The most wonderfully over-the-top adventure suit ever

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Turns out we were wrong when we said the Icon Field Armor Stryker was the first widely-available, mass-market use of d3o armor in motorcycle gear. Klim got in touch to tell us they’ve been using it for a while in their Adventure Rally jacket and pants. That suit is almost ridiculous in the amount of technology it employs to keep you safe, comfortable and dry. d3o is just the beginning and the suit’s been updated for 2011. And you laughed at all the gear I wore through Labrador.

The big challenge for adventure touring gear is that it needs to work in a huge variety of conditions and be all-day comfortable both while cruising on the highway and for stand-on-the-pegs off-roading. It needs to do that while providing very high levels of protection; crashing a big, heavy, fast bike hundreds of miles from the nearest hospital or in a third world country is no joke.

You saw that for Expedition: Labrador we assembled a hodge-podge of gear in order to equip ourselves for 95 degree traffic jams in the Massachusetts to the potential of sub-freezing temperatures and snow in northern Canada. I ended up wearing motocross armor under a waterproof Alpinestars shell along with motocross boots, a camelbak and plenty of other bits and pieces. It worked — I survived a big crash and was comfortable in every weather condition we encountered — but It was a total pain in the ass to take off and put on and I looked like a freak on the rare occasions we were around other people. This Klim gear should do all of the above, just with added convenience, ease-of-use and quality.

The shell of the Adventure Rally suit is made from a variety of abrasion and tear-resistant fabrics, all laminated with a Gore-Tex membrane. That process is called Pro Shell and it leaves bonds the outer shell to the membrane so no gap is left. This means water ingress is stopped at the suit’s outer layer, not it to soak through the material. The benefits are that the material won’t soak up water getting heavy and soggy and that water won’t get a path to penetrate into other layers of clothing, like down your sleeves and into gloves.

Further waterproofness is added by the Gore-Tex Lockout “zippers”, which aren’t actually zippers at all, but instead a heavy rubber material which more closely resembles the mechanism of a Zip-Loc bag than it does the metal teeth you’re used to. As such, they’re fully waterproof too.

Inside all that waterproofness is a load bearing harness similar to those used by the military and law enforcement. It supports a rear pocket for a 3-liter hydrapak and four front pockets that offer 5,000 cubic centimeters of storage.

Klim claims the Adventure Rally jacket is the only one to fully waterproof neck brace integration. The collar is designed to accept a Leatt-style brace while a Gore-Tex flap and a variety of closures will keep the water out.

That neck brace isn’t included, but a full complement of d3o armor is located in the back, shoulder, elbows hips and knees. d30 is a polymer whose molecules lock together on impact, turning it from soft, thin and malleable into something stiff, which can absorb and deflect impact energy. The big advance here is comfort. Hard, inflexible plastic armor can reduce limb articulation and chafe. With d3o, you won’t know you’re wearing it till you fall off and don’t get hurt.

For 2011, the jacket receives a new, lower collar with an added fleece lining; adjustable armor locations for the elbows; improved 2nd gen Lockout closures and a slimmer fit through the shoulders. The pants are claimed to be more flexible, now incorporate suspender attachment points and the knee armor can be repositioned too.

The only fly in Klim’s ointment is that all these fancy materials, clever solutions and quality construction cost. The Adventure Rally jacket comes in at $1,300 while the pants are $850.

Klim

  • Kirill

    Awesome gear but…damn’t that’s money. Wonder if they’ll be able to get the 1200 GS crowd to drop their Roundel-branded suits.

  • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

    just as I suspected, D30 is a lot pricier than the usual stuff. Shame, because it’s not like that’s some tight sexy leather number where the bulk of traditional armor would mar the curves.

    However, as an expert in apparel construction who wouldn’t start a motorcycle apparel line even if Rossi begged me to, I gotta tell ya kids- it’s probably worth every penny. I’d have to get a closer look at the construction and country of origin label to say for sure though.

    • James

      You should be able to get a set of d3o jacket armor for about $100 and replace what’s already in your jacket, assuming the pieces are roughly the same size. I’m thinking about giving it a try.

  • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

    While $850 for the pants seems a bit high, am i the only one to think $1,300 fot the jacket is actually an OK price (meaning it’s not that expensive considering the apparent quality and tech).
    I dropped 800€ (approx. $1,000) for a leather jacket without ANY protection (i wear a full back protector underneath), just thick leather (Aero, made in Scotland)…
    Alos, remember the $1000 Dainese Verbier?

