BMW ComfortShell Jacket and Pants Review

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by MarcParnes, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. MarcParnes

    MarcParnes Tinkerer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    SoCal
    When my wife and I arrived in Germany for a week long pre-ride before our scheduled Beach Tour it was raining like hell and cold. We figured we take a ride down to Garmisch and visit the European BMW rally which was in full swing. The weather was threatening but we were both sick of sitting around the hotel waiting for it to clear. It stayed dry until we were just getting ready to leave the rally and then the skies opened and it poured. We both have First Gear Kilimanjaro jackets and Road Gear pants which have kept us dry in the past so we figured the hell with it and took off. Bad idea! We both got soaked. Our previously waterproof gear leaked like the proverbial sieve.

    Once we got back to the Munich area we decided to go into the city and visit the BMW dealer and see what we could come up with in the way of waterproof gear. I had looked into their Streetguard suit before but it's without vents and obviously built for colder temps than what we experience in SoCal so I ruled that one out. The suit I did have some interest in was their ComfortShell gear. They advertise it as being for warmer temps and totally waterproof. They also have this advertisement comparing the material to a pine cone of all things. Its supposed to close up it structure when its cold and open when its hot. Sounds like hype to me :D Anyway, I bought a full suit for myself and of course Janie had to have one as well even though our yearly trip to Europe is pretty much all the riding she gets to do. What are you going to do? Arguing gets nowhere so two suits it has to be.

    We went for black rather than the blue alternative. I figured the black will get dirty enough no less what the blue would end up looking like. The suit comes with full protection including a full built in back protector. Usually I don't like BMW protectors as the previous ones I've had have been way too stiff and uncomfortable. These are amazing. I can't even feel them including the back piece. The jacket has four large vents, two in the front and two in the back. The material is kind of stretchy and really comfortable. Not stiff at all. All the zippers including the pockets are rubberized and waterproof. The front closure features two zippers, one smaller inner one and a larger outer one. There is a humongous inner jacket pocket as well which works great for passports, camera, etc.

    The first two days of the Beach Tour were soakers and very cold. We both wore liners under the jackets and besides being dry as a bone were warm as toast. Its kind of funny, but when you have good gear that you trust isn't going to leak riding in the rain becomes a non-issue. Living in SoCal I don't do a lot of riding in the rain so this was really kind of fun. Not a drop came through and there were times it rained so hard you could hardly see the center line. By the third day as we entered into Italy via the Dolomites we passed under what must have been some invisible weather front. The rain stopped and it got HOT! I was riding a '07 GS with computer and saw 38C (100F) plenty of times on the display. I'm used to riding in heat and usually dread it having crossed the desert plenty of times during the summer months. Now this is the unbelievable part, I never got uncomfortably hot. This has never happened before regardless of the gear I've had on. I have no idea how they do it but as long as we were moving you could feel air bleeding through the fabric not keeping us cool maybe but we weren't hot either. Maybe this pine cone crap is for real! I asked Janie multiple times if she was getting overheated and each time she responded that she was fine. Now that's is a real first! You know, either too hot or too cold is the norm for plenty of women and she isn't any different. She'll always tough it out regardless but to have her actually be comfortable in both cold temps without her Gerbings (the socket was being used for the GPS) and in 100F+ is something special.

    This stuff ain't cheap but then nothing is with BMW on it so no big surprise. If you're looking for a suit that works in cold and hot and is waterproof and fully protected and comfortable this one will do the trick. It did for us anyway.

    Marc
    #1
  2. Lochlyn_Deckard

    Lochlyn_Deckard Dex Moto(naut)

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    989
    Location:
    Central New York, United States
    Damnit why is this jacket calling to me like a freakin' Siren? The true all-season jacket is getting closer and closer. Can't... resist... the... I can feel all that money leaving my pocket. Fancy technology is never cheap. Then again is anything BMW makes not expensive? The men's pants are $455 MSRP and the men's jacket is $675.00! Yikes. :eek1 I hope that Olympia gets some "science" into their gear soon. :D

    Thanks for the nice review.
    #2
  3. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,812
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    Pix man. We need pix! Pix of the armor (is it the same as the Rally armor?). Pix of the vents and pics of the fit.

    Get hopin' man! Get hopin'!
    #3
  4. MarcParnes

    MarcParnes Tinkerer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    SoCal
    Take a ride over to Seaver's. They have it in stock.

    Marc
    #4
  5. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,812
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    Anaheim, CA
    Nope. Not unless Jim changed his mind about ordering them and they arrived in the last week.
    #5
  6. MarcParnes

    MarcParnes Tinkerer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    SoCal
    I originally saw them there in June. Maybe he sold them out. In any case, Long Beach had them as well in both colors.

