I brought this jacket and pants combo along for our organized tour in Peru. The last two weeks in March are still in the rainy season; I needed a suit for warmth high up in the Andes, and I needed to shed layers for desert riding. The Defender GTX combo fulfilled its duties as promised. Of course I had to deal with jokes from fellow riders about showing up in Peru with a new suit without a trace of dirt or dust on it. But when you’re an experienced rider like me, you never actually ride in rain, certainly never fall in the mud, and never ride behind a group on a dusty road.
The well-ventilated jacket features easy-to-open, fold-up vents near the collarbone, zippered vents along the sleeves, and exit vents on the back to ensure maximum movement of air. The collar’s hook design is one of my favorite features; I can open it when it gets hot without having to shove the excess collar inside, and it doesn’t flap around in the wind. The Coolmax mesh lining wicks interior moisture to the outside where it can evaporate. It certainly made riding in the desert more enjoyable.
On the other side of the spectrum, the suit kept me warm during a mountain pass while it snowed. The detachable Exkin Air thermal liner and the GORE-TEX shell do an adequate job of keeping freezing air from penetrating. (When riding in extreme temperatures like that, it’s best to add a heated vest or liner.) The jacket comes with protectors in the back, shoulders, and elbows, and the slim fit ensures they stay there.
The matching pants are available in short, medium (standard), and long, but the long could be longer. As with all motorcycle pants, they never seem to be long enough, especially for long-legged riders. Fold-up vent panels on top of the thigh are the only vents, but they open up a significant amount of trouser real estate. The vent closures use snaps with Velcro on either side. Unless I stand on the pegs, not much air flows in, and the Velcro overstretches when I sit. This is only a problem when it rains and the Velcro lets in even more water. (It just makes the inner rain liner work harder.) The knee protectors are in pockets that are adjustable, and the jacket and pants can be zippered together.
The Defender GTX jacket and pants are outfitted with REV’IT!’s SuperFabric panels in the knees and elbows. The company says its SuperFabric process “transforms ordinary fabrics into unique, highly protective materials” without adding weight. It helps protect underlying fabrics and is is five times more abrasion-resistant than leather, at half the weight.
The Defender GTX is an all-season touring outfit with an adventure look. The lightness of the jacket and pants make it comfortable to wear all day long, and it looks good, too.
Defender GTX Jacket
Colors: silver-safari, black, silver-red, and silver-black
Defender GTX Pants
Sizes: S–3XL standard, M–3XL short, and M–XXL long
Colors: silver and black
REV’IT! Dirt Gloves
This exceptionally well-made glove provides protection and safety and offers complete airflow that few mesh gloves can match. It features leather, palm sliders, hard-shell knuckles, and PU-injected finger knuckles. Kevlar is woven into the fabric for increased protection.
The Dirt gloves feel great while twisting the throttle, and the material doesn’t bunch up around the top of the palm, even when gripping tightly. The material doesn’t bleed color onto your hands, either. Multilayer leather on the index and middle fingers, and the palm, provide a longer life. The short cuff with adjustment tab allowed me to wear it over or under the jacket’s sleeves.
Colors: black and black-silver
REV’IT! Apache H2O Boots
According to Forrest Gump, “Mama always said there’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes. Where they’re going, where they’ve been. I’ve worn lots of shoes.”
So have I, and these boots definitely stand out.
The spacy Apache H2O boots look like a cross between a race boot and an adventure boot. The high-quality, full-grain leather paired with a semi-off-road sole strike a perfect balance for the rider who spends most of the time on the road, can stand up on the pegs for an extended amount of time with no problem, and, most importantly, wants to avoid sore feet. (Any rider who has worn regular riding boots and decided to stand on the pegs for an extended period of time knows what I mean.) I like the sole with its many treads; picking up a 600-pound adventure motorcycle on a slippery and muddy surface will make you appreciate the knobbies mounted earth-side on the boots.
The grab handle on the back makes it easy to put them on, and it also makes a great hook for hanging them up. I’m always cautious about leaving my boots on the ground while camping. I’ve heard too many stories of spiders, scorpions, etc. taking shelter inside, so I sleep much better at night when I can hang them from a tree or a rope.
The Apache H2O is waterproof, as the name implies. The application of REV’IT!’s hydratex G-liner on the inside ensures dry feet. I’ve ridden in rain and snow, through puddles and rivers, and my feet stayed dry as long as water didn’t enter from the top.