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I’ve tried many items claimed to keep you dry riding in rain and most have proved to be useless in one way or another.

Jackets with Gore-Tex zip in liners work as long as the outer layer of the jacket does not get waterlogged. They come with a ‘Durable Water Resistant’ outer coating which would be great except it is not durable. After a few outings in steady rain the coating gets weak and washed off. Next the jacket outer gets waterlogged and the inner Gore-Tex liner can’t breath and fails.

With pants I find the inner liner will fail no matter what where your bum is seated on the bike. This is because the outer layer there is pressed hard against the Gore-tex and once it is waterlogged the inner liner has no chance to work as designed and will allow water past it which will soon spread to your lower body parts – as I am sure you have experienced.

You can reapply the water resist coating, however the chemicals that can be purchased retail for doing this are weak and do not last long. Over the years I’ve tried three kinds of wash in treatment – all useless for nylon textile rider gear that cannot absorb it. Five kinds of aerosol spray on treatment, one of which worked but is not sold outside of Japan, and two kinds of squeeze spray on treatment which were hopeless. Basically every brand on the market, some available only overseas. None of them lasted longer than two days riding in rain and some barely a couple of hours in rain. I used to carry a few cans of the only spray that worked – billed as a Hybrid spray, most probably nasty chemicals, with me in Japan and reapply water resist coating to my Macna riding gear while on tour after every day of wet riding to ensure I remained dry. But I can never obtain that on tour in other countries so sought out another way to keep dry.

Motorcycle rain suits are all PVC and come with bogus claims of being breathable – of which they most certainly are not. Even in the cold of Hokkaido wearing a top spec Rev-it rain suit they insisted was breathable I was perspiring so much I ended up wet through and shivering despite no rain ever penetrating the outer layer. The only rain jackets and pants I have found to be breathable are Froggs Toggs.

Froggs Toggs are not PVC. They are made of a material that looks very much like it is waxed. It actually is the same material as the suits you see crime scene investigators wearing on tv shows and is kind of meant to be disposable.

Froggs Toggs are absolutely not as sturdy as PVC but I have found they last an acceptable length of time if you are careful. I have just replaced my last two piece suit which I had for 10 years and never experienced a tear in that time but since I had the Macna setup few years in Japan I only used the Froggs Toggs a few rides in SE Asia and again more recently after I lost my Macna gear in shipping.

Oddly they look silver in these photos but actually are blue similar colour as the first photo. Still this looks better than my last set which were bright yellow and whilst highly visible in rain were just too crazy fluro for me.

They weigh almost nothing. Seriously. And pack down small if you take your time when folding them up but do not compress as much as PVC.

I am using 2XL size so they fit easy over the top of my riding jacket and pants and the rain pants come up well above my waist which is very helpful in stopping water entering in that region when seated on bike.

I use these as over pants and the jacket as ‘double bagging’ for upper body as follows:

Pants with inner liners are a pain. If its not raining in the morning you mostly ride with the liner out (if not cold weather) then if you need to fit the liner you are in your underwear on side of road. Then the bum of pants will get waterlogged and inner liner fails and your lower body parts get wet and cold. What I do is stop and fit these over pants and not the inner liner. These pants work better than any liner but if facing a full day of wet I will of course fit liner in morning and be double bagged for a serious day of wet riding.

For my upper body half I stop and fit my jacket inner rain liner and then also don the rain jacket if it looks like anything more than passing showers because it breaths so not a problem to wear both. This always ensures I stay dry as I am then double bagged up top where I am more exposed to rain. I also use a neck gator under neath my regular riding jacket in rain to totally seal the area of my neck as this is a major source of leaks and then the rain jacket sits over top of that with a hood which I wear under my helmet to further seal back of neck and keep my head dry as I find during a proper day of wet riding eventually the rain defeats helmet upper vents and will leak inside to the liner which if cold soon becomes a real problem.

As always I have no affiliation with this company and am just posting what I have found works for me by trial and error. I know people will tell you buy Klim or some other prestige brand and be done with it but guess what my mate has Klim and once the outer durable water resistance coating was lost they too were useless in rain. This is something flexible and affordable I find works rather than throwing a wheel barrow full of money at the problem and still not getting the desired result but as always YMMV.

One Comment

  1. Great idea. Sometimes hiking/biking gear has the answers motorcyclists are looking for.

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