GoGo Gear Trench
August, 2010 - By Jordana Whyte
time you read this review, GoGo Gear will be available at
Minneapolis. Jordana was kind enough to review this jacket at my request.
Jordana’s connection to JustGottaScoot.com started a couple of years ago
when she purchased the Genuine Buddy St. Tropez scooter that I reviewed.
She has worn a helmet since she started riding, but I have often pestered
her about NOT wearing a protective jacket. Her response involved the lack
of protective gear that was designed for women and that looked good.
Hopefully GoGo will resolve that concern for Jordana and others.
David Harrington - JustGottaScoot.com
things come to mind when I think of protective moto gear: super heroes,
Bladerunner, and racing stripes, for starters. To be clear, none of these
is exactly my thing. So when I first saw GoGo Gear’s line of protective
scooter apparel for women, a single word summed it up for me: finally!
is the brainchild of Arlene Battishill, founder of Scooter Girls, a mobile
marketing firm whose calling card is blazing hot women on two wheels.
Battishill founded the line after becoming frustrated when looking for
stylish and feminine protective gear for her employees to wear while
trolling Los Angeles on their 50ccs. She couldn’t find it anymore than I
could when I first started riding scooters. Helmets are one thing. Finding
a jacket that doesn’t make you look like a pink stormtrooper is another.
has multiple styles to choose from, none of which scream “armored jacket,”
including their Trench style, which I was loaned for review (see the
entire line at
This jacket retails for around $299 in the gray colorway, and $279 in
Gear’s Trench is based on that classic wardrobe staple we’re all familiar
with, but with a protective and functional twist. It has the
quintessential trench features – wide lapels, double rows of buttons, and
a waist-cinching belt – combined with CE-certified elbow, shoulder and
back armor and 600-denier polyester abrasion resistant fabric. The armor
and waterproof abrasion resistant fabric are “disguised” by a "fashion"
layer of fabric, in this case a gorgeous charcoal gray with a very subtle
lined texture. The idea is to have one piece that can move seamlessly from
the road to the sidewalk café without anyone realizing exactly what’s
under that fashion layer.
coat is a double agent of sorts, its best reviewed on both aspects –
function and fashion.
this review won’t be as thorough on the function side as it could be, as I
did not actually slide across pavement or launch myself into a ditch to
test its safety features. However, since most of my rides are mercifully
pretty low on the crashing side of things, I opted to critique the trench
for comfort, convenience and overall functionality. (Batishill herself has
fearlessly tested her own products so that I didn’t have to:
addition to the aforementioned armor, the Trench is outfitted with highly
reflective material underneath the lapels and collar, on the reverse side
of the built-in belt and the inside of the cuffs. At night, you simply
flip the belt, turn up the cuffs and pop the collar. While I felt vaguely
ridiculous doing this, it definitely beats wearing the florescent yellow
high-vis vest I keep under my seat for night riding. That being said, I
guess I’d rather look like something out of Fast Times at Ridgemont
High than like I just clocked off the local construction site. And,
much like just taking off the vest, these features can be “turned off” for
daytime riding or when you pop into the café to order your skim chai.
jackets all feature what must be the most underrated jacket detail out
there – a windblocking inner cuff with thumbholes. This is a snug but
stretchy hidden layer of technical fabric that fits close around the wrist
to block out the wind. A thumbhole keeps the fabric in place and extends
the layer down to the top of the knuckles. In all my riding I did not once
experience a draft infiltrating the sleeves of the jacket.
As a rider
new to wearing armored jackets, the presence of the armor did take a
little getting used to, particularly the back panel. The elbow pieces
stayed perfectly in place at all times, and for the most part I was
completely unaware of their presence, especially while riding. In fact,
they were so perfectly contoured I’m thinking of getting new elbow pads
for hockey, as GoGo’s are far superior to the ones I use on the ice. The
shoulder armor was more of a visual presence for me than a physical one.
They didn’t bother me when riding or walking, but they jumped out a bit at
me in the mirror. This is likely due in part to my broader-than-average
shoulders for my size, and my general aversion to anything resembling
1980s fashion (shoulder pads, anyone?). The back armor plate was rigid
enough to be noticeable, but not uncomfortable. It didn’t quite disappear
for me the way the other pieces did, but on longer rides I definitely
adjusted. I could liken its presence to wearing a small backpack. You can
feel the pressure is there, but it’s not troublesome.
of the armor hampered me in any way while riding. Off the scooter was
different, as your range of motion is slightly stilted by the back and
elbow pieces, but this just took a little getting used to. At first I
found it awkward to button the jacket because it required bending my arm,
but I stopped noticing this altogether after the first few wears.
is easily removed if you want to wash the jacket, and is accessible via a
zipper in the interior lining. I tried the jacket on without the armor,
and barring the back shield that does have a slight Quasimodo effect when
it’s in, you really couldn’t see too much difference, which is to the
features two exterior pockets that are just big enough to put your hand
into, and are probably there for decoration more than anything. The
pockets don’t have a closure, so they aren’t terribly secure when you’re
actually riding. There are two roomy interior zippered breast pockets that
were large enough to fit my cell phone and wallet together, but access
isn’t fast or easy if the jacket is buttoned. But you’re not answering the
phone while you’re on your scooter, anyway, right? Right?? The interior
lining seemed flimsy, and with the small-toothed zippers on the pockets I
was a bit worried that I’d zip the material into the teeth and shred the
fabric. I was also concerned that too much weight in the pockets would rip
them. While that didn’t happen, I’d say that this is a feature that could
use some upgrading, seeing as the rest of the jacket appears to be made
with high quality materials.
recommends the Trench for mild to cool weather. I tested the jacket in
mild, cool, wet and hot weather. The jacket performed very well in mild
and cool weather. Despite my freezebaby tendencies, I felt snug and warm.