    Marc
    #6
  7. zooomart

    zooomart Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10
    #7
  8. iugradmark

    iugradmark Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    38
    Any help on sizing would be appreciated. May have to order as local dealer does not carry these.
    #8
  9. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,136
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    why is that we have to go to some forum to get real world info on shit for sale? description in this thread is great. pictures are BETTER. You'd think you were the BMW marketing team.
    #9
  10. zooomart

    zooomart Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10
    For me, it is just some sort of latent guilt. Dropping that much cash requires facts and time to to work it through. Most dealers I have visited don't stock this jacket/pants. BTW the Jacket is 110 and the pants are size 46. :freaky
    #10
  11. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,812
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    For me I was torn between the Comfortshell (or even the Streetguard) and the R2P. I tried to find someone in SoCal (didn't try Long Beach, go figure) from Los Angeles to San Diego and struck out.

    If I can't wear it to try it on I just won't buy it. Gear has to fit right or it really isn't worth much.

    The R2P won by default.
    #11
  12. Peka

    Peka Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,013
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    This sounds just like what I've been looking for!

    I just have one question:

    Can you put the pants on without removing boots? I have Oxtar TCS and some Rossi 811 touring boots. I sometimes wear my safety boots to work too, but usually the Rossi's as they have velcro and zipper to get on/off so are much easier than the safety boots (laced). My current pants won't go on or off with boots on.


    If so, this is my perfect suit!
    #12
  13. McBike

    McBike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    242
    Location:
    Durango
    Just bought the pants and jacket for the winter months. Plan on layering for different cionditions this fall and winter. So, how do all of you who have had this kit for all 4 seasons like it?
    #13
  14. McBike

    McBike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
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    Durango


    Bump
    #14
  15. RockinXJ

    RockinXJ gettin the hang of it.

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Statesville, NC
    You stated the KIllimanjaro jacket and Overpants worked well before. What happened I wonder? I ask because I have the same and after two years of no problems today I was out toolin around and the rain was heavy. When I got home My pants were drenched under my Overpants. I have washed them a few times so I am wondering if I have ruined them or can I treat them to regain the waterproofing? Any ideas?
    #15
  16. jraugie1

    jraugie1 Cunning Linguist

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    761
    Location:
    I see Philly from here
    I bought mine after a 70mph get off and I decided armor was necessary. I just bought the jacket this summer and am saving money for the pants. I live in Delaware and ride up and down the east coast. Weekend before last I rode to upstate NY in the pouring rain for 6 hours. My right shoulder was damp but not really wet. The rest of me was bone dry. Temps got into the low 50s and I didn't use a liner but I was using the heated grips. I was fine with just a Tshirt and a flannel shirt under it. I also rode this summer around the Jersey shore when it was 90 and humid. I sweat but was comfortable. The vents work well but only at speeds of 40 or so. The armor is really good and hardly noticeable. The collar is a little high with a full face helmet but not unbearable. This is probably the best jacket I have ever used. The Firstgear Kenya I had was junk compared to this (but cost less than half). I'm 6' 200 lbs and the size 54 fits me perfect with room for a liner. I use a BMG Discovery jacket for winter riding and that will keep you warm even when it is snowing. Good gear is worth the money everytime!
    #16
  17. McBike

    McBike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    242
    Location:
    Durango



    Thanks for the info. I am really looking forward to using the new gear.
    #17
  18. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    881
    Location:
    Northwet
    I currently have armored waterproof leather that works as advertised. For cold temps I use gerbing. For warm temps above say 80-85 at speed it gets too hot and sitting still i suffer. But for everything else it is great.

    Keeping warm is not a problem thanks to a big alternator, but keeping cool is an issue. I don't like adding layers for rain, so rp2 is out. When traveling into the warmer climates I need to take mesh gear and (the worst part) store my leathers which take up more room than the rest of my gear :D

    So I am wondering how much better the comfort shell is in the heat. I hate to cough for this much cashola only to be in a similar place. but I guess one advantage will be the storage requirement.

    any thoughts? k
    #18
  19. RoundTrip

    RoundTrip Unintentional deerslayer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,013
    Location:
    Sunny Tucson AZ
    I just used mine this summer for a 30 day, 48 state ride. We hit all kinds of weather including 112F in the desert.

    I love this suit! It just flat works. 112 is hot, plain and simple, but with a wet vest on and the vents open I was able to ride two to three hours at a time between stops.

    When I'm home and just going for a ride into town for something I always look at my mesh jacket, but I grab the ComfortShell every time. It's just more comfortable.

    Use a long sleeve wicking t under it for hot days and add your Gerbings jacket as a liner for cold.

    Just spend the bucks, you won't regret it.

    -jeff
    #19
  20. obsidian

    obsidian Scared of the dark..

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    837
    Location:
    Currently in Canada.
    We are two weeks away from our review of the Comfortshell, first is the Streetguard 2, but I can say all the comments thus far are spot on. This is a great suit with a high range of flexibility. I find it cold even with thermals under 13 degrees C, but it's so light and thin you can always layer to get around that.
    #20