Gear: Aerostich Roadcrafter Light One Piece Suit – Review

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Gear: Aerostich Roadcrafter Light One Piece Suit - Review

The Roadcrafter Light will also break in more quickly and easily than the regular version. The Cordura feels much lighter and softer than on the heavier version, and feels much easier to move in. Roadcrafter suits, like nice leather jackets, take time to break in so this process is expected but it’s nice that I won’t have to work as hard with the Roadcrafter Light suit.

Since the Roadcrafter Light comes without a liner the pads are velcroed into place, allowing you to adjust them as need be. This makes moving the knee or elbow pads a cinch which improves the overall ability to customize the suit to any body type more specifically.

Aerostich Roadcrafter Light One Piece Suit
Aerostich Roadcrafter Light One Piece Suit

The Bad

While we like that we can customize the pad position, we do worry that we’ll knock the pads out of place while putting the suit on since they’re exposed. It has yet to happen, but I’m sure it will happen on the day that I get the pads placed perfectly.

Aerostitch is able to customize the arm and leg length, and the accuracy which with they do so is honestly incredible. They understand how adding length above the elbow will affect the fit as opposed to below the elbow, and that attention to detail shows in how close they’re able to get to your actual body measurements. However, for a product we plan on owning for many years to come, and one that’s this expensive ($767.00), we’d like to see more options for customization. For instance, if you wear a size 40 but need more room between the crotch and shoulder, you have to order a 42 as they’re unable to elongate the torso. We’d also like if they could tailor the width of the limbs of the suit. Overall, we may be being a little nit-picky as they’re able to get incredibly close to the perfect fit with the current options for customization.

Aerostich Roadcrafter Light One Piece Suit
Aerostich Roadcrafter Light One Piece Suit (rolled)

The Verdict

The HT200 Denier Nylon GORE-TEX® fabric is absolutely fantastic and leaves us wondering why more brands aren’t using it. With such easy on and easy off, this high-quality suit is perfect for those living in warmer climates or during the spring and summer months when the temperatures are warm. This suit is safe, keeps the clothes you are wearing underneath in good shape and performs as you’d expect any Aerostich product to — exceptionally well.

  • Stuki

    A lighter rain suit may indeed be “more tolerable” in hot weather than a thicker rain suit, but you’re still riding around in a rainsuit. Which is hardly the ideal riding garment in hot weather. At least unless it’s raining.

    • Piglet2010

      I can tolerate almost as much heat and humidity in the Roadcrafter Light as I can in the (I believe to be) much less protective Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket and pants.

      • Jai S.

        What are the ranges of comfort?

        • HoldenL

          I have a Roadcrafter Light in South Florida, commuting on thoroughfares (instead of highways), so I stop at a lot of lights and most of my riding is 35 to 50 mph. In other words, I don’t spend a lot of time cruising down an interstate at 60 mph, with the resulting cooling breeze. My commute lasts about 25 minutes.

          The temperature here rarely exceeds 93 or so, and when it’s that hot, the humidity is high, too. The Roadcrafter Light has never been too hot. I wear my office clothes under the riding suit — slacks, a dress shirt over a T-shirt. I have yet to arrive at my destination drenched from sweat, but sometimes I feel damp, especially the area covered by the back armor.

          This really surprised me. I expected the suit to feel hot in summer, and I’ve never felt uncomfortable in warm weather. Now, I grew up in Fort Worth, and I doubt that the RL would feel comfortable when it’s 103 outside. But what would feel comfortable in weather like that?

          Below about 55 or 50 degrees, I get cold. I wear a windbreaker or a fleece jacket (or both), and that’s tolerable for 25 minutes. Realistically, the RL probably isn’t safe below 40 degrees unless you’re wearing an electric vest, which I don’t have.

          Your riding conditions are probably different from mine, but I hope that helps.

          • Kirk Roy

            This is good news to me. I have been considering a light or ultralight roadcrafter for summer use (have a ~10 year old regular one-piece roadcrafter for fall, winter, spring and previously had a two-piece regular roadcrafter before that). I am an unapologetic fan of their gear and like that the ultralight is made in the USA and will probably go with one of them (adding in the optional pads) when summer rolls around.

          • elchino

            Thanks for the post! I have been debating getting a RC light and recently saw it at the Brandon FL pop-up event Aerostitch did. I own a Darien jacket – great quality but useless in South Florida at temps above 80 – so the Aerostitch rep suggested the RC light or Darien light. How many months out of the year are you using the suit (comfortably)? What do you ride (I ask to determine air flow you get while riding)? Would you buy one again? Did you get the armor/pads?

            • HoldenL

              I wear the RC Light year-round. I’m comfortable year-round, too. Now, I realize that some (most?) people would feel uncomfortable July through September, but I’m not one of those people. I’m in Palm Beach County, by the way. I think the Atlantic coast is just a little bit more humid than the Gulf coast.

