Hot Weather Gear - REV'IT vs Olympia

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by AlabamaGetaway, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. AlabamaGetaway

    AlabamaGetaway New 'Round Here

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    Sometimes you gotta scrape both knees, both elbows and sprain a toe before you learn the necessity of having protection for your whole body and not just your head. So I need some hot weather commuting gear for riding in the hot 'bama weather. Right now I am trying to pick a jacket and pair of pants.

    I'm willing to spend a fair bit of coin to get something quality that will last. Don't want to spend money just to be spending money though - that's what the Scotch fund is for. :evil Waterproof doesn't matter to me, I already have rain gear.

    REV'IT and Olympia seem to be popular 'round here. Right now I'm looking at the Olympia Airglide 3 line versus the REV'IT Tornado. Or possibly the REV'IT Airwave. Can these products flow enough air, protect me reasonably well and last through every day riding?

    I've seen praise for the quality of Olympia relative to the price. Is REV'IT better, worse or similar?

    Is the Airwave of good quality or should I go ahead and spend more?

    Thanks gents.
    #1
  2. gfloyd2002

    gfloyd2002 Title Free Since '12

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    I live in the tropics, dreaming of cool Alabama summers. :D I wear REV'IT Turbine gear and believe it is worth every penny. Not my first set of hot weather gear, but the gear I wear almost every day, making the "value" purchases I've made in the past a waste of money. 2 years wear on the jacket and it is going strong, not a thread out of place. Construction is top quality, with much attention to detail - seams are even and consistent, using high quality thread. All of the hook-and-loop material is evenly lined up. The zippers are very smooth and high quality, with thoughtful touches on the pulls. Rev’It gear is higher quality than my "custom” gear I’ve purchased in the past - they spare no expense to put the best of everything in these. Bullet-proof protection, too. Tight weave, high quality Dynax mesh, mixed with familiar 1000D Cordura, proprietary powershell material and ceramic-plated SuperFabric in the impact areas. Padding includes CE rated armor, which I've upgraded to CEII in the back. Have no intention of going down, but if I do, I'll won't regret wearing summer gear with this stuff on.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YgOCoQTV1ms?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #2
  3. AlabamaGetaway

    AlabamaGetaway New 'Round Here

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    I've heard plenty of people from hotter places say the Alabama summers "aren't so bad" but you are the first whose brain has been so cooked he thinks they are cool.:rofl

    I was looking at the Turbine stuff too but wasn't sure if I would have enough cash set aside for that before they're gone. Thanks for the feedback. If you can survive two years in the tropics, I suspect I'll be okay in Alabama.
    #3
  4. Joey Stalin

    Joey Stalin Been here awhile

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    I have a pair of Olympia Airglide pants that I bought in 2005 or so. I believe they are the originals since they are on Airglide 3 now, not sure what the difference is. But they have held up extremely well over the years and about 50,000 miles. i think i have washed them once. I don't think they even have any thread coming loose anywhere. Being my only pair of mesh pants I can't compare how well they breathe, but they are easy to put on and take off. Good for commuting duty.
    #4
  5. FozMaster

    FozMaster Air Pirate

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    I just moved to Alabama after three years in Jacksonville, FL. Went for my first ride in AL on one of these 100 degree days wearing my Airglide 3 pants that my wife got me for Christmas. Air flowed well and kept me feeling good all day. Pants are comfortable and fit well everywhere. I have owned other Olympia gear in the past and I think it is the best you can get for the money. I highly recommend them.
    #5
  6. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    I have given both manufacturers more than a chance to get things right, and have been left unsatisfied. My main current gripe with Re'vit is the newer fit - they switched from the euro fit to a boxy american one. If that works for you, then i'd take a look at the tornado. Olympia is still using the same mediocre one-use armor and poor seams, and I am convinced the grade of cordura they use is substandard - at least compared to Aerostich's.

    I've not had the chance to do any extended riding in anything from revit because it usually has fit problems out of the gate (I couldn't get the elbow armor to sit properly in the sand or defender - $750 for loose elbow armor? no thanks), and they just changed it up again.


