Teknic "Freeway" Jacket

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Teknic "Freeway" Jacket

Postby apastron » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:32 am

Teknic “Freeway” Jacket


Most gear reviews are done on new purchases. These reviews are certainly helpful in learning about a product’s initial quality – but what about how the thing holds up after, say, a year of normal use? My Teknic “Freeway” jacket is coming up on its first “birthday”, so I thought I would share my impressions of this impressive jacket.

The Freeway lists on the Teknic website for $379, but I bought mine, in day-glo yellow, from SportBikeTrackGear.com for around $300. It came nicely “factory folded” in a heavy cellophane throwaway bag with about a dozen separate brochure cards for the various features of the jacket. Each of these seems to have its own copyrighted name and graphic logo (Teknic! PowerSkin HP!! Alufoil Insulation!!!, Knox Armor!!!!, etc.)

The website photo of the day-glo yellow version looks like a primary yellow color. This is apparently a photographic inaccuracy, because it is truly day-glo yellow. The Freeway also comes in black, for those riders who like to sneak up on unsuspecting cagers (relax, relax – just kidding).

Build quality:
Before beginning this review, I gave the jacket a good looking-over, and the only broken stitch I could find was at the end of the right cuff where the Velcro adjustment strips are sewn on. I examined the spot and could not find any evidence of the Velcro strip separating from the cuff. So overall, the stitching remains in excellent condition. In fact, I can find no evidence of wear-and-tear damage anywhere on the jacket – inside or out, except for the hanging thread on the cuff. Therefore, I have to give the Freeway outstanding marks for build quality.

Each of the waterproof zippers have little “garages” for the zipper-pulls to park in, and these garages are coated with a reflective material. There is some evidence of the coating chipping off of the edges of the garages, but it takes a close look to notice. The other reflective areas of the jacket show no signs of wear.

After almost a year of use, the jacket got fairly cruddy. I’ve thrown it in the washing machine once, and let it drip-dry. There was no evidence of shrinkage afterwards – and no evidence of getting clean either. So after a year, you probably never have to worry about that brand-new-jacket-look ever again, but washing now and then at least seems to get rid of the insect splatter marks.

I haven’t gone asphalt diving in this jacket – yet – so I can’t say how well it holds up in a crash. The Freeway has CE rated Knox inserts in the elbows, shoulders and back. Most of the “middle class” riding jackets have non-CE “foam back pads”, but the Freeway has CE rated Knox armor in the back (Part #66) which is segmented for flexibility, and has a hard inner core surrounded by foam cushioning. Already having two fused vertebrae with the associated hardware, this back armor was a big plus for me. I understand that there is debate over whether any of these pads are worth a damn in a crash, but I want it. (I also have a Teknic “Aquavent” mesh jacket for summer, which came with a flimsy foam “back pad”. When it gets hot, and I know the mesh will be my primary riding jacket, I simply switch the armor so the better protection is always in the primary jacket. One day I’ll get around to just purchasing another CE back protector, but I’m lazy and poor.)


The Freeway claims 100% waterproofiness. Having ridden in some heavy downpours and steady rains, in warm and cold weather, I’ve never had a drop of water reach my skin! The worst of these downpours hit me as I descended into Elkins, WV on U.S. Rte. 33 this spring. When the deluge started, I simply pulled into a cut-off to close up the air vents, and crept along on my way (There was an older gentleman in a car pulled over there, and he got out and offered me a half-roll of paper towels. Not sure how I could have used soaking wet paper towels, but it was a nice gesture.) After I came out of the other side of Elkins, to US219, the rain stopped, and the jacket blew-dry in a bout 2 minutes with no evidence that it ever rained.

The eight (!) external pockets, some with excellent self-sealing zippers, and some with guttered Velcro flaps, are also claimed to be waterproof. Though I haven’t tested them by storing paperwork in them while raining, I have found no evidence that they have ever leaked.

