I’d already been able to determine the suit’s effectiveness in cold, damp, and warm weather conditions. But not in the rain.
Like previous REV’IT! outfits, this one scores high in fit and finish. I’m six feet and 175 pounds, and the standard L-sized pants and jacket fit nicely. Comfortable to wear, lightweight, and well-articulated in the shoulders, elbows, and knees, it’s as good a walking-around suit as a riding suit.
Over a pair of REV’IT! Pioneer GTX boots, the Echelon performed well in temperatures from a low of 45 degrees to a high of 85 degrees. It is a very effective wind-stopper with the zips and ventilation panels closed and a cooling wind tunnel with them open.
With intelligent layering choices, I could easily have ridden all day at either the high or low end of the aforementioned temperature range and be completely comfortable.
The Echelon is built from 2L and 3L GORE-TEX fabrics, with a waterproof Tizip main zipper and water-resistant zippers elsewhere. The suit offers impact protection in the form of REV’IT!’s CE level 2 Seesoft Air at the back, CE level 2 Seeflex armor at the shoulders, elbows, and knees, and CE level 1 Seesmart pads at the hips.
I’m pleased to say I didn’t put the protection to the ultimate test with a fall. The armor allowed for free, comfortable movement on and off the bike.
The pants include belt loops, as well as hook-and-loop waist adjustment, and the waist is lined with a welcome plush fabric. The front closes with a snap and a zipper, conveniently fitted with an oversized pull tab.
A strap just below the knee and a hook-and-loop further down allow adjusting the pant legs. There are two slash pockets that zip shut and two zipper options at the back for attaching the trousers to the matching jacket.
Two ventilation openings in the front match two in the back and offer good airflow.
The jacket features two slash pockets in the front, two mesh pockets inside, and one smaller pocket at the chest, all of which close with weather-resistant zips. The sleeves adjust at the forearm and the wrists, with enough fabric to close either over or under your gloves.
The non-removable GORE-TEX liner has its own zipper located behind the jacket’s main zipper, which increases the promised rain protection. REV’IT! also offers several undergarment options for use with the Echelon.
Ventilation openings are on the upper arms and upper back, with a zippered storage space on the lower back. The band-collar neck has no independent closing mechanism, but it adjusts with a retractable drawstring.
That was one of my few quibbles. I found the collar ground into my neck when it was closed tight against the weather. Adding a neck gaiter helped relieve this problem somewhat.
I was similarly unhappy to find that all of the jacket zippers required two hands to open and close. This made it difficult to safely adjust the ventilation while on the move.
That aside, the Echelon outfit was easy to wear all day. On some of the longer riding days, I wore the suit virtually without a break for 8 to 10 hours and was still entirely comfortable.
When I got home, I performed a jury-rigged rain test—by suiting up and standing under a full shower for five minutes. In the end, I was perfectly dry.
Japanese rain would have meant nothing. I’m eager to see what a little California rain will do.