Knox Studio Collection

A few weeks back I received a very timely offer to try out some of the new offerings from Knox’s Studio Collection. 

As the temperatures soared in the South East of England, riding around in a heavy leather jacket in London left me a horrible sweaty mess even though my commute is only a few miles.

So when I received a mail from Dan at The Fabulous Biker Boys asking me if I was interested in trying out some Knox gear I almost bit his hand off. I’d been looking for a lightweight armoured jacket for a while but hadn’t seen one I’d liked so I was chuffed when I was asked to have a look at the range and choose something.

For me, it was a no brainer, I promptly plumped for the ‘Leonard’ wax jacket, the ‘Venture’ armoured vest and a pair of ‘Orsa’ gloves. These seemed perfect for my daily needs and 24hrs later a box arrived at work with all the above beautifully packaged inside.

I am a designer by trade and the brand redesign for me gives Knox an extra level of appeal that it’s not had before. Yes I always wanted a pair of the ‘Handroid’ race gloves while I worked at TWO/Visordown, they always went to the fast guys and never the mere mortals, but on logo and presence it didn’t feel in the same league as the big Italian brands. Much has changed, and since August 2014 Knox has a new look and feel that is exciting, cool, stylish and they’ve backed it up with a range of merchandise that will have the Italians looking over their shoulders.

knox-fronback

I’ll start with the ‘Venture’ for it is that the got used first and was chucked on over a T-shirt and underneath a shirt for the short commute to work. It’s ideal for town riding, an aerated fabric for the arms with a breathable lycra on the chest to support the shape and zip. It’s a snug fit all over and would do enough in the initial phase of a crash or impact to warrant its wearing. Undoubtedly it would move around a bit during the crash but the protection afforded over not wearing anything is obviously enormous.

knox-armour

It’s light and folds up small should you want to pack it in a bag once you’re at your destination and barely noticeable when you’re on the bike. It just doesn’t feel like you’re wearing armour and you can absolutely feel the breeze through the mesh on a hot day so you don’t get sweaty. If you walk round with it on you are going to get a tad sweaty around the back protector but just unzipping it helps hugely.

knox-folded

At £124.99 it’s not a huge amount of money to pay for something that will ultimately do a hell of a lot for you in a spill and it gives you the bonus of being able to wear jackets that you wouldn’t normally wear for fear of coming off. It’s actually quite incredibly thin for a set of armour and sat very comfortably under the next garment on test.

 

knox-full

The ‘Leonard’ jacket is a waxed jacket that comes in black and brown and is primarily aimed at those after a good looking jacket that doesn’t look overly bike orientated whilst actually performing both tasks very admirably. It doesn’t follow Belstaff/Barbour with external pockets and yet all four pockets are deep and capable of carrying a fair bit. The magic with this and the other jackets in the range is the zip system that runs under the sleeves and down the size of the jacket to give the jacket a narrower cut when worn alone and a larger one when worn with body armour underneath. It’s a great idea that works a treat and only takes 30 secs to do or undo post or pre-ride. There are adjustable cuffs, removable linings around the wrists for more autumnal weather and one for the neck, while the leather trimmed collar flips up and can be clipped together to create a water tight seal around the neck.

knox-side

It has a high performance waterproof and breathable membrane with fully taped seams with a 10k membrane for Water and Vapour Permeability. I found after a longish damp ride that it would be best suited to a light shower than a full downpour but it does come with a sachet of nikwax that would probably help it in the heavier stuff. But this is not this jacket’s raison d’être, the strength of the Leonard is its looks and its weight (which is non-existent). It has now become my go to jacket during this balmy July and is ideal for commuting. I have found that the armour sits perfectly under the jacket in its tighter form and I’ve kept the cuffs in as the arms come up a little short for my ape like appendages.

knox-cuff

At one penny short of £250 some people would probably complain that you don’t get any armour with it but then there are people who would pay twice as much for a barbour jacket with plastic mud on it to make people believe they were part of a weekend ISDT. I think it’s a fair price to pay for a well designed, classy looking jacket that you’d be more than happy to wear out without a bike in sight let alone one that can be worn on one with great removable armour.

knox-neck

This could not have turned up at a better time to be tested and I’m incredibly grateful to have been offered the opportunity to try it. It really is lovely to be writing such positive things about a British company who are making some really lovely bits of kit. I’m going to write the gloves up at a later date to give them a chance to bed in properly but on early inspection they are very snug.

For more information on sizes and stockists head over to www.planet-knox.com

Thanks again to Dan @ fabulous biker boys

 

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