Best All Around Jacket for a Six Month Trip

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by AdventurePoser, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. stevie88

    stevie88 That's gotta hurt

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    That's a well thought post about two brands of gear that are hanging in my closet. I have not had the badlands long enough to try it in hot weather yet. Today we hit 85 and I used the Motoport Kevlar mesh jacket and stretch Kevlar pants for the first time in months and I'm not sure that it is any better than the Badlands will be in warmer weather. Yesterday we hit 82 and I wore the badlands for a 250 mile trip and was comfortable without opening the vents.
    #21
  2. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    I had tried a badlands pro jacket after my little fiasco with the latitude...it leaked in the same way, just like this guy. I also had some leakage down the pit zips.

    I really like the idea of a vented waterproof laminate, but in my experience, it is rarely executed to do both well. Funny thing too, because I ride a WR250x and you'd think the design for adventure touring/dual sporting would take into account the minimal fairing, but no.

    The d3o supplied with the jacket also stress cracks in the cold and will split in half. You will need to consider the cost of swapping out the armor if you will be riding in colder climates...
    [​IMG]

    I love these new high tech suits and embrace them as being the way of the future. Some of them however, requires more intensive care than separate solutions, and as levain mentioned, you'd probably need a separate around town waterproof jacket anyway!

    With my piss poor luck with laminates, the only set I would even consider bringing on an extended trip is an Aerostich darien/ad1 as they are unlined, and comparably MUCH easier to repair/service compared to lined garments. I'd probably upgrade the armor cause I think their stuff sucks, but that's another topic.
    #22
  3. Richmonk

    Richmonk n00b

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    I spent 5+ hours riding through the rockies last spring in cold (2 - 5 degrees c), record setting rainfall. I had the internal gortex liner in my Rev-It defender suit. The outer layer quickly became saturated and it was very cold. I was unaware that water found its way inside my gortex liner and I was soaked to the skin. I turned on my heated vest at one point and didn't realize that the vest was the only thing keeping me from becoming hypothermic. When we reached our destination and I turned the vest off I was convulsing uncontrollably from the cold within minutes. I couldn't get out of the cold, wet clothes fast enough - it took a lot of tequila to thaw me out that night.

    Based on reviews I've read on the net, my next jacket will be a Klim Badlands Pro. I will never again rely on internal layers for waterproofing.
    #23
  4. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    This is a huge issue with so many of the latest armor. The manufacturers will claim that it softens with body heat, but in my experience that isn't remotely possible. I mean, if its cold enough that the armor needs your body heat to soften up, isn't your body being insulated from the armor which is on the outside in the cold? In my experience, it has never softened up, and remains hard and uncomfortable. With that in mind, I'll amend my recommendation, by replacing the D30 with T-Pro. Problem solved. The leaking that Keiji mentions is a serious issue though. Maybe, that is why Rukka won't build a suit with real venting?
    #24
  5. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Based on everything you folks have commented on, I am inclined to think Darien Light Jacket, sized big enough to throw a fleece or Gerbings jacket underneath...Since I ride "cooler" it would be important for me to be able to wear layers underneath. When really hot, the Darien Light seems to have enough vents to keep me comfy enough.

    The other serious contender is a Moto Port 3/4 length cordura jacket, matched to my trusty AD 1 pants.

    Lots of good input here-

    S
    #25
  6. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    If water got through a Gore-tex liner, why would you expect a Gore-tex shell to do any better?
    #26
  7. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    there's a major amount of difference between water getting through a few places in an external goretex layer vs your entire outer suit soaked and have water get through goretex liner.

    wet/cold in temps right above freezing can be down right dangerous!

    have not been able to figure out how to travel from 110f+ to cold/wet at freezing with one suit. isn't Klim testing a two suit solution, using mesh kevlar and fitted goretex outer layer?
    #27
  8. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I think the "uber" suit is chasing the grail....Freezing to 110? Probably never gonna happen...On tours in the western US it's pretty common to go from the mid forties to 100+. For me, that means layers and wetting down tee shirts depending on the temps. My Olympia AST2 handles these conditions quite well. As I'd mentioned in my OP, the rain is the deal breaker.

    As an update, I'm thinking about a Motoport 3/4 length cordura jacket, or a Darien "light" along with my AD1 pants. So many great opinions here...
    #28
  9. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    That's got to be the best deal on earth in safe motorcycling. I bet they'd also do a Marathon in Cordura if you prefer the style. I prefer my Marathon to the Ultra II I had.
    #29
  10. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Yes, I checked out the jacket in Cordura. With the Aero Tex liner it seems like it would be very versatile for a long ride.

    The only sticking point is still the WP liner UNDERNEATH the outer jacket. Of course, Motoport says this is the best way to go...The Riderwearhouse guys say just the opposite.:rofl

    Decisions, decisions...