    • noone1569

      The price point comes off as a shock, but if you think about what this is, what it does, and (hopefully) how well it is made, the price is fine. This should last years and years.

      How many of us have spent 350-500 on a shittastic Icon/First Gear/Blah jacket two or three times now?

      I’m with you on the pants, but I suppose they could be worth it.

  • Core

    “The Adventure Rally jacket comes in at $1,300 while the pants are $850″

    *Chokes on his own tongue*

    I’d like to get an up close look at it, to see the materials.. and then go from there. I know its not all cost for the jacket. But since all I’d be wearing is the jacket.. That’s what’s important to me.

  • Kentaro

    My upcoming GSA purchase gets more expensive by the day.

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    Didn’t Grant wear a $3000 leather Gore Tex suit that kept him warm / dry / comfortable throughout the Labrador trip?

    This offers similar comfort but for 2/3 the money. And may offer more convenience with the pockets and harness system and stuff.

    I heard this gear is worth the money. Check ADVrider. They are gear-crazy over there. (I’m not saying I’m not gear-crazy, I just don’t do any adventure riding.)

  • Johndo

    Worn my Rukka suit for about 60-70000km milleage is just starting to show. But I will certainly consider these as replacement as they are in the same price bracket.

    Only thing I don’t like about my Rukka jacket is the material finishes by absorbing water on the outside (even if you stay dry inside) and in torential downpoors the collar doesnt fit snuggly enough to keep water out. There solution of the optional collar sounds like a great idea to avoid this.

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    This is an awesome suit that was never meant to be mass market. Their other lines are price competitive and nicer than most of the other motocross/enduro gear.

    That said, I’d love it if they would offer a cheaper version of the suit without some of the features. The Traverse line is nice, but not this nice.

    I tried this suit on at a local dealer here (Scuderia, SF) and it’s incredible. Built like a truck but light and free moving.

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    Oh, and you have to think of this like a high-end set of racing leathers, which can cost up to $2k off the shelf, up to $4k custom.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk UrbanRider

    d30 is a Great British innovation but I’d want to try the jacket first.

    The first deal they struck in our sector was with Armadillo Scooterwear. The armour was not only poorly positioned by Armadillo but flat, no cupping, so it was obvious even to the layman it would move on impact.

    This was denied at the time to us, but now they have released a ‘cupped’ version of the protectors which to me shows the usage wasn’t properly considered at the time.

    For the time being I prefer a conventional cupped kevlar protector.

  • dan

    The First Gear Ranier TPG is full Gore-Tex outer layer with Kevlar, has multiple waterproof pockets, same zippers and d3o armor. The jacket is 499 (get a 75 gift certificate in return from New Enough) and pants were 359 (40 gift certificate. Both come with removeable liner that can be worn alone.

  • Az

    Given that the best money I’ve ever spent on gear was on a $170 Klim waterproof shell that weighs less than 2 pounds (the stow away jacket), I’m very curious to see what they can do for that kind of money.
    That shell has withstood sudden downpours at 80 mph and day-long constant rain at more reasonable speeds. It’s allowed me to ride in weather that would otherwise given me hypothermia and saved me many delays and hotel room stays.

  • Ducky

    If you spent 10 grand on a bike, such gear isn’t really that bad. It’s not like people don’t already spent over a thousand looking like a power ranger racing their 1000cc supersport to the local coffee shop. And when you’re an adventure tourer actually touring around the country, this is almost a bargain for what you get.

    5 litres of pocket space? Hydropack pocket? Leatt neckbrace integration? This is a really hard core jacket.

  • jeremy

    I’ve never understood people who drop bank on protective gear for the upper body, but balk at the lower body. You guys know that your dick is below your waist, right? You know how quickly asphalt wears through denim, right? And you know how quickly it wears through exposed skin after it wears through the denim, right?

    • Mr.Paynter

      Agreed!

    • Grive

      You know, that dick argument has to be the most concise, eloquent and convincing argument I’ve ever heard in favor of lower body protection.

  • RSassi

    Who’s getting the freebee to test?

  • Peter88

    Spending money on gear is well worth it. I use an Olympia Phantom and going to that from a cheap textile jacket and Draggin jeans was a huge upgrade. This Klim setup looks awesome.