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What is new in the world of riding jackets?

Yinzer Moto

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I have had number of riding jackets. Klim was nice but the GoreTex waterproofing only lasted about a year. I am rocking an Olympia jacket now. It is not waterproof and offers much better ventilation. It is oddly heavy. I need to put a lightweight rain jacket over top for waterproofing. What is out there that is new and interesting?
 

ZoomerP

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I've ridden with the Klim Carlsbad and Baja/Enduro S4 jackets. Those are all I've had, so I can't really speak to how they rate against the competition, but I've read positive reviews on both which led to the purchases. Both jackets are listed under Klim's "Motorcycle" section, rather than their "Off-Road" section. I'd say they fit within a lighter ADV or heavier-than-jersey Off-Road use category, basically Dual Sport gear.

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I like the Carlsbad because it offers what feels like a good balance between protection and weight, but the fit is baggy. I don't might that since I think it lets air move better than a tighter fit, and I can add some layers without any problem. I've only had it one year, so I can't speak to the longevity of the waterproofing. The arms have slack adjusters to hold the armor in place.

The construction is top notch, with use of abrasion resistant fabric in the main impact zones, and stretch panels where you'd want them. Pockets are plentiful, with some under the GoreTex. D3O-CE2 inserts are included. The fit is loose enough that I think the jacket could easily accommodate an armored shirt once the CE2 inserts are removed, or an under-the-jacket airbag with the jacket's torso inserts removed.

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The Baja/Enduro S4 jackets work well enough that I just ordered the pants combo. Fit is similar to the Carlsbad, but maybe a little snugger. Still loose enough to wear an armored shirt if the jacket's D3O-CE1 torso inserts are removed; CE2 inserts will fit the armor pockets. The Baja is almost entirely mesh and it moves a lot of air; you can see light through it. Plenty of pockets, and the arms have slack adjusters to hold the armor in place.

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The Enduro shell is sized to fit the corresponding Baja size; a Large Enduro is designed to fit over a Large Baja. The shell has a hood that can be stored in the collar, and two pockets (2x waist). The shell material can breathe, but it also has pit vents and a rear vent.

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There's a shock cord to suck in the bottom of both jackets, but nothing at the mid-section. Since Klim uses a square cut, some kind of mid adjustment would help deal with any bagginess. Another feature the jackets could use would be chest armor pockets. Both jackets have rear zippers to attach to pants, and they include the pants side of the zipper if you need to sew it to a pair of pants. I like the fit and weight of both jackets. I don't like any binding in the shoulders, or jackets that are so heavy they can tire my shoulders and neck.

The main complaints I've seen about the Baja/Enduro combo is price and the bulk of the packed Enduro shell. Klim sells demo garments on eBay at a decent discount (klim_direct), so if you can find your size, that can help. I don't think complaints about the bulk of the Enduro shell are entirely valid. For a weather shell, it features heavier fabric than I typically see in mountaineering shells, and I can see that making sense for someone whipping through brush on a bike. I carry mine in a compression stuff sack that keeps it reasonably small. With the hood carefully folded, it stows ok, but it does make the jacket collar stiff. I don't mind wearing the shell alone while off the bike, but the Klim graphics are loud & annoying.

Since the Enduro is a shell without any significant abrasion resistance and no armor, an argument could be made for finding a good backpacking shell that'll go over the Baja jacket. It might take some time to find the right fit, though.

The mesh Baja pants are a stand out product. It seems they're the rare pair that has mesh where you really need it to maximize airflow, unlike many that have solid panels in the thighs.

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If you'd like some photos or have other questions, let me know.
 
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Levain

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You might be looking for the same thing I am. I asked Mosko Moto about something like this over on the old site. They either didn't get it, or just plain not interested. I always go back to my old standby Spidi jacket certified to the old CE level 2 standard.

