Long Term Review - Merlin Ashley Jacket

Ashleigh Thompson

Merlin strives to produce a wide range of riding gear keeping the correct tech in mind but not cutting corners on the aesthetic.
The Ashley jacket is from their women's heritage collection, in the men's range, the Atlow jacket is similar.
I've had this jacket for about a year and a half now, commuting in winter through heavy rain and cold. A few things to keep in mind, I 'run' pretty cold as a person and I am based in Brisbane Australia to give you an idea of the general climate. Not the coldest winters to say the least.
I was lucky enough to grab this jacket at an amazing price from Fowlers which is a huge store in Bristol. I removed the armour and rolled it up small in my luggage for the long trip back to Australia.

A few Quick Specs:

  • Halley Stevensons 8oz Thorn Proof Scottish Waxed Cotton Outer
  • Korean Reissa Waterproof And Breathable Membrane
  • Italian Safetech CE Armour To Shoulder And Elbow (Removable)
  • Back Armour Pocket (Pre-fitted With A Foam Pad)
  • 100g Thermal Liner (Removable)
  • YKK Short Jacket-Trouser Connecting Zip
  • YKK Or Max Zips Used Throughout
  • Four Outer Patch Pockets- Inner Liner Pockets Also
  • Side Entry Hand Warmer Pockets
  • Storm Flap

Merlin Ashley Jacket

Pros

I get a lot of compliments on this jacket as it's one of those styles that looks great on and off the bike. I've had people who don't ride at all ask me where I got it. It has a heritage look while hiding a lot of the technical features.
This jacket is super warm! Like I said previously I do run a little cold so in the middle of winter I can add a thermal lay to this without overheating. This jacket also comfortably fits over most of my winter clothing like sweaters.
It has an internal Napoleon pocket which has kept my phone dry on many rides. I also like that the outer pocket fits my iPhone quite easily which can be a bit of an ask from other summer jackets I've tried.
The high neck closes snug around your neck and generally keeps the winter air out, though a scarf is helpful on cooler days.
It is extremely waterproof. My first experience in wet weather was the Destinguished Gentleman's Ride. If you've ever ridden the DGR you know there are a lot of bikes and it can be slow. In Brisbane, it rained quite consistently for the whole ride but I was completely bone dry when I got home. I knew that Halley Stevenson made tremendous waxed cotton, I just had no idea how durable it was.
The length is also a really great feature of this jacket. it is slightly longer and meets my motorcycle seat perfectly. leaving a good amount of overlap with my pants to keep my lower back warm during long rides.

Cons

For me, the sleeves are a bit short. I am about 170cm and generally wear a size 6 to 8 in women's clothing and so my arms were just a touch long for this jacket. I was able to have some additional webbing sewn into the end of the liner which now meets my gloves nicely and keeps out the wind. 
In Brisbane, it really isn't an all season jacket, even with the liner zipped out, in summer it is a little too warm. But what rider doesn't love an excuse to own a few jackets?

Final Word

It is safe to say I'm a huge fan of this jacket and would recommend you add it to your collection to ticket the heritage look off the list.


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