winter

12 Days of Winter Deals

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Follow me on Facebook for my 12 Days of Winter Deals. I'm sharing some of my favorites for jackets, pants, boots, gloves and helmets that will save you money and time. 

Like this Olympia Expedition Jacket on sale for $267. 

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Reader Question: Is Gore-Tex the Best Summer Waterproof Option?

Reader Amara needs help figuring out which summer waterproof textile jacket she should get. To Gore-Tex or Not To Gore-Tex, that is the question!

Hi there, I would love some advice on gear.

I am also looking at a new textile jacket and I am choosing between the dainese tempest d dry and the gore tex zima jacket. Do you think the goretex is worth the extra cash? Are these jackets going to work with a sportsbike riding position? What pants would you recommend? I am looking for some textile pants that are well waterproofed but also have enough ventilation for hot days. 

I am 5'7, small build but have largish hips. I wear a 40 in dainese jackets and need a 44 in dainese pants to get the over my butt.

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated! I am riding an Aprilia Tuono.

Many thanks, Amara.

Hi Amara!

So when it comes to waterproof Gore-Tex gear with Great ventilation, the best option is really the Altitude jacket in Small. The reason is because they laminate the Cordura Shell with the Gore-Tex so it becomes one layer. Then the vents provide direct ventilation. In a perfect world, I'd recommend this as well. But unfortunately it’ll be too big on you, given the size you need in Dainese, they just don’t make their jackets that small yet. And the overall fitment isn't quite perfect for your bike riding style, since it's designed for dual sport / adventure style riding.

The fit is also wonderful, tailored and perfect when you're petite on top. It won't bunch up and it's super comfortable. I tried on one a few years ago and I LOVED it. Here's a terrible pic of me wearing one in 40. It was really tight on me back then, I probably would've ridden in a 42 not 40. Since it has a removable thermal liner, it runs a tad loose. I love how the material is forgiving and stretchy. I've always thought Dainese was the best when it comes to sport touring gear, simply because of the way they tailor their gear.

Dainese Zima GTX Jacket Dainese Zima GTX Jacket

As far as Gore-Tex, I think it’s absolutely worth the extra money. It’s such a versatile membrane. I only trust my older Revit Legacy suit, where the Gore-Tex membrane is attached permanently and I can’t remove it. When I open the vents I can only feel it a little bit. So the Dainese Zima jacket you mentioned is going to be very similar. This is the only downside to this suit.

I’ve worn my Legacy in 95-100F with humidity, and I can honestly say I’d gladly take that over a non GoreTex membrane. It has so much versatility in terms of temperature. You can go from 100F and drop down to the 40s. My last trip was to Deals Gap in September and it was HOT. I wrote a brief review in my ride report.

I have worn other waterproof membranes as well, but the one thing they haven’t been able to provide is the Windstopping that Gore-Tex does. I noticed a big difference when I wear my heated jacket liner with both types of jackets as far as how well the outer shell does with wind. The other thing you are getting for the extra money is a lifetime guarantee from Gore-Tex that the membrane will not fail and keep you dry! So in 3-5 years (well after the 1 year warranty from Dainese) you can call Gore-Tex and tell them your jacket is leaking, and they will work with you to figure out what’s wrong and warranty it if necessary. At some point, the membrane might fail so it’s great to have this to fall back on. With other membranes you are stuck with a leaking jacket after that first year without any recourse. The membrane also breathes so well, it literally pulls the sweat away from your body. I highly recommend reading this description of how it all works, I can’t give you a better explanation than they can!

It also means you need killer baselayers, so whether its 40F or 100F make sure you’ve also invested in proper layers like Icebreakers or Dainese  for the Summer and Schampa for the Winter. And of course, baselayers are important under all motorcycle gear to maximize comfort as well!

