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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for suggestions on the best all-in-one suit that is 100% waterproof, super breathable, quality venting, and best crash protection available.

My neighbour has a Klim Badlands and loves it.
 

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Now you have started something. Lets see how heated it gets ;-)

Aerostich Roadcrafter. The only piece of gear I have, other than a rain suite. Just scored a "new" one on e-bay this winter, so actually now I have 2. The old one is 25 years old and already showing some signs of wear, so its going into semi retirement. Just used it for pressure washing my fence. Non of the rainsuites I wore were watertight. No problem with the roadcrafter underlayer.

Bland looking, comment today from my mechanic friend: looks you are toasty, wearing a snowmobile suite. Had to get the NYS inspection done.

It comes in many sizes, so if you cant find one that fits you, nobody can.
 

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No such thing. How you balance the trade-offs will depend a lot on your particular climate (especially extremes), riding style, personal preferences, etc. The primary tradeoffs -- nothing I've seen in the market fundamentally changes these core considerations -- really come down to a choice between:


  • Built-in waterproofing at the expense of limited ventilation (i.e. Aerostich and similar)
  • Superior ventilation with the need for liners or overgear for waterproofing (Motoport and similar)

Various combinations of everything else -- abrasion resistance, armor / impact protection, comfort, quality of materials, budget / value, customer service, etc. -- can be found readily across a variety of manufacturers and gear. But for me, the above two considerations are the real drivers of the decision-making process, followed next by budget. The rest is pretty straightforward to balance against one another.

In hot & humid Chicago summers and damn cold & dry winters, mostly commuting / around-town-ish riding, I use two suits:


  • Motoport Air Mesh jacket + Air Mesh front / Stretch back pants, with waterproof liners (mainly for warmth) and waterproof overjacket and overpants for rain. Bought new ~2 years ago, significantly customized, for $$$.
  • Aerostich Darien jacket & pants. Bought used and cheap this past winter to retire my pretty damn beat up -- but still plenty functional, aside from some reasonably easily repaired zippers and velcro and ever-leaking crotch -- 20 yo Aerostich RoadCrafter.

The Darien gear is somewhat superior in winter. Using it avoids the Motoport pants liners for warmth, which I find a PITA (the jacket liner is a non-issue in winter, it's so easy). Though if I didn't have a bit more budget for the used Darien I could get by just fine with the Motoport for Chicago winters. (If anyone gets the Motoport pants liners, have them reverse the hook & loop velcro so the hook is on the pants and the loop on the flap...makes them much less of a PITA.)

The Motoport is vastly superior in the summer providing incredible ventilation. The mesh isn't as open or free-flowing as less expensive / robust options, but still provides excellent airflow. No vents necessary -- the whole damn suit is one big vent when the liners aren't installed. Total no-brainer for me in Chicago's high heat / high humidity summers.

I guesstimated how many days I ride in the rain vs. how many I ride in heat & humidity. No surprise: I ride a LOT more days in heat & humidity. I decided I would rather be more comfortable on the many, many hot & humid days and tolerate the minor hassle of adding waterproof gear when it rains vs. enjoying the convenience of built-in waterproofing but being far less comfortable on the many, many more hot & humid days.

Very high heat (> 85ºF) and humidity is pretty miserable no matter what gear one is wearing. But for me, the Motoport mesh is far less miserable in those conditions, and makes a big difference in temps and humidity levels between perfectly comfortably and miserable-no-matter-what hot and humid (~70ºF - 85ºF, which accounts for most Chicago summer days).

I've not crashed in the Motoport, but the gear is incredibly well made, with top-notch materials and high quality armor that covers more impact areas than most. My brother's had one for ~10 years and loves it. I wish I'd gotten mine long ago.

Incidentally, I also have the Motoport "Racing" Gloves, which I think are fantastic. Not perfect, but the best combination of options for me. My leather gloves never last more than a year, maybe two. My brother's Motoport racing gloves are also quite old, and still going strong. I expect mine to last many, many years.

None of Motoport's gear is cheap (well, I actually think their gloves are pretty reasonably priced and a fine bargain), but for riding gear my general philosophy is buy once, cry once.

Based on my 2 years experience with the Motoport, my brother's decade-long experience, and loads of other reviews I've seen, I don't expect to buy another riding suit for another 20 years or so.
 

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Good start to the forum. With all this rain in the northeast, its got me thinking what to wear so i dont have to check weather on work days, just suit up and go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I love the mesh in my Olympia Dakar suit.. but the Motoport brings it to a new level of mesh!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I run the full Olympia Dakar suit, and the included layers. I recently purchased a Klim GoreTex shell suit to go over the Dakar:

https://www.klim.com/GORE-TEX-Over-Shell-Jacket-5057-000

It's a lot of layers to manage, but it does provide the most flexibility. In the hot summer I wear underwear under my Dakar pants with a high wicking t-shirt. The Dakar pants zip off into shorts.

