The Ronin is the anchor in the Roland Sands Design apparel lineup, and for good reason. This classic jacket not only ages well, but manages to be as comfortable as an old sweatshirt from Day One. Thanks to a super-supple oiled leather that requires little to no break-in time, the Ronin is ready to wear from the minute you try it on. Its styling won’t hold you back, either. It’s a winning combination of a classic café-styled cut with a welcome splash of modern.
While other RSD designs have come and gone this one has remained largely the same. It makes ample use of perforated leather panels under the arms and at the storm-flap behind the main zipper to help promote ventilation. And it has ample articulated seams at the arms so that the jacket is comfortable when you’re stretched out over the handlebars. But it still strikes a cool silhouette off the bike.
This jacket fits true to size and thanks to expansion panels at the hips and the tendency of the leather to conform to its owner over time, offers a very forgiving fit. It’s cut from ~1mm-thick leather (+/- 0.1mm) in the main body panels, and so is suitably thick for riding. And it can be easily outfitted with a five-piece armor (sold separately, and recommended).
It’s also got plenty of pockets. Twin interior elastic-hem stuff pockets to easily hold onto a pair of gloves or a couple 12-oz cans apiece; a right-hand zippered forearm pocket for toll money, an interior zippered pocket for credit cards, and a padded interior electronics pockets to keep your smartphone snuggled up safe and sound. Plus of course the two exterior zippered hand-warmer pockets and the standard-issue chest pocket and the Ronin is ready to roll.
Style & fit, protection, pockets—check, check, check. But the real secret sauce here is the grade of cowhide used to make the Ronin. RSD calls it Airborne leather, and its combination of stiffness and flexibility makes it an instant favorite.