    Steve
    #30
  11. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    I have both (a Motoport 2pc with their Aerotex liner) and a Roadcrafter 1pc.

    For commuting, I like the Roadcrafter best (unless it's warm out) - for the convenience in wearing street clothes underneath. For anything else, I like the Motoport setup better. It's more comfortable and breathes better (comparing liner-in to RC).

    And I do wear my Motoport mesh kevlar from freezing to 113 (actually, so far). Once it gets down into the low 60s, I put on my Warm n Safe Gen WP (waterproof) heated liner jacket and add heated socks and Aerotex pants underneath as it gets colder. If it's really cold, I also add long johns under everything. If I had heated pant liners, that would be even nicer. Long rides in serious cold and my legs do start getting a bit uncomfortble. I will add heated pant liners and heated glove liners, probably for next winter.
    #31
  12. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    In all fairness they're different membranes in addition to different philosophies on waterproofing and breathability.

    It's all relative anyway. I froze in my Motoport pants in the 50's with the liner a couple weeks after getting them because they weren't treated with the recommended 303 so the fabric just absorbed water. I was cozy on top with the Darien jacket and a thin fleece.

    The key to all of this is understanding the limitations of whatever gear you choose and using those limitations in a smart, efficient manner.
    #32
  13. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Very true. There is no one size fits all...efficiency and versatility are the key.
    #33
  14. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I didn't read every response, but I think you need two jackets. Any decent brand would do, but I'd use a Kilimanjaro for the colder, wetter days.
    #34
  15. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    What "they" are you saying wasn't treated with 303? I've never treated any of my MP gear and don't recall any instructions that I should do so.

    But, levain, I think you have the stretch kevlar, right? I have the mesh kevlar and I don't tink it really absorbs water.

    I have not ridden in COLD and wet with my MP gear. Just cold or wet or cool and wet. But, in the conditions I've ridden in with my MP gear, it, with the liners, has seemed as warm, to me, as my Roadcrafter 1pc. But, maybe if I rode when it was truly COLD and wet at the same time, I would feel differently.
    #35
  16. V-Tom

    V-Tom Been here awhile

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    I have a two piece Roadcrafter and have worn the Jacket in temperatures from over 120f down to single digit f.

    The hottest was in Death Valley and I did the trick (I learned here) of putting ice in the pockets. At that temperature a mesh wouldn't help you at all. When moving I found the airflow within my Roadcrafter jacket to do a great job of cooling me as long as I am moving. The Death Valley part was extreme, but much of that ride (over 10,000 km) was in temperatures that hit highs of around 100f. Wearing moisture wicking clothes underneath makes a huge difference. When stopping the Roadcrafter goes off so easily that you don't overheat. [You do look goofy with boots and shorts though so I have sandals at the top of my topcase for stops.] I found that for me the key to riding all day in 100f weather is to keep hydrated, and Gatoraide made all the difference in the world to me.

    For colder temperatures I add layers underneath. I have recently added a heated jacket liner and gloves, and have a fleace pant liner from Aerostitch that goes over my street pants but under the riding pants. I can ride all day at temperatures around freezing without getting cold legs, adn a soft shell over the heated jacket and moisture wicking undershirt and shirt below keep me plenty warm.

    Tillley travel dress socks in my Alpinestar Web-Goretex boots keep my feet comfy and dry in the hottest weather and down to the 40's f. I have worn them in single digit temperatures for an hour commute and that was cold but for long rides below 40 I would put on heavier socks.

    ..Tom
    #36
  17. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I think warm and wet is just plain not fun...:freaky 110f with 98% humidity and there's no good gear unless you can really keep moving. Not so easy to speed along the beach communities of Costa Rica. :huh
    #37
  18. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I never really thought about taking two jackets....I guess because I've never done this on long rides in the States. It is certainly a doable thing. I've got more room to pack stuff on this bike than the law allows...

    Cheers,
    S
    #38
  19. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    That depends. But it's nowhere near as bad as cold and wet.

    People can say what they want about wind and dehydration. I've ridden across Death Valley in June in my old Roadcrafter 2pc and I've ridden in 113F (peak) heat for multiple hours in my Motoport mesh kevlar. And when I go riding anywhere hot now, there is no question I where the mesh kevlar. When it's that hot, I normally wear a spandex riding shirt as my only layer under the jacket, and I soak it in water at stops. There is no way I personally would choose to wear my (current) Roadcrafter 1pc when it's that hot.
    #39
  20. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    couldn't stand my old two piece roadcrafter past about 80f ... just too hot... but two piece RC worked really great in cold nasties. prefer one piece RC for cold nasties with heated gear. one piece RC is just more friendly dealing with all the wires.

    my one piece RC is not lined, so it's thinner than two piece RC. so I can tolerate one piece RC up to about 90f ... Motoport mesh kevlar is the ticket 70f to 110f+, but fails in wet/cold just above freezing nasty conditions.
    #40