Oxford Montreal 4.0 Review: Stylish & Safe, But Is It Worth It?

With several years of riding experience under my belt, I am qualified to provide insightful reviews that help fellow riders make informed decisions when shopping for motorcycle apparel and accessories.

For this review, I decided to test out the latest iteration of Oxford’s popular Montreal jacket to see if the upgrades are worth it for the average rider.

After thoroughly evaluating the jacket in various conditions, I’m ready to share my impressions to help you determine if it should make the shortlist next time you’re looking for a new riding jacket.

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

Oxford Montreal 4.0 Jacket

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Key Takeaways

  • Great value for the price
  • Protection exceeds expectations
  • Versatile year-round performance

Introduction

The Montreal series has been a staple in Oxford’s lineup for years, known for delivering reasonably priced, all-weather protection.

With the release of the Montreal 4.0, Oxford has built upon the proven formula while modernizing the style and adding a few key enhancements.

In this hands-on review, I’ll take you through the critical elements that matter most when selecting riding gear:

  • Protection – How well does it hold up in a slide and shield you from wind and rain?
  • Comfort – Is it cozy or restrictive when cruising around town or touring for hours?
  • Versatility – Can it handle different types of weather and riding scenarios?
  • Value – Are the features and quality worth the asking price?

To kick things off, let’s take a quick look at the product overview.

Product Highlights

  • CE Level AA-rated abrasion protection
  • Waterproof and breathable Dry-Tex membrane
  • Removable thermal liner
  • Air vents with variable airflow
  • Reflective detailing for visibility
  • YKK zippers and velcro adjusters
  • Matching waterproof pants are available

Protection – Armored Where It Matters

When it comes to motorcycle gear, protection should always be the top priority. The Montreal 4.0 jacket uses a durable polyester shell reinforced with 600D panels at the elbows and shoulders.

This abrasion-resistant material slides rather than instantly tearing in the event of an accident, giving you precious time to come to a stop.

The jacket carries a CE Level AA certification, indicating Highly abrasive-resistant construction. While not quite as robust as CE Level AAA jackets costing over $500, it still provides ample protection for street riding and minor spills.

Padding the High-abrasion zones are removable CE Level 1 armor pads in the elbows and shoulders. These deformable composite pads absorb impact much better than standard foam padding alone.

I would prefer CE Level 2 armor for maximum protection, but Oxford offers Level 2 shoulder and elbow inserts as a $30 upgrade.

There is also a PE back protector pocket, although no back armor comes standard. Again, spending $20 bucks on a Level 1 or $30 on a Level 2 back pad is highly recommended to shield your spine.

Finally, when illuminated by headlights, reflective detailing on the chest, back, arms, and collar improves nighttime visibility.

The Montreal 4.0 provides excellent protection for the price range, although hardcore track enthusiasts or adventurous off-roaders may desire upgraded padding and armor.

Weather Protection – Dry, Not Soaked

No one wants to show up to their destination soggy from the rain. The Montreal 4.0 uses Oxford’s Dry-Tex waterproof and breathable liner to keep the wet stuff out.

Dry-Tex isn’t quite as impermeable as premium membranes from Gore-Tex and similar brands. However, during my testing in moderate rain, moisture beads right off the surface without soaking in.

I wouldn’t rely on it in torrential tropical downpours for hours on end, but the Montreal 4.0 excels as an urban commuting jacket or for occasional wet rides. The waterproof cuffs, collar, and zipper storm flap further seal out the elements.

When temperatures rise, built-in air vents across the chest, back, and sleeve openings allow airflow to cut through the humidity. The zippered chest vents feature elasticated loops to hold them open without flapping around at speed.

I found these to be an effective cooling method in warmer weather and better than vents failing to penetrate the waterproof barrier.

The Montreal 4.0 also comes prepared for colder environments thanks to the full-sleeve thermal liner that can be easily removed.

When combined with the quilted vest liner that attaches to the torso, the Montreal transforms into a cozy winter jacket that retains warmth without overheating.

Comfort – Ease of Movement On and Off the Bike

Riding gear shouldn’t just protect – it should be comfortable and allow freedom of movement too.

