First Gear Kathmandu Jacket?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Casejeep, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Casejeep

    Casejeep Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
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    736
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    Im looking at the new model of the first gear kathmandu. I like the look and idea of it but cant find any up to date reviews of it.

    Ive had the Klim Latitudes and BMW Rallye 2. wasn't 100% happy with ether.

    What is the quality like? is it super bulky? would you recommend it?
    #1
  2. Casejeep

    Casejeep Been here awhile

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    Well it looks like no one has this jacket which isnt a good sign.....
    #2
  3. some call me...tim

    some call me...tim Been here awhile

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    I can't comment on that specific model, but I've been very happy with the couple pieces of First Gear stuff I've had. Seems to be very good bang for the buck, a notch up from Tourmaster, I'd say.
    #3
  4. NuckaMan

    NuckaMan Space Available

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
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    Orange County, CA
    I do not have the Kathmandu Jacket....but have experience with First Gear products.

    While they many not use the same "exotic" materials such as BMW, Rev'It or other high-end moto-wear, their quality and function is quite good. In my opinion, they offer some serious bang-for-buck gear.

    If there is a knock against them, sometimes the way the gear is sized or cut is a little wierd. I know it can be difficult, but try to find a local dealer to try it on to see how it fits on your body type.

    Motocyclegear.com and Revzilla.com offers some fantastic reviews on the products they sell and do the best they can (via internet) to explain the way a particular model is cut.

    Give it sometime, I know there are more than a few Kathmandu owners here....I believe reviews were all postiive.
    #4
  5. TacocaT

    TacocaT Been here awhile

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    I purchased a Kathmandu jacket back in May. So far so good. Hard to match for the price and the quality seems good. Had 2 lower speed get offs in the dirt and it has held up well. Good amount of adjustable for the Armour and adjustment of the body and arms is easy. I strap adjustments make it feel less bulk with out a lot of bunching near adjustment points. at least for my body type I am 6'1" about 180 and I went Large tall. Vents pretty well I am comfortable up to around 80 degrees at slower speeds. Tolerable at 90 degrees if you are moving faster and open up the front zip a little. I have not used it much in the cold weather with the liner yet since I have another jacket.

    Been caught in a few hard rains this summer and stayed dry. Never tried the hood. Dry pockets are also nice and work well. The only thing I don't like is the built in hydration pack deal. It seems like kind of a gimmick. Nice idea but it is not well supported so it pulls the jacket back against your neck I felt like the collar was trying to choke me when it was full of water. Luckily it is easily removable.

    Overall I like the jacket. I wanted a jacket reasonably priced jacket that already had good d30 armor and was waterproof without a linear and this one fits the bill
    #5
  6. Casejeep

    Casejeep Been here awhile

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    Is it bulky? i do most of my riding on dirt at slow speeds. the jacket just looks huge. is it not noticeable?

    #6
  7. dmaxmike

    dmaxmike former quadtard.

    Joined:
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    I have a kat jacket and over pants. I wanted to go with Kilm latitude but just could not pull the trigger on such expensive stuff when I maybe get out one weekend a month. My first riding jacket was a first gear jaunt jacket and it always kept me dry and safe so I figured I would give this stuff a try. On its only weekend outing since I got it in September I had temps from the 20’s to the high 70’s and I was comfy the whole time. Also had a little bit of rain and standing water on the roads and one stream crossing and I was dry the whole time. I’m short and fat so I went with the 40 short pants and an XL jacket in short. With all the adjustments adjusted it feels very light and not constrictive to movement on the bike at all. I would buy it again. Watch the review on revzilla that’s what I did and who I bought from. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #7
  8. Macho Man2

    Macho Man2 Been here awhile

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    I have had the first generation Katmandu jacket for 3 years and really love it a good bang for the buck jacket. I use it for my cold weather jacket with a aerostich pullover liner, I've never used the supplied liner. Temp range from 30 to 70 and and even colder with my heated jacket liner. I have ridden in several hard rains and stayed dry. Never been down to test the armor or material on how it would hold up though, just my 2 cents.

