Buyers’ Guide – Rain Gear

Jan 17, 2011 View Comments by

Although few riders plan on riding in the rain, it’s inevitable at some point. When the sky opens, the quality of the rain gear can make all the difference between staying comfortable and having a miserable ride. Perhaps it’s stating the obvious, but good rain gear needs to be waterproof all around to keep you dry. There are several other essentials to consider as well, before we review specific products: great visibility, easy to get on and off, anti-slip pad in the rear, and arms and legs long enough to keep you covered. We compared the products by weight, as rain gear should always come along for the ride.

Visibility: When it rains, the sky darkens, which means fellow motorists are less likely to see a motorcycle. High visibility colors and reflective trim are of utmost importance to staying safe while riding in the rain! Staying dry won’t do you any good if you end up in a ditch because a car didn’t see you.

Easy on and off: Also, it’s best to put on rain gear before it starts to rain to avoid getting soaked. We’ve all seen riders on the side of the road doing the rain gear dance. Jumping up and down, looking as if they’re about to tip over any second, but in the last moment, the boot forces its way through the leg hole. Some riders use the “grocery bag trick,” stepping into a grocery bag before slipping into pant legs to prevent boots from getting stuck.

Length of arms/legs: When you finally manage to put it on, the rain gear should be long enough in the arms and legs so that when you’re in the saddle, your wrists and the top of your boots are not exposed.

Anti-slip padding: The rubbery anti-slip pad in the rear keeps you securely in your seat without sliding around.

Tester size: 6’2”, 185 lbs, 34 inseam

 

BMW ProRain 3 One Piece Suit

Colors Available: yellow
Sizes Available: S – 4XL
Weight: 2.3 lbs
Price: $129
www.bmwmotorcycles.com/us/en

Long zippers at the outside of the legs, running up from the leg hem, make the ProRain 3 suit easy to put on. The testing size is XL, and for our rider the arm and leg length is satisfactory. Around the collar where the suit zips there is micro fleece for comfort. Bright yellow reflective strips on the legs, arms, and back provide high visibility. Fold-over Velcro protects the upper body zipper, thus hindering rain penetration. The elastic waistband is formfitting, and the anti-slip pad in the seat area keeps the rider in the saddle without sliding.

Length of arms/legs: true to size
Visibility: High
Anti-slip padding: yes
Pockets: right chest

 

FIRSTGEAR Splash Jacket & Pants

Colors Available: jacket black, yellow/black, pants black only
Sizes Available: S – 4XL
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Price: jacket $69.95 / pants $59.95
www.firstgear-usa.com

The Splash jacket and pants make a great basic, but comfortable waterproof suit. An integrated hood that fits in to the collar and adjustable straps around the waist improve functionality. The Material is very thin and packs tightly into the provided stuff sack. The 210-denier nylon taffeta does a satisfactory job of keeping the rider dry. While there is a 1” horizontal stripe of reflective tape for night visibility, this gear isn’t particularly visible.

Length of arms/legs: adequate
Visibility: jacket is bright, but pants have very low visibility
Anti-slip padding: no
Pockets: left chest, left thigh

 

Frogg Toggs Horny Toadz Rain Suit

Colors Available: black/silver, hi-vis green/silver
Sizes Available: S – 2XL
Weight: 2.13 lbs
Price: $89.95
www.racerpartswholesale.com

The Frogg Toggs XL two-piece is made of an ultra-durable hybrid fabric that’s rightly named ToadSkinz. While this material is highly visible, it does feel a bit stiff even with the inner liner for comfort. The jacket uses a zipper with fold-over buttons, which unfortunately let in a small amount of water after a long ride. A big jump and a heave is needed to get the pants over the boots, as the zipper on the legs only opens up to the calf. An integrated hood is a nice touch!

Length of arms/legs: adequate
Visibility: High
Anti-slip padding: no
Pockets: 2 on jacket, right-rear on pants

 

Icon PDX Waterproof Shell  & Overpant

Colors Available: hi-vis yellow, black, Infantry, Mil Spec Orange, pants in hi-vis yellow or black only
Sizes Available: shell: S – 3XL / pants: 30-40
Weight: 4.5 lbs
Price: shell: $105 / overpant: $250
www.rideicon.com

The Icon PDX is the only rain gear tested with 100% waterproof zippers all around. The pants unzip to the waist making it extremely easy to put them on. The hood cannot be stowed away, but folding it inside is an option. The suspenders and the Velcro adjustment straps give the jacket a good fit and a mesh lining adds to its overall comfort. The suit doesn’t look or feel like typical motorcycle rain gear, but instead something that might be found on the ski slopes.

Length of arms/legs: adequate
Visibility: High
Anti-slip padding: no
Pockets: 2 on jacket, both thighs

 

Joe Rocket RS-2 Rain Suit

Colors Available: black, black/yellow
Sizes Available: S – 4XL
Weight: 3.1 lbs
Price: $64.99
www.joerocket.com

The RS-2 Rain Suit has a jacket made of 100% waterproof soft polyester and pullover pants with elastic bands around the waist and ankles. The pants are a little bit tricky to get over the boots (a grocery bag helps). The suit we tested is an all black model with reflective piping. Unfortunately though, one still won’t be very visible in this outfit. The inside collar is made of soft corduroy, but its adjustability is limited, making for a tighter fit around the neck.

Length of arms/legs: adequate
Visibility: Low
Anti-slip padding: no
Pockets: 2 on jacket

 

Tour Master Elite Series 2

Colors Available: jacket black, red, blue, yellow, pants black only
Sizes Available: XXS – 3XL
Weight: 4.4 lbs
Price: jacket: $54.99 / pants: $34.99
www.helmethouse.com

Like most Tour Master gear, this suit runs very true to size. The pants are a little difficult to put on because of the narrow leg opening. The suspenders are quite functional, as they keep the pants positioned nicely, especially while walking. The legs are on the shorter side, so they tend to slide up a little while riding. Includes integrated hood. The Elite Series 2 is made of a waterproof, polyurethane-backed heavy-duty nylon shell with sealed seam construction, which means it isn’t just waterproof — it’s also very warm.

Length of arms/legs: not long enough in the legs
Visibility: Somewhat high
Anti-slip padding: no, but has reinforcement
Pockets: 4 on jacket, one on left thigh

 

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