Prima Pullman Jacket review

8738Over the past few years it’s been great to see scooterists finally getting more concerned about safety and wearing protective gear, and it’s hard to say which is the cause and which is the effect, but at the same time we’ve seen more scooter-specific gear becoming available.

You could argue that there’s no specific difference between a motorcycle jacket and a scooter jacket, and you’d be absolutely right. The demands of either are pretty similar, and any of the thousands of motorcycle jackets out there would certainly protect you equally on a scooter or motorycle. The difference is fashion. 10 years ago, your choice consisted of three varieties: The too-colorful leather “Power Ranger,” the leather classic “Biker,” and the hundred-zipper Scotchbrite-and-black-fabric “Tech.”

Vintage scooterists, on the other hand, always wore a flight jacket, a shop jacket, or a parka, all of which were better than a t-shirt, but not much.

All that changed in about 2000, when Joe Rocket finally started putting a little effort into design. Their jackets were still pretty Troy-Lee/tribal-tattoo-looking (and now, 9 years later, that’s still the dominant look in motorcycle fashion), but they at least were trying something new. On their heels, Icon appeared on the scene with the first armored jackets that trendy scooterists might actually not be embarrassed to wear, notably the armored flight jacket.

Corazzo appeared just as the modern twist-and-go scene started to take off, and is now as ubiquitous as the bomber and parka once were in the U.S. scooter scene. This is all for very good reason, Corazzo’s line is well-made and attractive, and they’re a huge supporter of organized scootering, so it’s good to see them doing well. (The Corazzo Shop Jacket is my personal favorite, and I rarely ride without it.)

(If you’re counting, that’s over 300 words and I haven’t mentioned the product I’m reviewing. Go get a soda and a bagel. Ready? Here we go…)

8744Prima is an subdivision of the Scooterworks USA/Genuine Scooter Co. empire. Scooterworks USA dates back to the salad days of the current scooter scene and even absorbed Vespa of Chicago, a local scooter dealer dating back to the ’80s scooter boom. As the largest U.S. importer and distributor of parts for vintage Vespa through most of the 90s, Scooterworks Direct (then known as Tutti Ricambi) already had a huge network of dealers. Once they expanded to importing scooters (Genuine Scooter Co.), that dealer expanded, so it only made sense they would launch their own line of accessories. So that’s the (long) story behind the “Prima” name. “Prima” is the new “D.A.S.M.I.” If you know what that means, you’ve been reading 2strokebuzz too long. In any case, you’ve been reading this story too long.

(That’s about 600 words, I guess it’s time to talk about the damn product, right?)

Scooterworks sent me a black and grey XXL Prima Pullman jacket to try out. First off, as a Chicagoan, I like the name “Pullman,” though I’m not sure if it’s a reference to the suburb, the industrialist, the railroad car, or the riots. When I first saw the press photos of the jackets, especially the red one, which looks a bit “Beat It” in the promo photos, I wasn’t wowed, the silver area looked like elevator padding and the color combinations seemed strange, but seeing the black and grey in person it’s a downright good-looking jacket. Hopefully my photos get that across. Scooterworks, Genuine, and now Prima seem to design things without endlessly recycling the obvious scooter memes: Europe (and specifically Italy), Mod targets, racing stripes, etc. Aside from the Buddy Internationals, which are sort of a funny premise if you think about it too long, most of their products are thoughtfully designed on their own merits without depending on cultural baggage. I think that’s brave, and a big reason why they stand out in a sea of scooters and accessories with italian-sounding names that start with “V.”

So Prima’s biggest competition in the armored scooter jacket market is Corazzo. Most Prima dealers probably sell Corazzo too, so it’s going to be a frequently-made comparison. The most obvious difference is price. The Pullman retails for a mere $125, while Corazzo’s armored jackets start at $180 and go up to $250. Sure, Corazzo’s designs are generally flashier and trendier, but not everyone’s flashy or trendy, if you like the design and fit of the Prima, and it’s got the features you want, the decision is a no-brainer.

8747As far as fit, the Pullman seems to run pretty small. I’m a giant bridge troll and I generally wear XXL but I can sometimes fit into a generous XL. The Pullman XXL was definitely too small for me and fit me more like an XL. I was able to squeeze into it, but not comfortably, and it definitely didn’t allow room for a sweater or heavy sweatshirt. Judging by my experience and what I’ve heard from others, you might want to get a size larger than you usually wear (though you don’t want it to be loose, be sure the shoulder and elbow armor aligns properly.) Size aside, the fit is comfortable, it’s cut on the boxy side (in a good way, as in “not tapered”) and a bit stiff when new, but not as bulky and awkward as most fabric armored jackets. With time, any jacket will soften up and become more comfortable, but this one’s pretty comfy when new, with nice comfort details like a fleece panel inside the collar to prevent abrasion. Velcro straps on the sleeves and waist give it some adjustability, but don’t get in the way or bulk things up.