I think the Dainese Zima is an amazing option for your beautiful Tuono in terms of fitment. It has a fantastic sporty cut, and if I absolutely needed another Gore-Tex suit it would be high on my list, simply because it’s more fitted and I like my gear really snug and tailored. Actually I recommend Dainese for sporty rides since the pants are tapered at the bottoms (unlike other brands which have touring / bootcut leg fitments). I also think the Tempest isn’t going to be small enough for you, even in 40. The cut on that jacket is a bit looser from what I’ve seen of it in person.

dainese_travelguard_goretex_womens_pants

The matching pants would be the Travelguards, and you’ll be the same size as your other Dainese. Unfortunately they’re just not very hip friendly :)  I don't know what Dainese pants you currently own, but the Travelguards will be a little looser in the legs than say the New Drake Airs or Sherman D-Drys. The only downsides to all these Dainese pants is the venting is not direct, to your body like I mentioned above with the Klim Altitude.

revit_neptune_goretex_womens_jacket

However, another option would be the Revit Neptune, if you want a cooler option. You would wear a size 36 in the jacket (if you have broad shoulders) or 34 if you are narrower and don't need extra room in the bust. The thing about this jacket is that the Gore-Tex liner is removable, so you have to put it in to stay dry. That means when you take the liner(s) out, it's a much cooler, vented jacket! Far more versatile, in my opinion. The matching pants would be great as well, and you would probably wear a 38 or 40 since it's a different cut. I think this suit would fit well on the Tuono too. I love Revit fitments, but they aren't as sporty cut as Dainese. If you really want a tighter, more fitted outfit then you'll love them. But this Revit suit is definitely worth checking out as well.

Now, if you aren't convinced that Gore-Tex is worth it then I would recommend the Revit Sand Suit:

revit_sand_jacket_womens revit_sand_pants_womens

 

This is a MUCH lighter suit for Summer / Spring riding. If your main riding season is going to be summer and warmer weather, you'll love this option. The fitment on the jacket is similar to the Zima, very fitted and narrow in the shoulders/arms. I would also recommend a 36 for the top and 40 for the bottoms. These will definitely work well on the Tuono too! They both have 2 removable liners, one is waterproof and one is thermal so you can really change the layers to your liking. The material is really lightweight, perfect for ultra hot riding weather. If you'd rather be more comfortable in hotter weather then you'll really enjoy this suit.

Between all of these options however, I would personally choose the Dainese Combo Suit because I prefer having my waterproof membrane permanently attached so I don't have to take it on and off. And because I'm so devoted to the Gore-Tex membrane and how it performs. I'd also rather be too warm than too cold, I feel like smaller folks like us are able to take hotter temperatures a bit easier since we're *always* cold!

Hope this helps, Ride Safe.

Women's Motorcycle Jackets with the Longest Sleeves

This is my second video for Revzilla.com!

In this vid, I give you all my recommendations for women's jackets with the longest sleeves.

But in case you missed my last Geek Speak video for Revzilla.com, you can watch that one here too:

Scorpion Zion Adventure Touring Jacket

scorpion_zion_womens_jacket  

Over the next few weeks I'll be reviewing the Scorpion Zion Touring Jacket. This $299 jacket from Scorpion is a multiseason, multilayered jacket that offers you flexibility in various climates. With 2 removable liners (one waterproof, one thermal) you can go from hot to cold temperatures easily by adjusting your layering and closing or opening your vents.

It also has a rather long adventure style cut, with a slightly longer sleeve length and elongated torso. If you're searching for a jill of all trades outfit to take you from spring to summer to fall, this suit might just do it. Although I'm only testing the jacket I'm sure the pants will perform in the same way.  I'm actually fitting into an XS, although I've dropped a few pounds these past couple of months. I'm down to 125-127lbs from 135-140lbs, and was worried the XS might be too big. But the fit is actually perfect for my broader shoulders and freakishly long arms (for someone 5'3").

 

scorpion_zion_womens_motorcycle_jacket_back

 

Stay tuned for a detailed, full length review exclusively on Women Riders Now.

Wear This, Not That: Pants

northface_snowpants In this 2nd installment of Wear This Not That, let's talk a little bit about what kind of women's motorcycle pants you should wear....

What's wrong with such an innocent pair of snow pants? They're warm, waterproof... and so cozy!

And that's about all they will offer you in the event of a crash; they may keep you warm and dry while you're cursing yourself for not buying real riding pants. I'm sorry to break this to you, but that's exactly what you need to prepare for. So why isn't a toasty pair of snow / ski pants good enough to ride in?

