About five years ago, Klim introduced the Women’s Altitude suit, drastically raising the bar for women’s riding gear. Since its debut, the jacket-pants combo has seen two major redesigns, the latest of which was released this past spring. With each redesign, Klim has updated several key components to make the gear better suited for women who spend long days in the saddle. As one of those riders, I know that a comfortable, functional, and protective set of gear can make or break a trip. As soon as I tried on the third generation of the Klim Altitude I noticed several huge improvements, in fit, function, and ventilation.
Klim has improved the fit of the jacket, which now has gusseted shoulders for improved mobility. Paired with the expanding waist panels, this allows you to move into riding positions easily without feeling restricted. I also noticed there was less of a bulky feel, and the armor stayed in place much better than before. The pants are a bit more form-fitting as well, while still allowing room for layers underneath if needed. The second- and third-generation pants did away with the stretch panel in the groin and the elastic back waistband, two things I hope to see return on future models. My favorite improvement was the addition of an adjustment strap behind the knee, which allows you to cinch the pads in place.
The GORE-TEX two-layer performance shell exterior is used throughout the suit’s main body, which ensures you stay dry in the harshest of riding conditions. A long torso design and adjustable arm and leg cuffs will reduce the chances of water entering. The collar retention system has been changed yet again, this time using a hook and loop, which has proven difficult to use while going down the road. The jacket pockets are easy to get to as usual and include two hand pockets, two chest pockets, two large internal pockets, a hidden document pocket behind the back pad, and a card pocket on the lower left forearm. Major improvements to the pants include two deep pockets over the front of the thigh and an interior hidden waistband pocket.
The Altitude suit is still sporting 840D Cordura fabric in the high abrasion zones, like the shoulders, elbows, and knees. New for this model is the addition of goat leather overlays on the elbows and forearms, which improves the ability to withstand a slide on asphalt and adds to the overall style along with the leather trim. You will still find the leather inner knee panels, which are great for gripping the tank when riding hard. Armor has been updated to the new D3O LP1 pads in the shoulders, elbows, knees, and hips. The LP1 armor is lighter and allows better ventilation without sacrificing protection in the event of a crash. Your spine will be protected by the Level 1 D3O Viper Stealth pad. Again, the fit of this suit allows the pads to stay in place better than ever before, and the addition of the knee strap is definitely welcomed.
This is a true three- to four-season suit, and the improvements to the ventilation in the third generation steer it closer to a year-round option. The addition of the cross-body chest vents has been a complete game changer, as they allow a massive amount of air to flow over the hottest part of your body, the core. Moving the arm vents from the biceps to the forearms ensures you get maximum wind flow throughout the sleeves. The exhaust vents have been lowered and are easier to reach while wearing the jacket. Of course, as with any riding suit, when wearing a hydration pack you will lose some amount of ventilation, but with the lowered back vents, Klim has mitigated this as best as possible. The pants are also well ventilated, with two large scoops down the thigh and two exhaust vents in back. If you live in a very hot and humid region like I do in the Southeast, you may find yourself considering mesh suits for those brutally hot summer days. I have found, however, that the Altitude’s new venting design allows you to maintain an adequate amount of moisture on your skin, which controls your evaporative cooling. I find that I stay cooler in this suit than I would in a mesh style, which tends to leave me feeling dried out and dehydrated. As long as you keep wind moving over you, you can stretch the Altitude through all seasons, making this suit incredibly versatile.
Designed by women, for women, the Klim Women’s Altitude is my go-to gear to take me anywhere the road turns. The Altitude provides the comfortable fit that hardcore women riders want with the functionality and protection that we need.
Hi-Vis, Gray, or Black
$519.99 – $539.99
4-16 regular, 4-12 tall
Gray or Black