Roland Sands Truman Jacket Review: What Protection Does It Offer?

The Truman caught my eye because it seemed like a versatile canvas riding jacket at an affordable price point.

I liked that it used a heavyweight waxed canvas construction and premium pull-up leather details. This combination promised durability along with style. But is this the best waterproof motorcycle jacket for you? Let’s find out!

With these factors in mind, I was eager to put the Truman to the test. In this review, I’ll cover the fit, construction quality, protection, and other key features that make it a solid choice for temperate weather riding.

Roland Sands Truman Jacket


Key Takeaways

  • Stylish vintage military look
  • Runs smaller than expected
  • Durable waxed canvas construction.

Construction and Materials

The Truman uses an 11.5oz heavyweight canvas treated with wax for water repellency. I found this canvas feels thick and substantial, though it still allows decent airflow.

The waxed coating causes water droplets to bead up and roll off the surface, keeping you dry in light rain.

For added style, premium pull-up leather panels are used on the shoulders, elbows, and sides.

This leather develops a worn-in patina over time, giving the Truman a rugged look. It complements the canvas nicely while also providing abrasion resistance.

Some other construction details I liked:

  • Brass YKK zippers with RSD logos
  • Colorado welt pocket on left forearm
  • Zippered sleeve vents
  • Gusseted lower back
  • Fleece-lined collar

The overall craftsmanship and hardware are high-quality, with neat stitching throughout. The Truman feels like it will hold up well after multiple seasons of use.

Fit and Sizing

Roland Sands Truman Jacket Sizing

Roland Sands Designs apparel is usually cut large, but the Truman runs a full-size small. I typically take a size large jacket, but I opted for a medium in the Truman based on recommendations. This turned out to be the right choice.

I have a comfortable fit layering with the medium on, just a t-shirt or thin base layer underneath. There’s enough room to move freely and reach forward on my bike. For reference, I’m 5’10” and 175 lbs with an athletic build.

Based on my experience, I recommend ordering one size down from your normal jacket size. The pre-curved sleeves and slight waist taper provide a tailored fit.

However, the boxier cut through the body prevents a binding restrictive feel.

Overall, the Truman allows good mobility without feeling loose or baggy. Just be mindful of the smaller-than-usual sizing.

Roland Sands Men’s Jacket Sizing


Ventilation and Weather Protection

Roland Sands Truman Jacket Lining

One of my favorite features of the Truman is the direct venting zips on the biceps. During spring rides around 50-60°F, I could fully open the vents to let air flow through the jacket.

This prevented things from getting too warm, especially when riding in the sun.

It was easy to zip the vents closed for cooler fall temperatures to retain interior heat. The waxed canvas and full sleeve liner blocked wind effectively down to the mid-40s.

Below that, I needed to add base layers or a thermal liner.

In light rain showers, the Truman’s waxed canvas construction kept my core and arms dry. I wouldn’t rely on it for heavy downpours, though. For serious wet weather riding, a separate waterproof shell is recommended.

But for typical spring and fall conditions, the Truman strikes a great balance of protection, weather resistance, and ventilation. The direct venting zippers add excellent airflow adjustability.

Armor and Protection

Roland Sands Truman Jacket Armor

While the leather panels add abrasion protection, the Truman has no armor. I’d strongly recommend inserting a back protector and shoulder and elbow pads to boost impact protection.

Roland Sands Designs offers a Forcefield armor kit that integrates nicely:

  • Forcefield Back Protector Insert
  • Forcefield Pro Lite Shoulder Armor
  • Forcefield Pro Lite Elbow Armor

This aftermarket armor fits comfortably in the jacket and offers decent impact cushioning. The back protector sits nicely in the rear pocket. The elbow and shoulder pads don’t restrict movement.

Upgrading the Truman with these Forcefield protectors really optimizes the safety for regular motorcycle use. Plan on factoring in the cost of armor into your budget if buying this jacket.

Quality of Construction

Overall, I’m very happy with how the Truman is constructed. The waxed canvas feels thick and durable, with neat double-stitching throughout. The leather panel edges are finished cleanly without loose threads.

All of the zippers operate smoothly, including the venting zips on the sleeves. The fleece collar lining adds comfort right up to the chin. And the color-matched snaps have a solid tactile feel when fastened.

The Truman makes a quality impression after inspecting all the seams and hardware. Roland Sands Designs put care into the construction and materials.

All signs point to this being a jacket that will endure years of regular motorcycle wear and tear.

Pros and Cons

To summarize my overall impressions of the Roland Sands Designs Truman jacket:


  • Tough 11.5oz waxed canvas construction
  • Stylish vintage military look
  • Premium pull-up leather accents
  • Direct venting zippers on sleeves
  • High-quality materials and hardware
  • Good fit, allowing layering and movement


  • Doesn’t include armor
  • Not fully waterproof
  • Sizes run smaller than usual

While not perfect, the Truman offers excellent value at around $300. For riders needing a warm-weather canvas motorcycle jacket, it’s a great choice, providing style, versatility, and protection.

FAQs About the Truman Jacket

How is the sizing on the Truman jacket?

The sizing runs at least one full-size small. Order a size larger than your normal size for jackets.

Is the Truman jacket waterproof?

It’s water resistant, not fully waterproof. The waxed canvas will shed light rain but not heavy downpours.

What kind of weather is the Truman jacket best for?

It excels as a spring and fall jacket, with direct vents for when temperatures rise. It can handle temps from the 40s up to the 60s comfortably.

Does the Truman jacket come with armor?

No, you’ll need to purchase a back protector shoulder, and elbow pads separately. The Forcefield armor kit is a great option.

Can you add a zip-out thermal liner to the Truman?

The Truman is compatible with the Roland Sands Designs detachable quilted thermal liner. This extends the jacket’s temperature range.


Is this the best motorcycle jacket? For temperate weather riding, the Roland Sands Designs Truman is an impressive jacket at an affordable price.

The durable waxed canvas construction provides ample protection from wind and light rain. The pull-up leather accents amp up the style factor.

Direct sleeve vents allow excellent airflow control as conditions change. And the tailored fit moves easily with the body while riding.

A few downsides exist, like small sizing and lack of included armor. But considering the overall quality and value, these are minor shortcomings.

Riders needing a sharp military-inspired canvas motorcycle jacket will find a lot to love in the versatile Truman. It delivers on both form and function.

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