The shell features a built-in mesh liner and is quite breathable, but it could use a bit more venting. A large zippered vent in the back is nice, but a little armpit ventilation might help, too. The quilted zip-in liner is easy to zip and snap into place. It’s cozy but not toasty, so I’m guessing Winter is the missing season in their “3-seasons” designation, though a few layers under it would probably make it a decent year-round jacket. It all depends on where you live, I suppose.

Since the jacket didn’t fit me very well (because I am a giant troll), I didn’t wear it out in the rain, though it’s allegedly waterproof. I have a couple other “waterproof” jackets, and I’ve found that nothing will keep you dry if it’s raining hard enough. In the Pullman’s case, the zippers and seams and pocket flaps aren’t as ridiculously overdesigned as some other fabric jackets I’ve tried, but all those gimmicks don’t seem to keep you dry anyway, so unless you do a lot of riding in heavy rain, it should be just fine.

8750Pockets abound, with two chest pockets, two side pockets, a zippered interior cell-phone pocket, and even a pocket in the liner (nicer than the typical slit in the liner that you drop things into hoping they’ll land inside the real pocket behind the slit). All zippers feature pulls and are fairly easy to access with gloves on. There’s even a zippered flap that can be sewn into your armored pants to zipper them to the back of the jacket, NHL-fighting-strap style. The shoulder and elbow armor is CE-approved and removeable. There doesn’t seem to be any built-in way to easily adjust the placement, but it seemed well-located. That’s another thing you’d want to check before you buy, nothing fits everyone the same way.

The biggest negative for me (aside from the sizing) is the lack of back armor. Many jackets, even far more expensive ones, lack back armor, so that’s a personal-choice sort of thing, I suppose, but it’d be nice to have it as an add-on option at least. If you’re anti-logo, the Prima logo appears a lot, (I lost count around 10 times), but they’re all fairly small, and it’s a handsome logo. Most could be quickly removed. I’ll take that over a giant brand name across the back and down the sleeves any day.

All in all, this is a solid, well-made jacket that should appeal to longtime scooterists and newbies, at a great price. If you’ve been holding off buying an armored jacket because you couldn’t find anything in your price range, or anything you weren’t embarassed to wear, this is the jacket for you.

And if you’re REALLY cheap, stay tuned. Since this one didn’t fit, we’re going to give it away in a contest soon.

Buy the Prima Pullman jacket online at ScooterworksUSA, or better yet, support your local dealer, where you can try it on and make sure it’s right for you.

Check out our Prima Pullman Photo Gallery.

Also read Eric Almedral’s Prima Pullman review at You will find his opinions are very similar to mine, to the degree of plagiarism, yet he wrote his review first.

11 thoughts on “Prima Pullman Jacket review”

  1. Nice writeup Bryan. I suspect that the difference in price (from Corazzo) can be attributed to country of origin and economy of scale…where are these made? Corazzo says that theirs are made in the USA/Canada, where people generally make several dollars per hour; plus Corazzo isn’t mass-producing them and will even work with people on custom fitting.

    There’s nothing very scooter-y about this jacket to me, looks like one of dozens of me-too riding jackets available at any powersports dealer. I’d be very surprised if this was a start-to-finish “custom” design, it looks like more of a “your logo here” on something from an existing factory, maybe with slight tweaks (i.e. Buddy/BuBu). I’ve already got 3 armored riding jackets, but my next one will be a Corazzo, because the company has always really impressed me with their dedication to scootering. I’d hate to see Corazzo’s already-niche market have a large bite taken out of it, esp. considering that most good scooter shops will be pressured to carry both. Full disclosure: I designed that Prima logo.

  2. Yeah, I actually wasn’t aware that the Corazzos were actually made in the U.S.A., but Bradford also mentioned that to me just a little while ago, ha. That’s a good selling point, and certainly worth a few bucks. Corazzo should make a bigger deal about it. America is cool again.

    For the record, the Prima jackets are made in Pakistan. Having been at Dealer Expo the last few years, I’ve seen that there are lots of companies (for some reason often middle eastern or eastern european) with customizable jackets, so I’m not sure if this is one of those, or designed from scratch. I would guess it’s something in between, like you suggested.

    I agree it’s not as “scootery” as some other jackets out there, which I’m told is sort of their point, They’re sort of non-descript. Most Tourmaster/Cortech jackets seem very bulky and stiff to me, this one’s a bit more comfortable for everyday riding.

