Scorpion Vortex Air Jacket Review: Perfection or Flawed Protection?

Riding a motorcycle comes with some inherent risks, so wearing proper gear is critical for every trip. I focus my search primarily on finding jackets that strike the right balance between safety and ventilation.

Living in a hot climate, I need something that will keep me cool in warm weather without exposing me completely.

The Scorpion EXO Vortex Air caught my attention because its hybrid mesh construction seemed like a great lightweight and breathable option.

This jacket could keep me comfortable on sweltering rides while offering abrasion resistance and armor protection.

After thoroughly testing this jacket in various conditions, I’m ready to share my detailed findings in this review.

Scorpion Exo Vortex Air Jacket

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Key Takeaways

  • Impact armor for abrasion protection
  • Lightweight, ventilated mesh construction
  • Removable water-resistant liner included

Overview of the Scorpion EXO Vortex Air Jacket

The Scorpion EXO Vortex Air is a three-season mesh motorcycle jacket designed to provide maximum airflow while including essential safety features.

It combines durable abrasion-resistant exterior panels with ventilating Rhino mesh material throughout the torso and arms.

Key features include:

  • CE-approved lightweight armor in the elbows, shoulders, and back
  • Waterproof zip-out liner for weather protection
  • Neoprene-trimmed cuffs and collar
  • Multiple adjustment options for a customized fit
  • Reflective details for visibility
  • 4 exterior pockets and 2 interior pockets

With a price point of around $200, the Vortex Air hits that sweet spot between budget-friendly and premium quality. Scorpion covers it with a 1-year limited warranty, too.

Now, let’s get into the specifics of my hands-on testing.

Vortex Air Jacket Fit and Sizing

Finding the right fit is crucial with any jacket, as it directly impacts comfort, mobility, and safety. I’m 6’2” with a 44-inch chest, so I often fall between size Large and XL. Based on the Vortex Air sizing chart, I decided to try the Large first.

Here are my key observations about the fit:

  • The sleeves were nice and long, with no restrictions when reaching forward on the bike.
  • I had full shoulder mobility without the armor or fabric feeling too tight.
  • The slightly snug torso limited how much I could comfortably layer underneath.
  • The jacket length was adequate when standing, but it rode up my back when riding.

Overall, I recommend sizing up for a bit more room if you plan on wearing more than a t-shirt underneath. Riders with longer torsos would also benefit from going a size up. The neoprene collar and cuffs help tailor the fit, but the Vortex Air does run a bit small.

Scorpion Men’s Jacket Sizing

SIZECHEST (IN)ARM (IN)
XS34-3625
SM36-3825.5
MD38-4026
LG42-4426.5
XL44-4627
2XL46-4827.5
3XL48-5027.75
4XL50-5228
5XL52-5428.25

Ventilation and Breathability

One of my top priorities for a warm weather jacket is getting maximum airflow, so I took the Vortex Air on rides ranging from 80 to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Here’s how it performed:

  • The mesh panels allow for excellent chest and arm ventilation, even at highway speeds. Airflow did not seem restricted.
  • The back panel is solid fabric rather than mesh, so I felt heat buildup along my spine.
  • Removing the liner increased rear ventilation and really maximized air circulation.
  • With the liner removed, it was comfortable in the most extreme heat and allowed any sweat to evaporate rapidly.

The Vortex Air delivers exactly what I am looking for for hot summer riding. The strategic mesh panels channel wind right where you need it most. Taking out the liner transforms it into a true warm-weather jacket.

Waterproof Liner Performance

While mesh jackets aren’t meant for heavy rain, the removable wind- and waterproof liner lets you ride in lighter precipitation. I tested it in the following conditions:

  • Wore the liner during an all-day ride with intermittent drizzle, keeping me completely dry. Never felt damp or clammy.
  • The liner remained breathable and didn’t cause overheating on cooler 60-degree days.
  • In a 30-minute downpour, the jacket wet through in high-impact zones. Liner alone does not make this a monsoon-proof jacket.
  • Minimal insulation means the liner isn’t meant for cold-weather riding.

The Vortex Air-liner isn’t designed for serious storms or winter cold but holds up nicely if caught in an unexpected shower.

It finds that sweet spot of providing water protection without sacrificing airflow like a rain jacket would.