    I'm currently using a Dainese shotgun, and I hope like hell the coil zipper (WTF?) holds up. The jacket breathes really well, at least, better airflow and more comfortable armor than any of the Oly mesh options I've tried (Airglide, Vyper, Moab, X-moto - not kidding, at least 500-2000 miles of carolina 95f/90% humidity in each). The stretch fabric is a good idea for comfort, and as I recall some slight stretchyness is important to prevent tearing. The back pad kicks ass, but that's TPro Forcefield, not Dainese.

    I'm not generally a fan of mesh for long distance, but it is an acceptable compromise for stupid-hot commutes.


    If you are willing to spend "a fair bit of coin", don't buy (or keep) anything that that doesn't fit 100% correctly right out of the box.
    #6
  7. Dcc46

    Dcc46 Been here awhile

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    Funny that I'm reading this. I have put about 20k miles on olympia mesh gear in the last year or so. Bushwacker jacket and airglide 2 pants. Both flow a ton of air and are comfortable and well made. Anyway I was looking to get some new pants (because they seem to be shrinking :rofl ) and I decided to give rev'it a try. I have wanted to try rev'it for years but there is no where locally for me to try them on and I don't have a european cut body. Last Thursday I bit the bullet and ordered a pair of turbine pants from revzilla. So depending on their fit and finish Tuesday when they get here, I should be able to give you an up to date review on them. If I don't love them I am planning on exchanging them for a new pair of olympia airglide 3 pants.
    #7
  8. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    In defense of the 1 use armor, if they are still using the Leidel & Kracht stuff, the numbers are quite good from what I remember, with numbers similar to current generation viscoelastic armors like BMW NP armor.

    Why not just buy current generation armor then? Well, they are somewhat thicker, definitely heavier, and more temperature sensitive.

    What about repeated hits? Unless you offroad in the stuff, I would argue that any hits during rolling are less severe than the initial impact.

    http://www.lk-schaumstoff-technik.d...k=produkte&subkat=protektoren&detail=prot_lk2

    I'll agree with you on the seams though, those are garbage. I'll admit that it is probably pretty rare to burst a panel sewn that way catastrophically enough to get rash, but the idea of it creeps me out. I like linking this thread a lot, as it is very illustrative of the way it can fail...
    #8
  9. AlabamaGetaway

    AlabamaGetaway New 'Round Here

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys. I'm leaning toward REV'IT. It sounds like Olympia flows enough air but stitching issues on relatively expensive gear just doesn't sit well for me.

    I probably qualify for the American build. I somehow manage to pack 200 pounds on a 5'8" frame and I'm only kinda fat. :D

    I look forward to hearing what you think of the REV'IT pants after using the Olympias.
    #9
  10. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    You must have metal-laced bones. Do you call people "bub" often?
    #10
  11. Lifes2short

    Lifes2short Been here awhile

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    About a month or so ago, I picked up the Airwave jacket and pant combo from Revzilla. When at their Philly store I also tried on the Tornado pants and jacket. For reference, I'm 5'11 175 and in MED the AIrwave fits perfectly. This is still a very EURO fit! I can get a thin long sleeve sweater under the jacket and find that if I wear fairly thin pants under the Airwave pants, my crotch isn't comfy after a while. The material seems fairly durable and almost stiff in some spots, not the mesh, but the collar for instance - which incidentally I find too small and have a hard time doing up. I went with the gray pants with the gray high viz jacket, I really like that it's fairly muted as far as high viz jackets go meaning that it's not 100% high viz.

    As far as performance, it's been in the 90's here for a week or so and I've been wearing the setup riding to and from work. In the morning it's a little chilly when on the highway with temps in the 60's, although for my 30 min commute it's not bad (also keep in mind I ride a full fairing bike - ST1300). In the heat, it vents really really well! I usually leave the collar undone so the fact it's tight does not bother me. Had I planned to wear something heavier underneath, I would have gone for the LG. So far I'm not 100% pleased with the color choice, it looks great and all but dirt is starting to show all over the place already. In contrast my 3+ year old black gear looks brand new. I ride about 25k (km's annually).

