Best Merlin Gear in 2021

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Merlin is a British motorcycle riding gear brand with a wide range of casual protective gear. Their minimalistic designs paired with an incredible amount of function is something to admire. Their designs are classic, sleek, and incredibly wearable, especially the jackets. Merlin has designed incredible gear that looks good both on and off your bike. Sporting casual designs that you can wear every day, their gear is hugely popular worldwide. In this article, we’ve gathered the best Merlin Gear in 2021, tested them on the Australian roads, picked out the gear that tops the rest.

Best Merlin Gear 2021

  • Barton II Jacket
  • Hamlin Hoody
  • Portland Cargo Pants
  • Alton Jacket
  • Mason Jeans
  • Merlin Axe Jacket

1Merlin Barton II Jacket

Pictured: Merlin Barton II Jacket
Specs

Style: Urban

Certifications: Shoulders: CE level 1 | Elbows: CE level 1 | Abrasion: CE level A

Material: Silkwax Waxed Cotton

Liners: Removable full sleeve thermal liner | Breathable Waterproof Reissa membrane

Ventilation: Zippered ventilation at front and back

Waterproof Shell: Yes

Reflectors: No

Pockets: Two exterior chest pockets | Two side entry zippered pockets

Connection Zipper: Jacket-To-Pant connecting zipper

Sizes: S – 4XL

Back Protector: Not Included | Has Pocket

Pros

+ Highly effective waterproofing

+ Excellent fit with many adjustment straps

+ Highly protective

Cons

Limited ventilation in summer

If you’re hunting for a protective motorcycle jacket that looks just as good off the bike, as on it, then the Merlin Barton II is an excellent choice. The jacket is made of waxed cotton, which makes the shell waterproof. It also has a waterproof and breathable Reissa membrane. This allows you to stay dry in almost all weather conditions, with the exception of extreme weather, which you shouldn’t be riding in, anyway. Unfortunately, all this waterproofing means the ventilation on this jacket isn’t the best. Although it has zippered intakes and exhaust, the vents aren’t very effective at channelling air.

Ultimately the Barton II is a fantastic winter jacket, but you might have trouble wearing it in summer. It can feel like you’re in an oven if you try and wear this out on a summer ride. It’s also a fairly heavy jacket, further adding to the discomfort if you wear this during warmer weather. Otherwise, this jacket is perfect for the Australian winter. The Barton II also has an incredible fit. I could barely feel the armour while wearing it. The jacket kept the armour in place the entire time while I was out riding. It’s not often that this happens, so it was a standout feature for me.

With the Merlin Barton II, you get many adjustment straps located at the bicep, collar, and cuffs. This allows the jacket to fit most body shapes without many issues. It also helps you get a more tight and secure fit, greatly adding to its protective capabilities. Included is CE Level 1 shoulder and elbow armour. It’s also rated to AA Level for abrasion resistance, which is more than enough for the everyday rider. There will be no parts coming loose, flapping around in the wind, or riding up. The only practical way I can picture this jacket improving regarding protection is reflective detailing.

2Merlin Hamlin Hoody

Pictured: Merlin Hamlin Hoody
Specs

Style: Urban

Certifications: Shoulders: CE level 1 | Elbows: CE level 1

Material: DuPont Kevlar

Liners: Mesh Lining

Ventilation: No

Waterproof Shell: Yes | Huntsman Water Repellent Coating

Reflectors: No

Pockets: 2 Front Pockets

Connection Zipper: Jacket-To-Jean connection zip

Sizes: S – 3XL

Back Protector: Has Pocket | Not Included

Pros

+ Entire hoody is lined by Kevlar

+ Water repellent coating is highly effective

+ Mesh inner liner adds greatly to breathability

Cons

Not as protective as a jacket

No reflectors

The Merlin Hamlin may look like a regular hoody but it’s actually constructed entirely from Kevlar. Merlin has created a hoody that’s not only protective but casual enough that you can wear it both on and off your bike. The Hamlin comes with CE Level 1 shoulder and elbow protection. This is more than you would find in any other hoody. It even has a pocket in the back for an optional back protector, which I highly suggest purchasing. It reinsures that you’ll be safe in a low-speed slide, and thankfully, doesn’t add too much bulk to the hoody.