As you can see, these pants (and anything not motorcycle specific) refuse to cooperate should you separate from your vehicle. And although we try our best to keep ourselves attached to our beloved motorcycles, it doesn't always end up that way. I'm not even talking about going 60-70mph. You can do plenty of damage to your body by just crossing the street and tripping off the sidewalk. I can't tell you how many times I've hurt my back just stepping off the curb weird, or trying to avoid falling on my dog so I end up with a bruised knee because I chose to hit the ground instead. Now add some speed into the mix and you have a really good chance of getting injured.

Two crucial points of impact are your hips and knees. If you accidentally trip while walking across your living room, I can guarantee that if you hit the ground these two points will make contact with the grand. Oh and probably the palm of your hands (so that's why you need gloves). But that's going to be the next installment. As far as this one, those two points need some protection so your bones don't take the full impact of that fall.

northface_thermoball_snowpants_womens

Additionally, these kinds of pants are for falling down on soft, powdery piles of snow. Not pavement. And pavement is not going to be nice when they start rubbing against the ground. None of your snow/ski wear is designed to stay together in the case of an accident, or hold up if there's any friction between you and the ground. The last thing you want is your flesh to make contact with pavement.

And we can't forget about fit! Something you won't be doing while skiing is sitting. Well, if you're doing things the right way of course. :-) Riding pants are designed for maximum comfort in the seated position. That means the back side should be higher rise and cover you well above your hips, towards your waist. There's no pulling from the hips to the knees, no bunching fabric behind the knees.

But motorcycle specific riding pants, such as these beautiful Rev'it Factor 3 Women's pants have even more creature comforts built in. See those small folds above the knees? Those are there to maintain comfort while you bend your knees over your feet pegs. The front is a slightly lower rise than the back. There's even a small stretch panel on the lower back so it won't pull when you sit. And every piece of fabric on these pants are cut out for riding positions. Lots of sitting!

 

 

 

 

 

revit_factor3_womens_textile_motorcycle_pants

 

If you're thinking about riding pants (and I hope you all are, no matter what you're riding), remember that motorcycling requires the same technical features as any other sport. And more importantly, the added safety and protection that you simply won't find in any other piece of technical gear.

In case you missed the first installment of Wear This Not That, Check It Out!

 

 

 

 

Just a huge "Thank you!" for your fit guidance and...

Just a huge "Thank you!" for your fit guidance and recommendation on a jacket. I had so much trouble finding something with good protection, Gore Tex, and a cut that fit me. I took my first winter ride two weeks ago with the Zima! I really appreciate your reviews and attitude.  

My Recommendations for Women's Motorcycle Gloves for Winter

alpinestars_wr-3_goretex_womens_gloves Winter is around the corner. The temperatures are already dropping if you live on the East Coast, so you might be looking for winter motorcycle gloves!

Here's a 5 minute review of 6-7 gloves to try to keep your hands nice and toasty. Click on the link below to listen:

http://www.gearchic.com/podcast/womens_motorcycle_gloves_winter_2014.mp3

 

RS Taichi Drymaster Prime All Season Jacket

taichi_drymaster_prime_allseason_womens If you aren't familiar with RS Taichi, they're a little known brand from Japan that makes high quality, premium motorcycle gear.

Unfortunately they don't offer very strong options for women, specifically leather or a lot of highly technical riding gear but they do offer a few textile jackets and pants for us. I have a pair of these Crossover Mesh Pants which I only wear on really hot, humid days to and from work.

I recently discovered the All Season Jacket above, and was thrilled to see it's offered in a women's specific size. It has an integrated waterproof membrane, has large, direct ventilation, sealed zippers and a removable insulated liner. It's called "All Season" due to the venting scheme. Full armor also comes with the jacket including shoulders, elbow, back and chest.

Look out for a full review in an upcoming issue of Sportbikes Inc Magazine!

 

Petite Women's Motorcycle Gear for Winter

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Hi Joanne, Been following you for a while and love your site! I'm from Australia (living in Canberra) and wanted your advice on, believe or not, some gear :). The winters in Canberra can be quite chilly (down to 0-4 degrees celsius in winter) and I'm looking for a good winter jacket. I have some Rev'it gear - Ignition 2 for spring/summer/fall) and the Siren (predecessor of the Indigo for fall/winter). Wondering if you have any suggestions? I've been looking at the Rev'it Sand (looks quite bulky), Dainese Elysse (not sure what this is like other than reading on the internet). Are there any favourites of yours for winter?  For Canberra winter mornings can be as low as -3C (26F) degrees to about 7C (44F) degrees. In Sydney, which is 280km away, their mornings are probably 9 degrees and they will consider that cold!