    The Tornado set was really nice, much softer feeling textile throughout but overall fit was boxier, definitely more American as they advertise. This set is also considerably more $, is it worth it? Well that's what I spend far too much time in the store trying to figure out. Keep in mind that other than the seemingly higher quality, you also get a thermal and waterproof (all in one) layer. Off the top of my head I don't recall the size that fit me well, I think it was 48. The Tornado has EURO sizing with an American fit and the Ariwave a EURO fit with American sizing...go figure. Once I removed the thermal/WP liner, the pants felt almost too big on me. I also couldn't think of how much I would use this liner. I mean if it's hot and raining, I'm not throwing on a thermal liner to get soaked from the inside out. I now wish I had the option if only for the cool mornings. If you're not going to see temps as low as the 60's then the Airwave setup is fantastic and only $400. The armor fits and sits perfectly and I do mean perfectly when wearing the AIrwave.

    I also have a far too big on me now Rev'it Tarmac Air jacket that is also fantastic. Nice and soft and vents huge air. Wore it on a trip south last July and loved it. If this was available in my size and had a similar high viz option to the Airwave, I would have picked it up without a single thought. Super comfy jacket.

    Ultimately if you don't care about spending an extra couple hundred, and want softer feeling material and an included WP/thermal layer, then the Tornado is a great option. Personally I'm really not sold on the concept of getting soaked to stay dry (waterproof liners on the inside) and ultimately went with the Airwave for several reasons. I can still throw on my Frogg Toggs to stay dry without soaking the rest of my jacket.

    Just my 2c on the Rev'it stuff.

    Cheers.
    #11
  12. Tonopah

    Tonopah Been here awhile

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    I bought the Rev'it Ignition 2 jacket and Gear 2 pants recently and then used them on a 3500 mile ride through parts of CA, NV, UT, AZ and CO. Temps were often in excess of 100 degrees, several days at 110, and the last day it hit 117 and stayed there (Coachella Valley, CA). Other folks in my riding party were shedding gear like crazy but I did not. The Rev'it stuff I used is a hybrid of leather and mesh and really, it was okay throughout and I felt well protected.

    My brother striped off his Roadcrafter and had me strap it to my R12GS while he rode in jeans and a T shirt on his Harley. No protection and probably more uncomfortable than me as he had no meaningful protection from the scortching sun. After the trip, he went to Beach Moto and bought -- Ignition 2 and Gear 2.
    #12
  13. AlabamaGetaway

    AlabamaGetaway New 'Round Here

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    That's helpful feedback. Stiffness doesn't bother me too badly in clothes and I too will be turning to external gear for rainy days. I do wonder about the cool weather performance (wouldn't expect a mesh jacket to be good in both hot and cold). Have you tried it with some slightly warmer clothes in cooler weather?

    No, don't smoke cigars either. I do sometimes have manful sideburns though. What's funny is that both sides of my family manage to cram a ton of meat in a small space. My biological grandfather on my mother's side, for instance, was a full two to three inches shorter, was only about 10 pounds lighter and everyone who knew him said he was built like a Greek god - all muscles. I mention the words "biological" and "everyone who knew him" because he left shortly after my mother was born. He liked to roam the country, working on radio towers and getting into bar fights. Took a sawed off shotgun to the back of the head before my mother was even in kindergarten.

    Er, sorry, did I get distracted and start telling weird family stories again? :lol3
    #13
  14. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    gee this sounds a bit like a REV IT ad....

    Dynax mesh is name given to sound like dynatec, a material heavily promoted by BMW. - The Mesh start fraying around the cuff and stomach area where they come in contact with the bike with 5000kms. This mesh does not flow much air and its longevity is in serious doubt.

    <"familiar" 1000D Cordura >- what does that even mean - 1000D cordura strips are used as chassis on the front of the jacket - hardly a place needing extra abrasion reinforcement. - The benefit is that it holds the jacket up for better photo on your body

    proprietary powershell - the same 600D pwr-shell used in Sand Pants - recent RiDE magazine test shows it is merely 28% better in abrasion resistance compare to a pair of LEVI 501- it lasted 0.57sec in CE13595 type abrasion test!

    Super fabric - probably the only piece that provide some real protection, but it doesnt cover the whole likely impact area - only patches - if u hit the deck in between the patches - well....

    Do a google on advrider about complaints against REV IT and you will see fraying is a common complaint.

