Hollie has asked me to lay down some thoughts on wet weather gear. Basically, most of my gear is BMW branded, and I’ve had it for a few years…….
BMW has gone through an evolution, and is still improving it’s gear in terms of being weatherproof.
When I got my first BMW Santiago suit it had a Goretex liner which zipped into the inside of both the jacket, and a separate one for the pants. This meant that the outer gear got soaked through, but the wearer stayed dry inside the Goretex liner. I see this as less than ideal.
I know that this internal liner system is used by many manufacturers. You can zip out the liner when you want, and zip it back in when expecting rain. I still don’t like having a sodden out suit.
Then I got an older BMW suit from a German guy who brought it with him from Germany. He had been touring NZ, and was selling it before leaving. This came with a rain proof jacket and pants which went over the riding suit. I actually liked this far better, as it kept the riding suit fairly dry as well as keeping me dry. I preferred this system. If you are out riding and the weather changes, it’s easier to take the outer waterproofs off than the inner ones. It also tended to keep me warmer.
Now I’m using the new system BMW have. The suit itself is waterproof. I can ride for hours in the rain and the suit pretty much keeps me dry. I stay as warm the layers I put on under the suit, and dry.
One trade-off with these suits is that to be waterproof means that the suit is less breathable. On hot days I tend to use a different suit. On cold or wet days I go with the winter suit.
Not everyone gets to have several suits. If I was buying one suit I’d likely look at a decent suit with a thermal liner you can take in and out, and a decent set of wets you can put over the top. This makes it adaptable to most conditions.
If I could have my dream set of gear, it would be…..
Until I win Lotto though, it’s just a dream. At around $4,500. I’ll be waiting a while for this suit. Waterproof leather. Yes, really!
In terms of gloves, I’ve used quite a few over the years, and some have been better than others. None are totally waterproof over several hours of riding in the rain. So I use Rain-Off over-gloves. Cheap, and very effective. Here’s the link. Google Rain-Off and you’ll find local retailers who sell them.
Get in touch if you want to discuss this or other gear issues.