Rain suits

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Kokopelli, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    Either I've been cursed with rain gear or my expectations are just to high. Am I asking to much to actually want to stay dry while wearing these things? Last time I rode in serious rain, I considered stopping so I could cut a hole for the water to get out again.

    I've have a BMW rain suit and the bloody thing leaks now I have a Revit and also got wet. However, I just went and tested it, not very scientifically, but still a test. I put a bucket under the crotch area and poured enough water over the offending area until it formed a nice little pond. There was no sign of a leak. I repeated it, where the zipper ends, that's the area that has a large flap behind it, with the same result.

    Now last time in the rain, it took a few minutes before I was wet, yet there are no obvious holes. So, what's the likely cause, apart from having peed myself and not noticed? Did I not fold the flaps over the zipper properly? Did it run down my neck? Will the water only push through, if I am sitting on that area?

    It's an overall by the way. Maybe a two piece suit would be better? Since I am doing the DB1K I don't want to end up wet at altitude and then end up freezing to death. I hate the cold, by the way.

    What do you guys use?
    #1
  2. Pete-NZ

    Pete-NZ Been here awhile

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    PVC coat & leggings..
    I had a rain suit..drama to get in/out of and
    was no dryer..
    #2
  3. DaveStockwell

    DaveStockwell Rock Fodder

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    Aerostitch all the way! Keeps me dry year 'round here in the rainy pacific northwest. I've also stayed dry through midwest downpours. http://www.aerostich.com/suits

    I run a Roadcrafter jacket and Darien pants.

    Make sure you get the pants long enough below the knee to cover your boots all the way when sitting on the bike.
    #3
  4. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    Thanks Dave, I just need a light rain suit for Adventure riding. Because of where we're riding, temperatures can got from plus 35 degrees (95F) to snow sleet within the same day. An Aerostitch suit would be too bulky and probably not ventilated enough. I'll be wearing my BMW Rally 1 suit and will be packing a few thermal layers, with the rain suit somewhere handy. Hopefully it won't be needed at all.

    I wear a BMW coverall suit for commuting, but I don't want to ruin it on an adventure ride, because there is a faint possibility that I might fall off........several times.
    #4
  5. cooneyr

    cooneyr terra firma rider

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    May I offer an alternative perspective. Rain suits have two functions , the first being to keep the wind out and the second to slow down rain. The is for little old NZ i.e. this is for NZ context, I know from first hand experience that things in Sweden about the Arctic circle in the middle of winder are a little different. There wind protection is everything as the "rain" is white and dry.

    Anyway back to story, the wind function is the most important. This is because this is the bit that makes you really cold. Even if you are saturated through, with thermals, wind protection and mild exertion to keep you warm you can be comfortable. The more extreme the temperature the more important the wind protection and thermal layer become. I did the 'Long Way Around Taupo' ride mid year and the -6 degrees C temps (no rain) were pretty good test of gear. Far more than the +10 and raining.

    I'm not convinced there is any such thing as light weight waterproofs. I've done a fair bit of alpine climbing and tramping (along with riding bikes) and concluded that you will get wet eventually, no matter what you wear. PVC you get wet from the inside out, same for Goretex (though less so) and nylon etc from the outside in. Basically we all sweat so even the most waterproof thing out there just traps the sweat. I know Goretex is suppose to overcome this but given it relies on heat and moisture pressure to work you still get damp.

    The hardest thing to deal with is rain or snow at about 0 to +4 degrees. Unfortunately this is exactly what we had (snow and +4ish) last year. Colder than this and the snow tends to be "dry" (like -30 in Sweden) so you can basically wear canvas, warmer than this and you can generally handle the temp (though +4 to +10 can be uncomfortable).

    I've ridden a KTM 950 Adventure for 5 hours from Ranfurly to Chch in the pouring rain with a Revit overjacket, normal riding jacket and couple of layers of thermals. Legs were over nylon trou, MX pants, MX knee guards, and polypro. I wear old alpine climbing mits over my gloves though the rain off mits are probably the best go for riding a bike. Got home to Chch dripping wet on the outside, and had damp legs, crotch and where my back pack staps went over my shoulders. I was a little chilly but pretty good.

    In short, thermals and wind protection are the key and add in as much water protection as you can but don't stress about it.

    HTH
    Cheers R

    P.S. the other thing about the Dusty is that you are only ever at altitude for about an hour and very often in the SI once you drop down things improve. If its rubbish at 1600m get down to 600-800m and it will often be tolerable. This is true for the DB route as well (snow was only about the tops and was just an overcast day at lower levels last year).
    #5
  6. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    Thanks for putting that in perspective, Ryan. I suppose another thing in my favour will be be the slower speeds I'll be travelling on gravel. At 120km/h on the road, rains tends to get in, no matter what. I am not stressing about it, but I am over wet and cold, I've done that too many times and I am also familiar with -20 degrees (don't touch metal with bare hands).

    You'll never find me at a Brass Monkey or Cold Kiwi or at the Elephantentreffen for that matter. I don't even like my beer too cold.
    #6
  7. 1Waipukbiker

    1Waipukbiker Adventurer

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    Re weather protection, I rode on the "long way round" ride back in June around Lake taupo, It was about -5 when we left Taupo and along with a few others I had a lightweight, windproof tramping Jacket over the top of my normal jacket and it made a huge differance because it took all the initial load off the jacket and allowed it to do its job much more effectively.
    With elastic cuffs and a high neck which went up over the bottom of the balaclava and could be velcroed snug around the neck OVER the bottom of the balaclava.
    Ive ridden snowmobiles in Antarctica so have a fair idea of what works and what dousnt, A good set of thermals to trap the body heat against the skin is the first priority and whatever it takes to keep the wind out.
    As to rain, the lightweight tramping jackets are showerproof at best but again, they will still take a lot of the water load away from the jacket. Lightweight overtrou over your normal pants will do the same thing.
    Ive met a few riders now that wear lightweight gear over the top of the Armoured stuff and they all swear by it.