    I have REV IT Turbine & Caynne Pro for the last 3 years or 40,000km between them due to getting suck in on the REV IT hype - never again - BMW pricing with only average quality gear and protection - I will give it one thing - it looks good
    #14
  15. gfloyd2002

    gfloyd2002 Title Free Since '12

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    I love my Turbines when on the bike. Fanstastic fit, finish, and protection make them my pants of choice, and I wouldn't want anything else. But there are some issues with them, particularly ease (or lack thereof) of getting them on and off. I've just posted a full review at this link.
    #15
  16. SF_Rider

    SF_Rider Been here awhile

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  17. AlabamaGetaway

    AlabamaGetaway New 'Round Here

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    Thanks for the review gfloyd2002 and for the info about fraying, AceRider01. It's never cut and dried, is it?

    I looked through their lineup but as far as I can tell, they don't offer anything for hot weather riding. Or am I mistaken?
    #17
  18. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    FYI, the grabbing fabric at the bottom is meant for WP with WP liner in - think of it as a gaiter. - you can buy some other fabric which is WP but less grabby - then get someone to replace it it.

    In terms of weave on the Mesh - the tight weave means they dont flow air particular well. Now some say this system works best because you are not getting a furnace blast. This will be true in the following condition: You will be using them in higher speed >70km/hr and in dry heat weather. Communting where most the speed is less than 70km/hr and in humid weather - An Air -Weave is probably better - but u go down in protection level again.

    In terms of Safety - if you look at the side of pants when it is the most likely contact points for crash - the material is thin and unsubstantial - the seat material on the pants are not too bad. As with the rest of the pants, well u know what i thought of the safety factor- mediocre. Sure there are tons of stuff on the market offering even less protection - but you are paying BMW prices here and one would expect more.

    In terms of comfort - yes i agree - it is very comfortable.

    PS - take out the standard hip pads - it does next to nothing in protection but takes weight too much room - replaced with some soft CE pads (i used BMW NP Protector- more protection less bulk).
    #18
  19. gfloyd2002

    gfloyd2002 Title Free Since '12

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    Good point on the grabbing fabric for waterproofing. Also does a good job of keeping the pants from riding up on my boots, which is nice when riding. But overall really not worth it, and I wish it would go away.

    On the airflow of dynex mesh, I'm not too sure that it flows worse than an air weave. I ride in 90+, high humidity here in the tropics, and I don't get faster than 40 mph on my daily commute. The airflow just as good as the cheapo air weave polyester stuff and it keeps me cool. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but my experience is that the dynex works quite well. Safer and flows as much as my other, lower quality mesh gear like the open weave on my Teiz Mojave. I often wear wicking undergarments, which really helps.

    After two years with the Turbine jacket, I've got no fraying at all, anywhere. No other gear I've had has held up as well except for my Aerostich. On the Turbine pants, I have less bike time on them, but they are still wearing like brand new also. Maybe I'm doing better than others, but I have absolutely zero complaints about the quality of construction on this stuff and would happily go back to REV'ITs top tier gear. I think like many manufacturers (Alpinestars comes to mind), their gear varies in quality toward the lower end, but at the top end I do think it justifies the price. (I've got REV'IT gloves, too, and they are absolutely fantastic - have been more durable than my old Helds.)

    I may also disagree on the protection on the side of the pants, though that Ride Magazine study is new to me and worrisome. Still, not sure whether anything short of Motoport or BMW is tougher in the summer gear market. (Though that is sort of like saying there isn't a faster diesel car on the road . . . ) It is still high denier material which lots of testing has shown to do very well in abrasion resistance - much better than the Ride magazine results. That is why those results really surprise me, and I'm wondering if there is some outlying data point at work. Still, appreciate the tip on that study, which I plan to dig into.

    Can't disagree on stiff pricing, but you can find them for $250 now, down from $330 original pricing, and I'm still extremely happy with them. Though if we are debating whether the BMW gear is better quality, I think I would be willing to concede that point. The BMW Airflow suit looks just awesome, and I don't think anyone can touch BMW gear build quality. I wish they'd make their sizing more sane and make it easier to buy from overseas.
    #19
  20. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    gfloyd2002,

    The truth is that for hot (ie > 30c or 86F) in humid (>80%) weather in urban (<70km/hr) stop start traffic, i havent come across any gear which provides great protection and still feel comfortable
    #20