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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









PRODUCT REVIEW WITH VIDEO: Icon 1000 Federal Jacket

High-end custom style with built-in functionality

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
8/21/2012


As if Icon’s motorcycle riding gear wasn’t edgy enough, for 2012 the company introduced the Icon 1000 collection, upping the ante on its already stylish riding outerwear. The finest leathers, textile and armor are used in every Icon 1000 garment, and the women’s Federal Jacket, the only women’s outerwear item in the Icon 1000 collection, is no exception. The jacket’s pattern is hand cut and machine sewn (not your average factory garment here), so it has the appearance of a custom jacket. 

The Icon 1000 Federal Jacket in Pursuit Black. The classically styled jacket with its open neck looks sexy off the bike, but when riding, those neck flaps need to be secured in the wind.
The Icon 1000 Federal Jacket in Pursuit Black. The classically styled jacket with its open neck looks sexy off the bike, but when riding, those neck flaps need to be secured in the wind.

With the flaps tucked in and secured with<br>buttons, the jacket converts to a military-style<br>front, which is how the jacket should be<br>worn when riding.
With the flaps tucked in and secured with
buttons, the jacket converts to a military-style
front, which is how the jacket should be
worn when riding.

The Federal Jacket is made of a midweight Brazilian cowhide that’s tanned for a soft and supple feel. This jacket feels broken in right away. The black color has a refined matte finish, while the red jacket has a waxed leather finish. 

The Icon 1000 Federal Jacket in Harmonic Red.
The Icon 1000 Federal Jacket in Harmonic Red.

The Federal Jacket looks pretty snazzy, but it’s also meant to be a functional piece of riding gear—and it is, to some extent. On the plus side, the jacket has soft-sided CE-approved armor in the shoulders, elbows and back that does not restrict movement. All the armor can be removed if you so desire. The precurved sleeves make it easy to lean forward toward the bars without the sleeves riding up. The two-way front zipper allows you to unzip at the bottom when you’re seated, flattening out the extra material that gathers when the three-quarter-length jacket conforms to your seated position. 

Shown here is a piece of the shoulder armor that’s been removed from the jacket. Icon uses D30-brand impact protectors that are CE approved, meaning they meet the strict standards set forth by a European certification agency. D30 is a leading maker of impact armor for a variety of outdoor sports.
Shown here is a piece of the shoulder armor that’s been removed from the jacket. Icon uses D30-brand impact protectors that are CE approved, meaning they meet the strict standards set forth by a European certification agency. D30 is a leading maker of impact armor for a variety of outdoor sports.

Function is compromised for style somewhat in that the neck flaps must be secured when riding. They don't get in the way too much at slow speeds, but the flaps need to be secured at highway speeds. You should do this before you take off because two hands are needed to secure the flaps—a button on the collar needs to be unbuttoned to free up the hole for one of the flaps, while the other flap tucks inside the jacket. Personally, I don’t think buttons have a place on motorcycle riding jackets, but Icon is fond of buttons. I have an Icon jacket from a few years ago called the Rogue (it's no longer in production) that I love because it's made from an aged brown canvas material—brown’s my favorite color for a jacket because it matches my motorcycle. The jacket closes with buttons and a belt, but I overlooked that because the jacket is so cool-looking to me. 
  
A zippered gusset on each side provides<br>adjustability in the waist.
A zippered gusset on each side provides
adjustability in the waist.

The shoulders and elbows have an extra piece<br>of leather for protection, and an Icon patch<br>emblazons both upper arms. This photo also<br>shows the button closure that secures<br>the flap.
The shoulders and elbows have an extra piece
of leather for protection, and an Icon patch
emblazons both upper arms. This photo also
shows the button closure that secures
the flap.

Speaking of belts, the Federal Jacket has one that accentuates your curves when cinched around the waist. However, a belt is time-consuming to fasten, and this one easily slips through the loops when not secured, so I kept having to grab it before it slipped off the jacket as I manhandled the six-pound monster onto a hanger.  

Yes, this jacket weighs six pounds. Does that seem heavy? It should. In comparison, my Harley-Davidson FXRG Jacket with a full-sleeved liner weighs five pounds. Despite the high number on the scale, the leather on the Federal Jacket feels thin, with the jacket falling into the midweight warmth category. 

Two zippered pockets on the right side of the vest can<br>fit credit cards, a compact and lipstick. The large vertical pocket on the leather jacket makes up for the lack of front hand-warmer pockets.
Two zippered pockets on the right side of the vest can
fit credit cards, a compact and lipstick. The large vertical pocket on the leather jacket makes up for the lack of front hand-warmer pockets.

On the right side of the removable vest liner is a<br>small button-closure pocket through which you can<br>access the large pocket sewn into the mesh liner<br>of the actual jacket.
On the right side of the removable vest liner is a
small button-closure pocket through which you can
access the large pocket sewn into the mesh liner
of the actual jacket.

The bright-red silk of the liner feels just as luxurious as it looks, but it’s just a vest (not a full-sleeved liner) and is thinly insulated. I needed an extra layer underneath to keep me warm on cool mornings. 

The inside of the jacket, shown here with the liner removed, has airy mesh panels sewn onto black silk fabric. Two pockets are visible: a zippered one below the Federal Jacket tag (at left in the photo) and deep mesh pockets lined along the top in red (visible here on the right), which are accessible when the vest liner is attached.
The inside of the jacket, shown here with the liner removed, has airy mesh panels sewn onto black silk fabric. Two pockets are visible: a zippered one below the Federal Jacket tag (at left in the photo) and deep mesh pockets lined along the top in red (visible here on the right), which are accessible when the vest liner is attached.

I’ve found Icon’s jackets to be true to size. I always wear a size medium because I have long arms, though I find that, for me, a typical medium-sized jacket has extra room in the chest area because I’m “small” in the bust relative to my frame. Such is the case with the Federal Jacket’s sizing. Icon’s sizing chart will direct you to your size, and it should be right on.

A simple, understated back seems to clash with the overly stylish front, but that simplicity in the back provides balance<br>to the jacket’s overall look.
A simple, understated back seems to clash with the overly stylish front, but that simplicity in the back provides balance
to the jacket’s overall look.

So what does all this functional style cost? Well, remember that Icon 1000 is the gear manufacturer’s high-end line, so we’re looking at a $600 price tag. Practically speaking, yeah, that’s high, especially when the jacket is lacking other features like vents, an action back, and waterproof or water-resistant fabric.

But I put this jacket in the category of “It’s so cool that I just gotta have it—no matter the price.” No matter how financially strapped you are, once in your life (hopefully) you’ll have an opportunity to say, “What the heck,” and buy that jacket or that motorcycle or whatever you want that you know will set you back. But you don’t care and you go for it!
  
Indulge me for a moment here: I did that (went for it!) in 1996 when I was living in Los Angeles and scraping by on a meager salary. I had to have this fringed elk-skin jacket I saw hanging at one of the vendor booths at the Laughlin River Run. I nearly fell to my knees when I glanced at the $700 price tag, especially since the jacket was 100 percent style with zero motorcycle functionality. I hemmed and I hawed and with the excuse “you only live once” playing in my mind, I paid for the jacket with a credit card that ending up taking me months to pay off. Do I regret that decision years later? Heck, no! I love how that jacket makes me feel every time I wear it, I love reliving all the memories I have that go along with it, and I love looking at it hanging in my closet all these years later. 

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