When I’m not riding with my motorcycle club on weekend rides and in faraway places, I lead motorcycle tours for a variety of tour operators. Since I spend so much time on a motorcycle, I look for the best gear I can find. I’m a street rider through and through, preferring a fun pace through the curves. After consulting with fellow riders, a clear favorite rose to the top, which is Klim. The company offers jackets for all types of riding, but they have one thing in common—quality. Many of our club members are still riding in their years-old Klim gear that has survived tens of thousands of miles.
I chose the Carlsbad jacket and pants for their protection and waterproof qualities, and I’ve been able to use them for half the riding season already. When I’m out on multi-day tours and it decides to rain, there’s often only one choice—pick the safest route and continue to the next hotel. I’m too old to be drenched to the bone. Been there, done that. Having a completely waterproof jacket is such a nice change. No more packing (or forgetting) separate rain gear that I have to wrestle myself into on the side of the road.
At first I wasn’t quite sure if the zippers would let water in, but that concern was quickly laid to rest. When the mercury rises and things get hot, these zippers let in ample air at the right spots to keep my body cool. I’ve had some jackets where the zipper is directly in the armpit, making it very difficult to open and close, especially while riding. The Carlsbad zippers are on the outside of the chest, so the air cools the upper body and breezes through the pits. The huge forearm vents also let in plenty of air.
Protection is extremely important for us motorists. The jacket has D3O CE Level 2 armor in the elbows, shoulders, and the back. The 630D Cordura fabric covers high-risk areas around the shoulders and elbows, while the main chassis fabric is the same as on the Badlands Pro jacket. This is a heavy-duty jacket that feels comfortable day in and day out.
Storage is also significant, and the Carlsbad offers more pockets than necessary for my modest needs. At least I know I’ll have an available pocket for whatever I may need to put away safely. I must say that the gusseted front pockets are nice and easy to get into, and it’s where I keep my wallet. Overall, pockets galore inside and out.
The matching pants offer an adjustable waist strap, large thigh air vents with an exhaust on the back, D3O CE Level 2 LP2 Pro adjustable knee and hip armor, and cargo pockets. A friend of mine has the predecessor model, which features cargo pockets that are easy to get into while seated. My new Carlsbad pants have the zipper horizontally, so they’re much easier to get into while standing, which is when I mostly need to gain access.
Klim Carlsbad Jacket
Available in S-XXXL
Colors: Petrol/Strike Orange,
Navy Blue/Cool Gray, Cool Gray, Stealth Black, Asphalt/Strike Orange
Klim Carlsbad Pants
Available in regular and tall sizes Colors: Petrol/Strike Orange,
Cool Gray, Stealth Black, Asphalt