Bilt Explorer Jacket & Pants Review

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Signal 13, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Signal 13

    Signal 13 Been here awhile

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    A few weeks back I found the Bilt Explorer jacket and pants for 50% off, so the jacket cost me $200 and the pants were $180. What attracted me to these, besides the price tag, were the removable liners in both the jacket and pants, them being waterproof, and being able to vent the jacket. Riding gear ain't cheap, and I was wanting something I could wear nearly all year long as opposed to having to purchase gear for each season.

    There's armor at the shoulders, elbows, knees and back, 600 denier outer material, and 1200 denier abrasion resistant sections at the shoulders, elbows, knees and seat. A quick word about the placement of the knee armor...while low when standing, they were perfect in a seated position. The back of the jacket will hold a 3L water reservoir and has a place for the tube to exit behind the left shoulder. Like most gear of this type, the jacket zips to the pants from hip to hip around the back.

    jacket-1.jpg jacket-2.jpg pants-1.jpg pants-2.jpg

    I wore the gear today during a MSF course and although I didn't get over 25mph, I can tell this gear is going to keep me warm well into the later months of the year. It was 34 degrees this morning and only 38 degrees at lunchtime. It's safe to say I was the only one in the class not even the least bit cold, and I only wore boxer briefs under the pants and a synthetic tee shirt under the jacket. I almost removed the jacket liner after lunch due to getting quite warm, but ended up just unzipping the jacket half way.

    Tomorrow will be a bit warmer (mid-40s), but it will be raining from the time we start until about 1pm. It's a good thing I wear a full-face helmet so the others can't see me smiling at their misery. :D

    Anyhow, I'd of not purchased these had they been full price because they'd have been over my budget, but at 50% off, they're a bargain. I bought mine at Cycle Gear in Indy, but if they don't have a location near you, they have a website by that same name. This gear is still available for 50% off, but they only a few sizes left. And speaking of sizes, the sizing is perfect...they don't run big or small...just right. I'm 6' and 200 lbs and purchased the XL jacket and 38" pants. My waist is closer to a 37", but with the jacket zipping to the pants (which helps to hold up the pants) and the waist being adjustable, they fit fine.
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  2. tiny tiger

    tiny tiger Been here awhile

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    I'm curious, because I have looked at the adv gear much. I do have a built jacket adv style that was bought for me. I HATE it, it has no removable liner in it. The only liner it does have is like a rain liner and it is not removable either. So cold, hot, raining or not, you sweat your balls off!! It has vent but they ony open between outer and inner. It does keep everything dry in driving rain. That's the only thing good about it. How would the one you purchased compare?

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  3. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf High functioning sociopath

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    Just a tip


    Always do extra seam sealer (pick it up at any outdoor store and sometimes even walmart) in the crotch of your water proof liner. Water pools there when riding and in MOST liners will seep through.



    Good luck and enjoy your new riding life.
    #3
  4. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    I have the same set in yellow. Spray it with water repellent spray,after washing, before each big ride. Works good.

    [​IMG]
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  5. Signal 13

    Signal 13 Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I would hate that too. As I said, one of the main reasons for this purchase was it’s versatility. It’s going to keep me warm in the cold, dry in the wet, and cool in the heat.

    While I can vent the jacket at that upper arms, chest, and back, doing so with the liner in will accomplish nada...nothing getting through that liner. But, with the liner removed, the jacket vents well. I mean, it’s not like some of the mesh jackets out there, but considering the added protection this has, the venting is impressive. The left and right chest areas unzip, roll up, and snap to remain in place, that’s a lot of wind being allowed directly onto your chest.

    Something else I like is that when you unzip the other vents, there are tabs and snaps that essentially allow the fabric to be pulled back to expose the vents and hold them open.

    I’m skeptical about being able to wear these in the height of summer...July/August, but it may work...won’t know for sure until those months roll back around. But I’m confident this set will be fine in fall, winter and spring.

    I also like that it’s waterproof, so I don’t need to add yet another layer on top of this, which would cost me more money and it would be something else I’d have to carry around on the bike.
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  6. Signal 13

    Signal 13 Been here awhile

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    Hadn’t thought of that. I’ve used seam sealer before on my tents and tarps, but hadn’t thought of doing so for this. I trust it won’t cause any damage?

    Too late to pick some up and apply it before riding tomorrow, but at least I’ll get to test the gear in the rain before making any adjustments. It’s supposed to rain several hours tomorrow, so I’ll definitely find out if any water seeps in anywhere.
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  7. tiny tiger

    tiny tiger Been here awhile

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    Good info, thank you. I live in Tucson Az, so as far as rain is concerned, it's really minimal. I like riding year round and in the winter it's cold on a bike but I can still ride. I'll have to look at these more. I would like to see someone who has had them for a a few years and many miles to see the wear on it. Maybe someone will chime in here. Thanks again.

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  8. Signal 13

    Signal 13 Been here awhile

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    Good tip, thanks.