If I have to drive in wicked rain, that's where the Klim comes in.

If it's cold, I wear Warm n' Safe base layers under my Dakar keeping the layers to a minimum.
 

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Yep, no such thing.

Best crash protection available. That is a clear winner. Motoport in solid or mesh kevlar. One piece or two piece.

Most waterproof? Aerostich has new zippers that are very good ( compared to the old ones especially ). Olympia is surprisingly in the run for this. I don't own KLIM.

Breathable? For the very reason Motoport isn't waterproof, there is no Gore Tex gear that compares. Motoport does not use waterproof liners of any kind. You can buy the ones that fasten inside as an option, I have them, and they are totally waterproof. If you just have to have Gore Tex, then the Aerostich lighter weight suits are more "breathable" than any other Gore Tex I have used.

Venting? Olympia is well ahead of Aerostich here. I have seen the KLIM gear and I like their approach to venting too. But have zero experience with it.

Let it be know that I am NOT one that thinks you can ride in 95 degree temps in solid gear and say it it better than mesh. Especially when you slow down and stop. So I do NOT buy into one piece of gear that does everything. I spend money on bikes to make them comfortable. I spend money on gear that makes riding comfortable depending on conditions. I will have two types of riding gear on the V STrom Rally trip. Like I always do. You can ride in comfort with the right gear. A one or two hour ride is not the same as a 14 hour ride.......
 

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Breathable and waterproof? Naw, water resistant and breathable maybe.

I like my Scott Gore-Tex, but even it is not 100% waterproof after a day in major flooding storms.
 

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I'm pretty sure you're asking for the impossible, but:

I wear the Joe Rocket Trans Canada 2 jacket. The solid panels on the front zip out, and the entire back comes off to make it a mesh jacket, and an inner rain liner has never left me wet. As you would expect from a jacket that uses a rain liner though, once you put that liner in ventilation is non-existent. Still a very versatile jacket though. With the panels out I've worn in comfortably in 35 Celsius, and with the panels and rain liner in, and a sweater underneath, I was comfortable on the Bancroft ride despite my complete lack of heated gear. Now if only I could find a decent pair of pants to go with it.
 

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...
Let it be know that I am NOT one that thinks you can ride in 95 degree temps in solid gear and say it it better than mesh. Especially when you slow down and stop. So I do NOT buy into one piece of gear that does everything. I spend money on bikes to make them comfortable. I spend money on gear that makes riding comfortable depending on conditions. I will have two types of riding gear on the V STrom Rally trip. Like I always do. You can ride in comfort with the right gear. A one or two hour ride is not the same as a 14 hour ride.......

Well I ride all year round in a Darien Jacket. All day sometimes too. Temps to 110+, seems OK.
Of course we're made of sterner stuff out here in the West! :grin2:

A solid jacket is absolutely better (than mesh) over 100 deg. especially with a cooling vest underneath.
Need to keep that blow dryer air off your skin!
 

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It really depends on where you're riding. Here out west, full textile, vents and a cooling vest will keep you comfortable from 85-110. A mesh system will make you feel like you're riding in front of a blow dryer and your cooling vest will be dry in 15 minutes.
I'm have a Klim Badlands set for touring. It's the most versatile, water proof, well vented gear I could find. If it gets too cold, I can plug in my heating vest. I don't want to mess with over suits or liners. There are a few brick and mortar stores in my area that carry Klim so I was able to try them on for fit. With Aerostich, unless you ride to their store or catch a pop up, you have to monkey around with test fitting and shipping back and forth.
For my daily commute, I wear a Roadcrafter. It keeps me dry and is easy on/off over my clothes. I found it on Ebay for $350 and it looked brand new when I got it. It doesn't vent near as well as my Klim stuff does though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I ride all year round in a Darien Jacket. All day sometimes too. Temps to 110+, seems OK.
Of course we're made of sterner stuff out here in the West! :grin2:

A solid jacket is absolutely better (than mesh) over 100 deg. especially with a cooling vest underneath.
Need to keep that blow dryer air off your skin!
Interesting...

Are you saying that I'm getting more dehydrated and/or overheated in my Dakar mesh than I would in a suit with strategic venting and a cooling vest? Link to your gear please :)
 

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Well I ride all year round in a Darien Jacket. All day sometimes too. Temps to 110+, seems OK.
Of course we're made of sterner stuff out here in the West! :grin2:

A solid jacket is absolutely better (than mesh) over 100 deg. especially with a cooling vest underneath.
Need to keep that blow dryer air off your skin!

That is your opinion, just like what I wrote is mine. I will test your 110 degrees with a 98 degree and 70+ percent humidity. See who holds up best in that!

