Olympia AST 2 jacket leaks

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Humboldt Airhead, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Humboldt Airhead

    Humboldt Airhead Adventurer

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    I bought a Olympia AST 2 jacket and it leaks through the arm and chect vents. Olympia has replaced the jacket but the new one leaks in the same place.
    Looking at the construction it looks like the water leaks through the stiching for the zipper or the zipper itself.
    Olympia has recomended Scotchguard and Nikwax has told me that their products would not work as they for coating fabric and not sealing sewing holes. I'm also thinking of a seam sealer to see what happens.
    Has anyone had this happen and sealed it? Any input would be helpful.

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    The AST 1 leaked for the same reasons. What you have to do is take a syringe (A monoject 412 works great), fill it with seam sealer, and squeeze along those rows of stitching. The waterproof membrane for the AST is laminated to the backside of the fabric used as the lining so you want to seal those holes first, and any areas where water might wick through the zipper...

    I find Seamgrip thinned with some Cotol 240 works great...just be careful not to get it on anything else.

    [​IMG]

    If you are not afraid to open it up and void what's left of your warranty...
    [​IMG]
    You can undo some stitches at the bottom and turn it inside out
    [​IMG]

    Although honestly, if you can try to get a refund, I would. It's not really worth the hassle considering you paid good money for a waterproof jacket.
    #2
  3. MacG

    MacG Been here awhile

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    I went through 3 leaky AST 2s. Luckily the dealer refunded my money and I will get something else. It was a nice jacket but for that price it should have had better quality.
    #3
  4. JTT

    JTT Long timer

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    You already have come out better than my experience. I was basically told by Olympia to avoid heavy rain :huh

    I think keiji's fix is likely the best and most permanent fix, but I can tell you I had excellent success using Nikwax glove and boot product. It comes in a bottle with a dabber applicator. I used it on my Aerostich Roadcrafter zipper, which are also legendary for leaking and it works quite well. Seems to do OK at sealing thread holes as well as bare zipper fabric. It does need to be reapplied, but is an improvement. I used this technique with pretty good success on my leaky AST 1 as well.
    #4
  5. Humboldt Airhead

    Humboldt Airhead Adventurer

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    Thanks Keiji & Jtt. Did the seam sealing work?
    After looking at the way they made the vent system I noticed that the space between the velcro strips will allow the sleve to bend one way and the storm flap to bend the other way leaving a gap. I also noticed that when the zipper bends up it will allow a gap that will let water in. (I hope that makes sense)
    What I plan on doing is to take some tape and cover the zipper only and go for a ride in the rain to see what happens. I'll also take some pictures to show what I mean.

    Thanks for the help.
    #5
  6. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    My seam sealing worked, but I eventually moved onto another jacket once they refunded me for the second one that I (foolishly) bought.

    My jacket leaked in the rain even though the fabric under the storm flap didn't get wet, and I bet yours does too. What happens, if you take a look at my crappy MS paint picture, is that water gets past the outer fabric, gets stopped by the membrane, and touches the mesh fabric by a vent, which is sort of hanging out in between the two. Water wicks through the seam where the zipper, mesh, and lining are stitched together, and you get wet. The only way to stop this is to fill that area with sealant so water can't wick through.

    I spent a lot of time on this, and I am pretty sure it is the only way you can be sure to stay dry. If you have a good dealer, they may refund you if it keeps leaking...When I returned my second jacket I was told I could get a one time replacement with no further warranty support, or a refund. I took the refund.
    #6
  7. 1911fan

    1911fan Master of the Obvious

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    ...and my AST2 hasn't leaked a drop. It's had opportunities.


    1911fan
    #7
  8. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander Ride Far - Ride Fast

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    It's a shame ... I liked my AST1 till I rode it in the rain the first time and the arms leaked. Sold it toot sweet.

    I was hoping the AST2 fixed that problem.
    #8
  9. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    Sorry for exhuming a year old thread, but I really feel driven to ward others off purchasing the AST 2 jacket, (and possibly other Olymia products although I can't speak for those). I can definitely speak for the AST 2 . . . it's leaked from day one!

    Thanks to all that provided some hope here, but I went even further than Keiji's fine instructions with SeamGrip and coated the top threads around the arm zippers, the arm tensioning strap base and the area inside the zipper seam Keiji pointed out. Thing is, the leaking occurs before that area even gets wet under the flaps. Believe me, I've tested this jacket thoroughly!

    My last hope for this jacket was to use a product by Granger that is a 2 in 1 breathable waterproof wash-in cleaner and water repellancy reviver, plus their spray on protector. I even heat set the product in the dryer on medium (I never spin or tumble dry these articles according to instructions). I washed and treated it twice before the last test.