Armor Protection

Protective armor is a top priority for me in any motorcycle jacket. Here’s how the Scorpion EXO Vortex Air stacks up:

  • CE-approved Exo-Tec armor in elbows, shoulders, and back.
  • Snug fits initially, but the armor breaks in after a few rides.
  • Hard armor shells stay firmly in place even when the liner is removed.
  • Elbow and shoulder armor extend fully to the joint edges for maximum coverage.
  • Neoprene cuff lining prevents the sleeves from creeping up and exposing armor edges.
    The back protector sits against the spine firmly with no shifting or gaps.
  • Armor is easy to remove and insert for washing and replacement purposes.

The strategically positioned armor covers all the right areas with no unwanted shifting or movement. Snug-fitting yet flexible Exo-Tec protection offers trustworthy impact absorption.

Construction and Durability Observations

Every time I try on a new jacket, I carefully inspect the construction, fabric quality, and sturdiness of key components. Here are my findings:

  • 600D polyester is used in high abrasion areas like the elbows, shoulders, and collar. This provides excellent tear resistance for the inevitable slides.
  • Rhino mesh feels thick and durable with a tight weave that resists snagging or ripping.
  • Zippers function smoothly even when removing and inserting the liner frequently. No catching or failure.
  • Velcro closures on pockets and adjustments maintain their stickiness wash after wash.
  • External fabric showed no signs of pilling, loose threads, or poor construction after 30+ hours of riding.
  • Faint scuff marks on leather panels wiped clean rather than damaging the material.
  • The interior liner remained intact with no ripped seams or degraded fabric, even when twisted and stretched to remove.

From the exterior shell to the inner liner, the Vortex Air is put together cleanly and made to last. This jacket will hold up beautifully for multiple seasons.

Storage and Convenience Features

For carrying daily essential items, the Vortex Air includes:

  • Two zippered exterior chest pockets large enough for wallets, phones, and small electronics.
  • Two lower vertical pockets are best suited for keys, ID, and other small items.
  • Interior vertical pocket on each side for items you want to keep more secure.
  • Lower back looping system connects jacket to pant waistband if desired.

The strategically placed pockets provided quick access to anything I needed while riding. I do wish the upper exterior pockets were a touch bigger to accommodate riding gloves, but they easily fit everything else.

Nighttime Visibility Enhancements

Being seen is just as crucial as seeing the road at night, so I was glad to see the Vortex Air includes:

  • Reflective stripes across the upper back and upper arms to highlight the rider’s silhouette.
  • Black with grey colorways ensures the reflective piping stands out clearly after dark.
  • Light grey panels on sleeve exteriors boost reflectivity along the arms.
  • Overall, the reflective surface area is generous without appearing excessive.

The smart placement of reflective accents really makes the Vortex Air shine when headlights hit it. It provides a balanced approach to visibility without sacrificing style.

Pros of the Scorpion EXO Vortex Air Jacket

Based on my testing and observations, these stand out as the top advantages of the Vortex Air jacket:

  • Lightweight, breathable mesh construction keeps you cool in warm weather.
  • CE-approved armor offers impact protection without restricting mobility.
  • The water-resistant zip-out liner provides versatile weather protection.
  • Abrasion-resistant exterior materials hold up to slides and spills.
  • Generous reflective details enhance nighttime visibility on the road.
  • Neoprene-trimmed collars and cuffs prevent skin chafing and armor shifting.
  • The $200 price point makes it very affordable for the features.
  • A one-year warranty provides peace of mind on materials and workmanship.

Cons to Consider

While overwhelmingly positive, here are a few downsides of note:

  • A snug fit prevents wearing more than a t-shirt underneath. Order a size up if needed.
  • Torso runs short, causing the jacket to ride up slightly when leaning forward.
  • There is no built-in storage for the liner once removed. Have to carry it separately.
  • The non-mesh back panel retains some heat along the spine.
  • It’s not a heavy-weather jacket despite the waterproof liner.

Who is the Scorpion EXO Vortex Air For?

This jacket is ideally suited for riders who:

  • Want maximum ventilation for hot summer riding.
  • NO versatile weather protection without overheating.
  • Seek abrasion resistance in key areas but prefer a