    Bill
    #8
  9. Casejeep

    Casejeep Been here awhile

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    I live in AZ and like to ride Death Valley and the desert so i wanted a jacket that would be better at higher than 70 degrees.
    #9
  10. Casejeep

    Casejeep Been here awhile

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    Well the Klim Latitude had little to no venting. If it was above 80 degrees you started to melt. The gortext shell is very stiff even after wearing it for almost a year.

    The BMW Rallye 2 Pro was better but the lack of adjustability in the arms was a turn off, i couldn't keep the elbow armor in place. The Rallye 3 seemed to fix the problem.
    #10
  11. PWRCRZR

    PWRCRZR Grumpy Old Bastard

    Joined:
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    I had the old style Kat jacket for one season and now have had the new style Kat jacket for a season. I like the jacket for touring and multi day adv rides. I do find it a little bulky at times and definitely find it to be warm. Not sure it would be my choice for low speed technical riding in desert heat. The jacket is defiantly waterproof and has never failed me in foul weather. I also like the d3 armor in the new jackets, very comfortable and worked fine in a low speed off. I would definitely give first gear stuff high marks for bang for your buck.

    Good luck with your search...finding perfect gear is like finding perfect tires
    #11
  12. outsidein

    outsidein Been here awhile

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    If you are unhappy with the Klim and BMW gear you will absolutely hate the much, much cheaper quality Firstgear jacket.

    I compared this to the Olympia AST and the AST is far better in the price range of the FirstGear jacket but not as good as the twice as pricy Klim or BMW jackets. Where the FirstGear jacket really fails is that it uses cheap quality and thin nylon and has basically no abrasion protection if you ever crash, also venting is less well designed. Both jackets sell at a similar price point.
    #12
  13. motolombardo

    motolombardo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    49
    I have the kat and have been fairly happy with it. I bought it primarily for winter use.

    Pros:
    Liner high quality with good cuffs
    Waterproof zippers
    Hood thin enough to fit under the helmet and keep the rain off your neck

    Cons:
    Slightly bulky (good waist band straps though)
    Shoulder pads extremely noticible/wide
    Built in hood interferes with certain hemets when stowed
    Could have better ventilation (mine is a pre-2012)

    Overall, I give it a 7 out of 10 :freaky
    #13
  14. Travex

    Travex Lost is found

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    For the money spent you will get a generously featured, durable, waterproof well made jacket of decent materials. I own both Klim and Firstgear products and have been very pleased with both. However, in my case the Kathmandu causes me great friction and discomfort in the neck. It reddens and scratches the skin considerably right on the apple. I originally thought it was simply a bad marriage between the collar and my helmet strap, not. Oddly, there is also no visible clue as to what is causing this.
    As I haven't seen this complaint too much I'd also add that mine is likely an isolated experience and should be considered as such. The collar is the only complaint I have and otherwise I consider the jacket fairly bulletproof and definitely waterproof and warm. Other than the collar it has not failed me in any other way.

    Unfortunately for me, I was in an auto accident the day I ordered it online and hadn't been able to ride (or wear it) for about 2 years and therefore cannot return it. I just contacted Firstgear to initiate whatever repair or fix is necessary and will follow up with that experience.
    #14
  15. docwells7

    docwells7 Long timer

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    GO GATORS!!!
    I had the first gen Kat and thought it was a good waterproof jacket. The day I bought it, it was pouring and I had to ride 2 hours to my destination. Water literally beaded up on the outer material. I love jackets that are waterproof without having to wear the liner (read AST). The only moisture that got in was actually my fault because I didn't keep the gusset in place when I zipped up the jacket. I therefore had a nice wet patch in the middle of my chest.
    The only thing I didn't like about the jacket (and the pants for that matter) is the lack of hand warmer pockets. It's intended as a Fall/Winter jacket, so I thought it would be nice to have a place to keep your hands out of the elements...especially since the pants have no pockets either. It has plenty of waterproof pockets to put lots of items in, it's only the slash pockets that usually lie just behind the lower pockets that are missing.
    As it turns out, I found a great deal on both a Ranier and Kilimanjaro on close-out and sold the Kat. It's a good jacket, and if the hand-warmer situation isn't a big deal to you, go for it. I did keep the pants and still like them a lot.
    #15
  16. Travex

