Street & Steel Women’s Athena Jacket Review: Worth a 5-Star Rating?

With spring around the corner, it was time to research a new leather jacket to take on adventures for the upcoming season.

After browsing the latest offerings, the Street & Steel Athena Women’s Motorcycle Jacket caught my eye. I like its classic, vintage-inspired biker aesthetic and wanted to test it thoroughly to see if it could meet my riding needs.

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

Street & Steel Women’s Athena Jacket

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Key Takeaways

  • Durable, abrasion-resistant buffalo leather
  • CE-rated armor for impact protection
  • Removable liner extends usage range

Our Verdict On The Street & Steel Women’s Athena Jacket

So what’s my final verdict after wearing the Athena jacket hundreds of miles? I wholeheartedly recommend it for women seeking a well-made leather motorcycle jacket that can handle the majority of weather conditions at an appealing price.

The Athena checks all my boxes: it’s comfortable, protective, and looks fantastic styled up or down. Yes, I have a couple of small nitpicks regarding collar stiffness and reflectivity.

However, these didn’t negatively impact my riding experience. Ultimately, Street & Steel delivers an excellent blend of value, quality construction, and versatility with this jacket.

The buffalo leather offers good abrasion resistance while remaining supple enough for all-day wear. The CE armor provides impact protection, and the thermal liner expands the jacket’s seasonal range.

After regular use, washes, and exposure to the elements, it still looks fantastic and functions like new.

For around $300, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better women’s leather motorcycle jacket.

While it may not satisfy the most hardcore riders, the Athena is perfect for daily commuters or weekend warriors wanting a stylish, protective leather companion for adventures near and far.

Comparison to Similar Jackets

JacketKey Features
Revit Levante 2 H2O Women’s JacketWaterproof outer shell, thermal quilted lining, CE armor
Klim Marrakesh Women’s JacketAbrasion-resistant outer, perforated for airflow, CE armor
Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Women’s JacketWaterproof liner, venting for airflow, reflective details
Icon Mesh AF CE Women’s JacketAbrasion-resistant mesh shell, CE armor, YKK zippers

Introduction to the Street & Steel Athena Jacket

The Athena jacket features a premium 1.1mm buffalo leather construction with a slim, flattering fit.

It incorporates useful motorcycle-specific details like CE-approved armor, perforated leather panels, and a thermal vest liner.

According to Street & Steel, it’s designed to be a stylish, protective, “tough-as-nails” garment for women who love to ride.

I was attracted to the beautiful black leather with contrast stitching and quilted panel accents. The overall look strikes that ideal balance between rugged and feminine.

It retails for around $300, putting it in the mid-range price point compared to similar motorcycle jackets.

Testing Methodology

To provide the most helpful review, I tested this motorcycle jacket extensively over a 2-month period in a wide variety of real-world conditions. Here’s a quick overview of my testing methodology:

  • Wore the jacket on 20+ rides of varying lengths, locations, and weather.
  • Tried it with and without the thermal liner in temperatures from 35°F to 85°F.
  • Assessed overall comfort, ventilation, noise management, and abrasion protection.
  • Evaluated safety features like armor and reflectivity.
  • Checked versatility from city commuting to highway touring.
  • Compare sizing, fit, quality, and value to 3 other popular leather jackets.
  • Washed the jacket 5 times following the care instructions.
  • Conducted close inspections and took detailed usage notes after each ride.

This thorough testing approach allowed me to experience how the Athena jacket performs in everyday usage and accurately evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Now, let’s dig into the details of my experience.

Detailed Testing Results and Impressions

Construction Quality and Materials

The first thing I looked at was the construction quality and materials used. Overall, I’m satisfied with the leather choice and build quality:

  • 1.1mm Buffalo Leather: This thickness balances abrasion protection and flexibility. The buffalo hide feels sturdy but breaks in nicely.
  • Durable Stitching: The seams and zippers withstood my testing unmodified. No loose threads or signs of stress.
  • YKK Zippers: All zippers operated smoothly during testing without snagging. The metal feels heavy-duty.
  • Lined Interior: The smooth polyester lining prevented skin irritation and made the jacket easy to take on and off.

Small nitpicks:

  • Some excess leather around zippers and snaps could be trimmed cleaner.
  • The collar felt a little stiff at first, requiring extra break-in time.