I know this isn't what you want to do, but hear me out. There is a serious hole in the market for a real dual sport jacket. Something lightweight, highly abrasion resistant for the road, solid, non-waterproof textile with vents. And, yes, armor pockets. Lots of us don't want to deal with the hassle of separate armor in a jacket. Pants are a no-brainer since you likely only take off/put on once a day, but a jacket? You don't have to provide the armor. Keep the price down by letting us deal with that.
This would be a perfect combo with the new Rak, with the same no bullshit, "too simple to fail" design. A non-sexy fabric like uncoated 1000d Cordura (get a sample from Motoport. It feels like pajamas), with an extra layer on elbows/shoulders. 2 pockets. 2 pit vents, 2 vertical back vents and cuffs large enough to scoop air. Minimal seams to blow out.
No one makes this jacket. Klim dakar is close, but abrasion resistance is lacking. I'm wearing a Klim Enduro S4 now. It's a great jacket. Amazing really, but it's heavy, overly complicated, tons of seams and mesh just isn't best for my New England climate, but I wanted the road protection. This unicorn jacket is an instant buy for many of us.

Thanks
 
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ZoomerP

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You might be looking for the same thing I am. I asked Mosko Moto about something like this over on the old site. They either didn't get it, or just plain not interested. I always go back to my old standby Spidi jacket certified to the old CE level 2 standard.

I know this isn't what you want to do, but hear me out. There is a serious hole in the market for a real dual sport jacket. Something lightweight, highly abrasion resistant for the road, solid, non-waterproof textile with vents. And, yes, armor pockets. Lots of us don't want to deal with the hassle of separate armor in a jacket. Pants are a no-brainer since you likely only take off/put on once a day, but a jacket? You don't have to provide the armor. Keep the price down by letting us deal with that.
This would be a perfect combo with the new Rak, with the same no bullshit, "too simple to fail" design. A non-sexy fabric like uncoated 1000d Cordura (get a sample from Motoport. It feels like pajamas), with an extra layer on elbows/shoulders. 2 pockets. 2 pit vents, 2 vertical back vents and cuffs large enough to scoop air. Minimal seams to blow out.
No one makes this jacket. Klim dakar is close, but abrasion resistance is lacking. I'm wearing a Klim Enduro S4 now. It's a great jacket. Amazing really, but it's heavy, overly complicated, tons of seams and mesh just isn't best for my New England climate, but I wanted the road protection. This unicorn jacket is an instant buy for many of us.

Thanks
I agree that a simplified Baja could be a winner. MM is getting into the armor business, so a smart move would be to add armor pockets to some/all jackets as long as the additional cost is minimal, and offer standard CE1 & CE2 insert bundles. That'd give customers the option of wearing an armor shirt or jacket armor, without duplicating some of the cost. For DS use, I can see wearing an unarmored jacket over trail armor for long road sections, and changing over to a jersey on the trail. The jacket you described should pack down small enough to shove in a backpack or strap to a tail rack. Klim left another gap for MM to exploit with the omission of chest armor, which I've seen MM prototyping in their blog.

ukAdventurer's abrasion testing has shown that a lot of wonder fabrics offer inferior protection to good leather. The jacket you described could be made with leather on high abrasion zones and it'd probably cost less that whatever Schoeller is selling. By keeping weather resistance out of the design, a lot of expense could be saved.
 

Levain

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I agree that a simplified Baja could be a winner. MM is getting into the armor business, so a smart move would be to add armor pockets to some/all jackets as long as the additional cost is minimal, and offer standard CE1 & CE2 insert bundles. That'd give customers the option of wearing an armor shirt or jacket armor, without duplicating some of the cost. For DS use, I can see wearing an unarmored jacket over trail armor for long road sections, and changing over to a jersey on the trail. The jacket you described should pack down small enough to shove in a backpack or strap to a tail rack. Klim left another gap for MM to exploit with the omission of chest armor, which I've seen MM prototyping in their blog.

ukAdventurer's abrasion testing has shown that a lot of wonder fabrics offer inferior protection to good leather. The jacket you described could be made with leather on high abrasion zones and it'd probably cost less that whatever Schoeller is selling. By keeping weather resistance out of the design, a lot of expense could be saved.
Yep. It'd be simple, versatile, protective, inexpensive. Bring your own waterproofing. Maybe, there isn't enough money in something like this. Motoport and Aerostich are really the only manufacturers not trying to sell you the latest and greatest every couple years. Most of these guys rarely, if ever, truly come out with something better, it's just re-designed. change some colors, add another 9 pockets, use lighter weight materials, more/fewer vents in a different location. Rev'it, Klim, Mosko, Spidi, Stadler, Rukka, Olympia... They're all playing the same game.
 

