Waterproof Jackets and Liners – and my problem with them

Just to be clear this post is not meant to be a thrashing of any product. It is just an opinion on dealing with wet conditions that I have formed based on my own travel experiences (riding through multiple 8 hour+ storms). It is also an explanation for why we don’t have a waterproof liner as standard on the new Power Shell and Navigator suits.

 

For the most part, there are three common implementations of waterproofing:

  • A removable waterproof liner that zips inside the jacket
  • A built-in non removable liner (usually sandwiched between the outer shell and inner mesh lining)
  • A waterproof membrane fused to the protective shell fabric

All three implementations are inherently flawed.

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Power Shell

Update:

I know many of you are eagerly waiting for final pictures of the Power Shell. Currently the third and final prototype is under production and it will be ready soon. We will upload pictures as soon as it becomes available. Since all details are finalized now, we can accept orders for the suit.

The colors options will be

  • Red/Blue/Light Gray
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black

Comparison of textile one piece motorcycle suits

We have received several emails inquiring about the differences between our various riding suits. Here is a brief summary.

Commute Suit series

This suit is ideal for short rides and commuting to work. Sized as an over suit, it is easy  to slip over your clothes making riding to work a pleasure! This textile suit has a proven protective shell (sourced from the Lombard series) with a removable waterproof liner for those who don’t need all the features of our more advanced suits. The most affordable riding suit in our lineup.

  • Armor - CE Rated soft foam pads
  • Back Protector - CE Rated foam protector
  • Airflow- Lack of vents means limited airflow
  • Protection- Same materials as the Lombard means this is a proven shell. Softer armor means more packability and less crumpling of your work clothes inside

Mojave series

Some folks just feel really hot all the time and want extreme airflow. This motorcycle suit offers the airflow they need but also adds 2 removable membranes so its still usable when the weather changes.

  • Armor - CE Rated hard plastic protectors[B]Back Protector[/B] - CE Rated foam protector
  • Airflow - Almost entirely made out mesh, hence the airflow is superb. You can restrict airflow with use of liners/layers.
  • Protection- Mesh material is less tear and abrasion resistant than the solid fabrics. We offer the Diego leather-mesh suit for  who want uncompromised abrasion resistance from a perforated garment

Lombard series

Add pockets, vents and a bundle of other features to the Commute Suit and you will end up with the Lombard series. These suits have been proven all over the word in all sorts of situations. Commute to work or a trip around the world, this suit is reliable, protective and versatile – yet very reasonably priced

  • Armor - CE Rated hard plastic protectors
  • Back Protector - CE Rated foam protector
  • Airflow - Exceptional airflow for a non-mesh with vents strategically scrattered all over the suit.
  • Protection - It works! Read the feedback

Power Shell series

Our latest and greatest, takes the Lombard series as inspiration but replaces every component with top of the line materials. If you want the most protection and versatility, Power Shell is it. Compared to any other suit with similar features or materials (if any exists) the Power Shell offers  exceptional value! The suit is sold as a base shell so you can add layers as per your own liking and preferences

  • Armor- CE Rated Sas-Tec visco elastic protectors
  • Back Protector - CE Level 2 Sas-Tec visco elastic back protector
  • Airflow- Improves on the Lombard airflow by using flip up panels on the chest and knees
  • Protection- Not only does this offer the far superior protection, it also a lot more comfortable due to the visco elastic armor that conforms to your body

 

Why we don’t make waterproof leathers

Despite the emergence of new synthetic fabrics, leather continues to be the most reliable of all abrasion resistant materials. There is something to be said about a well fitting, broken in leather garment. Leather does have it caveats.  The last thing you want in the summer is to not allow air to pass through your leather jacket. That is exactly what happens when you fuse Gore-Tex with leather.

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Bathroom Break

We have received several emails from women concerned with bathroom visits while wearing the suit. Well ladies, the whole point of the suit is that it is incredibly easy to put on and take off. Whenever you need to take a break, just zip off the suit. You don’t even have to take off you boots for this. Why would you want to drag you lovely suit inside a bathroom anyway. The great thing about a one-piece suit is that you can wear whatever you want inside. So when you take off the suit, a comfortable pair of street clothes will be revealed, allowing you to enjoy your break in the most comfortable possible way.

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Commute Suit vs. Aerostich Roadcrafter Light & Ultra Light

We introduced the Commute Suit as a relatively affordable option for people who ride to work on a regular basis and need a lightweight yet protective and versatile suit for their commuting needs. Aerostich recently revealed the new Roadcrafter Light & Ultra Light suits that seem to have the same concept in mind, minus the affordability bit!

We recommend that you read the specs of the Roadcrafter Light very carefully. The base price, of $667, which is $368 more than the Commute Suit, does not include armor. When you add the armor set for $100, bring the total up to $767, you still don’t get a back protector. CE rated elbow, shoulder, knee and back protectors are included in the base price of $299 for the Commute Suit.

Folks who ride in diverse weather conditions will definitely appreciate the versatility of a removable rain suit. Removal of the waterproof layer will make the Commute Suit a bit bearable more in the summer. Additionally, it also gives you the option of using your own Frogg Toggs if that is what you prefer over liners.

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Easy to put on and take off!

One of the main advantages of our suits is how easy it is to put them on & take them off.  The front zipper needs to open up all the way to achieve this.

Commute 2 Prototype - opens up all the way

There have been several new entries in the one-piece market in the last few years. However, most of them miss out on this essential feature due to one main reason: COST.  An extremely heavy duty and expensive zipper is required to implement this feature. Lower quality zippers will snap right away. We know this because the first generation prototypes (which used a lower spec zipper) gave us a lot of trouble. We instantly switched to Size 10 YKK  Vislon zippers.  These zippers never break. Thats why we have a life time warranty on them! When shopping for a motorcycle suit, please double check the zippers used because, to borrow  from  the YKK tagline,  these little parts make a big difference.  A broken zipper could mean a suit that doesn’t close up properly, a vent that stays open or  a pocket that leaks. We provide a lifetime warranty on ALL the zippers used on our suits. Details on this can be found on our FAQ pages

Why waterproof membranes are a separate layer

Currently waterproof membranes are (mostly) implemented in three different ways:

Waterproof on the outside: will not be so great when you need airflow – waterproofing layers block out most of the wind. Additionally, we have not come across any affordable fabric that is waterproof + abrasion resistant. Most fabrics, like Cordura, require the waterproof layer to be fused to them. Most of the apparel which uses this technology will feature sparse ventilation to ensure the waterproofing is not compromised

Waterproof layer built-in: again, most of the airflow will be block out. The liner and not reach you skin will block the wind

Removable waterproof layer: requires you to take off or zip in the liner depending on the weather

We have been looking into this for a long time and it seems like for most people the versatility is more important than anything else. People want one jacket that can take them through all 4 seasons, or rather one jacket that can take them through any weather during a long distance trop. To provide that versatility you need removable layers.

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