Unfortunately, however, the Hamlin hoody isn’t as protective as a leather or textile motorcycle Jacket. Although, I wasn’t expecting it to be. The hoody is protective enough for short rides around the city, but it’s not suited for anything too serious. Sadly, the hoody also lacks reflectors as well. However, if you were looking to be more visible on the road, there are riding specialised hi-vis vests that you can throw on.

This hoody is incredibly comfortable and even comes with a drop-down internal mesh liner. This addition greatly increases breathability and stops you from feeling sticky and sweaty after a hot day. The hoody has a Huntsman water-repellant coating, so having this additional mesh liner is a hugely convenient feature. Hoodies with waterproofing generally tend to make them less breathable and comfortable. So this feature is a huge bonus!

3Merlin Portland Cargo Pants

Pictured: Merlin Portland Cargo Pants
Specs

Style: Cargo

Certification: Knees: CE level 1

Material: DuPont Kevlar

Ventiliation: No

Waterproof Shell: No

Reflectors: No

Pockets: 2 Back | 2 Front | 2 Cargo

Connection Zippers: Jacket-To-Pants connecting zipper

Sizes: S – 2XL

Pros

+ Excellent slim fit

+ Large capacity pockets

+ Leg cut length is highly practical for riding

Cons

No distinguishing logos or graphics

If you love the utility of cargo pants but still want the protection of normal motorcycle jeans then the Merlin Portland cargo pants are your perfect match. Usually, it’s hard to find a well-fitting pair of cargo pants and even harder to find a well-fitting pair of motorcycle jeans. Thankfully, the Merlin Portland cargo pants are incredibly comfortable and have an unforgettable fit. The pants don’t feel baggy or tight, regardless of how much is stuffed into the pockets. There are no logos or graphics on them though, which is a potential downside for some.

Speaking of pockets, these cargo pants have a total of six, which is absolutely stunning. They have the best utility of any other motorcycle pants I’ve tried. These pants are designed to compliment motorcycle riding. They’re built to fit you comfortably riding all day long. Not to mention, they even come with CE Level 1 knee protection, so you know these pants were made to keep you safe.

4Merlin Alton Jacket

Pictured: Merlin Alton Jacket
Specs

Style: Heritage

Certifications: Shoulders: CE level 1 | Elbows: CE level 1 | Abrasion: CE level AA

Material: Aniline Matt Leather

Liners: Removable thermal vest | Mesh Drop Liner

Ventilation: Zippered Ventilation

Waterproof Shell: No

Reflectors: No

Pockets: 2 Lower Pockets | 1 Chest Pocket

Connection Zipper: Jacket-To-Pants connection zip

Sizes: S – 4XL

Back Protector: Has Pocket | Not Included

Pros

+ design is both minimalistic and eye catching

+ Mesh drop liner is incredibly effective

+ Fits well and comfortable

Cons

No reflective details compromises safety

Featuring a lovely, minimalistic design, the Merlin Alton jacket is highly abrasion-resistant. It’s rated CE Level AA abrasion resistant and comes with CE level 1 protection on the shoulders and elbows. Most astonishing, however, is how soft and comfortable the jacket feels both inside and out. In addition, it’s an eye-catching jacket, using both symmetrical and asymmetrical features balanced out as not to be overwhelming but unique and distinctive.

The Merlin Alton also comes with a drop-down mesh liner, which greatly increases breathability and comfortability. It’s an essential inclusion for high-quality motorcycle jackets. This will allow you to ride for longer and even helps off the bike, thanks to the moisture-wicking nature of mesh. It fits well, and a few adjustment points are located on the waist, cuff, and collar. This will allow you to customise the fit of the jacket so it sits better on your body.

Unfortunately, this jacket foregoes the inclusion of any reflective detailing, which is a big safety compromise but improves its wearability in a casual setting. Plus, the jacket doesn’t come in any bright colours, so visibility is something you really need to keep in mind when merging and lane filtering. Thankfully, there are motorcycle-specific hi-viz vests that you can throw on over the top to increase your chances of being seen in these situations greatly.

