Date reviewed: May 2018 | Tested by: Simon Hancocks | Price: £900 | daneclothing.uk
I’ve been using my Dane Nimbus jacket since January, testing it on a variety different styles of bikes, from nakeds to tourers, sportsbikes to cruisers. Having clocked up so many miles, and with winter seemingly not wanting to end this year, it’s been my default riding gear for bad weather.
While it’s not the cheapest textile kit you can buy, it isn’t the most expensive either. And as I’ve found out in the past; sometimes a little more investment in the right place can go a long way.
I’m 5’7” and about 12 stone, so have the medium sized jacket. The fit for me is good with a cuff that just extends over the lower part of my hand, and the hem of the jacket coming to just below my waist. With the removable thermal liner installed the chest is close fitted but not tight, and I still have plenty of room to put things in the inside pockets. The collar has a close fit too but again, isn’t too tight. In cold and wet weather I’d rather have the extra protection that this brings.
Overall I’m really happy with the comfort that this jacket provides when on the bike; its warm and doesn’t flap about when I’m riding, which is great.
Protective armour is provided by SAS-TEC and is similar to D3O, only slightly firmer. The only downside to it is that in cold weather the armour is extremely firm – almost solid – and it can take a while to warm up and become more supple. I don’t find that this inhibits my movement in any way, but it does make me more aware that the armour is there.
The Nimbus has protection in the elbows and shoulders, plus a very large back-protector that has good coverage of your top and lower back, and your ribs. All the armour is located in Velcro pockets within the jacket and is easily removed for cleaning. I was impressed with how well the armour stays in place, never moving or becoming dislodged.
The garment itself has not yet been certified as protective.
From April 21 2018, all motorcycle clothing sold in the UK is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the new laws, click here.
You have two large exterior pockets on the front of the jacket, an interior phone pocket, a Velcro-closed inside pocket and two large zipped pockets inside each lapel.
The two large exterior pockets are large and protected with a Velcro flap that has a rubber tab on it to help open and close with gloves on. The only frustration I have with these pockets is that their lining tends to come out when removing a gloved hand. It’s not a huge problem – more of an annoyance as you need to then poke it back down. The front pockets are also not waterproof, so are only good for holding loose change or keys – any receipts or paper in there will be turned to a ball of mush in wet weather.
The two lapel pockets are large and lined with a soft material that thankfully doesn’t turn inside out when you use them. The lapel pockets are big enough to take my phone and wallet with plenty of room to spare. These are 100% waterproof and where I generally store my phone, wallet and any perishable items.
The phone pocket is big enough to hold my iPhone7 Plus, and is secured with a Velcro flap. The inside pocket is an ample size and again secured with a Velcro flap. Most of the time this pocket is empty as one of the lapel pockets can be reached without undoing the jacket fully, and it can happily carry most of my day-to-day paraphernalia.
The Nimbus has a double YKK zip design on the front – one above the other – with a storm flap between that ensures no wind or rain can enter the jacket through the front zips.
The collar is secured with a button and a small Velcro tab, providing excellent security against wet and cold weather.
As an added layer of protection the Nimbus includes a tall neck skirt secured on one side of the collar with a button and a large Velcro section that attaches it on the other. This is the first jacket I’ve tried that features a neck skirt and in winter it’s a game-changer. The extra protection it provides is very welcome in the cold, and if you take a little more time when putting the jacket on, you can situate it in such a way that it keeps your cheeks and face a little warmer too. It really is a great feature.
The cuffs have a long zip that helps to secure them over winter gloves and a small Velcro tab that you can adjust for when wearing thinner riding gloves. Even the thickest winter gloves I have can fit under the cuffs of the Nimbus, although sometimes the zip becomes fiddly to do up in that scenario.
