CR Tested: Firstgear Scout IV Men's Leather Jacket

$499.95-$549.95

Firstgear's Scout IV has served me well in the 6 months that I've had it. It's a heavyweight leather coat with Kwik-Dry treatment that limits water absorption to 30% (here in Southern California, that's only come up a couple of times). Untreated leather, by comparison, can soak up to 300% of its own weight in water and takes a good long time to dry out. Wear the Scout with the removable liner and you're rocking an armored parka, albeit a tad more stylish.

At first the jacket felt stiff but once I broke it in, the Scout softened right up. It's heavy, but that's the price you pay for thick leather and armored joints (the Scout's armor is CE-rated). The shoulder padding also doubles as an impromptu delt widener for those of you who hate going to the gym. Down at the sleeve level, the Scout sports forearm zippers and wrist snaps so you can button down pretty tight in bad weather or open them up for airflow when it's warm out. There are also zipper vents on the torso (two front, two rear) to keep the jacket from turning into a leather crockpot in the heat.

Carrying capacity isn't an issue either. With two zippered side pockets, two more chest pockets, an inner pouch, cell phone pocket, and another inner zipper pocket, you're almost a walking bagger in the Scout IV.

Overall, I've really enjoyed the Scout IV. It looks and feels really good. It's a bit snug across the torso but other than that, Firstgear did a great job with this coat.

-Mark Masker