There are differences between riders. Such as how much you sweat. There are differences in bikes. Such as how much air can actually hit those vents or mesh. If you feel like you want sweat pouring down the crack, then solid gear might work for you. But if sweat isn't evaporating, it isn't cooling you. That is my "argument" about mesh vs solid. I have aero packages on all my bikes where I don't get wind blast. Hard to get air up my sleeves at times. Especially with the Motoport gear, the mesh isn't loose. Yet I get air everywhere, evaporating sweat and cooling me. Not the "blow dryer effect" by any measure. I prefer to get off the bike without sweat dripping off me. You can do ok with solid at speed, but in my opinion it can become dangerous in certain conditions when stuck in traffic. Heat stroke is real and solid gear has had me so hot I had to pull out of traffic and take it off to cool down.

It is my opinion, based on thousands of miles both in Houston heat and humidity as well as riding out West and the East coast, that good mesh gear above 70 degrees keeps the rider far more comfortable than ANY solid gear. Yes, it is nice to have gore tex solid gear when hitting rain. Or not, as I often ride in bike shorts and a compression t shirt and just get wet! To qualify this I will say I am not one that sweats compared to others. Maybe that makes the difference. But I have tried repeatedly to use the "solid is best in heat" approach and have never found it to be true.
 

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My Aerostich Roadcrafter and Darien suits seem to work for me. But I have BMW, CycleGear and Helite jackets too.
I've done Kilo days in brutal weather hot and cold in most of the stuff I have and one doesn't work too much better than another.
As long and I have Mr Gerbing for the cold and Wet Vests for the hot, I can manage. I carry both when traveling because the weather be different every few hundred miles, eh?
 

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Interesting...

Are you saying that I'm getting more dehydrated and/or overheated in my Dakar mesh than I would in a suit with strategic venting and a cooling vest? Link to your gear please :)
From the Iron Butt Assoc. guys that ride serious miles:


Long-Distance Riding in Hot Weather
(.pdf)

"The magic number is 93. Below 93°F, it’s fairly easy to stay cool on a motorcycle as long as you are moving fast enough to get some wind against your skin for convective cooling. A mesh riding suit feels great. Above 93°F, it’s a different world. The wind is no longer your friend. For long distance riding in temperature higher than 93°F, you need to (1) minimize your body’s exposure to direct wind blast; (2) wear wicking undergarments, including a helmet liner; (3) carry an adequate supply of cool water and drink frequently; and (4) insulate any parts of your body exposed to engine heat or radiator discharge."


It's hot here 60 miles away from Death Valley, imagine! I've worn a succession of mesh type jackets and there's no doubt that a solid jacket is better. A wet vest under a mesh jacket dries out in about a third of the time compared to a solid jacket

I only open the sleeve zippers on my Darien jacket. Air flows up the sleeves and inflates the jacket. Wearing a wet cooling vest underneath it's actually chilly initially.
 

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From the Iron Butt Assoc. guys that ride serious miles:


Long-Distance Riding in Hot Weather
(.pdf)
That is one persons perspective. It is an old report. Repeated by many. Say something enough and it becomes indisputable.

Yes, 100 degrees with a t-shirt and shorts will quickly do you in. But mesh gear isn't t-shirt and shorts, it is careful management of the air that hits you. No different from regulating the air vents on your solid gear. I just get air in more places that need it to smoothly control evaporation. Now if you are comparing mesh with 1/4" openings, maybe that is a problem ( for sure would be when scrubbing the pavement!).

Find out what works for you. You just might be surprised that you can be comfortable in higher temps after all!
 
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Here is a good write up regarding the different types of Gore Tex.

https://www.webbikeworld.com/gore-tex-membrane-types/

Personally, I really dislike having to put on a rain suit over my riding suit. Usually end up getting wet because I keep hoping it is just a shower! Hopping around on one leg, under an underpass, trying to get it on over boots is just a PITA. So for me, my riding suit needs to be waterproof and again, for me, the outer shell needs to be waterproof. If you rely on the liner to provide the waterproofing, you end up with a water logged outer layer that is very heavy, takes a long time to dry, and turns into a refrigerator when it does start to dry.

So, again, for me, that means the 2 or 3 layer technology mentioned in the link above. I have a Klim Latitude suit (a 2-layer). It has been 100% waterproof in all day downpours, easy to control temperatures by layering, has adequate ventilation for up to about 80 degrees (I seldom ride above that) and good crash protection although I have not tested that aspect.

I wish I had bought the Klim suit years ago. It would have turned out to be less expensive in the long run, I would have been more comfortable, and I wouldn't have 3-4 other suits hanging in my closet, gathering dust.
 

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"....That is one persons perspective. It is an old report. ....."

I look forward to reading your links that disprove what the IBA article is saying. I know just enough about mamallian physiology to be dangerous and I agree with most of what the article says. I do know that in very hot temperatures (100+) it is virtually impossible to keep endurance horses hydrated by simple oral intake of fluids. Dehydration is very dangerous and can impair cognitive functions in people. Better to be a bit uncomfortable and hydrated than comfortable and dehydrated IMO. And I will add (and this can be applied to many discussions regarding most things motorcycle related).....anecdote is not the pluralization of data.
 
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