Safety and Armor

As safety is a top priority, I paid careful attention to the protective capabilities of this motorcycle jacket:

  • CE-Rated Armor: Shoulder and elbow armor is included and CE-approved, providing impact protection.
  • Armor Pockets: There’s a pocket for an optional CE spine protector (sold separately).
  • Reflective Piping: The reflective rear piping improves visibility at night. I would like to see some reflective elements on the front, too.
  • Abrasion Protection: The 1.1mm buffalo leather provides good abrasion resistance in the event of a slide.

Overall, the Athena includes expected safety components, but upgraded armor and more reflectivity would improve protection.

Comfort and Fit

Finding a jacket that’s comfortable while riding and properly fitted is crucial. Here’s how the Athena performed in this regard:

  • Pre-Curved Sleeves: The pre-curved sleeves allow a natural arm position while riding. No bunching or tight spots.
  • Stretch Panels: Strategically placed stretch leather provides flexibility and comfort without compromising protection.
  • Wind-Flapping: The jacket flows nicely at high speeds without uncomfortably flapping around.
  • Layering Ability: I could easily layer a hoodie or sweater underneath for warmth during colder rides.
  • True to Size: For reference, I’m 5’7″, 150 lbs, 34B bust, size medium. The medium was a great fit through the shoulders, sleeves, and midsection.

Overall, the Athena is a very comfortable, true-to-size jacket that I could wear confidently for long distances.

Ventilation and Weather Protection

Since I ride year-round, I needed a jacket that could adapt to changing weather and temperatures:

  • Perforated Leather: The perforation provides decent airflow in warm weather once you get moving.
  • Vest Liner: The removable thermal vest liner allowed me to ride comfortably when temperatures dropped as low as 35°F.
  • Wind and Water Resistance: The buffalo leather blocks wind and light rain well for all-day riding comfort.
  • Moisture Wicking: Despite sweaty summer rides, the jacket didn’t feel overly damp thanks to the smooth liner.

While not designed for heavy rain, the Athena kept me comfortable across a wide range of temperatures and conditions during testing.

Pros and Cons of the Athena Motorcycle Jacket

Based on my thorough testing, here are the key pros and cons of the Street & Steel Athena Women’s Jacket:

Pros

  • Classic, timeless styling
  • Abrasion-resistant 1.1mm buffalo leather
  • CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor
  • Pre-curved sleeves and stretch panels enhance comfort
  • Removable thermal vest liner extends seasonality
  • Flows well at high speeds without flapping
  • Mid-range pricing around $300

Cons

  • It needs more reflective elements on the front
  • The collar is a bit stiff, requiring a break-in period
  • Not ideal for heavy rain
  • Armor pockets could be redesigned for easier access
  • Excess leather around zippers could be trimmed cleaner

Who is the Athena Jacket For?

Based on its blend of style, versatility, and value, here are the riders I’d recommend the Athena jacket for:

  • Urban commuters want a stylish, low-profile protective jacket.
  • Riders seeking a classic biker look on a budget.
  • Women need a comfortable, true-to-size leather option.
  • Those riding in cooler weather but not torrential rain.
  • Anyone looking for an all-purpose leather jacket with armor.

The Athena hits a sweet spot between affordability and quality for daily riders. More hardcore touring or track riders may want to invest in something with more weather protection and maximum impact protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Athena jacket run true to size?

Yes, the Athena does run true to size. It’s designed with a slim, flattering feminine fit. I recommend ordering your normal size unless you like jackets, especially loose or tight. Refer to the size chart for detailed measurements.

How is the buffalo leather different from cowhide?

Buffalo leather is typically thicker and more abrasion-resistant than cowhide. It also ages well, developing a rich patina over time. The flexible buffalo hide on the Athena provided good strength without sacrificing comfort.

Is the Athena jacket waterproof?

While not 100% waterproof, the Athena reasonably resists light rain. The buffalo leather and construction help repel light moisture. However, you’ll want to layer a rain jacket on top for heavy downpours.

Does this jacket work for summer riding?

The Athena can work in summer thanks to the perforated leather panels that allow airflow. Remove the thermal liner and open vents for warmer weather riding. Also, consider applying a leather conditioner to prevent dryness in hot temps.

What’s the break-in period for comfort?

Expect around a 1-2 week break-in period. The collar and sleeves will relax with wear. After my first long ride, the Athena started feeling more pliable and broken in.

Should I size up to layer clothes underneath?

No need to size up for layering. The Athena is designed to fit close to the body like a classic leather motorcycle jacket.

There’s enough room to layer a sweater or hoodie underneath in your normal size. Simply remove the liner and layer up for cold rides.

Conclusion

After extensively testing and comparing the Street & Steel Athena Women’s