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Old 03-18-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
NesquikNinja OP
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Darien vs Traverse

Adding this in after I typed the rest...skipped to the bottom paragraph if you dont want to read. I type too damn much!

First off, I am a 19 year old college student working for an hourly wage, not made of money. I only say this because I don't want to hear "but this AND this, because one suit cannot do it all" and similar....maybe some day. But not now. I want to buy one suit and tolerate its downfalls, and spend the rest of my extra cash on some more rider education and gasoline.

Temps here range from 0-110. If I have the ability to layer, cold is not an issue. I made it through this particular winter with a fleece, a leather jacket, and a rain/wind proof jacket on top. Not incredible, but it does the job quite well. I made it through last summer with jeans, SMX boots, vented gloves, perf'd leather jacket, and some badassery enduring some serious sweat!

Right now I am wearing Motoport gear, but I knew the day I got it that it was too small. But, I was broke and got a good deal, so I tolerate my short sleeves and short pant legs until I have the money to replace it. Its also impossible to layer since it damn near restricts circulation with just the liner in, and its too gigantic to put a coat over the top.

Summer is headed my way soon, and I want a suit that actually fits. I ride a 250cc dual sport, and I get off the pavement and onto gravel, dirt, and hopefully some more trails every chance I get. Since I commute every day though, most of my riding is on pavement. I need gear that will keep me well protected, but is also able to be used off-road when I am able to get away.

The two suits I am looking at right now on the Traverse and Darien. I will admit two things right away- I have done more research on the Darien and I am leaning toward it. I wish I was a hardcore, always off pavement, gone for months at a time ADV rider, but the fact is I'm a two-wheel commuter who fights weather and goes one 1 day adventures when I am able to, with intentions of getting dirty.

I am leaning toward the Darien because it seems to be more on-road oriented, which is what my riding is despite my wishes. I know it will get hot- but I know others have tolerated it. The traverse seems to be more off-road oriented, and as I said, I dont get to stay off pavement for days at a time, sadly.

Any input deciding between the two would be great. Summary, year round commuting, offroad every chance I get, must be able to layer in cold, must be able to tolerate in 100 degrees. Rain proof is always good, but if I get a little wet no biggie. Also worth mentioning- in the summer months, I've got no reason to wear clothes under my gear while commuting. I can simply wear moisture-wicking stuff like underarmour to keep the gear from having direct contact with my skin if I fall off.


Thanks for any tips. One day I will have half a dozen sets of gear and all will be well. But today isnt that day!!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:29 PM   #2
It'sNotTheBike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NesquikNinja View Post
First off, I am a 19 year old college student working for an hourly wage, not made of money.

Buy a used jacket.

I have owned a Darien Light and I now use a Traverse. Both are
excellent jackets. I like the Klim better because I prefer its styling,
but Aerostich stuff is first class gear and you cannot go wrong with
either company.


If you search Craigslist nationally and the Flea Market on
ADVrider every single day, you will find a good deal on a jacket
( and perhaps pants too ) which costs far less than new and has
plenty of useful life left.


It takes time and diligent searching to find a good deal. That is the
tradeoff vs. just buying new, but significant money can be saved.


Good deals in the ADVrider Flea Market last a very short time
before things are sold, so acting quickly when your find a good deal is
essential.


.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sNotTheBike View Post
Buy a used jacket.

I have owned a Darien Light and I now use a Traverse. Both are
excellent jackets. I like the Klim better because I prefer its styling,
but Aerostich stuff is first class gear and you cannot go wrong with
either company.


If you search Craigslist nationally and the Flea Market on
ADVrider every single day, you will find a good deal on a jacket
( and perhaps pants too ) which costs far less than new and has
plenty of useful life left.


It takes time and diligent searching to find a good deal. That is the
tradeoff vs. just buying new, but significant money can be saved.


Good deals in the ADVrider Flea Market last a very short time
before things are sold, so acting quickly when your find a good deal is
essential.


.
I bought my motoport gear used as well. Definitely on board with that..

Which do you prefer in hot weather and which do you think will hold up better on pavement?

Thanks for your input
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #4
AlanCT
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I've been a happy Darien user for about six years. I am sure it is not the end-all be-all riding suit, but I have not felt the need to get something else. It is versatile, and it lasts. If you have a quick trigger finger, you can score a used one here in the flea market.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:37 PM   #5
keiji
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To be honest, if you are on a budget and will be off roading regularly, I would suggest neither suit as even a minor off into a thorny bush or pointy gravel can ruin the waterproofing. While it may not be 100% of the time, I would not want to risk it.