There’s also a large YKK zip that you can use to attach the Nimbus to a set of textile trousers. I use the Dane Lyngby Air trousers and find it makes a massive difference in really cold weather. The other advantage of this is that if you did come off, the zip will prevent the jacket from riding up if you slide along the road, hopefully preventing grazing.
There are two large straps around the waist of the jacket that secure with a locking buckle. The buckles are quite chunky but require you to remove your gloves before adjusting. They are strong though, and once set to your size should not need further adjustment. Unlike some jackets I’ve worn, the straps on the Nimbus do actually adjust the fit very well and enable you to take a large amount of material out of the waist. Another nice feature is that they run right the way round the back of the jacket, like a belt. Some items I’ve tested will only have these straps that run a third of the way round, and then just anchor into the side of the jacket, not offering as much adjustment.
Vents are situated on the arms and chest, with an exhaust vent on the back. When all are open, a comforting amount of air can be felt moving around the inside of the jacket. The effectiveness of many vents in motorcycle clothing is heavily dependent on the type of bike you’re on – if it’s a faired sportsbike the chest vents will offer little or no benefit, but on a naked they will. This is what I found with the Nimbus; on the faired Multistrada only the arm vents worked, but on the Street Scrambler they all worked fantastically well.
All the vents are secured with Dane’s own Rainblocker YKK zips, which work perfectly. Riding at motorway speeds and in truly horrendous weather, I have never had any leaks, or had any moisture come through the vents at all.
When you test so much kit you build up a good idea of what’s hot and what’s not – the Nimbus is definitely hot! With the thermal liner installed and the jacket zipped into my Dane Lyngby Air trousers, even a -5°C, 70 mile commute is as comfortable as sitting in a car! I was testing a Gerbing heated jacket at the same time as the Nimbus, and in the end just turned it off; the natural insulation of the ComfortMax removable liner is superb.
Without the thermal liner the jacket is ideal for summer use – with all vents open of course – until the temperature hits the high 20s, and then a mesh jacket may be cooler. That said I do think this is an excellent all-year-round jacket, with cold weather capability, wet weather performance and very good summer potential.
The Storm Cuffs and tall neck skirt make a huge difference when commuting through winter
The Nimbus has a laminated Gore-Tex and Armacor construction. The Gore-Tex covers the whole jacket, and the Armacor – which is a tough rip and abrasion-resistant material – is on the elbows, shoulders and back. As this kit is laminated it doesn’t have a removable drop liner that sits inside. Instead the waterproof membrane is layered into the outer shell of the jacket and moisture will bead up and simply run off much more effectively than a drop liner.
The advantages of laminated Gore-Tex are two-fold:
1. The moisture cannot get into the jacket, robbing it of its insulation properties.
2. The jacket takes seconds to dry, even after a winter drenching.
To dry the Nimbus, all you need to do is shake the moisture off the exterior of the coat and it’s ready to ride again. If you’ve never owned a laminated Gore-Tex jacket, think about how long it takes for your riding gear to dry out after you’ve been riding in rain…
Another great feature of the Nimbus is the Storm Cuffs - which is the large double cuff design that seals the moisture out. With the zip on the forearm undone the outer shell rolls back to expose a soft, waterproof layer that sits next to your skin. The cuff of your glove then secures around this and then the outer shell rolls back over the glove and zips over, it meaning no water can force its way up your sleeve. It’s a brilliant feature and although it takes some practice to get it right, it’s well worth doing when the weather is being British.
As a first-timer in the world of laminated Gore-Tex, I was sceptical about how it could outperform my usual, non-laminated kit. Now I cannot see how I could go back to anything else. The wet-weather performance of this kit is simply outstanding, and add to that its cold-weather and summer capability, and you have a superb piece of motorcycle clothing.
There are some people that will baulk at the price of the Nimbus. At around £900 it isn’t what you would call cheap. Sadly though, cheap does not get you the level of protection and performance that this kit provides.
There’s also the argument around value, but at this price, with this level of performance, it’s still good value to my mind.