Spada Zorst review | All-weather motorcycle jacket tested

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Date reviewed: July 2022 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £139.99 |


I’ve been using the Spada Zorst on review here for the last few months while riding an R1250GS and a VFR800, finding that despite its relatively low price point, there’s plenty to recommend about it.

It’s easy to spend several hundred pounds on a textile jacket – or even more than a thousand – but while the Zorst isn’t perfect, it could be a great choice for many riders on a budget, or indeed those who wonder why they need to pay any more and would prefer to spend their money on fuel…


Pros & Cons
  • AA-rated protection
  • Full armour that stays in place well
  • Impressively effective ventilation
  • Waterproofing struggles in heavy rain
  • Cuffs a little bulky when cinched up
  • Pockets a little lacking


Construction and fit

For just £139.99, the Spada Zorst is firmly in the budget price range, and while it doesn’t have the luxury feel of some higher-priced kit, it’s got an impressive build that belies its price. Details like the neoprene trim on the collar, reflective piping and water-resistant zips covering the vents give a good sense of value to this jacket.

Fit is of course subjective, but my usual large fits me well and the length of the Zorst is perfect as a more touring-focussed piece of kit. Too often, gear in the more budget-conscious range tends to be a sportier, shorter style, but that can leave drafts and rain to find its way in. With so many riders now enjoying a more relaxed adventure or touring-style bike, the Zorst is the length I prefer in textile kit.



Protection and certification

It’s great to see that the Spada Zorst has been certified under EN17092 as Level AA. A is the minimum, AAA is the maximum, and though you can wear what you like when riding a bike (as long as you have a helmet), all riding kit must be properly certified to be legally sold.

EN17092 proves that the abrasion resistance, burst and seam strength have all met a minimum requirement, so achieving AA is a great result and testament to the double stitching used throughout.

There’s more to choosing the right kit for you of course, and besides the price, fit and features, it’s important that the armour is well positioned and effectively secured. But again, Spada has beaten many of its competitors here with Level 2 (the higher protection level) armour fitted at the elbows, shoulders AND the back as standard. Plus, the elbows and shoulders are ‘Type B’, which is the larger size of armour. Granted, it doesn’t offer the coverage of some of the premium brands, but the fact that it stays in place well (thanks to the good fit on me at least), and that it’s the highest level of protection is impressive on such a relatively low-priced jacket.

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 Spada Zorst has two main pockets at the front waist area, which are big enough for a large Google Pixel 7 Pro phone popped in upright – or keys and a wallet – though I’d like to have seen them a little wider ideally, to allow even an average Samsung Galaxy S21 to sit horizontally, which is less likely to dig into your leg when riding. However, the internal ‘Nelson’ pocket on the left easily swallows the Pixel, so provides more comfortable storage.

And that’s it for pockets, which seems rather light compared to many others, though as these are the only ones I tend to use, it’s not really a problem. With slightly wider front main pockets I’d have no complaints at all.




The main zip is easy to use thanks to a good-sized fabric toggle, while the neck fastens with Velcro. I haven’t tested any compatible trousers with the Spada Zorst, but there’s a full length small-tooth connecting zip, and a large-tooth short one at the rear that should be compatible with other Spada kit. Always try for yourself when buying as zipping kit together makes for a safer, dryer and less drafty ride.

The cuffs are fastened by zips, with a Velcro flap over the top to cinch them up. I found the cuffs large enough to go over my Alpinestars Range 2 in One gloves fairly easily, and even my Held Twin IIs with a little jiggling.

Fitting your gloves under the sleeves of the jacket prevents water running down your arm and soaking your hands, though in dry weather you might want to wear summer gloves over the jacket. The Zorst’s cuffs can get quite bulky when cinched up tight with the Velcro as the zip has to fold over with the rest of the material.




Poppers on the biceps give two positions, while a Velcro belt at the waist offers plenty of scope for cinching in.

Accordion panels at the shoulder blades allow good movement, so while everyone’s different, I certainly don’t find the Zorst restrictive in any way.




Two chest vents are sealed with water-resistant zips, while a full width zip at the upper back is tucked away under a flap.

Despite these vents being restricted by the waterproof membrane beneath them, they’re surprisingly effective – while riding the VFR800 I could feel a good flow of air that made the Zorst more comfortable in hotter weather.

The positioning of the chest vents is good if you have the right bike – on something with a larger fairing or screen (like the GS) they can prove less effective if they’re out of the wind. Rucksack straps can also block vents in some cases, so as with any kit, check how you intend to use it.


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A removable thermal liner is supplied, which covers right down the arms (it’s not just a gilet as in some budget kit). It’s not bad, but it’s certainly not the warmest liner I’ve used. For the price it’s okay, and you can easily layer up in winter.

My main criticism of the thermal liner is that if you do get hot and sticky, it can pull free at the arms a little too easily when taking the jacket off.


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With the thermal liner removed, the Spada Zorst has a lightweight mesh that’s comfortable against the skin. In hot weather, the elbows can get a little sticky feeling due to the unventilated armour, but given the price of the jacket and the protection offered, this is a minor complaint.



The Spada Zorst has a 10,000mm waterproof drop-liner membrane attached insider the jacket, separate to the outer shell. The alternative is a ‘laminated’ membrane, but this is more expensive to manufacture effectively, so tends to be found on jackets costing at least twice as much.

While the membrane itself appears very effective, I have found that in heavy rain the storm-flap that sits behind the uncovered main zip can let water through. It appears that the flap – which is designed to catch the water and channel it down and out of the bottom of the jacket – can move out of position enough to cause a wet belly. A third Velcro patch to keep the bottom of the storm flap in place would perhaps have cured this, though it’s also possible that the stitching that creates the fold in the flap is providing a pathway for heavy rain to get through.

The outside pockets have a short fold to reduce water ingress, but some damp can creep in here during prolonged heavy rain.



Three alternatives to the Spada Zorst

The Spada Zorst is at the budget-end of the price range, but here are three alternatives…

  • If price is important to you, and you want the reassurance of an AA-rated jacket but you’re not going to ride in the rain, consider Spada’s Vermont, which is a great-looking casual-style piece of kit. Read the full review of the Spada Vermont here.
  • At just £99.99, the RST Pilot is a great budget option. It’s a short design though, and doesn’t feature the impressive armour of the Spada, but it’s well worth a look. Read the full review of the RST Pilot here.
  • No review of waterproof textiles is complete without mentioning the Oxford Hinterland, which has become something of a benchmark in relatively affordable waterproof kit. Its performance is outstanding, but it is more than twice the price of the Zorst. Read the full review of the Oxford Hinterland here.

These are just three of many alternatives – you can find all the motorcycle textiles we’ve tested here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through Bikesocial membership.


Spada Zorst review | Verdict

The Spada Zorst has a great level of protection thanks to its AA level under EN17092 and a full suite of Level 2 armour. When you consider the price, it’s easy to forgive some of the minor shortcomings that are so common among more budget-focussed kit, and while the flawed waterproofing is a disappointment, for riders not expecting an all-season, all-weather touring and commuting jacket, it’s certainly well worth considering, especially if you’re a new rider or on a tight budget.

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