Dainese’s Nera72 Jacket Is A Black Leather Beauty

Dainese's sexy Nera jacket blends classic style with protective features at a sweet price

“Nera” literally means “black” in Italian. As in black leather jacket. Even to say it’s cool isn’t saying anything; riders already know that. The Dainese Nera72 jacket takes that as a given and runs with it.Courtesy of Dainese

The Nera72 is part of Dainese's Settantadue collection, which simply means “72” in Italian.

(Dainese was founded in 1972). The Italian company is probably better known for its slick, high-end racing leathers, but this retro-inspired line is a pretty clear call to street riders, with pieces that showcase a modern twist on iconic riding wear. In that sense, the Nera72 nails it. The soft natural cowhide leather is supple but substantial and beneath those clean lines, you'd never know there were Pro Armor soft protectors hiding in the shoulders and elbows (with a pocket for a back protector). It's quality gear that's robust, simple, and well-crafted with nice attention to detail (dig that Italian flag pin on the inner lapel). The classic form still somehow exudes that casual Italian style without getting clunky; it's pseudo-retro without being full-tilt vintage, and I think the stuff is gorgeous.

Okay, so the Nera is a pretty much your basic black leather jacket with a short mandarin collar, zippered sleeves, an inner and two outer pockets, and a colorful cotton liner but no venting—but, hey, not all leather is alike. The soft cowhide leather was black and beefy and felt pleasing to the touch (without fronting as thin, substandard fashion hide), and even though it wasn't vented or adjustable, the cut of this piece just fit me perfectly. And at $499.95, it all felt reasonably priced.

Although it’s not vented, the leather Nera72 makes a solid addition to your basic riding wardrobe.Courtesy of Dainese

On the road, after 20 minutes, the lovefest continued. Your results may vary because, well, you're not me. I’m guessing you have different priorities and preferences, and your body shape is definitely different. But for a scrawny, short-torsoed guy like me with no shoulders and stubby arms, the Nera is The One. It's become a constant in my wardrobe for the three months I’ve owned it, and it even toured the Southern California deserts with me in blazing-hot temps as high as 109 degrees (which I definitely don’t recommend). Don’t do that; wear the unvented, black leather Nera when the weather’s a bit more moderate.

In addition to a dozen other bitchin' leather jackets, the Settantadue collection also sports gloves, pants, boots, and stuff like T-shirts and wallets.