Good riding gear is important as we all know, and I noticed my old brand-x riding jacket and favorite dusty jeans were looking pretty threadbare before I headed down to the Mojave Desert recently to put in some long days riding the new Harley-Davidson Pan America.
Ahead of the Pan America event, I was contacted by apparel maker REV’IT! and they were kind enough to send me a proper modern ADV kit that included the $399 Offtrack Jacket, matching $329 Offtrack Pants and a pair of $119 Dirt 3 gloves. I already had some sturdy off-road-worthy boots. REV’IT! is partnering with Harley-Davidson to offer riders proper ADV riding gear, but in perhaps a bit darker colorways than my kit and with Harley-Davidson branding.
The Offtrack Jacket is a four-season garment and by that I mean while it’s not really specifically tailored to riding in a super-hot desert climate, it can still work in that environment thanks to the clever VCS ventilation panels that zip open and stay open using simple snaps and the liberal venting areas that can zip open on the jacket and pants.
The Offtrack jacket and pants include inner detachable Hydratex mesh G-liners for wet weather riding along with thermal liners, so I zipped both of those out and basically wore the pants and jacket as a shell over a t-shirt and some SA1NT riding jeans for the Pan America ride.
However, I still felt protected as the jacket and pants feature a tough 3-layer abrasion resistant construction and SEEFLEX impact pads in the elbows, shoulders and knees of the kit. Likewise, the lighter weight Dirt 3 gloves I picked out include knuckle protection and excellent feel while riding, with a short gauntlet and velcro closure that seals tightly at the wrist and slips under jacket cuffs without snagging.
I ride my Suzuki DR650SE year-round, typically in somewhat dampish Northwest weather, so I figured I’d probably survive even if I had to sweat a bit in the gear while out in the Mojave sun on the Pan America. Temperatures quickly rose into the upper 80s on our slow-speed dirt riding day, and sitting still while listening to instructors at the RawHyde Ranch riding school while perched atop a fully warm Pan America did result in some sweaty periods, but I was surprised at how effective the VCS panels were at moving air into the jacket once we got under way, and I cooled off quickly – as long as we were moving.
I expected more of the same on the road-riding day but as we ascended into some mountains, temperatures dropped quickly into the 50s and I sealed up the VCS panels and numerous zips at a rest stop, and the jacket shell alone kept me warm enough through the mountains until afternoon temperatures popped back up into the 70s and I opened the panels back up. Any colder and the included thermal liner would have been a welcome addition. Unfortunately, my review bike did not have any pannies for toting gear that day.
I’m a large rider (6 foot -1, 230lbs) and am happy to report the Offtrack Jacket and Pants fit me well in the sizes I ordered, but I did send REV’IT! my measurements to make sure the sizing was correct as it seems there’s no rhyme or reason as to what constitutes an XL or XXL or any size across the garment industry today. They got it just right and there is a lot of adjustment via side straps for a snug or looser fit as desired or when you are adding or removing layers. Even the collar snap has a slide adjuster for the snap for a custom fit with a neck gaiter or other layers. Two connection zippers on the jacket allow for connecting the jacket and pants together into what could be considered a one-piece system, and a second industry-standard shorter zipper on the jacket allows it to mate with other non-REV’IT! pants such as my padded mesh road-riding pants, a welcome bit of versatility for using gear you may already have.
Additionally, the jacket has two large front pockets and more storage spots on the inside, and I was able to securely stash my phone, wallet, some snack bars and other bits without making the jacket feel bulky or overloaded – yet I could still get to the gear quickly.
I chose the light color scheme for the jacket and pants to keep temperatures down in the sun, and the gear features reflective striping for improved visibility while out on the road or for SAR teams trying to find you after you get lost in the veld. The all-black Dirt 3 gloves heated up a bit in the sun as expected; I may choose a lighter colored version next time but they are some of the best lightweight gloves I’ve used in my long career so they are keepers.
Overall, the REV’IT! gear looks good, is easy to use and configure, and features some innovative touches that work as designed, especially when it comes to venting air and cooling the rider while underway in hot weather. The price is lower than some competitors and I do like the fact that REV’IT! has been around for over 20 years now and has customer support in place if you need help with sizing, returns, or questions.
Disclaimer: REV’IT! supplied the products for review.