As annoying as they are, the stuff with liners is going to be the best bang for your buck. If you know how to use thread and a needle, they are easy to repair minor damage, and rain suits are comparatively cheap.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:01 PM   #6
BlueLghtning
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I'm surprised as a few others if you are on a budget that you are asking about some of the more expensive gear out there? Of course both are good, but you really could get by on some cheaper gear, especially if you found good deals on used gear here on ADV which there always is.

I'm a gear hoarder and have had all kinds of gear. I started off with a lot of cheap Joe Rocket gear, then some First Gear stuff that really did pretty well. The last couple years, I really had got hooked on Olympia Gear. I had the Airglide stuff for summer, AST Jacket & Ranger pants for winter. I absolutely loved that their liners could be worn and put on without actually zipping into the outer layers and it worked really well for touring. Last year I even got the X-Moto suit and that remains one of my favorite pieces to wear daily other than the fact only the liner is waterproof, but its still my go to piece for the majority of my riding. It covers a wide range of temps with comfort and ease, is so easy to put on and looks pretty good too.

So anyway to the 2 pieces you asked about, I've got a Darien jacket I got used a couple years ago and I really I just haven't bonded with it. I've worn it a handful of times at most. I'm not sure I could even stand wearing it in really "hot" weather. I think my biggest issue with it though is the "extremely" hard armor that just doesn't seem to sit right and isn't comfortable, especially if its cold out. In fact, I just need to list it for sale because its obvious its one of my last choices of gear to wear in my closet.

Late last year I bought a Klim Latitude Jacket on closeout and Traverse pants. I would have probably bought the Latitude pants, but they didn't have my size, so I got the Traverse pants. In the end, that was probably a better decision as I've since learned the Traverse is more off road oriented while the Latitude really tends to fit more like a "road suit would". I wanted to finally have "true waterproof" gear when I was dual sport riding and this was the answer. I also tested it out on a week long WV road trip that rained solid for 2 days and I was very pleased that I stayed completely dry. I was actually carrying my Olympia liners with me and gave them up to another rider who was in leathers. He wore my Olympia liners over top his leathers to stay dry. My Klim gear kept me dry and warm and I was very happy. We also had some very warm temps on that trip and to my amazement, the venting worked very well also, especially on the Traverse pants. If I had one beef with Klim gear its that the pants are generally not meant as over pants so they aren't made to put on with boots already on. This isn't an issue when traveling when you generally stay in your pants all day, but on day to day activities, that makes it tough to be my go to suit. The Traverse pants actually fit very loose and I sized mine up so I could wear them over jeans if I chose, but I still have to take my boots of to put them on. They work fine without just an under layer also. I actually have come to enjoy the Klim gear so much, I think I'd like to eventually get the Traverse jacket for a "lighter" jacket for summer off-roading and maybe eventually the Latitude pants to go with the jacket for a more "street biased suit" or even the Bad Lands Pro. Either way, I really like my Klim gear a lot.

To get back to the AeroStitch, I actually have a 1 piece RoadCrafter I picked up late last year too. (Told you I was a gear hoarder. ). I've wanted a RoadCrafter for a long time and decided to get one. I really like the RoadCrafter comfort wise over the Darien. It's so easy to get in and out of and pretty comfy to wear. I haven't had a chance to test its water proofness or ability to keep me comfortable in hot weather, but I have my doubts I could stand it in the hot GA summers.

My Olympia X-moto or Airglide suits will be my daily suits I go to in the Hot GA Summers
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:06 PM   #7
StuartV
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I have an air Mesh Kevlar Motoport 2pc, a Roadcrafter 1pc, a Darien jacket and pants, and have previously owned a Roadcrafter 2pc.

My daily rider suit is the Motoport, with a Warm n Safe waterproof, heated liner, as necessary. However, I rarely actually commute. For commuting, my Roadcrafter 1 pc is still my first choice.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartV View Post
I have an air Mesh Kevlar Motoport 2pc, a Roadcrafter 1pc, a Darien jacket and pants, and have previously owned a Roadcrafter 2pc.

My daily rider suit is the Motoport, with a Warm n Safe waterproof, heated liner, as necessary. However, I rarely actually commute. For commuting, my Roadcrafter 1 pc is still my first choice.
The RC would be great. Ive heard its tolerable in hot ass weather- at least as tolerable as a leather jacket anyway.

