How Many Times Can You Wash the New Levi's + Google Commuter Jacket?
The Internet is buzzing with news of a new Levi's/Google clothing collaboration: the Levi's® Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard™ by Google. The jacket, designed with cyclists in mind, has touch and gesture interactivity woven into the sleeve, which allows you to control your music, navigate, and answer calls when the jacket is synced with your phone. Plus, there are traditional design elements, like a longer backside to cover any exposed biker butt-crack, and reflective trim to makes cyclists more visible at night.
The jacket is both Android and iPhone compatible, though it requires Android 6.0.1 or newer or an iPhone 6 or newer running iOS 10 or newer.
The Verge's Dieter Bohn is impressed, noting, "I’ve been wearing this Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket for a few days now and it’s very nice. It fits well and looks great. And by swiping or tapping the fabric on the left cuff, I have been able to control my smartphone." Wired's David Piece says this iteration won't revolutionize bike commuting, but it's just the beginning for this type of technology. In his words, "I wore the jean jacket of the future."
One thing to keep in mind about this tech-enabled piece is that you have limited laundering options. While the jacket is machine-washable, the tiny print in a footnote on the product site says it's "designed to withstand up to 10 washes with the Jacquard snap tag removed; varies by usage and wash condition."
Denim connoisseurs will argue that you should avoid washing any denim to extend the life of the textile. But as someone who owns a very old jean jacket—I've been wearing the same one for more than 13 years—this is a workhorse garment. Particularly when you build a piece of outerwear for bicycle commuting, it's going to absorb the smells of sweat and city air. In a best-case scenario, where the jacket remains stain-free, you'll at least need to spritz it with a fabric freshener. If you like your outerwear freshly-laundered, this one might be a tough sell.
So is the jacket worth $350? Well, that's up to you. "Expensive" is a relative term. The Levi's/Google collab trucker jacket costs more than 3X the traditional Levi's trucker jacket price, but if the tech can help you navigate the city more safely, it's easier to justify the price.
The Levi's® Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard™ by Google will be available in limited release on September 27, and in Levi's stores and on Levis.com on October 2.