ZoomerP

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The prices are higher than I'd like, but I'm reasonably happy with the Klim Carlsbad and Baja/Enduro options as they stand. I figured that spending more up front would keep me from feeling the need to buy additional jackets, and so far, that's been true.

That said, I would've picked a less expensive Levain Jacket system over the Baja/Enduro. I like what Bohn offers, but I'd like chest armor. MM is developing an armor system that might be what I'm after, using Rheon armor. If they get it right, I can see adding that to my gear along with a jersey, and calling it good. Ride with the Baja jacket on the road, and change over to a jersey if I want to shed weight and gain ventilation on the trail, relying on the MM armor throughout.

This looks like great armor. Very flexible, with good ventilation.
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This is a long blog post, but the armor is discussed near the top of the page. There are other interesting bits (like new, lightweight rain shells) worth a look. The Rheon armor is blue, and I think the gray foam is just used as a placeholder for design purposes, the same goes for the vinyl looking skin on the chest mock-up.

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ZoomerP

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Airbag tech is coming along, and has some impact on jackets, too. If jacket shopping, it might be worth your time considering if you might want an airbag, and how your jacket choice may work with whatever airbag you like.

From all I've seen, I think an external airbag would offer more air flow than one worn under a jacket, and also be easier to shed when not wanted. An external airbag can be added to any jacket, unlike some internals that may not work with a close fitting jacket.

So far, I like the protection offered by Helite vests compared to others, but they're difficult to find in the U.S. The e-Turtle isn't even available here.
 

Levain

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Mosko will likely come out with something as innovative as it is complicated and over-engineered (insert smiley that isn't currently working on my end here:)
 

ZoomerP

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My favorite D/S jacket is an old Acerbis hoodie with an LL Bean anarok over the top. Yes, it looks like shit. And no, there’s zero protection. But it’s great at cutting the wind, and pretty damn waterproof. Whomever sourced that garment for Beans in the early 2000s hit the jackpot. It’s a better riding jacket than many riding jackets. I’ve logged thousands of miles in that getup. Spoiler: I do have “real” jackets for longer rides. But this is usually my quick go-to more times than not.
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Looks like the fabric shrugs off brush well and it's comfortable.

Mosko will likely come out with something as innovative as it is complicated and over-engineered (insert smiley that isn't currently working on my end here:)
They do have a habit of going artisanal on their products.

I have some of their bags and they're very robust, to the point where they could use a redesign focused on lightening them up. They're well enough established now that they could rework them into an Ultralight line, and people would line up to buy the same stuff again because the ad copy told them it was better. I'm always surprised to see so much excitement over new colorways.
 

random1781

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My old Klim Badlands jacket is biting the dust. Mesh pockets are starting to rip, water is leaking through - it's seen a lot of hard use over the last four years or so. I figured I'd just replace it with the same eventually, but after enough days mucking through sand, I'm starting to rethink things. I loved the Badlands because it was a pretty good all-in-one jacket, but I think it's time to go slightly modular.

I will never use an inner liner because I'm too lazy. I know myself, and I would just power through the cold or wait for one more bridge to see if the rain clears up before unpacking and undressing.

But I think shells are the way to go. I'm eyeing the ZoomerP combo Baja/Enduro now. What do you ride it down to? And does the Carlsbad get toasty?

Anyone paired a light jacket with a good REI-style shell?
 

DSquared

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My old Klim Badlands jacket is biting the dust. Mesh pockets are starting to rip, water is leaking through - it's seen a lot of hard use over the last four years or so. I figured I'd just replace it with the same eventually, but after enough days mucking through sand, I'm starting to rethink things. I loved the Badlands because it was a pretty good all-in-one jacket, but I think it's time to go slightly modular.

I will never use an inner liner because I'm too lazy. I know myself, and I would just power through the cold or wait for one more bridge to see if the rain clears up before unpacking and undressing.

But I think shells are the way to go. I'm eyeing the ZoomerP combo Baja/Enduro now. What do you ride it down to? And does the Carlsbad get toasty?

Anyone paired a light jacket with a good REI-style shell?
Tekvest, Leatt X-Flow with a Columbia Glennaker Lake jacket here. Definitely a summer off-road kit for me but I didn't want to spend big bucks on a waterproof jacket to get it tore up in the woods.
 

