We test out the Merlin Heritage Range's Sandon Waxed Cotton Jacket and find it a stylish winter option. Review: Kris Hodgson
While there’s always a level of excitement with receiving new gear, I’ll admit the Merlin Sandon Wax Jacket from their Heritage Collection from Link International was a particularly welcome arrival, offering a stylish, comfortable and warm option.
This year’s winter has proven a particularly cool one, or it feels that way at the very least, while there’s been enough wet weather to really appreciate good waterproof gear. As always, without a car, and riding practically everywhere, being able to count on great gear on the bike is exceptionally important. That gear offering great comfort and style off the bike is a massive bonus as well of course.
The Merlin Sandon Wax Jacket fits the bill on all counts, but before I go into details of the jacket, some background about Merlin. They’ve only been around since 2011, and are a brand from the UK that prides itself on being run by riders who create the gear they’d want to wear.
They’ll be the first to admit that doesn’t always mean a focus on keeping costs down, instead focusing on safety and quality, and have had impressive continuous growth in the UK. Having tested this jacket for a period now, it’s easy to see why they have been so successful.
The Sandon Wax Jacket is a shorter jacket, featuring a Scottish Halley Stevenson 8oz Thornproof waxed cotton outer, and Korean Reissa waterproof and breathable membrane. What’s that mean? It’s got a very cool old-school looking outer material, and is absolutely waterproof – believe me I’ve tested it.
There’s removable Safetech CE armour in the shoulders and elbows, and a back armour pocket that comes standard with a foam pad. The only time I noticed this back protector was flying down to Melbourne for the GSX-S750 launch, but a little shifting had it back in place and once again totally comfortable.
The thermal liner is removable, but I haven’t had a need, and the jacket breathes particularly well if the neck adjuster is left loose, or the weather warms. The neck adjuster itself is a Velcro adjuster through a D clip, and the taller collar ensures good protection for your neck, and no feeling of being strangled when the strap is tightened.
There’s a main front high quality YKK metal zip, with buttons that close the front flap and the underlying flap doubles over to prevent water ingress. Breast pockets are too small for a modern mobile phone, but are ideal for small items, with the zip above them opening an air vent.
Larger lower pockets also feature high quality zips and are a little further back than what I’m used to, but are generous enough to hold a mobile, garage remote and large bunch of keys on the one side.
You can tighten the waist, wrists, and biceps between a wide open button and a second tighter option on both sides, with the arms are an ideal length both on and off the bike. A coin pouch on the left arm is also a nice touch and could probably hold a small gate remote. Mine however is the size of an old Nokia, so no luck there.
There’s an inside vertical breast pocket outside the zip but inside the buttons that is ideal for a mobile phone, while a zipped pocket and Velcro pocket in the thermal liner offer even more storage. The liner itself uses a single zip that runs the length of the liner, ensuring easy fitment into jacket.
Waist adjustment is again by two buttons, and with both sides on the tighter option, even down in Melbourne on a cold day, the jacket was long enough to prevent wind onto my lower back.
Overall it’s an awesome piece of kit, featuring well designed style and ergonomics, great comfort and ideal protection. I’ve received quite a few compliments on the jacket too, even from non-motorcyclists. It’s a bit retro for sure, but that’s part of the charm!
The Merlin Sandon Wax Cotton Jacket is available for $399.95 RRP in sizes Small to 3XL, in Brown or Black, with the Brown tested, from all good motorcycle stores. For more information see the Link International website.