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PRODUCT EVALUATION AXO STONE JACKET Making room for biotechnology

q The AXO Stone enduro jacket is the next logical step in the evolution of riding gear. Biotechnology is moving just as fast as mechanical technology these days; that is, advancements in braces and protection gear. In the previous generations of riding gear, we’ve seen allowances for things like knee braces and hydration systems. Now, we have to make room for neck braces like the Leatt.
The Stone fits snuggly thanks to a number of straps and adjusters
BIONIC PARTS

The Stone jacket starts off with all the features that we expect in a top-shelf enduro jacket. It’s made of tough synthetic material with lots of pockets (we’re up to nine and still counting). One of those pockets is the large compartment in the back for a hydration system. The sleeves unzip to form a vest. And the latest feature is a removable collar so that the jacket can work with most popular neck braces. We would classify the Stone as a “spring” garment. It’s not waterproof or insulated and has a number of zippered vents.

The guys at AXO put a lot of thought and consideration into this product. We keep on discovering more features, like the drawstring around the waist to keep air from climbing up into the interior. There are a number of Velcro straps to make the jacket fit better, and once you get it adjusted to your shape, you don’t have to mess with them ever again—unless you go on an eating binge or spend a season on “The Biggest Loser.” In either case, the Stone will be one of the few garments that you can keep in your wardrobe. You just suck it up or loosen it out.

The removable collar is the star of the show, and we were surprised to find that the jacket stays in place with this section removed. It looks like it would just fall off your shoulders, but when all the straps are properly adjusted, the Stone stays in place snuggly. In fact, it might be the best way to carry a hydration system when you’re wearing a neck brace. Many of the other techniques result in the neck brace or your shoulder pads riding up too high in front with the weight of a full bladder in the rear. The Stone carries the extra weight of the bladder well, and there is a clean passage for the feed tube to pass from the rear to the front, where it’s easily accessible. AXO doesn’t sell a bladder with this jacket, but we found it was cheapest to buy a whole hydration system at Walmart (its in-house brand is Mountain Trails) and repurpose the bladder.

The Stone has a fairly narrow window of temperature where it‘s effective. In the winter, it’s not especially warm, and there’s no option for a zip-in liner. In the summer, it’s a little bulky—even with all the zippers open and the arms removed. It’s not billed as water-resistant, but it can withstand a brief shower. If there’s any real rain, you’ll get wet.

BOTTOM LINE

This is a very high-quality piece of clothing. When the weather gets cold, you can always put a layer underneath and loosen the straps for a good fit. We think it looks great too. The price is a touch steep, at $240, but we’re willing to deal with that. The Stone is the type of jacket you will have in your ATV wardrobe for years and years. For more information, go to www.axo.com. q

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