    I’ve noticed at least 2, maybe 3 variances in the Bilt Explorer line. For example, the chest area of mine unzips, rolls up, then snaps in place, whereas yours appears to be different. Your lower jacket pockets are styled a bit different as well.
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  9. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf High functioning sociopath

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    Just the liner...

    And really just the crotch of that. I've never had a liner fail me anywhere else...but every liner I have ever had that is where water has opportunity to sit and soak and that is an area that gets a lot of stretching, twisting, wear and abuse. Even on my Klim, that is where water starts to come in first.

    Don't wash your outter gear too often, unless it is starting to stink, just do a hose off at the car wash to keep the DWR layer on (durable water repellent).

    Once or twice a year, run an empty washing machine with powder detergent (never fabric softener) to clean the tub of any old detergents. Then take out armor and liners etc and wash your gear using a product called tech wash then while your gear is still wet, run it again using TX Direct (both are Nicwax products and often found at REI or outdoor stores or online). You have to use TXDirect on WET jackets and pants. Then tumble dry low. That will water prrof your stuff without all the nasty smelling spray.
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  10. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Yeah, they change makers from time to time. I've had mine for a couple of years. I like it because it's water proof so I don't carry ANY rain gear...but it's too hot for desert riding, like NMBDR in June. :knary I never use any liners.

    I wash mine when it gets dirty in regular liquid laundry soap and let it air dry in the
    garage. Seems to work ok.

    The light spray is just to help keep the outer surface dry.

    [​IMG]
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  11. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    Nylon? Polyester? It should be on the garment tag.
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  12. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf High functioning sociopath

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    Liquid detergents tend to remove waterproofing, always use the powdered unless its thr nicwax.

    Tech wash getsbrid of dirt without removing water repelent and is suitable for goretex type materials. Finish off with the TX wash to replenish water repelent.

    Oddly enough, for best results you should apply water repelent spray or wash in on wet fabric for best results. It helps the repelent to soak into the fabric better and get in the fibers. If you spray it on dry, it just sets on top and is quickly worn off or rinsed off.
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  13. Signal 13

    Signal 13 Been here awhile

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    When you say “just the liner,” I’m thinking that’s something else that differs in our gear. Mine doesn’t have a separate waterproof liner. It as a removable liner for warmth, but that’s it...no other liners. So if I were to apply seam sealer, it would only make sense to do so to the garment itself (not to the cold weather liner). Not sure if that’s a good use or not, but cannot see how it would hurt. I’ve used seam sealer on tarps before and it was fine, so I cannot image how it would effect this garment negatively.
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  14. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Don't remember mine having a liner. If it did, I've never used it. It's plenty warm without it. Seam sealed it when I first got it.
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  15. Signal 13

    Signal 13 Been here awhile

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    The pant and jacket liners were why I thought I got the gear for such a bargain. They’re game changers for the colder months. I removed the jacket liner yesterday because I was getting hot in the upper-40s, but just because we weren’t getting over 25mph. It was cool enough yesterday that I’d of kept the liner in had I been traveling at usual speeds. Once I removed the liner, I definitely felt a difference, and it’s my opinion that this gear wouldn’t be able to handle November through February without the liners (except for in warmer areas of the country).

    On the plus side, i stayed dry yesterday and the gear wasn’t hit with seam sealer, nor any water resistant sprays.
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  16. cblais19

    cblais19 Been here awhile

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    Do be aware that using TX direct will remove the moisture wicking properties of the inner mesh, if whatever you're wearing has that. It's really designed for hardshells (may be 100% fine for the removable waterproof layer).

    95% sure the material is poly(ester, not amide) - but happy to be proven wrong. The problem of course is that there's two different types of polyamide - 6 and 6.6, and the latter is what you want for abrasion resistance. Since they don't provide details, who knows.
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  17. 2up ADV

    2up ADV Nature’s Neat

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    20181013_115608-01.jpeg 20180817_171552.jpeg I have the same jacket, love it for the money, going on my third year with it. Wear it all the time, pics in august and October. my wife has the same one .
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  18. nwbobber

    nwbobber Adventurer

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    I bought the same setup, and the jacket was OK, although the armor that comes with it is a joke. I couldn't stand the way the pants fit, or the challenge of getting into them with the liners in them. I pretty much had to de-boot to accomplish that. Same size as the OP. Rather than upgrade the armor, I waited untill Aerostich was doing one of their fittings near us and picked out a roadcrafter. Even though it is 5 times the price, I love the way it fits, vents, keeps me dry, and it has adequate armor. I can get into it with boots on, zipped up in less than a minute, and get out of it just as fast(very important when it 90+ degrees). I still have the Bilt stuff, and would let it go cheap, if anyone needs it.
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  19. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    I don't think the pants were made to go on over boots. At least not real dirt bike boots. Probably better choices for 90+ degrees. I got a Fly Racing Patrol suit for hot weather with Bohn under armor.
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  20. NickSoOr

    NickSoOr Adventurer

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    Nwbobber . Pm sent
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