Don’t know about you, but I love an armoured shirt to wear during the summer months.
Throw a cut over the top and there you go, Bob’s your uncle (never did understand that saying… who the hell is Bob?).
For the last couple of seasons, I have been wearing the Action Pro shirt from Knox. The brand is well known for its quality, and this shirt has never failed to deliver. It’s lightweight, breathable, abrasion-resistant and form-fitting with its athletic cut. In fact, the fit is that form-fitting that I had to go up a couple of sizes to accommodate my, er, rotundity.
Now Knox has introduced the Urbane Pro MK3 Utility Shirt. Like its stablemate, it’s a tough, breathable, abrasion-resistant armoured shirt, but it also boasts additional pockets, so you have bags of storage space. Seven pockets, in fact (five exterior Velcro fastening, two interior).
I’m not so sure that I would get much use out of the small left upper arm stash pocket unless carrying some kind of credit card or the like. However, the zipped breast pocket will easily accommodate a cell phone, and thumb loops to stop the cuffs from rising up. When the weather turns cooler and we enter the period of autumnal falling leaves, you can always pop a jacket over the top.
I’ve been throwing the shirt on over either a short or long-sleeved base later. No need for any other layering system unless the weather changes, then the large Velcro closure back pocket will come in useful for storing a lightweight rain suit or top and bottoms.
The freedom of movement is excellent, and those thump loops keep the jacket securely in place so should you have a fall, it is highly unlikely the armour is going to move. More a jacket than a shirt due to its weight, it’s made of high tenacity mesh stretch nylon combined with tough breathable arrownet mesh, so ventilation is excellent, especially in hot weather. I have really ernjoyed that free flow of air. Plus, the abrasion-resistant material makes it CE approved Class AA for riding (the Action Pro is CE approved Class A), with Knox MICRO-LOCK Compact CE approved back, shoulder and elbow body armour.
Check the bottom inside of the shirt and note the security belt loop system. Pass your trouser belt through the hoops and the belt then goes on your trousers. Clever. Somewhat different to the traditional zipped system. At first, I had no idea what the 7-inch strip of Velcro was behind the front zip… then I discovered it’s for attaching a separate removable MICRO-LOCK chest protector.
I rode it to a local club meet and it drew loads of (good) comments. ‘Where did you get it?’ ‘That looks really cool (style-wise)’. ‘Does it perform?’ ‘Are they in the stores yet?’ ‘That’s just what I need.’ Says it all, really.
The Knox Urbane Pro Utility Shirt comes in black or olive and is available in sizes S-5XL.
- £249.99, Planet-knox.com
REVIEWER: MICHAEL COWTON