  3. Also, I saw the tan one today (among other things), and it looks good (and more ‘scootery’, though I like the black better. I’ll still have to see the red one in person, but I’m not feeling it from the photos, ha.


  4. Tucano Urbano and Spidi make jackets that don’t look motorcycle-ly. sells them.

    my test of a jacket is if somebody asks me “what kinda bike do you ride?”

    if I get asked that I know I got the wrong jacket.


  5. I have to admit I’m not the least bit fashion-conscious, so YMMV… I feel perfectly fine in my Joe Rocket Phoenix 4.0 jacket, w/Starfleet communicator pin tacked onto the sleeve. :)


  6. I’ve got a Corazzo 5.0, and last night a family friend who knows I ride scooters was initially confused at feeling armor when he clapped me on the shoulder, not realizing it was a riding jacket.

    I’ve also got a Vanson mesh for the hot days, and wearing under just about any other jacket I have, armor everything!

  7. Good pictures, I need to redo them, this was shipping while we were getting the catalog ready.

    Just like you stated, scooter-frantic apparel is readily available, so there was no need to cover it with buttons, checkers, racing stripes, flaming 13’s and bulls-eyes.

    Corazzo has good brand loyalty (and design, and products!), if people are set on a Corazzo jacket, they’re going to get a Corazzo, just like if they want a Vespa or a BMW – they can definitely afford a Prima jacket, or a Honda or a Genuine, but they want the “heritage” and all that. This is our humble solution if you want something else and don’t want to wear neon either.

  8. I usually wear an XL in jackets because of my gorilla arms…I’ve got the two/tone gray/black Pullman XL and considering the price it is a very well put together jacket. I wasn’t brave enough to go with the red/black, but the tan/gray looked interesting. I tend to work on my vintage bikes as much as ride them so I wanted to stay away from colors that would show stains. As this isn’t a heavily vented or perforated jacket going with a light color was less important for me, I won’t be relying on this to replace my Phoenix on 90° days.

    The fit is good in the arms, but a little tight in the torso. It actually fits like a Large/Tall. The styling is very boxy, it is NOT flattering at all. Bear with me, here goes…when you put on a Corazzo 5.0, even if you’re 30 lbs. overweight (like me) you look pretty damn good. When I put this jacket on i look really big in the middle, another reason I went for the black. That is not a good look for me. On Friday I rode 30 minutes in the rain…no liner installed and I was wet…very, very wet. The tops of my arms were wet and my torso was very wet. The short length of the jacket also funnels rain directly into your crotch. Unless the waterproof-ness is contained in the quilted liner I can confidently say that in an actual rain, you will be actually wet. They claim the jacket is water resistant, I suppose it resisted the water for a while, then it stopped resisting. I like the pocket configuration but also wished there were pit zips or chest zips. They could probably put some zippered or velcro flaps along the sides or above the pockets without screwing with the look too much. I think it’s an excellent economy jacket that will probably give better service than other jackets in the $125 price range. It’s better constructed than the Vega Octane or Power Trip Jet Black, and is arguably more conservative than the Tourmaster Jett or Teknic Tornado which are priced around $140 and are pretty nice jackets. I like removable liners and the Pullman has a good one. We tend to carry the pricier jackets at our shop (Rev-it, Corazzo, Tourmaster, Joe Rocket, Alpinestars etc.) and we haven’t had much demand for an economy jacket. People are usually pretty style driven and we sell an awful lot of the Corazzo 5.0’s and Mechanics. The interesting thing is that people will drop $250 all day long on a jacket, then put up a fuss for having to spend more than $40 on a pair of armored gloves.

  9. All my jackets are pretty useless in the rain. The only one that keeps me dry even for a little while is Tracie’s old Joe Rocket that weighs as much as I do. I have a couple (unarmored) raincoats and they always seem to leak like crazy too, or if they’re actually waterproof, I sweat so much in them that I might as well be rained on. like that columbia jacket I had at Indy, I was cold, wet, sweaty AND had a rubbery skin clinging to me. Maybe it’s just me, ha.

  10. I just came across this write-up. I must say thats a very good detailed writeup. I have a lot of experience in the wholesale side of the industry and have hands on experience with a decent number of the manufacturers. I can tell you that this is not a bad jacket whatsoever, but the manufacturer is a bit lacking in the QC dept at times. But they do offer good value. But when you compare to other jackets on the market it is not such a good deal. For example, this same manufacturer supplies with a lot of their jackets and they sell most of them in the $60 to $70 range as seen here:

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