But, offroad the RC wouldnt be ideal...or would it?
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:54 AM   #9
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I just got back from a 7 week adventure ride through Central America. For the trip I bought a lightly used pair of Darien pants through Advrider and ordered a new Darien jacket. I wore the pants and jacket everyday. If I were to do the same trip again I'd buy the same gear again. Only this time I'd go with the Darien Light jacket and pants. Sometimes the regular Darien gear was just too hot to ride in, especially in traffic.

So, I'd recommend the Darien gear, but the light over the regular stuff.

Brian
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:18 AM   #10
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You would be hard pressed to beat Aerostich customer service abilities. I have walked into their store with my used Darien for repairs, purchased replacement protection for it, and they treat me like a king. I don't think the folks that are sewing up the Klim's no speaky Engrish. I like the Klim stuff fine, but I dont see it available used yet. I scored my Darien from this forum (used) from another guy, he also included a toasty electric liner. It was all like brand new. Maybe better

I also have a high-Viz Tourmaster Jacket I like, but for cooler weather, long trips, rain, I will migrate towards the Darien.

I am lucky to be within a couple hour Saturday ride of Aerostich. Until you have been there, you would have no idea what they are all about. It's a smallish vintage, low tech historic old building, I have had the full tour. Locally-bred sewing folks upstairs, the place is simple, clean and effective. They actually don't have air conditioning, but they are within 1/4 mile of Lake Superior, most days the wind off the lake keeps it comfortable.

Aerostich stuff is not pozer gear. It's not snugly "fitted"or worn ultra tight. Like someone else said once, "it's the gear that looks like someone's Mom made for you". I think that's OK. I don't like it when people are looking at my ass or my 12 pack abs too long anyway. (I don't miss many meals)

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ODSC1 View Post
I just got back from a 7 week adventure ride through Central America. For the trip I bought a lightly used pair of Darien pants through Advrider and ordered a new Darien jacket. I wore the pants and jacket everyday. If I were to do the same trip again I'd buy the same gear again. Only this time I'd go with the Darien Light jacket and pants. Sometimes the regular Darien gear was just too hot to ride in, especially in traffic.

So, I'd recommend the Darien gear, but the light over the regular stuff.

Brian
Thanks very much for your input- however aerostich themselves in say in the catalogue that comfort between the two is only marginally different

Seems silly to sacrifice protection for a tiny amount of comfort..
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Originally Posted by Unstable Rider View Post
You would be hard pressed to beat Aerostich customer service abilities. I have walked into their store with my used Darien for repairs, purchased replacement protection for it, and they treat me like a king. I don't think the folks that are sewing up the Klim's no speaky Engrish. I like the Klim stuff fine, but I dont see it available used yet. I scored my Darien from this forum (used) from another guy, he also included a toasty electric liner. It was all like brand new. Maybe better



I am lucky to be within a couple hour Saturday ride of Aerostich. Until you have been there, you would have no idea what they are all about. It's a smallish vintage, low tech historic old building, I have had the full tour. Locally-bred sewing folks upstairs, the place is simple, clean and effective. They actually don't have air conditioning, but they are within 1/4 mile of Lake Superior, most days the wind off the lake keeps it comfortable.
I wish I was close enough to go take a look....it'd make things easier.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unstable Rider View Post

Aerostich stuff is not pozer gear. It's not snugly "fitted"or worn ultra tight. Like someone else said once, "it's the gear that looks like someone's Mom made for you". I think that's OK. I don't like it when people are looking at my ass or my 12 pack abs too long anyway. (I don't miss many meals)
On this note, how does your Darien suit feel once your off the bike? I am strictly ATGATT...I know some people will disagree with that but thats irrelevant. The only thing that sucks is when suiting up takes longer than the journey itself, particularly in cold weather when I need to layer. And I dont like having to strip the gear off when I wear my motoport because its too uncomfortable to walk in.


On a side note: I am going to be selling my Motoport mesh kevlar, with liners and quad armor. No damage, just a few of the loops that hold the jacket sleeves down by the wrist or torn- never really seemed to matter. If anyone can help me on how to price it thatd be great

EDIT: Just got back from looking at Klim gear, figured I would share my findings.

First off, I want a Badlands haha. Loved everything about it, put the price is beyond what I am looking or able to spend.

Second, I will not be getting the traverse. Far too offroad oriented. Doesn't even have pads...seems overpriced for what your getting honestly.

