If you’ve spent any time in Europe, you’ve likely noticed the swarms of scooters that buzz around most cities and towns. It’s the most efficient way to navigate the narrow streets, and parking simply means finding an open spot on a sidewalk, curb, median…pretty much wherever. People there ride year-round, and if you visit in the colder months you’ll see a lot of them wearing parkas. It’s easy to understand why: parkas are warm and comfy, and once off the bike you blend right in.
Despite all that, wearing a parka on a bike was never something that occurred to me. Then a very cold road trip last Christmas from SoCal to Austin, Texas, came up, and my eyes immediately went to the cozy, toasty Metropolitan.
From the outside, the Metropolitan looks like a well-tailored three-quarter-length coat, but the closer you examine it the more features and attention to detail you discover. Its outer shell is made of a water-repellent polycotton material that feels like a softer, more supple lightweight canvas, plus an added 100-percent waterproof Hydratex membrane (although I haven’t tested it in a full downpour yet). Cuffs are designed to snug down around your wrists, with elastic on the underside and a two-position snap, making it easy to pull your glove gauntlets over them.
A thickly padded hood zips to the tall collar, and heavy-duty snaps hold it in place at each side and the back so it doesn’t flop around in the wind. When deployed, you can unsnap and fold down the rain brim, then snug the hood down using adjustment straps on each side.
Pockets abound, with two large front stash pockets, two on the chest, and numerous inner pockets for documents, your phone, etc. I only wish the big stash pockets opened wider; it was tough sometimes to reach inside, especially with gloves on.
My favorite part, though, is the luxuriously plush detachable thermal liner. I wish more manufacturers understood the value of how it feels to slip into a satiny smooth, poofy inner liner. It’s like getting a hug from a cloud made of silk. But I digress…. The Metropolitan’s liner is dark blue and quilted, with an extra-tall puffy collar that acts as a cushion between your face and neck and the stiffer polycotton material. It’s easily removable with snaps, but isn’t intended to be worn on its own.
One of my jacket pet peeves is zippers with small teeth; they always seem to get snagged and the tiniest amount of grit or dirt is enough to choke them up. So imagine my relief when I discovered the Metropolitan’s zipper is made of big, beefy teeth and heavy metal pulls. It’s a double zipper, so you can zip it up as far as you’d like, then unzip the bottom for comfort while sitting on the bike. For even more elemental protection, snap up the outer flap (again, with solid metal snaps and an extra layer of material for durability).
The Metropolitan is an urban-styled jacket meant to be worn on and off the bike, so Rev’It uses soft SEESMART CE-level 1 armor in the shoulders and elbows; there’s a pocket for an optional SEESOFT CE-level 2 back protector. If you want more protection, all the armor is removable and replaceable.
True to its design, I’ve found the Metropolitan to be supremely warm and comfy not just while riding, but also when walking around off the bike. Its fashionable look meant I didn’t need to pack an extra “nice” coat for my Christmas trip; it’s completely unrecognizable as a motorcycle jacket. If you want a cold-weather, do anything coat that you can also wear while riding, the Metropolitan is worth a try.
It’s available in women’s sizes XS-XL, for an MSRP of $359.99.
Fit: Urban, fashion
Sizing: Runs just a little small; order up if you want to layer under it
Armor: Removable SEESMART CE-level 1 in shoulders and elbows, pocket for optional SEESOFT CE-level 2 back protector
For more info, visit revitsport.com.