New jacket time (2019) : Rukka? Halvarssons? Other?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by SpiceWeasel, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. SpiceWeasel

    SpiceWeasel So long, and thanks for all the fish..

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    Hey, first post here.
    I have been well and truly down the rabbit hole of forum posts on jacket opinions and I'm arguably no closer to a decision than when I started.. (though some themes have emerged). I am prepared to spend if it's a worthwhile investment but most of the threads comparing the high end stuff (Rukka, Halvarssons, Darien, Klim etc) were over ten years ago.. and I would imagine things have changed since then - so wanted to check in and see what people's advice and experience was.

    My situation: regular city riding mostly at the moment (commuting etc) but have a four day ride coming up in Central Coast NSW (Australia) (hiring a BMW R1200 GSW - partly as a trial of this class of bike which I'm considering moving to in future).

    My old Dianese textile jacket gave me a decent 12 odd years of service riding in London and on longer trips around Europe.. taking plenty of rain, heat and even snow but just stopped being waterproof by the end (also reflective coatings peeling off etc).So been getting by with my (Held 'Bullet') leather jacket, but it's time to invest in the next textile jacket that will form the base of my touring kit that I'm seeing in my future. But what to get??

    Mostly it will fill the need for wet/cold conditions (when I'm not going to wear leather) for the short trips, but for the longer trips I'd ideally like to be able to ride in warmer Australian summer temperatures (from 28ºC up to 38/39ºC) and deal with rain without having to always stop/change jackets etc. I know there is no 'perfect' all weather, super magic bullet solution.. but I suppose (if I think about it) I primarily want a jacket that does what the leather doesn't - cold and wet - but able to not be problematic if I'm on a trip and it gets warm.

    I like the look of the Rukka Energator, but obviously the price is ..arresting.. to say the least. If I'm going to take the hit, I want it to be the jacket that's gong to last me (high-speed disagreements with gravity aside) for the next 20 odd years. People seem to consistently raise concerns about the venting, so I'm interested to hear people's experience with this.

    There is also a lot of talk it seems about the armour/safety layer underneath with shell over the top - but I have no experience with this and am curious to hear about the day to day reality of this.
    Let the wisdom flood in! ;)
    #1
  2. safeTnerd

    safeTnerd Been here awhile

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    " I want it to be the jacket that's gong to last me (high-speed disagreements with gravity aside) for the next 20 odd years. " ............. One word .... Motoport. You'll be giving this stuff to your grand kids, and that is no BS.
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  3. Gruesome

    Gruesome Alter Heizer

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    For wet/cold with good protection I would look into waterproof leather. I find the BMW Atlantis very practical for 5 to 25 C weather.
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  4. SpiceWeasel

    SpiceWeasel So long, and thanks for all the fish..

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    Does that perform as well as textile in heavy rain?
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  5. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    If you have an unlimited budget, 2019 introduces laminated leather products from Rukka and Held (using the same provider's laminate). I don't think the Atlantis suit is actually waterproof, the shell certainly isn't laminated.

    Also new this year is a jacket that really does promise to be the perfect one stop shop, also from Held - their new Atacama GorePro suit. Absolutely massive venting, laminated waterproofing, good collection of materials, plus an LED strip (???? ok...). But seriously though it's pretty neat.

    There's no Rukka waterproof suit that really deals with higher/humid temps. If you can avoid those, they're well made and great in cooler/temperate weather. However IMO they're overpriced for the abrasion resistance you get, lack significant venting that other companies provide, and are rather dour looking.
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  6. Doug Just Doug

    Doug Just Doug Silly Party Candidate Supporter

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    Aerostich Darien ticks all your boxes, but be prepared, it'll be stiff as cardboard until you break it in. Shipping to AUS could be expensive, too. It's certainly waterproof and has room to layer in the cold, and I find that it's massive vents actually keep me cooler in the heat than the mesh stuff I've tried.
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  7. SpiceWeasel

    SpiceWeasel So long, and thanks for all the fish..