The latitude seemed real nice, but the two-piece runs about $1100 while the Darien runs about $800. I also need pants to be word as overpants, because it will be a significant about of commuting. I did not try pants on...not sure why, I should have. But I didnt want to want a $500 pair of pants I think.

The latitude fits in a way that it can keep warm with a fleece underneath, and an insulated coverall over the top, so winter would be fine. On the other hand, though...and I may be wrong....it does not feel nearly as substantial or protective as my current Motoport. I like the comfort, I want the comfort, but it feels no better than any other textile...I hope Im wrong!!

I looked at Olympia. Looks like it'd keep me comfy, but a few crash reports talked me out of it. No big deal.

Still on the fence for what gear to purchase. A lot of people seem very happy with their choices on all gear that has been mentioned, which is a good thing and a bad thing. On a 1-10 scale Im sure they all top an 8, so I cant really go wrong, but certainly one is more "right" that another.

EDIT AGAIN:

After fiddling a little bit it seems I need only to replace my jacket. The pants are too short, but the pads are exactly where they need to be, and they even fit inside of my summer commute boots, A* SMX Plus's. The jacket is simply to tight in the forearm/wrist area, so it for sure needs replaced.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:56 PM   #12
Travman
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Don't be so quick to write off the Traverse jacket as an offroad only option. The jacket is used by many for road use only. It is very comfortable, and I've used mine in temps from the upper 20's to the low 80's. For armor, I use a D3O in the shoulders and back and Knox in the elbows for additional coverage. Their are deal out there on these jackets so that should bring overall cost down. In temps over the mid 80's I switch to a mesh jacket and at or near 100 everything is hot.

For pants I recently got the Darien Lights. my decision over Klim pants was due to custom sizing and I wanted to option to wear the pants as overpants or in summer with LD Comfort shorts only.

Also, with this set up of Traverse jacket and Darien Light pants, I no longer need to bring a rain suit. I've had the Traverse jacket on through a 5 hour rain ride and stayed completely dry, no test for the pants yet. However, I do sit behind a full fairing. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:11 PM   #13
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Don't be so quick to write off the Traverse jacket as an offroad only option. The jacket is used by many for road use only. It is very comfortable, and I've used mine in temps from the upper 20's to the low 80's. For armor, I use a D3O in the shoulders and back and Knox in the elbows for additional coverage. Their are deal out there on these jackets so that should bring overall cost down. In temps over the mid 80's I switch to a mesh jacket and at or near 100 everything is hot.

For pants I recently got the Darien Lights. my decision over Klim pants was due to custom sizing and I wanted to option to wear the pants as overpants or in summer with LD Comfort shorts only.

Also, with this set up of Traverse jacket and Darien Light pants, I no longer need to bring a rain suit. I've had the Traverse jacket on through a 5 hour rain ride and stayed completely dry, no test for the pants yet. However, I do sit behind a full fairing. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the input- If I had a pressure suit, I would go try on traverse with the pressure suit to see how that felt. I really really wish I did honestly.

My motoport pants work well as overpants or just pants, and the liners keep me dry, so Im fairly set on keeping them. They work well in all temps it seems. Dont have an issue layering or just with shorts, they go over the top of offroad boots, inside my commute boots, and the pads stay where they are supposed to be. They do look funny as hell though
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:16 AM   #14
ST-DocLizard1
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With four Darien Jackets...............I am prejudice.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:32 AM   #15
cliffy109
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Do you want a real bargain? Go to Amazon and look for a BMW Tourance jacket. They are selling for $275 and that is an absolute steal. It is waterproof and I've really put it through its paces. It includes VERY good armor and a thermal liner that zips out. With the liner in, there is nothing in MO that will hurt you.

Extreme heat is a challenge but then you're looking at the Darien. The Tourance has side vents which the Darien does not. Even with the vents open, anything above 95 is a little rough, but there is nothing that makes 100 really comfortable.

I've had mine for 3 years now and like you, most of my riding is commuting. I did take it to Chile last year and have crashed with it. I still wear it and am absolutely amazed at how well built and versatile this thing is.

For pants, I don't think you can do better than the Dariens or the AD1. They are easy to get on and off at work and are waterproof. For a commuter, there just isn't anything close in terms of use. With no liner, it isn't stifling hot and you can loosen the legs to get a little air up your leg. In the winter, they keep the cold air out and you're inner liners can work to keep you warm.
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