              I ride a Kawasaki Versys, which normally is equipped with a small windscreen that deflects air to the neck. Over the winter, I removed the windscreen to reduce buffeting and noise in the helmet. I’ll probably feel marginally cooler in summer. Bottom line: The Versys doesn’t have much wind protection, so air flows through the suit.

              I got full armor, including Aerostich’s standard back pad. Next time I vacation in the mountains, I’ll get their Competition back pad.

              I would buy one again, and in fact, I might buy either a regular Roadcrafter (with the lining, for mountain vacations) or a different-colored RC Light if my son chooses a public university next month instead of a private college. Just a present to myself for dodging that financial bullet, LOL.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      The Roadcrafter is not a rain suit. It’s the single most versatile, functional and just plain raddest piece of riding gear you can buy at any price.

      • Stuki

        It’s still a rainsuit, construction wise……. As in, waterproofness was given 100% priority in the design; never mind how clammy it gets. Good for ultimate “versatility”, I guess, but hardly ideal for urban riding in hot places where you can take the car the three days out of the year it does rain.

        And I do have one. Had it forever, and I agree it’s the thing to don when you ride from CA to AK (or from your home in Duluth to your neighbor in Duluth) and have no idea what kind of weather systems you may encounter along the way. As long as you’re moving smartly, you can even wear it in Arizona summers. But man, does it clam up once you start sitting in bumper to bumper on the Las Vegas Strip in July……

        Goldfine and Co. needs to take a vacation to some more southern parts of the country, and realize that there are riders that like the Roadcrafter design and features, but that would prefer to not don a rainsuit at least some parts of the year. Until then, Motoport does make a more breatable Kevlar “mesh” (not really, but at least open weave) suit; that they claim is better in every way than the Roadcrafter. They also claim it is better than racing leathers, so I’m not sure how trustworthy their claims are. But, for riding in hot, non rainy weather, it is better than riding around in a rainsuit……

        • El Jefe

          “waterproofness was given 100% priority in the design; never mind how clammy it gets.”

          Yeah, you’re completely wrong about that.

      • Piglet2010

        At Star Motorcycle School last summer the co-owner (not JP43) was wearing a blue Roadcrafter, so maybe it is “rad”.

      • sharper86

        Wes – would you recommend one (perhaps not the light) as a four season suit? I’m looking for something that can handle rain and cold weather (32°+). I’ve been interested in the crafter since I started reading this site, but I do a lot of city riding and like the versatility of wearing a jacket only for short trips.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          That’s what I wear my regular-weight roadcrafter for.

        • Piglet2010

          As long as you have room to layer, the Light should be about as warm as the standard – both are quite wind-proof, but neither provides significant insulation on its own. The two real reasons to choose the regular over the light are greater abrasion protection and made in Duluth (if that matters to you).

          Plan in advance if you want a regular, as Aerostich keeps relatively few in stock, so a wait a 3 or 4 weeks for them to make one for you is not unusual (the deciding reason why I got a Light instead).

      • Justin McClintock

        Raddest? Really Wes? Next thing we know you’re going to be bragging about the new surfboard rack on your bike and your hair’s going to be long…again.

  • Stuki

    Can you get the Light in custom cnofigurations (forward sleeves, lomger femur etc.) now? That used to only be available on the regular ‘Stitch. If I remember correctly, this was because the lighter variations were made in some overseas factory (hence lower price), rather than in Minnesota.

    • Piglet2010

      Yes, the Roadcrafter Light is made in Vietnam, and yes you can get it altered by Aerostich (I had the long gusset in a 1 inch width added to each side of mine).

      And no, in the 1½ years I have had mine, I have never had a pad get knocked out of place when putting the suit on.

      As for care, I do the two step Nikwax (cleaner and wash in water repellant) that Aerostich recommends, and it keeps the Hi-Viz yellow Hi-Viz and rain beading up on the surface. But having the ballistic panels a darker color does help, as they pick up the most grime.

  • taba

    No qualms with using 200D even on the longest of journeys?

    Yet you’d keep Alpinestars’ Verona Air’s 450D in town?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      The Verona Air is a budget city jacket. The Roadcrafter is the highest quality riding suit you can buy. Big difference, regardless of material names.

    • Piglet2010

      I did a track day in my Roadcrafter Light.

  • taba

    If the argument for this is convenience/comfort, why not recommend a perforated leather jacket and jeans instead? That more so, and equally protective (averaging halves).

    • nick2ny

      Dude, I like the concept, but you can’t average halves!

    • Davidabl2

      Problem with “averaging halves” : It is the bottom half that gets fu’d most of the time.

  • NOCHnoch

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been agonizing over whether to get this or the regular Roadcrafter. Here’s my question: How much cooler is the RC Light than the regular RC with the liner removed? If the difference is negligible, wouldn’t it make sense to get the regular RC and remove the liner when it gets hot?

    • Kirk Roy

      The liner is built-in, not removable.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Considerably cooler. The regular Roadcrafter is totally fine with all the vents open and shorts or summer-weight long underwear underneath, but the Light is going to be much better with regular clothes underneath.