    Travex Lost is found

    Joined:
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    Western NY State
    Following up on my earlier post of a problem with the collar:

    Today I received a very prompt, courteous, and generous response from Firstgear:

    I was stunned by the offer to return my jacket for a replacement with the current model! I also have Firstgear's TPG pants and have found them to be the most comfortable, dry and durable riding pant I've owned. Now, it appears they're going to make certain I feel the same way about my jacket.

    Better customer support could not possibly be expected.
    #16
  17. ScooterboyII

    ScooterboyII Adventurer

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    Dec 13, 2011
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    Location:
    California
    Casejeep,

    I have the Kathmandu jacket and TPG pants and I'm VERY happy with them. My riding consists of cross country with about 25% dirt/logging roads in all kinds of weather. But, considering you want to ride in 70 degree weather out in the desert you should probably buy something else.
    #17
  18. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

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    Canoodia
    I bought the full Kathmandu suit this spring. My riding is about 50-50 on road and off. I love the jacket - waterproof, lots of venting and with the liner, warm enough for cold November rides. I did find the both the jacket and pants a bit bulky. I think it has more to do with the "cut" of the garment - said to be an "American" over a European, so its plenty roomy.

    My only complaints were that the jacket was very cool without the liner. I did an Iron Butt Ride in June, and the temperatures got down to 32F on the last part of the night ride and I damn near froze to death. My heated vest was on 11, and I had three shirts on. I even stopped to by an extra hoodie. The liner is worth its weight in gold.

    On the pants, my zipper shredded. I find they're a little tight even for a 36" overpant. The plus side was I called First Gear and they replaced them free of charge, under warranty.

    Looking forward to another season wearing this gear!

    C.
    #18
  19. Titan1969

    Titan1969 Been here awhile

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    Jan 1, 2011
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    Newport Beach, CA
    I like the fact the jacket handles 25 degrees( in Michigan ) up to 95 degrees ( in Florida ) with some comfort. The jacket is sized large which I like at 6'4" and 270lbs. The pants are great also...no leaks in the crotch in moderate rain riding.

    I have crashed a few times at 15-20 mph on snowy/ice roads, no tears in jacket or pants.

    Paired up with my Scout Boots, Im very glad I read reviews of products on Adventure Rider before I buy!:clap
    #19
  20. Chinookmark

    Chinookmark Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
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    Location:
    New Hartford, CT
    I have the 2nd gen Kat jacket and pants. I'm 5'9" , Slightly under 200lbs. I have a medium jacket ant it fits me very well over a t-shirt or light sweatshirt, and its good down to about freezing temp. Below that, I need to layer up a bit, and the jacket is still warm and windproof, but it starts to get a little snug around the chest and shoulders. For comparison, with the same layers, a medium Transition 2 jacket has more room and fits more comfortably, and I even have room to snug up the waist belt, though the sleeves were a little more snug at the ends. I tried a large Kat jacket, but it was too long, especially the sleeves. If they offered a large short, I would buy one.

    The 36-short over pants fit easily over my 36x32 jeans. I haven't used the pants liner, but I have stayed warm down to 20*F with jeans and two thermals. The legs get hung up sometimes when slipping these on while wearing boots. And there's a lot of stuff going on around the ankle. Great protection, but a little tedious for commuting.

    I've been caught in some serious down pours, and the suit has kept me dry. The helmet liner works well, and as well as the rain zippers and pockets. I've ridden in 90*F heat and the jacket vents well enough while you're moving, but gets hot fast if you stop. The chest vents are less effective behind a big windscreen. It would have been nice to have shoulder and/or arm vents.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with the jacket, but I will be looking for a different cold weather (below freezing) coat, only because of my in-between size build.
    #20