While I hadn’t planned on testing out the jacket in a downpour, I decided
to view a poorly timed afternoon ride as an opportunity to test the
jacket’s waterproof claim. The exterior “fashion” fabric seemed to absorb
water, as it didn’t bead, but the interior layer of fabric prevented me
from getting wet. The exception to this was a small triangle on my chest,
as in my haste to get home I had neglected to secure top lapel button that
I imagine is there for this exact purpose. This one can be chalked up to
recommend the jacket for hot and/or humid weather, as it is clearly not
designed for those conditions. I wore just a t-shirt under the jacket one
warm afternoon in the upper 80s and the interior fabric clung
uncomfortably to my sweaty arms. And make no mistake about it – if you
wear the Trench in hot weather, you will sweat any time you’re riding less
function, the Trench rates a 4 out 5 stars.
could never be accused of being a fashion victim, I do have a style, and
it isn’t aligned with the Power Ranger aesthetic of most armored gear. The
Trench appeals to me because it has a classic feminine shape and subtle
detailing but retains enough function and sporty appeal to keep it from
being fussy. I don’t do fussy.
A big, if
not the biggest, part of looking your best is having the right fit. The
GoGo Gear Trench – along with many other styles – come in a range of
women’s sizes from 2-24, so there should be a size to fit anyone that’s
likes to look cute and scoot. It’s recommended to size up if you will
wear anything but a single layer under the jacket. Given that this style
is best suited for cool weather, it’s reasonable to assume you’ll be
wearing more than a t-shirt while riding. I’m a typical size 6 (5’5”, 120
pounds, 34” chest), but followed recommendations and borrowed an 8, as I
am almost never NOT wearing two layers (see: freezebaby). A 6 would have
not accommodated a sweatshirt or light jacket comfortably, so the
recommendation to size up is sound.
sleeves are somewhat longer than a street jacket to accommodate a riding
position, but not to the point where you’ll be inadvertently dipping them
into your skim chai. The length of the jacket on the body is spot on. Long
enough so that you’re not tugging it down while you ride, but not so long
that you have to adjust it out from under you when you’re getting settled
in for a ride. Many sportier armored jackets are cropped at the waist
which is not as universally flattering as the GoGo Trench, which hit me at
the top of the thigh. This was also long enough to cover my rear, which
comes in handy for riding in cooler temperatures, but not necessarily when
I’m walking by the cute guy at the café.
favorite part of the Trench is the gorgeous charcoal gray fabric. It also
comes in basic black, but I tend to find black just that: basic. In
fashion I believe this is called “classic.” The gray is neutral, refined
and has a subtle lined texture that gives it a richer feel. The overall
structure of the jacket is excellent. It has enough weight to feel
substantial but isn’t overly cloying while riding or walking. It looks and
feels like a quality product.
an adjustable belt at the waistline and matching adjustable mini-belts at
the wrist. The wrist adjustments are likely more just for looks because
the presence of the inner wind cuff eliminates the actual need for
cinching down the sleeves. The detail is attractive without being
Unfortunately, the belt did not hit me at the narrowest part of my waist,
so the effect wasn’t quite as attractive on me as it should have been.
Please take note that I am slightly shorter in the torso than average,
however, so this is probably in the right place for most women. If I
cinched the waist enough to outline my shape, the result was an
unfortunate bulking of material at the back of the jacket. This did
absolutely nothing for my…assets.
mentioned earlier, some of the armor does detract from the overall
aesthetic, but this is, after all, an armored jacket. The reflective bits
that stand out even when not “turned on” are a little flashdance-y for my
tastes, but they are still pretty subtle provided you’re not standing in
headlights. As the jacket’s chief purpose is to keep me safe, I’ll spot it
some fashion points, and this is worlds above and beyond your standard
about the lapels on the jacket is that if one or the other was positioned
just right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) it would vibrate
loudly against my helmet while riding at high speeds. While this is easily
corrected by smoothing it down at the next stop, the noise and sensation
could be distracting. Distraction at any speed on a scooter is terribly
Gear Trench rates a 3 out of 5 stars on fashion, but only because it
wasn’t quite as flattering for my shape as I’d like. If I were to base it
on overall looks on a mannequin, for example, it would probably warrant a
recommend finding a showroom that carries GoGo Gear’s jackets and trying
them on in person. There are a number of styles in the line that I like,
and if the Trench is any indication, they are all a quality hybrid of
safety, function and fashion.