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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I bought a Tour Master Transition 2 jacket at the local Cycle Gear for $170. It fit pretty well and was loaded with features that I was looking for; 4 chest vents, 2 shoulder vents, 1 back vent, removable liner, lots of pockets, decent reflective stripes, CE armor in the elbows and shoulders, 600d shell, and it was waterproof. I wore it in cool dry weather and was quite comfortable, but the waist strap just couldn't get tight enough to keep the cool air out. Then I took it for a 5 day ride..........that's when I found out that it was not waterproof. I rode about an hour and a half in a good NW downpour and got wet. Not soaked, but my chest and sides were fairly damp. For the remainder of my travels, the jacket performed very well. The days were mostly cool, 50 to 75 degrees and I stayed warm enough even though I wished the waist straps would get tighter...... I'm 5'11" and 210lbs. I bought this jacket in XL and probably could have gotten away with a L, but I need the room in the shoulders. This was a tan jacket that certainly looked good, but had to be returned.
 

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I've had that very jacket for a couple of seasons now and love it. I find it super comfy and I no longer bother with the rain gear these days because of it. In fact wife and I were on day 6 of a week long ride when we got hammered with rain. I don't think I've ever been in that much rain before, solid downpour for about 3 hrs, it's like someone opened the taps above us. My gloves were completely soaked through and my Tour Master matching pants kept me mostly dry with exception of my crotch. But the jacket performed flawlessly!

I don't want to say I was completely dry, because I wasn't. But I was amazed at how dry I was considering the amount of rain we went through. The only parts that got a little damp were my arms. Disclaimer: this ride was on a Honda ST, with an adjustable windscreen so I'm sure that makes a difference to someone riding a naked bike for instance. Although I've never experienced that much rain on the Wee, I have ridden it about 30min through a decent downpour. Results were the same.

It's funny though, I've been reading about a lot of jackets claiming to be waterproof but there are always reviews from some that will claim otherwise. Short of getting a plastic rain suit, I don't think there is anything out there that is. My experience with the Tour Master Transition 2 has been great, especially for the $. It's been my favourite jacket so far and I've had about 5.

I will say that I don't wear it in the summer as it's simply way too hot even when moving. I don't find the vents very well designed as all they do is turn me into the Michelin man when I have them opened. I find the jacket a little too large without the liner (with say just a t-shirt) but perfect with the liner. I actually like this as it lets me layer clothing, so on my way home after a night shift, I can throw on a fleece top and I still have plenty of room. The quilted liner is great (I've worn it as low as 30 and did not feel cold) but I can not add anything too thick underneath as it is too much.

Overall I'd give both the jacket and pants 4/5 overall. As always everyone's MMV.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Disclaimer: this ride was on a Honda ST, with an adjustable windscreen so I'm sure that makes a difference to someone riding a naked bike for instance. .

I was riding my FJR with the windscreen way up and still got wet. And like you, my gloves were soaked. In a word, I was dissapointed. I really wanted this thing to work out. Now I have a Kilimanjaro from Firstgear. Review to come!
 

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Some jackets are better than others, but when it comes to rain, without proper rain gear, you're just delaying the inevitable.

I've got three or four Transitions jackets (1 & 2), three different versions of the Kiliminjaro (they're up to around 9), Aerostich, and a dozen other jackets.

When I'm riding into the rain, I stop and put my rain gear on. Problem solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
tmcgee, you're on the right track about raingear. When I travel, I do carry my 2 piece Tour Master Elite 3 rain gear, it's simply awesome. BUT I have had the Firstgear Kenya jacket for several years and it's been dry in the rain. By donning the raingear over it, you're removing the "breathable" element. So I was hoping to get a 3/4 length version of the Kenya (which is the Kilimamjaro) at a lower price point. The idea of a 3/4 length adventure touring jacket is total protection without having to use other accessories (raingear) to get that protection. LIke I tell my customers, you really do get what you pay for.

Now I have the Kilimanjaro, and so far, I really like it. My favorite feature is that the liner doubles as a "destination jacket". You can wear it separate from the shell. But I've heard that the 2012 version will not have that option available. I really want to try this out in a good downpour to see how well it performs.
 
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