What are Baselayers?

This image courtesy of perfectly illustrates what baselayers are! But they're far more important when doing something active such as riding motorcycles. And believe me, they'll vastly improve the feel and performance of your existing gear.

Awhile back, I shared this link to REI's website, which breaks down the various kinds of materials, what they do, when you need it and how it works.

Aside from the technical reasons why baselayers work well, the bottom line is that you need something between the surface of your skin and the lining of your riding gear to keep the moisture at bay, (not eliminate sweat completely, but keep it under control) and increase your overall comfort.

Dainese D-Core Women's Shirt

Dainese D-Core Women's Shirt

It's 85 degrees out. You're wearing a cotton tshirt and your arms start go get all sweaty. Then the lining of your jacket starts to stick to you and all you can do is think about how hot and uncomfortable you are. You can't get any air in between your skin and the lining because it's sitting right on top of your skin.

Take a look at this illustration and read this awesome article by about how this works. When you wear the right baselayer, you will be far more comfortable underneath your gear. Yes you are still sweating, but this keeps you more comfortable. 

Photo and Article Courtesy of

Photo and Article Courtesy of

Imagine a lightweight, synthetic layer that sits but doesn't stick to your skin. You sweat profusely but the material sucks up the sweat as much as it can, allowing the air to actually flow over your arms. Now imagine pouring a little cold water down your arm (say you have a vent on the bicep) and then you hit highway speeds. Thewater actually feels cool and better yet, the shirt is absorbing the water cooling your skin a little bit. There are a ton of options out there, synthetic, bamboo, merino, something for everyone.

You don't have to spend a lot of money, either. Try going to your local sporting good store and try inexpensive running baselayers. You can easily find a shirt and pants for ~$25 each. Just make sure they have flat seams. Raised seams will drive you crazy! And yes, bottoms are just as important as tops. Moreso if you wear leather. It will also make taking your gear on and off a breeze, no matter how much you're sweating.

Anything you can do to maximize comfort will minimize distractions. If all you can think about is how hot you are, how can you think about that car 2 lanes over about to merge erratically into your lane?

Shoutout to Schampa Gear

Schampa shirt pants warm cold winter baselayer motorcycle riding outdoor


If you still haven't discovered Schampa thermal baselayers, you don't know what you're missing! I have to give a quick shout to Schampa, without whom I would've freezed my ass off all winter. Their skinny pants and shirt are the BEST thermal baselayers. I've practically lived in them at home, work, walking Benny, anything that requires me staying warm in cooler temps. Read my review and get yourself a set now!


What GORE-TEX pants should I buy?

Dainese Womens Goretex motorcycle textile waterproof pantsrevit legacy goretex pants womens

I just got an email from a reader who's trying to figure out which GORE-TEX motorcycle pants to get. 

"Ok so being new to motorcycling a few months ago I bought the REV'IT Ventura pants and Indigo jacket.  I was biking in a freaking downpour up here in Portland (caught heading home) and noticed that i was starting to get cold from the water soaking the outer fabric before it was repelled by the liner.  When it's dry I stay much warmer.  This got me to thinking if I should sell this set and get GORE-TEX gear.  It makes a heck of a drysuit (I'm a whitewater kayaker so is important to stay dry).  :)   Do you think the GORE-TEX is better at keeping one warmer than an additional liner?" 

I'm a HUGE fan of GORE-TEX. I think overall, it's one of the best waterproofing systems available to us as motorcyclists. I've been riding in the REV'IT Legacy GTX two piece and it's simply amazing. The shell features Cordura 1000 denier Ribstop with Teflon coating. Unfortunately, that, along with hip armor is what also pushes the price point higher vs. the Dainese. If you're a 44 in Dainese, you should be 40 in REV'IT pants. I think the Legacy is the ultimate touring outfit given it's versatility. Check out my first impressions on this outfit here. 

There's something about GORE-TEX that is completely different from anything else, especially when it comes to motorcycle gear. It's definitely an investment but well worth it, in my opinion. 


"I was looking at Revzilla sale and noticed the Dianese New Galvestone GTX pants on sale.  I have hips and booty with athletic thighs but nothing crazy.  I fit great in their Firefly(?) leather pants in a 44 (BTW those pants make your butt look really good) so was wondering if you know anything about the Galvestones.  Linda - Portland, OR"

Unfortunately I haven't tried on the New Galvestones in awhile, but the fit is pretty consistent across most of the Dainese line.  I would think that you'll notice a nice difference in warmth and performance vs. the Ventura with these or the Legacy, mostly because the Venturas are a little more curvy friendly and have a trouser fit. Also because the shell doesn't have a lot of windproof/waterproof-abilities built into it. I think if you match up those pants with the Dainese Adina, that outfit would work well.  

I think the advantage to the Dainese outfit is that it'll be a touch leaner and longer, especially with the jacket through the torso and arms. The Galvestone pants will also fit more like a skinny jean with a more tapered leg vs. the REV'IT as well. If you have a longer, leaner frame I'd recommend going this route because the closer the fitment to your body, the warmer it'll be in terms of retaining heat. Whenever you go up in size you're losing heat because of the additional space you're creating between your body and the gear.  If you love the fit of the Firefly's, then you'll definitely love the way their textiles fit. 

I'd also consider a heated vest or liner to ride in the coldest temps possible. You can't go wrong with heated and either of the GORE-TEX outfits from Dainese or REV'IT. That combination will allow you to ride in even colder temps!