    At first water beaded up on the outside fabric. However, 5 minutes into my ride in a light rain and water was starting to leaking through right at the inside of the elbow, even through my heated Gerber liner. Within another 10 minutes, my arms were soaked from pits to wrists. After 30 minutes, I could wring water from the sleeves of my long sleeve tee, which was my base layer. The front of the jacket around the center flaps was also leaking and my chest had two 3" diameter areas where it was wet. This would be disasterous on a tour!

    Without ripping the jacket apart (which I can't afford to do until I have a replacement in hand), my working theory based on experience and testing is that the membrane in these jackets has little-to-no abrasion resistance. In the inner elbow area where the material is rubbing against itself all the time, I'm sure there is nothing but porous nylon left. Also, for those like me with more in the mid-zone than we should have, the jacket would be rubbing the outer fabric seams against the membrane along the front, where it also leaks. So it's not the zippers, not the flaps, not leaking seams . . . it's a CRAP membrane that has no abrasion resistance.

    The only endearing qualities to this jacket are venting and style. This is a poser motorcycle jacket. Looks great on models, but functionally is pretty much useless. The venting is fairly good, but the material itself is so porous it allows cold air though, so except for quite warm weather, it has enough air flow without the vents even open. In quite warm weather its fine while you're moving, but stopping for any length of time or in heavy traffic, you're cooking.

    So this jacket is really only a one-season jacket . . . cool-to-warm and DRY weather only. It's pretty much useless in the Northwest area of North America or anywhere else it rains a lot year round. The only way it's waterproof is if you wear a waterproof shell over top of it, which I've had to do since the second rainfall that I experienced in this jacket, but was outside of the warranty period. (handy for Olympia and probably why it's only a one year warranty)

    So don't waste your time or money if you've already purchased this jacket and they won't refund your money out of warranty. And certainly don't get a replacement if you are still under warranty, you'll just be disappointed in time when the membrane abrades away. And certainly don't waste your money buying this jacket in the first place. There are far better options out there and spending more is worth it in the long run.
    #9
  10. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    Yeah, that too. It happens if you tighten the arm straps too much. I think I have posted about this before for the AST1, but the inside probably looks like this.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11100868&postcount=8

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    If you are more or less out of warranty, I would open up the lining at the bottom near the drain and either seam grip or seam tape the worn areas. Make sure you let it dry before letting it touch other stuff or it will pull the membrane off the fabric.
    [​IMG]

    I think a lot of people just shut up and put up so they can dump their gear on the used market-it's hard to sell stuff if you've been bitching and moaning about it. I've forgone a lot of money by complaining about getting wet (with almost everything I've owned).

    Been bitching about Olympia for the last three years, and people still buy it.
    #10
  11. biker128pedal

    biker128pedal Super Lurker

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    Nothing beats a good rain suit. The Olympia stuff is good for a short light shower.
    #11
  12. aftCG

    aftCG Been here awhile

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    Virtually none of the stuff being marketed as waterproof will stand up to more than a quick spritz. You simply can't make something out of waterproof fabric, then stitch it together including all kinds of zippers, pockets, stripes and reflective material and have that expectation.

    When I paid over $200 for a Tourmaster jacket I made the incorrect assumption that it was factory seam sealed. It's not, which ticks me off. Maybe I'm old school but I think of watches. A watch that says water resistant is rated to a certain depth, and for most purposes can be considered water proof.

    For a company to suggest that I need to seam seal it myself is insulting. I can be done when being constructed far more effectively.

    My son and I took off a week ago and had to ride in the rain. In minutes my gloves were full of water, I was soaked from the belly button to my taint and the zippers on my pants guided the water to fill my boots. I'm all done being naive about something labeled as waterproof in the motorcycle industry.

    Not to bash Olympia too hard but I recently paid $77 for a pair of gloves that say "all season" on them. The leaked like a bitch in 10 minutes of rain, so I took them back.

    I'm taking a look at Klim gear because jackets like the Traverse are in fact seam sealed from the factory, and have a guarantee on them.
    #12
  13. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    I do believe there are contemporary garment materials and construction out there that can be stitched together with lots of features, be breathable (to some degree), but still be waterproof. However, to get that quality and guarantee . . . you will have to pay the price.

    I've read nothing about the Klim gear leaking like I have read around Olympia products. In particular, I like the idea of a 3 layer gore-tex bonded to the outer layer to mimimize water saturation of the outer layer. While staying dry inside is of utmost importance, taking off a heavy, dripping, sodden jacket is not much fun either. If the 3 layer reduces that effect, I'll give it a shot.