ZoomerP

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My old Klim Badlands jacket is biting the dust. Mesh pockets are starting to rip, water is leaking through - it's seen a lot of hard use over the last four years or so. I figured I'd just replace it with the same eventually, but after enough days mucking through sand, I'm starting to rethink things. I loved the Badlands because it was a pretty good all-in-one jacket, but I think it's time to go slightly modular.

I will never use an inner liner because I'm too lazy. I know myself, and I would just power through the cold or wait for one more bridge to see if the rain clears up before unpacking and undressing.

But I think shells are the way to go. I'm eyeing the ZoomerP combo Baja/Enduro now. What do you ride it down to? And does the Carlsbad get toasty?

Anyone paired a light jacket with a good REI-style shell?
My bike has very little wind protection, so keep that in mind.

The Carlsbad is vented well, but it's no match for the mostly mesh Baja in the heat, especially when going slow. If I know it's going to be in the 80s or if I plan to spend much time going slow, I skip the Carlsbad.

I haven't ridden in the cold much, so I can't say for sure how cold is too cold for the Baja/Enduro combo. The typical Klim fit makes it easy to add a light puffy jacket or other layers under the Carlsbad or Baja. I'd say that both options are roughly equal in warmth, but the Carlsbad has the small advantage of being able to finely tune ventilation better than the Enduro shell allows.

I wish Klim didn't price the Enduro so high. I feel that's what gets in the way of people adopting the system. The advantage of it over a non-Klim shell is that it's sized perfectly to fit its corresponding size Baja jacket. With another shell, you'd definitely want to try it on over the Baja or make sure of the return policy.

The advantage of going that route would be the potential savings and the potentially smaller pack size; a packed Enduro is a little bulky. Another advantage might be a better fit when worn off the bike, without the Baja. I've worn the Enduro alone, and the fit is a little goofy due to it being oversized and fairly heavy fabric. I also don't like wearing Klim's signage, but that's a personal preference about not being a giant ad for a company.
 

random1781

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I wish Klim didn't price the Enduro so high.

I completely missed the Dakar/Stow Away combo too which is tucked away in the off-road section and not listed under Motorcycle. The Dakar is half the price of the Baja, which is nuts...besides being straight mesh, I have no idea what would warrant that difference in price. Is the Dakar discontinued?

The Stow Away is the same price as the Enduro S4 but uses Gore-Tex (which I think is a plus...never heard of the Schoeller waterproof material on the Enduro), and doesn't have their neon logo plastered on the front, which I'm also not a fan of. But again, not sure what the other differences are. Oh, and there is actually the Stow Away and the Stow Away Pro. Not clear on what exactly the differences are there too.

Klim's product line up is a bit confusing/overlapping.
 

ZoomerP

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I can't speak to the pricing. I don't understand why Klim segments their products as they do. I'd rather they had all the Motorcycle clothing together, and a filter that allowed drilling down to Dual Sport, MX, etc.

Here are a few differences.

The Baja flows more air than the Dakar.
The Baja comes with D3O CE1 inserts; the Dakar has empty pockets.
The Baja is CE AA Certified to EN 17092-3; no rating on the Dakar.
The Dakar's sleeves zip off; why, I have no idea.

One of the Stowaway shells might work with the Baja. Iirc, there are a few YouTube comparisons between the Dakar and Baja that may delve into the differences.
 

random1781

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The Baja flows more air than the Dakar.
The Baja comes with D3O CE1 inserts; the Dakar has empty pockets.
The Baja is CE AA Certified to EN 17092-3; no rating on the Dakar.
The Dakar's sleeves zip off; why, I have no idea.

Missed the AA rating! I'm sure that makes a big difference in price. And after some slow going days here, I would 100% remove the sleeves during those stretches where I'm more worried about tipping over than skidding out.

I asked Klim and they say the difference between the regular Stow Away and the Pro is the Gore-Tex...2 layer for the regular and 3 layer Gore-Tex Pro for the Pro.
 

Bigtallbastard

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If you are looking for a wind proof, water proof shell this one does the trick. Highly packable and a reasonable price for gortex. It fits well over my armor and jersey
 

random1781

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Looks like we're in that weird part of the year where everyone has cleared out last year's line but still hasn't received the new stuff yet.
 

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