches of waist adjustability thanks to velcro side tabs. The sleeves have a perfect length for reaching the bars in a riding position. Olympia’s sizing chart shows the large fitting up to a 46-inch chest.
The dropped rear hem provides extra coverage while riding without feeling bulky. For taller riders, the length might be a bit short when standing but feels just right when on the bike. Overall, the Dakar should fit most American body types well.
Armor and Protection
Ample abrasion and tear resistance comes from the 500D Cordura shell and SuperFabric reinforcements. Olympia improved coverage in the rear with a longer kidney belt lined with foam padding. However, I would prefer to see some beefier back armor for maximum protection.
Storage and Pockets
For cargo capacity, the Dakar has two zippered hand pockets, two chest vents with pockets behind them, and a rear storage pouch:
- Hand pockets: Roomy enough for phones, wallets, and snacks.
- Chest pockets: Smaller stash spots for keys, cards, and cash.
- Rear pouch: Fully waterproof pocket for liners or other gear.
The hand and chest pockets have durable, oversized zippers with easy-to-grab pulls, making them accessible with gloves. Storage options are plentiful for short rides or longer tours.
Comfort and Convenience
Several design features enhance the comfort and functionality of the Dakar:
- Neoprene collar lining prevents chafing at the neck
- Hook and loop waist adjusters customize the fit
- Gusseted side panels add flexibility
- A two-way front zipper permits easier access while seated
- Zipper garages at the collar and pockets prevent irritation from zipper hardware
- Soft tricot lining inside the jacket has moisture-wicking properties
Small touches like these noticeably improve the wearing experience during long days of adventure riding.
The waterproof and insulating liners turn the Dakar into a true 3-season jacket. But how does the shell itself stand up to wet weather?
Using the waterproof liner is recommended for stormy rides, but the shell delivers better rain protection than a mesh-only jacket.
Cost and Value
The Olympia Dakar hits a pleasing price point for a fully-featured 3-season jacket with a premium look and feel. The quality rivals more expensive counterparts from other brands.
The Dakar delivers outstanding value due to the versatile weather protection, robust construction, and well-designed feature set. The price belies the technical components and sophistication of this jacket.
How Does It Compare To Other Olympia Jackets?
The Dakar fits into Olympia’s lineup as a replacement for the venerable Moab:
- Renegade: Lower-priced warm weather mesh jacket. Good for hot riding.
- Dakar: Mid-range seasonal jacket. Versatile 3-season protection.
- Ranger: Premium 4-season jacket with more weatherproofing. Colder weather focused.
- MotoQuest: Top-of-the-line tech-loaded 4-season touring jacket.
Pros and Cons
Based on my testing, here are the standout pros and cons of the Olympia Dakar jacket:
- Airflow-focused construction
- Lightweight and flexible
- Athletic contemporary styling
- Good armor protection
- Abrasion-resistant shell
- Removable insulating liner
- Excellent value for the price
- Shell is not completely waterproof
- Back armor could be more robust
- Sleeve cuffs lack adjustment
- Insulating liner attaches at sides rather than sleeves
My Key Takeaways
Ordering the right size was crucial – I’m 6’2″ and 205 lbs, but based on advice that Olympia runs large, I opted for a size large instead of my usual XL.
This turned out to be the right call, as the large fits me nearly perfectly, with just slightly short sleeves.
Overall, I’m very impressed with the Dakar 3. It’s comfortable, seems durable, and has useful features like a removable liner and rain shell.
Ventilation is excellent for warm-weather riding. My only complaint is that the thermal liner has a mesh panel on the back instead of insulation, but I can use my old liner to solve that issue.
For the price, it’s tough to beat the combination of protection, convenience, and comfort the Dakar 3 provides.
I would definitely recommend it to fellow riders looking for a 3-season jacket that can handle a wide range of conditions without breaking the bank.
After comparing it to pricier models, the Dakar 3 won me over with its great quality and value.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The Olympia Dakar is an impressively well-rounded, warm-weather adventure riding jacket. It lacks any major weaknesses and provides an ideal balance of ventilation, weather protection, comfort, and casual style.
Riders seeking a lightweight jacket that can span multiple seasons will find that Dakar fits the bill beautifully. It handles everything from hot summer rides to cooler fall temps while looking at home both on and off the bike.
For all-around performance and value, the Olympia Dakar should top your list of riding jackets to handle warmer weather adventures. It replaces the venerable Moab while setting a new benchmark in its category.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about the Olympia Dakar jacket:
Q: Is the Dakar fully waterproof?**
Q: Does it have a removable thermal liner?**
A: Yes, it has a detachable 80g Thermolite insulation liner.
Q: How many seasons can you wear the Dakar?**
Q: What kind of warranty does it come with?**
A: Olympia offers a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
Q: Does it have pockets for armor upgrades?**
A: Yes, it has pockets for upgrading the shoulder and elbow armor to CE Level 2.
Q: Is the sizing runs small?**
A: No, it fits true to size with an American cut suitable for athletic builds. Size up if you have a bigger belly or chest.
Q: Can a hydration bladder be added?**
A: No, there are no direct hooks or routing for a hydration bladder. Water would have to be carried in the pocket space.
Q: What are the shells and liners made from?**
A: 500D Cordura for the shell. The waterproof layer is Aquatex. Insulation is Thermolite.
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