    So I too will put my trust in Klim next time, which will hopefully be soon. Problem for me is I'd really like the Badlands, but the XL is too big and the L is too small. So either I have to change the model I'm interested in, or change my size. I'm going to try for the latter. :lol3 :roflUntil then, it's a waterproof shell worn over the AST when it rains.

    And if I sell the AST, (which I highly doubt I will because I'd wouldn't will this crap to my worst enemy, nor do I think it's worth much), I'll definitely sell it cheap as a non-waterproof jacket with decent venting and average crash protection. I'll probably just keep it as a thrasher jacket for those cool to warm off-road days when I know it won't rain to save wear and tear on the Klim gear.
    .
    #13
  14. redwing51

    redwing51 Been here awhile

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    I've had an Olympia AST 2 jacket thru several good extended rainstorms, even on an 8000 mile trip and haven't gotten wet. So far, I'm pleased with it. Perhaps some characteristics are dependent on one's windscreens or fairings? I ride a 1150GS with a Ztechnik windscreen. Hope my success with AST 2 holds out.
    #14
  15. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    I had a Klim Latitude that leaked., basically the front napolean pockets aren't waterproof and water can seep in through there which happens if you have little wind protection, say on a dual sport..... Pretty sure the traverse can be the same way. I also had a lot of trouble with water leaking through the water resistant zips on the arms as the storm flap would always billow up while riding.
    #15
  16. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    So did Klim fix the problem or replace the jacket under their "Guaranteed to keep you dry warranty"? This is one of the reasons many purchase their product line, so I'm very interested to know if they kept their word.

    I only ride one of two dual sports, a R1200GS and a DR350, so very little in between me and the elements. I've considered the Lattitude, so it's good to know that model could be a problem . . . maybe Traverse as well. But I like the 3 layer outer shell feature of the Badlands and would hope as a "dual sport" specific solution, they've got that one sealed shut!
    #16
  17. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    Klim attempted repair, accidentally damaged a zipper, repaired that, and it still leaked. From that point on their stance was water resistant zippers aren't waterproof and water through the zippers doesn't count as a leak. I sent it to W.L. Gore after that and they offered to buy me a replacement (any brand), or a refund. I took the refund, but I won't get the check for another two or three weeks. From start to finish, about 3 months of putting up with it.

    I am not too optimistic about the badlands as the arm zippers are pretty much the same? Tension straps near a WR zipper is an awful idea as it will part the zippers leaving the storm flap (that has no velcro) as the only defense.
    #17
  18. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    Thanks for the heads-up. I might be reconsiding Klim as well then! :huh Their "won't leak guarantee" must be on the fabric only and not their design, which is unfortunate to hear. The 3 months dealing with a problem is not a good sign either. In the middle of the winter when it's raining a lot, you need a jacket on hand and all that time going back and forth is not practical.

    A lot of reports on the Badlands I've seen so far (here on ADV and elsewhere) don't mention leaking through the zippers if the zipper garages are secured properly. I don't keep the arm bands snug either. But I'll have to do some more research on real world reviews. What I don't understand is that these manufacturers put the zipper flaps facing the inside. A body is like a cyclinder in the wind and the air flow wants to move from the center, around the sides and toward the back. With the flap opening facing the center of the body, they catch the wind instead of deflecting it. Same on the arms, particularly with the AST. It's simple aerodynamics. In a waterproof jacket with good venting, the priority should be on waterproof rather than the venting, so they should fasten the damed flaps so the fixed side is toward to the inside (center of the body) so they'll work properly. My GS provides a small amount of wind protection, but the DR (which I ride during our monsoon winter season), is about as exposed as being tied to a mast in a hurricane. :eek1

    So what did you decide to replace the Klim jacket with?
    #18
  19. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    I just used a jacket I had previously - a Spidi Ergo 365 Pro (removable liner system). Liner for the lighter rains, rain jacket over top for the heavy rains.

    I really like the idea of the external laminate, but execution is lacking in a lot of jackets. It's no good if I can't be confident I'll arrive dry and have to wear a rain jacket anyway, plus it'll still get heavier than a rain jacket once the DWR wets out.
    #19
  20. outsidein

    outsidein Been here awhile

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    Have an Olympia AST one. It has this issue with water penetrating the top seams at the top of the vent zippers but this is not noticeable with the insulated liner installed it is so minute. Also it is not water but dampness and only after 15+ minutes in the heavy rain. My jacket has just survived and protected me in a 40mph crash and resulting slide so for the price I would still buy another. Great abrasion protection and venting compared to the competition but if you want 100% water proof (will keep you dry with a high pressure hose sprayed on you) buy dedicated high quality rain gear because you will not find it in a 4 season jacket < $600.
    #20