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It that time of year again… the pumpkins are out, the leaves are changing colors, the air is getting crisp and the motorcycle riding couldn’t be better! There are just two things which could possibly foil a ride on days like these: 1. Being wet or 2. Being cold. Yuck! Not only do these sensations not feel good, it’s just not safe! When cold, wet, and numb your reactions will be slower and your mind not as sharp.
No fear... wiith proper gear you can be dry, warm, and comfortable in all weather conditions! In this Rain Gear Buying Guide we will talk about the Good, Better and Best rain suits (just rain suits) and then we will get into comprehensive riding gear which will keep you protected, dry and warm.
Before we get started, check out this example… we were at Deals Gap riding the Tail of the Dragon and we woke up to Rain! Did that put a damper on the day? No Way! Toss on some proper gear and hit the road! I was warm, dry, and the roads were EMPTY! The ride was spectacular!
Check it out: Kyle’s Deals Gap Rain Ride
Rain gear in general is a set of garments which are worn over your day-to-day protective motorcycle gear. It is meant to be worn from time to time when the skies open up and then stowed away when the skies are clear. When it comes to good, better, and best in terms of rain suits we are going to look at material, construction and packability. Here we go!
These PVC rain suits are virtually the same and they do one thing well - keep you dry. That being said, they are my least favorite garments and I tend to use them only if in a pinch… Why? The PVC suit is heavy (weight wise) as compared to other rain suits. It will keep water out, but it will not let water/warm moist air escape as you will find with the “better and best” options. Here are the features of most all PVC suits:
If you are looking for the lightest most packable rain suit, Frogg Toggs just might be the suit for you. I have had Frogg Toggs in my rain repertoire since the 2002 IMS show. I have since upgraded three times and currently use the Hogg Toggs listed here. There are many many Frogg Togg options but the Hogg Toggs are the motorcycle specific set. Frogg Toggs are a waterproof breathable material similar to GoreTex. I wear these on the motorcycle as well as off the bike when fishing, attending sporting events, cycling, and any other outdoor activity. Frogg Togg features are as follows:
We chose this as the best rain suit as it is the most motocentric in the line-up. If the weather is not too cold and I know I’m gonna be riding all day in the rain, this is the suit I choose “hands down!” It is 100% waterproof as the previous two, but this suit has many small details which make it the best option in my opinion. It’s capable of all day comfort due to its sizing, microfiber lined collars wrist closures, scoop vents which can remain open in a downpour, multiple pockets, and underarm grommets for maximum air flow. If you are looking for the bees knees of rain suits, I recommend the TourMaster Elite in either the Jacket/Pant combo or the 1 Piece Suit. Here is the complete spec sheet:
Total Solution: If you are not interested in packing “an additional rain suit”… but are interested in being protected, dry, and warm in all weather conditions we recommend are looking at a total solution, not just a waterproof outer layer. There are hundreds of options in this category but here are some of our favorites:
TourMaster Centurion 1 Piece Suit: This suit is going to provide a waterproof exterior protective layer complete with CE approved armor. Inside you will find a full length insulated liner which is removable with a quick zip. This is a great waterproof, warm and protective garment with the following features:
TourMaster Intake Jacket: This is really an All Season Riding Jacket as can be seen in the video below. I wear this jacket all year long rain or shine. When it rains, I move the waterproof / windproof liner to the outside of the mesh jacket. The insulated full length liner allows me to comfortably ride down into 40 degree weather. Lower than that I either swap to a solid shell jacket/suit OR slip into a heated jacket liner. Here are the specs to the Intake Jacket:
FirstGear TPG Rainier Jacket for men and the Monarch Jacket for women. These jackets combined with the mens Escape Pants and the women’s Escape Pants make the perfect all weather, all season, all condition riding gear set-up. TPG stands for “Technical Performance Gear” and this gear has what it takes to stand up to any condition you throw at it! In addition to motorcycling, I wear FirstGear TPG on the ski/snowboard slopes as well as snowshoeing in the backcountry. Here is what FirstGear has to say: These jackets along with the Escape Pant, incorporate the most advanced technological features in motorcycle protective outerwear. Utilizing Cocona technology, waterproof- breathable laminate for the most effective moisture transfer textile available anywhere. Features:
If looking to protect your valuables from water take a look at the new Torrent line of Waterproof luggage options.
FirstGear Torrent 70L Waterproof Duffle Bag
FirstGear Torrent 40L Waterproof Duffle Bag
FirstGear Torrent 25L Waterproof Duffle Bag
Conclusion: With modern advances in wet and cold weather technical gear, especially in the motorcycle market/application, there is no reason you should be riding your motorcycle cold or wet! Flat screen LED and Plasma TV’s have replaced the old Black and White Tube TV’s we relied on for years… It might be time to hang up the black leather and jump into a technology rich set of riding gear which will keep you comfortable and safe!
Thank you for reading this Rain Gear Buying Guide from Cruiser Customizing. For more information visit www.cruisercustomizing.com or call 1-888-857-5417 to speak to a gear specialist. Too see more, click the YouTube links below to learn about specific jackets/gear.
Until next time, take care and ride safe,
Kyle & the Cruiser Customizing Team
Want to learn more? Check out the rain gear videos:
TourMaster Elite Rain Jacket Video
Riding Safely in the Rain
TourMaster Rain Gear Review Video
Nelson Riggs Artic 1 Piece Suit Review
TourMaster Centurion 1-Piece Suit
TourMaster Intake All Season Jacket