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Belstaff Crosby jacket review

Published on: 10 April 2024

The Crosby jacket has been in the Belstaff motorcycle range for quite a while, although it was not around in the olden days before the brand was rescued by the Italian Malenotti family, whereas styles like the Trialmaster and Brooklands were.

Belstaff Mojave Crosby and Trialmaster

The Brooklands and Trialmaster are londstanding styles; the Crosby not so much.

But that does not alter the fact that the Crosby has long been the most wearable and practical jacket in the company's waxed cotton collection.

In its most recent configuration, the Trialmaster has simply been too heavy and cumbersome for a lot of people. Whereas the blouson-style Brooklands has proven itself to be too short; particularly at the back, which means that the rain can sometimes run down the jacket into your trousers.

For 2024, Belstaff has moved to a much lighter fabric for the Trialmaster, which should make that jacket easier to wear. The company has also, for 2024, extended the tail of the Brooklands, which should make that jacket somewhat more practical, especially in the rain.

But the Belstaff Crosby is still the sensible one. It is light and easy to wear. In many ways, it is the perfect length for a motorcycle jacket. It is long enough to ensure that you'll always be protected from the rain. But with its elasticated side adjusters, it is much easier to live with than the Trialmaster, as it does without the faff of that jacket's belt that, if not fastened, just hangs there.

2024 Belstaff Crosby jacket

The 2024 Belstaff Crosby

The new 2024 Crosby is not massively different to its predecessor. So the outer fabric is still an eight-ounce, British Millerain, wax cotton. This is backed by a drop-liner, waterproof membrane, but here's the thing about a waxed cotton jacket with a waterproof membrane. It will deliver levels of waterproofing that are usually more than a match for a laminated jacket. And that's because the rain cannot pass through the wax-impregnated outer fabric. It is almost impossible, therefore, for a waxed cotton jacket to wet out.

Belstaff Crosby jacket AA EN 17092

Although made from the same material, the Crosby is now rated AA.

One of the key differences between the old Crosby and the new one is that the new one is AA-rated for abrasion resistance under EN 17092; whereas the old jacket was only single-A rated. We had always suspected that the old one would have passed at the AA level, and the new rating certainly shows us that it would have done.

The jacket comes with vented, Level 1, D3O armour in the elbows and shoulders. There's a pocket in the back to take a D3O back protector. You can go for a Level 1 protector if you want, but for a limited period, to introduce the new collection, we are including a D3O Air Level 2 back protector with every jacket.

2024 Belstaff Crosby jacket detailing

All the other fixtures and fittings are classic Belstaff.

A lot of the other stuff is what you might expect of a Belstaff waxed cotton jacket. So we're talking about corduroy in the neck and collar for comfort against the skin. We're talking about brass zips, a brass belt and buckle arrangement at the neck, and ditto on the adjustable side straps. There are metal aerators under the arms, a checked lining, flap pockets, a silicon-covered lower button to protect the bike's paintwork, gussets and poppers at the sleeve ends, and so on.

The Crosby is, in our view, still the most practical jacket in the Belstaff range. And you can wear it on so many different kinds of bikes. It works on any kind of retro or vintage bike. If you've got a custom bike of some description, the Crosby is almost a mandatory. But it will work on any sit-up bike; and it will more than pass muster on an adventure bike. We also have a lot of customers who commute in a Crosby. Lots of scooterists like the Crosby, but it would, without doubt, look wrong on a sports bike.

2024 Belstaff Crosby jacket lifestyle

The Crosby looks right on so many kinds of bike.

Of all the Belstaff jackets in the range, the Crosby has changed the least for 2024, but then again there was never much wrong with it. Those who shunned it because of its single-A rating will no longer have to, even though the outer fabric, at eight ounces, is unchanged.

One thing Belstaff has done, however, is lower the price. Apparently, a new factory has allowed them to shave their costs, and so the Crosby is now £50 less expensive than it was last year, and indeed three years ago. I cannot remember when we last saw something like that.

For 2024, the Crosby will come in four colourways. Black and brown remain the same, but these are joined by Forest Green, which is greener than last year's green, if that makes sense! There's also the new, lighter colour called Sand, shown here, that the jacket has never come in before.

Belstaff Climate vest lifestyle

You can get a Belstaff thermal vest for the Crosby, but you'll get cold arms!

Belstaff is also keen to push their Climate Vest, which clips into the outer jacket. And if you like matching accessories, this may be the way to go. It's a vest, obviously, and for insulation it is filled with a hollow-form fibre called Primaloft, rather than duck or goose down. Personally, we might prefer to go for something like Klim's genuine goose-down Maverick jacket instead. It would be warmer, and as it comes with sleeves it will definitely be more practical when you're off the bike.

The Crosby always was our favourite Belstaff waxed-cotton jacket, but with improved versions of the Trialmaster and the Brooklands for 2024, that's probably going to be a closer call. In some ways, with the new Crosby it's a case of 'plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose'. But it is cheaper than it was, and that's never a bad thing. Right now, the new jacket is in stock in sand, and in black. Forest green and brown will follow very shortly. We're envisaging just after Easter.

For more information and to buy online, click Belstaff Crosby jacket.

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