Thanks so much and might I add again that I love your site! :) 

Cheers, Kathleen.

We went back and forth a few emails, so I won't bore you with those details. After getting Kathleen's sizing/measurements, I was able to give her a few ideas. Kathleen rides a Ninja 300 and is on the petite side, (5'3", 119lbs).

In general, I recommend anything with Gore-Gex because it offers the best waterproof/windproof layer, and for breathability.  As far as cold weather gear, it depends on your body type. I only make recommendations based on what fits you! I need to know your height, weight, chest (over the bust), hips, inseam measurements to give you some ideas. Believe it or not, the Revit Sand suit is the lightest year round suit, because the shell is ultralight. It would probably be the least warm for this reason.

I think a Dainese Jacket would work well for you. I would also highly recommend a heated jacket liner such as this one:

Firstgear Womens Heated Liner, size XS http://www.revzilla.com/product/firstgear-womens-heated-jacket-liner

You would substitute the thermal layer in the jacket for the Firstgear liner. I also have a review of the previous version of this jacket (made by WarmnSafe) including installation here.

Given the temperatures you're attempting to ride in, you'll need it! If you're like most women, you're colder on top vs. bottom. I think this outfit would be awesome since it's GoreTex (which provides the best waterproof/windproof liner!):

  • Dainese Zima Gore-Tex Jacket: Size 40; Unfortunately Revzilla only shows color Black/Dawn Blue. I have no idea what that color is. I can't find any samples online! You would need a 40 since your chest measurement is 35.5. This combined with your weight of 54kg/119lbs, you'll need the smallest size available. The nice thing about the Zima is it's waterproof on the outside, only the thermal liner is removable. I've tried it on and it's awesome! Here's a link to some pics of me in it.
  • Dainese Travelguard Gore-Tex pants: Size 40; Again, Gore-Tex is such a great windwall and fully waterproof. It only has a removable thermal liner. I like the fact that there is hip armor and adjustable knees! I never see adjustable knee armor on Dainese pants.

Of course, these are higher on the budget but given what you need and the size that you are, I think these are the best option. A heavyweight winter baselayer like this or this is perfect too.

UPDATE 6/6/2014:

Kathleen emailed me back to let me know what she found!

Hi Joanne,

Wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you!

I bought the Zima - actually found in a store in Sydney, tried on the 40 and bought it. I absolutely love it - it fits really well.

Haven't got the heated liner yet, as I've only had the Zima for a few days so wanted to see what the fit was like, etc. Next on the shopping list is the heated liner and some new pants.

Loved your advice so thank you again.

Women's Gore-Tex Motorcycle Pants for Summer? Fall?

dainese_travelguard_gtx_womens_pantsdainese_travelguard_gtx_womens_pants_back  

The Travelguard Gore-Tex pants are one of the newest options for women from Dainese. Could these work in warm, wet summers? 

$379.95 MSRP, Sizes 38-54 (~US 0 - 16), Revzilla.com

I really like the features they offer including adjustable knee armor (haven't inspected in person but that's what the description says!) and the ProShape armor in the hips. I also dig the thigh vents. For this reason, I think they might work in summer/spring too. Especially if you're living in a wet summer climate like I am.

AND they're available in 38!! Euro 38 is basically a US 0. The smallest possible size for petite women. If you've been searching for extremely petite ladies pants, these are one of the best options aside from any of Revit's Size 34 pants. The Euro 54 is approximately a 16, which is definitely a difficult size to find in women's Dainese gear.

I've never had to deal with warm, wet summers before. I have my Revit GoreTex suit, so I'm hoping it won't suffocate me with the heat/humidity I'm going to be dealing with. We'll see.

If you like the idea of a slim fit pant v. a bootleg pant, then I would suggest any of the pants that Dainese has to offer.

As far as what else you could wear if it's hot and humid and raining, I would also recommend something like the Olympia Airglide Jacket and Pants (for a fuller, curvier cut) or the Revit Sand Pants and Jacket (for a more slender, athletic cut) or any Gore-Tex suit like this one or Klim's Altitude for the dual sport crowd.  For a brief overview of these outfits, check out the links from this blog post back in February.