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    Thanks to everyone so far.. after reading the comment above I was reading this article talking about laminated jackets - https://www.adventurebikerider.com/laminated-motorcycle-jacket-best/
    Suggesting that laminated jackets are better than a 'three layer system'..

    So.. is the Rukka 'Gore-Tex pro leather laminate : http://www.rukka.com/motorsport/materials/#!gore-tex-pro-shell-leather-laminate - the only laminate material? It sounds like what makes it waterproof is the "3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell laminate" ..implying that a textile jacket with this material is just as waterproof (just less abrasion resistance).

    Nothing will beat leather for abrasion resistance, and it seems to me that if we're talking about coming off the bike at anything above low speed any textile jacket is essentially a single use item. My previous Dianese jacket was great for 10 or so years but my one (fairly minor) spill in it grazed a hole in the shoulder. Now i've gotten rid of it because it's lost it's water resistance totally, but still.

    It seems to me the best bet is to accept that a two-jacket is system is the way to go for longer trips.
    Jacket 1: for cool/possibly wet riding up to ~25ºc
    Jacket 2: a light, highly vented jacket for warm/hot temps >25ºc
    (If I'm riding shorter trips or somewhere the weather is reliable then leather would be my go to -under about 25-28ºc - but this is really for those longer trips where you need to be equipped for changeable weather / multiple conditions).

    Do people agree?
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  8. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    All GorePro jackets are laminated membrane ones.

    I only agree if you’re looking at Rukka, many other laminated jackets have sufficient venting do be more then doable above 25C. I wear my Spidi laminated jacket to temps exceeding 35C.
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  9. SpiceWeasel

    SpiceWeasel So long, and thanks for all the fish..

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    Ok, cheers.. so - if you were buying again right now - would you recommend the Spidi jacket as an all purpose touring jacket?

    I mean I'm not 'dead set' on getting a Rukka.. it's just that I've heard such good things about their comfort and build quality etc and I'm kind of looking for a reason not to spend that kind of money if someone can suggest something AS GOOD, or better. My only hesitation with Rukka was the warmth for Australia/NZ conditions but as I'm now leaning towards a two-jacket system anyway.. I'm just making sure I don't spend that huge wad of cash without understanding what other people's experiences are.
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  10. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    My recommendations for a 4 season, waterproof jacket that’ll cover a wide range of temperature conditions are:

    -Klim Badlands (if it fits you, more generous/American cut)
    -Klim Kodiak (more sport-touring oriented, and euro sizes for a more tailored fit)
    -Spidi Globetracker
    -Forthcoming Held Atacama
    -BMW EnduroGuard

    All 5 are laminated suits, have good to excellent venting, and have good to excellent abrasion resistance. Above 35C, you might find the Klim and EnduroGuard rather warm (although the latter might be still ok in grey) - unless it’s dry conditions and you’re using evaporative cooling. The Globetracker and Atacama have huge vent panels (for laminated jackets at least) that’ll flow more air then the other 3.
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  11. SpiceWeasel

    SpiceWeasel So long, and thanks for all the fish..

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    Great suggestions, thanks. I'll have a look into them - the only thing that had put me off Klim, were customer reviews on various sites from people really annoyed with the sizing and a few who swore to never buy them again because the support was so poor etc.. but I should still have a look and try some on I guess, as if it fits and does the job then it may well work for me.
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  12. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    Yup, that’s why I recommended both. If you’re a more slim build, check out the Kodiak. The vents on it are also designed for the airflow of bikes with significant wind protection, which the GSA kind of qualifies as.

    The BMW jacket is actually quite decent as well, might be worth trying on if you have a local BMW dealer.
    #12
  13. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

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    It's a cliche but it's true - Jack of all trades, master of none. If you put too much emphasis on the wet you will severely limit you comfort in all other conditions. Just get a rain suit and put it on whenever needed. They cost and weight nothing and your jacked won't get wet and heavy. Most waterproof jackets actually have a waterproof UNDERlayer and the jacket still gets wet.