    Hope this has helped

    Cheers
    Ross
    #7
  8. Steve in NZ

    Steve in NZ scared/cheap

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    Aerostitch has been tested in NZ by 2 Americans I know.

    West Coast of the Sth Island.

    fail :rofl:rofl

    yip they got wet

    they did not even go into the high country where they get 16 metres rainfall a year
    #8
  9. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    I endorse PVC.

    Those ugly yellow industrial weight leggings are cheap'n'cheerful, but they are easy to pull on when needed, and work well for a year or two. When they eventually do leak at the crutch they don't cost an arm and a leg to replace.

    I am not keen on the PVC coat though. I have found nylon over a leather jacket keeps most rain at bay. Wearing a woollen base layer takes care of any seepage while retaining warmth and comfort.

    Living in Thailand for now..... I'm a Kiwi who has also ridden in UK & Europe.
    #9
  10. YJake

    YJake Wrenchin'

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    I have never had my nylon 2-piece rain suit leak on me. A very cheap set from a sporting goods store, I wear it over my regular riding gear and it works well enough in the Florida summer showers. I averaged commuting in the rain 3.5 days a week this past summer.

    Maybe I'm just lucky so far? :wink:

    -Jake
    #10
  11. driftinglobo

    driftinglobo Adventurer

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    Hi Guys,

    I never had the pleasure to own a real motorcycle rain gear. For a while now I m using a blue colour 2 piece gear, made out of nylon and pvc mix, fully seam sealed. And it is from the Warehouse. I wear it over my riding gear when needed. The last one i bought (1 or 2 years ago) was under 30$ for a legging.They not always available so have to hunt for it, but keeps the rain and wind out. Proven in many rides some in all day rain. It has condensation in the inside after some wearing time, but I just turn it inside out to dry our after wearing it. They last for a year or two, but cheep to replace when it is worn out or lost, and packs into a small space.
    Just an other option.
    Lobo
    #11
  12. kiwipeet

    kiwipeet Uber Cyber Loafer

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    I agree with most of the comments above. Being wet is one thing, being dry is another.

    Someone mentioned you get wet from the inside wearing nylon/PVC. Absolutely true. But are you more worried about wet or warm?

    I have lightweight leggings, and a thin nylon rain suits that I put over my riding gear. Mainly to do the bulk of the work keeping the water out and also to stop the wind chill. But yeah, ride in the wet long enough and it finds it's way into my gloves and boots and through zips.

    The other thing to think about is that all this gear is trying to trap your body heat and stop the wind chill from sapping it away. You might want to consider something that actively heats you instead. If you are seriously concerned about being cold, have you considered heated grips and/or a heated vest?
    #12
  13. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    I have two heated vests, for winter commuting, I am very happy with those.
    #13
  14. Steve in NZ

    Steve in NZ scared/cheap

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    what r ya soft
    #14
  15. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    If I was soft, I'd have heated grips :-) But I guess, the only believable answer is "YES, I am"
    #15
  16. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

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    I've found the DriRider wets to be pretty decent. First foray was a 1 piece rainsuit, but on a Grand Challenge, and over my one piece leathers, toilet stops were more like a limbo game with 2 suits to deal with.

    Since then, I've used the Thunderwave jacket and pants. The PVC warehouse stuff does work, but can be quite bulky and not accommodate bike gear too well (especially the armour). I use the pants for commuting stuff, and after a couple of years of regular use (and living in the top box) they start to leak, so I replace them as required. I use the jacket for all my country riding. It packs down reasonably well and you can throw it over the top of anything else (just get a size big enough - I use 3XL) to keep the outer layers of the main jacket dry. The downside is that it doesn't breathe, so the main jacket usually gets a little damp from condensation. I could try goretex, but I figure it would cost more, and the DriRider are cheap enough to replace as required (especially with the mileage I do).

    Adv Riding especially, can have a trip with miserable cold wet weather, then slow going through hot weather, so jackets like Revit can be stripped down to the mesh outer, for breathability, or layered up when cold. Problem of course is the outer isn't waterproof, and damp layers do nothing for insulation, hence the cheap jacket.

    Since the thread has evolved a little... the key to dealing with the variations in temperature is layers. For extreme cold (even more important on long rides) it's heated grips and heated vest. The vest doesn't come out very often and I don't think I've even had it above middle yet, but nothing beats pumping warmth back into your core. The body expends energy to keep you warm, so the less it has to do, the more energy you have, allowing you to maintain concentration.

    Before I go for the vest it's thermals and blocking the wind (rain jacket for wet or wind).
    #16
  17. Crash99

    Crash99 n00b

    Joined:
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    RJays jacket, Revit pants (had a Rev-it jacket too but that got a busted zipper). The neat thing about the RJays jacket is that it feels like a proper jacket instead of the stiff plastic stuff. Really, really waterproof, and I wear it over my Rev-it cordura jacket so if any rain should seep through its going to take forever to get right through.

    The proof that its good? Yep, rode from Bluff to Dunedin on our way to Picton (in one day) after the "not the Icon tour" tour last year - 2.5 hours in the heaviest rain I have ever seen.:clap
    Another one - couple of weeks back Welly got blasted by some serious rain just as I was heading to work in the city from Red Baron (with a brand new front tyre :cry) - 20mins in and 50 mins again next morning when it was as bad - dry as, apart from cuffs.

    Highly recommended.
    And dont let anyone tell you a jacket is breathable and waterproof - it physically cant be completely waterproof if its breathable.
    #17