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Richa Universal jacket in olive green



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Richa Universal jacket in olive green
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Richa Universal jacket in olive green Product Information

Richa bill the Universal as an urban-commuting jacket, and it is easy to see why they might position it as such. But honestly its remit could be so much broader. Yes, this would not be the right jacket for the high-mileage commuter. You wouldn't want to wear it off road. And it's not sufficiently well vented for touring through the southern parts of Europe, largely because the venting would not be up to it. But for anybody who wants a lightweight, easy-to-wear jacket, to go with a pair of jeans perhaps, for weekend excursions and ride outs, the Universal would be nigh on perfect.

Let's get into the details.

The Universal is a great example as to how far laminated jackets have come in recent years. There was a time, not all that long ago, when laminated jackets were stiff and crunchy; not to say prohibitively expensive. Well, the Universal is not expensive, but it is insanely comfortable. Honestly, you would barely know you're wearing a motorcycle jacket. And this comes down largely to the stretch in the outer fabric, although I suppose the D3O Ghost armour also plays its part in this respect.
We have a bit of a thing about inexpensive laminated jackets. Basically, they don't tend to be particularly reliable. You see, to make a properly reliable, laminated jacket a manufacturer has to take great care in production, and they have to use the best components. And frankly you cannot do this if you want to be in the market with a jacket that costs less than £300, which is what the Universal comes in at.

The only truly reliable laminated membranes, for various reasons, come from Gore. But you'll have to pay more than the price of the Universal for a jacket equipped with a Gore-Tex laminated membrane. Which leads us to a couple of conclusions. First, if you don't go out in the rain a lot, and so are not subjecting your jacket to great stress, you may well be fine in a less expensive, laminated jacket. But whatever kind of riding you do, you might well need to reconcile yourself to the fact that once the one, two or three-year warranty has expired, you'll be on your own. You may just have to buy a new jacket. Given the savings you might have made, this may not be the end of the world. The Universal, by the way, has a two-year year warranty. Gore-Tex garments, by contrast, are guaranteed to be waterproof for life!

No other retailer out there will want to have that conversation with you, but we like people to know what they are getting into. Not, of course, that this is about Richa, per se. Richa is a very reliable manufacturer. The point I'm making here applies to all non-Gore, laminated membranes; and explains perhaps our view that, for most people, a drop-liner jacket represents a better, long-term proposition. 

This aside, the Universal jacket is a beauty. It's as comfortable as any laminated jacket we have come across. It looks like something you might have picked up at Arcteryx or some other outdoor shop.  It comes with a removable, thermal, inner jacket that can be worn off the bike. This inner garment is nothing particularly special, but it will take the chill off. The membrane in the Universal actually delivers a very impressive 15,000 to 20,000 mm waterproofing score. That's not that far off what you get with a Gore laminated membrane. Interestingly, I note that Richa makes no mention of the membrane's breathability score, so I would suggest that they know that this is less impressive. You do get decent underarm vents, though, to stop you over heating on a warm day.

We've mentioned already that the jacket comes equipped with Level 1, D3O Ghost armour. This can easily be upgraded to Level 2. There's a pocket for a back protector. You also get compartments at the front to take a two-part D3O chest protector. The jacket rates A under EN17092, which is what we would have expected.
There are three pockets on the outside of the jacket, and four more on the inside. The main zip is covered by a storm flap. This will prevent cold air entering the jacket through the zip, but it will also serve to help keep the wet stuff out. There's subtle reflective banding throughout the surface of the jacket. You also get a short connecting zip that can be combined with Richa's waist belt, so that you can connect the jacket to a pair of jeans.

Notwithstanding what we said about Gore-Tex membranes, this really is a lovely, easy-to-live-with jacket. As a 'hallway' jacket, we might liken it to the Halvarssons Lysvik jacket. Okay, so the Universal is £70 more expensive, but you do get a laminated membrane, so the jacket won't wet out. You get a thermal liner. You get a jacket that potentially looks cooler than the Halvarssons; and a jacket that almost certainly is more comfortable to ride in.

We don't have all the answers here. All we can give you is the questions you need to ask!


  • Laminated membrane with 20,000 mm waterproofing score
  • Elasticated outer shell
  • Zipped vents under the arms
  • Removable, thermal destination jacket
  • D3O Level 1 Ghost in the elbows and shoulders
  • Pocket for a D3O back protector
  • Jacket rated A for abrasion resistance
  • Compartments for two-piece D30 chest protector
  • Three external pockets. Four more inside
  • Storm flap down front of zip


Richa jackets have a two year warranty

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