Belstaff Techmaster Gore-Tex 2021 Jacket Review

STORE $ 850, belstaff.com


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Waxed cotton might seem like a rather archaic method of waterproofing, but by the early 1920s it was sort of a modern wonder. It has certainly served Belstaff, the venerable British motorsport and outdoor brand, quite well in its nearly century of existence. Belstaff takes its name – if that interests you – from a mixture of founder Eli Belovitch (the “Bel” part) and Staffordshire (“Staff”), the English county where he founded it.

Arguably Belstaff’s most iconic piece, the Trailmaster Jacket was born in 1948, just in time for the post-war boom in off-road motorcycle interest. Young people returning from the war, trained in all kinds of mechanical tinkering, found a sport that combined an element of danger with a nice touch of futz with motors. Lighter than leather and certainly better for the rainy climates of Britain, the Trailmaster has become a staple for bikers of all kinds as one of the best rain and mud guards on the market. But as a relatively basic combination of paraffin wax and woven cotton, it had its limitations, especially when it came to warmth and breathability.

Timothy Mulcare

Fabric technology has of course developed in leaps and bounds since then, especially with the invention of synthetic fibers. A particularly significant milestone was the invention created by a certain Robert Gore of the British textile company WL Gore in 1969. (You can probably see where this is going.) Gore-Tex, as he called it, was a cut-out sandwich. wind, waterproof and yet breathable. inner and outer shells protecting an inner core – and that was a major breakthrough in performance clothing.

belstaff technical master

Timothy Mulcare

A new version of the Belstaff Trailmaster is now available using Gore-Tex for the first time in olive green, black or dark navy blue. The Techmaster, as it’s called, is not a Trailmaster per se, but rather is a loose riff on the OG style with significant tweaks all around. The first is the Gore-Tex itself, which is made from an outer layer of recycled polyester backed by a jersey liner. Second, the overall design. While the Techmaster has many features of the original waxed cotton Trailmaster: an enlarged map pocket on the chest, angled for easy access; three other gusseted pockets; and reinforced shoulders and elbows – some important updates beyond the fabric have been added to the new jacket. These include a removable hood, waterproof YKK zippers, taped seams, discreet matte button closures and even an internal pocket with a clear window for your phone.

belstaff technical master

Timothy Mulcare

Think of it as the evolution of an icon. Or as something entirely new, if you will. Either way, it’s a pretty darn nice jacket with the built-in performance that goes with it.

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