      • NOCHnoch

        Thanks. I’m a sweaty bastard and I don’t do well in NYC summer humidity (you know what that’s like). I’m going for the Light.

  • Brian

    so, when comparing it directly side by side with, say Wes’s Stealth Roadcrafter, I ask this. You say it is noticeably lighter and less bulky. Can you say without question it is easier to roll up and stuff into a top case or pannier in comparison?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      The limiting factor on packing a Roadcrafter is the bulkiness of the armor, in particular the Competition Back Pad (which should be the only option you consider). Yeah, this one gets a bit smaller, but the material isn’t what’s keep it out of your top box.

  • phoebegoesvroom

    You can’t get the torso elongated, but can get the back panel ellipse in the Roadcrafter suits, which does elongate the torso slightly, but it’s mainly designed for a better fit in an aggressive riding position.

  • 200 Fathoms

    Reminds me of something I read somewhere about a rider’s mate asking him why so many BMW riders wear snowsuits. :)

    • Piglet2010

      I had a guy in a grocery store ask me if I rode a snowmobile.

      • Davidabl2

        And it WASN’T snowing outside?

        • Piglet2010

          It was in mid-winter, after a thaw that cleared the plowed roads but not all the snow on the ground.

        • El Jefe

          I had a guy at a fast food joint in rural Arizona ask me if I was going skydiving.

          • Davidabl2

            well, yes, there’s no snow nearby:-)

  • Arclite

    I have the Aerostich RC Light in sz42 (5’9″/165lbs) with all the TF3 armor (plus hips, competition back pad, and chest protector) and live in San Diego County. I got the suit this summer and put about 6000mi in 6mo on it. I commute ~20mi daily in it and did a 500mi ride it also. During the summer, the suit was tolerable wearing jeans and a t-shirt underneath it, and now that it’s “colder” (gets under 40deg for a brief period in the mornings), the suit is great by just adding a 100wt fleece top, a neck gaiter, and warmer gloves. With the right layering you could wear this suit anywhere…I plan to use it as my ski suit!

    I had a slow speed get off (riding The Authority up a dirt hill) with the suit on and it performed great. I made contact with my right knee and rolled to my back; didn’t feel a thing and no damage to the suit either. Granted, I was only going 10-15mph or less and not on asphalt, but I feel confident the RC Light would perform well in a higher speed on-road incident.

    I try to wear it every time I ride, and manage to get it on at least +85% of the time. I’m not really at a 10sec or less don/doff with the suit, more like 30secs. The knee and elbow pads never move, the hip pads basically hang from the hook/loop closure as the adhesive backing Aerostich supplied for the sides of the hip pads doesn’t stick to the inside of the suit. So the hip pads will sometimes flip up when I’m putting the suit on quickly and not paying attention. It’s an easy fix by readjusting them through the side zippers. Honestly, I’m glad the hip pads aren’t fixed to the sides of the suit; it allows me to get to stuff I forgot in my pants pockets. The shoulder pads can some get hung up on whatever shoulder you’re putting in last (mostly depends on what layers you’re wearing).

    The suit (by itself, rolled tightly) fits in the pictured top box (42Ltr/12″x22″x16″).

    All-in-all, it’s a great suit, that’s comfortable, allows me to wear regular clothes underneath it, and makes me feel safer.

    Adrian

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Nice bike! Which back protector did you get for the suit?

      • Arclite

        Thanks Wes – I got the competition/racer back protector. I like the coverage it provides over the standard back protector.

    • Arclite

      I should clarify, the suit with all pads and competition back pad fits in the pictured top case.

  • Blu E Milew

    “if you wear a size 40 but need more room between the crotch and shoulder, you have to order a 42 as they’re unable to elongate the torso”

    Dear Aerostitch, please make more room between the crotch and shoulder. Every time I try to raise my arms, DSAFADJSGDFAKHGDFAJGDAGFADLJFAJLFAJLFADS. FUCK.

    Also, when are they going to do a pop-up thing in Chicago? I will need to get rid of my tax returns soon.

    • Piglet2010

      The long side gussets should help with your problem (at least it did for me) – now I can get stuff off the top shelf at the grocery store while wearing my ‘Stich.

    • Stuki

      Getting forward rotated shoulders actually help a little bit there; but it still amazes me how stocky Aerostich’s Midwestern fitmodels must be. I ordered mine with everything lengthened as much as I could; upper leg, lower leg, back elipse panel etc., but it’s still just barely long enough. And I normally consider myself a fairly stocky guy: 6’1/2″, 200lb.

  • scstarkey

    My Roadcrafter Light just arrived. It is very noisy when walking around, does that go away? If I walked into my office everyone within 50 feet would turn to see what was causing the crinkle swish swish noise. Also, I was disappointed that it did not come with armor; basic armor (shoulder, elbow & knee) is $100 extra. I will probably return it because it is so baggy below the knee and loud.