The Spada Hairpin 2.0 women’s motorcycle jacket is a supple softshell jacket that meets the AA level within the CE standard, has a full set of armour to the superior Level 2 within CE and a fixed waterproof membrane. I’ve worn it for up to 10 hours a day in everything from warm sunshine to a four-hour ride in the pouring rain.
The Spada Hairpin 2.0 is a jacket made from softshell material that has a female shape. I’m 5ft 5in tall and usually wear a size eight or 10 top – I wore this jacket in a size small and it fitted me just right. The waist is nicely tailored, however I would prefer more space around the neck because it feels claustrophobic when zipped up, though with the collar unzipped it is comfortable. I would welcome a more flattering shape to the arms, as I feel as if I am sporting a pair of bingo wings at times. Having said that, room around the arms is welcome when pushing bikes around. The cuffs are neat, adjustable and have strong seams.
The protection level of the Spada Hairpin is higher than you might expect for a jacket that is quite casually styled and made from softshell fabric. It meets the middle level within the overall CE standard, which is AA, when most jackets of this type will be approved to the basic single-A level. The armour also has impressive ratings as there is a full five-piece set of protectors that meet the higher Level 2 within the impact protection standard. I found the armour to be soft and comfortable. The back protector can dig in slightly at the base of the spine, but it is comfortable enough despite this. I found the armour for the shoulders and elbows to be well positioned.
All motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and Europe is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is a good thing for riders as it can help them choose kit that has provable levels of safety because, to meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. To fully understand the labels found in all bike kit, click here.
The Haripin’s pockets at each hip are secure and waterproof, which I found a pretty safe place to store a small phone or wallet. Unfortunately, there are only two pockets, so there’s not much choice and there’s no inner pocket. They are in a good position to stick hands in there to have a rest or keep them dry though.
The Spada’s zips are sealed against water, which I found effective to a point, and are nice and secure. The zip must be accurately aligned to seal properly, which can be a little bit of a fiddle, but you do get used to it over time.
There are no vents in the Spada Hairpin and after some experience with this jacket I refrained from wearing it on the hottest days as I’m in my kit all day, often standing or walking around. In temperatures up to 20°C this was good, but a lot over that and the lack of ventilation became a problem at times while riding slowly or standing around: keep in that I’m a riding instructor! If you’re keeping moving, the air can still move through this to some extent, making it more pleasant. Personally, riding at such low speeds a lot in the very hot weather we had this summer meant I got a bit sweaty so had to put it through a few washes, which I believe compromised the water resistance.
I’d have liked to have seen at least a couple of well-placed vents, though these could of course make the waterproofing harder to achieve, and they’d add to the relatively low price of this jacket.
There’s no thermal winter liner, although there is a fixed waterproof membrane that traps air. If you want to ride in the real cold, you’ll need a warm layer to wear underneath – BikeSocial has tested the ZeroFit base layers and found them exceptional in winter.
The Spada Hairpin 2.0 has a fixed, lightweight mesh liner that’s comfy against the skin and does help in getting the jacket off when you get really hot.
Water beaded up on the softshell surface at first, which I found impressive, and this gave me confidence in its ability to keep me dry. However, wearing the Hairpin 2.0 in the peak summer sun while not riding or when going slowly made me overheat and meant I had to put it in the washing machine, which I think washed off the water-resistant treatment on the outside. After washing, re-treating with a durable water repellent spray would have restored the ability to make water bead up on the outside.
This jacket comes with a fixed internal membrane, which kept me dry for about two to three hours before letting water in at the chest. This isn’t bad at all for a jacket of this design and price – which is more likely to be worn by a commuter – but it’s worth noting that it won’t be the best bet for an all-weather touring rider, for instance, or someone who has to spend all day in their kit, like me.
There aren’t as many options in general for women as there are for men, but there is still plenty of choice. Here are three decent alternatives to the Spada Hairpin 2.0…
Despite my criticisms, the Spada Hairpin is currently the most used jacket in my collection thanks to its light weight, flexibility, comfort and the presence of a removable hood for style and protection when standing out in the rain.
It can get hot and sticky inside this jacket for my use as an instructor, and it’s not great in extremes of weather, but most of my gripes are things you could judge for yourself in store, so if you like the style and you’re not planning to use it as touring kit, it’s worth checking out because let’s be honest – at £79.99 you can’t really expect an all-singing, all-dancing jacket that can excel in every environment.
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