    Once you get the rain sorted, the possibilities of finding a comfortable jacket increase enormously. If you are used to leather you can even carry on with that. BTW, what is your experience with leather Vs textile at moderate temps (15-25)?

    Clearly, if most of your riding is in rain, the above is irrelevant.
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  14. SpiceWeasel

    SpiceWeasel So long, and thanks for all the fish..

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    I owned two rain suits and I HATED them.
    They are uncomfortable, cumbersome and invariably by the time you realise you 'really' need it you have to stop and put it on in the rain and then of course stop again to take it off because you are boiling like a slow cooked brisket in your own juices. I would like to avoid that option any way possible. I sold them both.

    My experience with my previous textile jacket (Dianese) was that it worked well in everything from ~5ºc to about 27ºc, and I rode in all conditions (London commuting all year around - including some snow) and it got the job done. ...until it didn't.
    Waterproofing just gave out over time.

    I prefer leathers in most circumstances but again, that's fine for short rides where you kinda know what weather you're likely to get (more or less) but even if you get caught out in leathers you're not out for long.
    My experience on longer trips is that you need gear that can take the unexpected downpour and not become a sodden liability for the next few hours and/or another job to take care of overnight.
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  15. Gruesome

    Gruesome Alter Heizer

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    I've ridden mine for one hour at interstate speeds in a really heavy downpour, and nothing leaked through. This is on a GS. I posted about this before, probably linked from my signature. I don't know what the mm waterproof rating for the Atlantis 4 is, but the textile suit manufacturers don't post theirs either; I'd guess for an older suit it depends a lot on how recently the waterproofing was renewed. The Atlantis 4 does not have a membrane, it's essentially leather soaked in DWR.

    Update: just saw your most recent post. Not having to worry about whether it might rain or not during my commute was what made the Atlantis worth it for me. I had (and still have) a cheap completely waterproof PVC rainsuit, but it's in storage. All I'm using now is rain gaiters if I know it's going to pour for the full hour, and of course waterproof gloves. If it starts while I'm riding I don't bother; the boot care I'm using will hold up (altberg leder-gris).
    #15
  16. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    Never even heard of Halvarssons... Reading this thread was worth it just for that. :beer
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  17. SpiceWeasel

    SpiceWeasel So long, and thanks for all the fish..

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    After looking online at all of these - I think the Spidi Globetracker and Helm Atacama are the most intriguing.
    They are both comparable in price to the Rukka (so it's not a huge cost saving) but they both look really good.
    My leather jacket is a Held which I have been pleased with, so leaning towards that - but it's hard to get here in Australia (Held Australia are getting them in a few weeks they said).
    #17
  18. chrisvh

    chrisvh Adventurer

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    Have a look at the Stadler range. Brilliant German quality and design. Excellent venting/ventilation. Prices depend on € exchange rate. Can be more competitive than Rukka.
    #18
  19. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    They're a neat Nordic company, at one point a number of years ago they had a CE level 2 certified textile body suit for sale that met the same standard the leather racing suits did. Unfortunately their laminated options have limited venting or I would've tried one by now.

    Stadler is very much the high end of gear, but they do permit for custom sizing and are extremely high quality. They're just so hard to find outside of .de.

    Not sure how import duties work into .au, but I've found that Italian retailers are generally cheaper on Spidi (and other Italian brands), and some of the big German ones can be cheaper for Held gear. I use motostorm.it / fcmoto.de respectively, but there are other options (although Motostorm is flat out awesome).
    #19
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  20. Coach Vader

    Coach Vader Been here awhile Supporter

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    I have Rukka gear that covers basically fall, winter and early spring. I love it. I am now riding it in temps up to 80 degrees with just the liner ( i took out the insulation). I can ride it comfortably as long as we don't get over humid. I will not wear it once humidity kicks in. It would be to heavy and not vented. If i lived in dry climate, probably could wear almost year round, except for those few 90 plus days.
    #20
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