The Montreal 4.0 uses a relaxed, articulated cut that allows you to move freely while reaching forward into the riding position or looking over your shoulder to check traffic.

There are also velcro waist adjusters and zippered gussets at the rear hem and arms to fine-tune the fit.

I wore the jacket for multi-hour rides without any pinching or binding, even when layering a hoodie underneath. The sleeves are generously sized to fit over bulky gloves and winter riding jackets.

Oxford designed the soft collar lining to avoid chafing on the neck – a welcome detail that makes longer rides more pleasant. All of the snap closures, zippers, and velcro tabs are easily adjustable while wearing gloves.

Donning the jacket rapidly via the full-length front zipper and stowing items in the pockets keeps you moving at gas stops or when errands call.

Versatility – At Home in the City or Touring the Country

The Montreal 4.0 transitions seamlessly between around-town commuting duty and weekend highway expeditions.

With the thermal liner removed and vents open, the jacket flows plenty of air to keep you cool while running errands on hot summer days.

The neo-retro aesthetics pair nicely with jeans or textile pants. Safety is addressed by the ample reflective markings when night falls or you venture into tunnels.

Come winter, re-insert the thermal liner and vest to block cold wind and biting chill. The straightforward styling matches up with any pants and boots for a utilitarian urban vibe.

With the waterproof shell and passable insulation, you can extend the riding season further into fall and winter.

For longer-distance touring, the jacket really shines. The adjustability allows dialing in the perfect fit over the base and mid-layers to lock in warmth.

Ample stretch accommodates reaching forward into a tucked riding posture for hours on the open road. With the pairing zipper-attached Montreal pants, you can ride in confidence from dusk to dawn in any weather short of a tropical storm.

Value – Feature-Packed at an Attractive Price

Let’s talk dollars and cents – is the Montreal 4.0 worth the investment? In my opinion, you get a lot of functionality for the price.

At the $160 mark, the Montreal 4.0 costs $10 more than the previous generation but delivers improvements that justify the difference.

The zippered air vents, enhanced armor, refined style, and improved weather seals provide tangible benefits for the street rider. Considering jackets with comparable specifications run $250 and up, the Montreal hits a sweet spot.

When combined with the matching Montreal waterproof pants for $300 all-in, you have a year-round riding suit ready for commuting, touring, and more.

The variety of color options allows you to choose a look that suits your tastes. Plus, sizing runs the gamut from small all the way up to 5XL to accommodate riders of any shape and size.

For those looking for adventure bike styling or technical features like Gore-Tex membranes and CE Level 2 armor, expect to spend $400-600 for jackets in the premium tier. However, the Montreal 4.0 pulls together the essentials at an unbeatable value for casual riding.

Drawbacks

No gear is absolutely perfect, so here are a few downsides to the Montreal 4.0 to balance my review:

  • Non waterproof exterior pockets
  • Air vents don’t fully open through the membrane
  • Visibility could be better for night riding
  • Optional upgrades needed for maximum protection

However, these limitations should be expected, given the affordable pricing. None are deal-breakers in my opinion.

The Verdict

After hundreds of miles with the Montreal 4.0, I’m convinced it’s among the best motorcycle jackets available for under $200. The upgrades make a proven design even more refined and capable.

The balanced blend of abrasion protection, weather barriers, and ergonomic flexibility outperforms the price tag. All-day comfort couples with versatility across seasons to create a four-season jacket.

For riders seeking dependable quality without breaking the bank, the Montreal 4.0 delivers satisfaction.

Considering the value, features, and real-world performance, I wholeheartedly recommend it as an affordable, do-it-all option. Ride protected regardless of the destination or season with the Montreal 4.0 on your back.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the sizing like?

The Montreal 4.0 runs from small up to 5XL and includes short, regular, and long pant options to fit riders of all shapes. Order your normal jacket size, but size up if you prefer room for layers.

Is the thermal liner removable?

The full-sleeve thermal liner and quilted vest liner can be easily removed to adjust warmth and ventilation.

How long does the waterproofing last?

The Dry-Tex liner provides good water resistance during moderate exposure. For heavy tropical rains,