RE Streetwind Eco Jacket review: protection by plastic


The world of mesh riding jackets in the domestic market has become fairly saturated, with a number of companies able to offer you fairly similar products with almost identical construction and specifications. But Royal Enfield has managed to pull off something new with its Streetwind Eco jacket – each jacket is constructed from 75 recycled plastic bottles.

There is a four-step process that goes into this – first the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are turned into polyester chips. These chips are then turned into yarn, which is in turn woven into a fabric that’s used to make the jacket itself. The Streetwind Eco is made primarily from 600D polyester, with 610D being used at the impact zones. There is the expansive use of mesh panels (RE says 90 percent of the jacket is mesh), and the zippers are all from YKK, including on the two front pockets. The cuff closure, however, is only a velcro strap.

Having used the jacket through hot conditions across the country (both humid and dry) as well as overseas, ventilation has never been an issue. Even when stopped at a red light for a couple of units, it never feels stuffy, and once on the move, even slowly, there is a good amount of breathability and air moving across your torso.

What has been an issue, though, is fit. Despite wearing a size small, just as I do with all brands, the Streetwind has had a slightly baggy fit. It does offer a good number of straps to adjust the fit (upper arm, forearm, waist and hips), but even with these tightened as far as possible, the Streetwind has been looser than I’d like. While on the bike, this has meant that the jacket bunches up on the front and sides of my torso, especially in a leaned forward position.

The biggest area where this jacket falls short is armour. It comes with CE Level 2 armour for the elbows and shoulders, but the back protector is a very thin, very flexible foam unit that doesn’t inspire much confidence, and there are no chest protectors, or even pockets for them. This level of armour is comparable to similarly priced jackets within RE’s line-up, but for the same money, brands like Rynox and Raida are offering a CE Level 2 back protector, and some form of chest protection as well.

The biggest talking point about this jacket is the material used to manufacture it, and that factor has never posed a problem in usage. The polyester feels absolutely normal, and the jacket feels reasonably soft and plush against your body. Having mastered this recycling process, RE can now turn its attention to fine-tuning the fit of the jacket and speccing it with better armour, and then it will really have a winner on its hands. For the moment, there is still some work to be done, but this is a great initiative, and it will be great to see more of RE’s gear adopt a similar concept wherever possible.


Price: Rs 5,950

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