The thermal “Alufoil” removable (thank God) liner is like one of those aluminum survival-blankets, except that it is quilted. Ok, maybe not as shiny or metallic as that, but the intent, clearly, is to reflect the heat back onto the body; and I’m here to tell you, it is toasty. Gearing up in the house before going out to the bike can get you sweating in a hurry, so you might want to save final zip-up for when you get outside. I’ve ridden in mid-twenty degree temps with the Freeway, a sweatshirt, and long-sleeve base-layer, and it’s good for up to an hour-and-a-half. Beyond that, in those temps, I’m wishing for a heated liner (lazy and poor again). Some might get better results – as I don’t seem to produce much body-heat in the winter. This liner on bare skin gets really sticky, so at least have a long-sleeve t-shirt to go under it.

The Alufoil liner folds into itself to create its own carrying bag, which is gee-whiz neato. When luggage space is at a premium, you can then use the straps to buckle it around your waist or stuff it into the jacket’s large fanny pocket.

The Freeway also comes with a detachable “high collar”, which is great for sealing out cold air and water. When it’s warmer, you can simply zip it off and store it in the rear fanny-pocket, where it does not create a bulge or any discomfort.

Ventilation for warmer weather is excellent with two large diagonal vents on the chest, vents at the inner side of the upper arms, and a large zippered exhaust vent across the upper back, which can be held wide-open with Velcro tabs. The exhaust vent can also be zipped open, but remain covered with the waterproof flap for warmer rainy days. The front vents have no rain covers, but a back vent is better than nothing on a warm but wet day. Airflow is outstanding, so the Freeway is truly a “three-season” jacket, good for all but mid-summer temps.


The Freeway has ample areas of reflective material beyond the usual meager piping on most jackets. There is a large reflective silver logo panel on the upper back, piping across the edge of the back vent flap and a reflective triangular patch under the vent flap for when the vent is velcroed open. The arms have silver reflective patches on the elbows, and a Teknic shoulder logo which is a subdued near-black until the light hits it. The front has a large silver reflective panel under the left breast pocket with the Teknic logo, and a reflective yellow logo on the lower left pocket. Also, the aforementioned zipper “garages” light up. So at night, you are basically riding around in a Christmas tree. Nice.


Okay - enough praise-singing - but the nitpicks are small ones. My least favorite thing about the Freeway is the red inner liner. The material is fine, but when the outer vents are open, that red material shows through, and I can’t think of a worse color next to day-glo yellow than red. But then, I’ve never been a big fan of mustard and ketchup. YMMV.

Also, when the jacket gets good and soaked, the outer day-glo shell kind of sticks to the waterproof red inner liner, and it shows through, creating some kind of weird brownish, yellow-red color… blech. I don’t think it costs any visibility because the day-glo is still there, it just looks weird.

The waterproof gussets at the cuffs can get a bit “bunchy” when the zipper is closed. Once it’s zipped, you still have to use the Velcro adjustment strap to get the cuff down to wrist size, and if you like your cuffs snug, you’ll have to do some fiddling around to get that zipper and extra gusset material not bunched up on a pressure point. I end up adjusting the Velcro cuff, and then zipping it down, which prevents bunching - but then the zipper doesn’t get closed all the way. Since the gusset is waterproof, I think they could have done without the zipper all together, like they did with the “Aquavent” jacket.


My nitpicks are small with this excellent jacket. Comfortable, ¾ length, waterproof, warm, loads of pocket space, and excellent armor – I’m surprised that this is not a more popular jacket with the sport-touring crowd. But then, there is a certain amount of appeal to having a jacket that not many people have seen before. I have yet to spot another Freeway on the street. I’ve pretty much made up my mind that if anything ever happens to this jacket, I’m buying another one. I don’t see how I could do better for around $300.

Re: Teknic "Freeway" Jacket

Postby Maria V » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:06 pm

Great review, Andy. =D>
Thanks for the time to put it together.
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Re: Teknic "Freeway" Jacket

Postby apastron » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:36 pm

Thanks. Needed something to do at work :D

Re: Teknic "Freeway" Jacket

Postby Speedbump » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:53 am

Great Review I have been looking for a new winter/fall jacket
Thank you
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Re: Teknic "Freeway" Jacket

Postby apastron » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:23 pm

Looks like they've changed the design significantly for 2012. No more "Alumifoil" liner (?) And, of course, they jacked the price up by $100. (Good news = some of the 2011's will be going on close-out sales).


They have some other new stuff in the line-up too. I think a new "Aquavent" might by in my future...

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