5Merlin Mason Jeans

Pictured: Merlin Mason Jeans
Specs

Style: Jeans

Certification: Knees: CE level 2 | Abrasion: CE level A

Material: Denim | DuPont Kevlar

Ventiliation: No

Waterproof Shell: Yes | Huntsman Water Repellent Coating

Reflectors: No

Pockets: 2 Side Pockets | 2 Rear Pockets

Connection Zippers: Jacket-To-Jean connection zipper

Sizes: S – 3XL

Pros

+ Durable

+ Armour stays in place

+ Mesh inner liner adds a great deal of comfort

Cons

Not suitable for use in summer

The Merlin Mason jeans feature a classic design, something you could wear to most occasions. Looks can be deceiving, though, because hiding under that otherwise ordinary appearance is heavy-duty CE level 2 knee protectors and CE Level A abrasion resistance. The armour can make putting the jeans on and off a bit more difficult. But, once they’re on, you can barely feel the armour. It’s like they aren’t there at all.

The jeans also come with a mesh inner liner, which makes them more breathable and ultimately, more comfortable. Plus, the liner has moisture-wicking capabilities. Unfortunately, however, having the extra knee armour make these jeans rather heavy, much like all other motorcycle pants. The denim material and Kevlar also aren’t very breathable, and whilst the mesh liner improves this to some degree, these jeans aren’t cool enough to be used in the summer as they lack any ventilation.

6Merlin Axe Jacket

Pictured: Merlin Alton Jacket
Specs

Style: Urban

Certifications: Shoulders: CE level 1 | Elbows: CE level 1 | Abrasion: A

Material: Cotton Plaid Flannel Fabric | DuPont Kevlar fiber lining

Liners: Mesh lining | Kevlar protective lining

Ventilation: Yes | Central Overlay Flap

Waterproof Shell: Yes | Huntsman Water Repellent Coating

Reflectors: No

Pockets: 2 chest pockets | 1 large internal pocket with Velcro Closure

Connection Zipper: Jacket-to-pants connection zipper

Sizes: S – 3XL

Back Protector: Has Pocket | Not Included

Pros

+ Low price

+ Lightweight, yet highly protective

+ Well-Cut with no riding up

Cons

Sizing runs slightly large

The Merlin Axe Jacket is a trendy and surprisingly protective motorcycle jacket. Instead of reinforcing critical areas with Kevlar, Merlin has placed a Kevlar liner inside, backing the entire jacket. The additional weight from the liner is entirely negligible, making this one of the most lightweight motorcycle jackets on the market. Additionally, the price point is low and incredibly competitive, making this jacket an excellent choice relative to most other options in this price range.

Although the jacket runs approximately one size higher, thanks to the design, it is well-cut. In addition, it features a jacket-to-pants connection zipper and extra material at the lower back to prevent it from riding up. This is incredibly helpful as it creates a more secure fitment and can potentially save your skin from getting eaten away from the road in a slide.

There is a central zippered overlay flap that you can open up to let in a considerable amount of air, which is then circulated with the aid of an internal mesh liner. This, as well as the cotton overshirt construction, makes the Merlin Axe jacket incredibly comfortable. Plus, it looks casual enough to wear to most everyday occasions. This is an excellent riding jacket that is a worthy addition to any riders wardrobe.

Final Thoughts

Merlin excels at creating discrete motorcycle riding gear, which you can wear casually in most situations, but don’t compromise safety. Not many brands have been able to do this with Merlin’s degree of success. As this gear has been built to be worn casually, there arent any dead giveaways that it’s are actually motorcycle protective wear, which is a huge plus if you were looking to disguise your gear in your everyday wear. This, unfortunately, also means that the gear lacks reflectors and bright colours that make you more visible on the road. However, this can easily be fixed by wearing a high-vis motorcycle vest. Otherwise, the protection on here is more than adequate, and in some cases, top-of-the-line. It will be interesting to see how Merlin evolves because they definitely won’t be disappearing.

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