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Thread: Roadcrafter, or Darien?

  1. #1
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Roadcrafter, or Darien?

    For riding nearly anyplace outside my neighborhood, I'm presently wearing a Roadcrafter that I have owned for several years. But I have a hankering (I think) for the 3/4 length benefits of the Darien jacket.

    From those of you who have owned both, what are the advantages and diadvantages of each?

    Thanks in advance,
    Rick

  2. #2
    List Mistress mrskbasa's Avatar
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    Rick, since you live in AL I am sure you found the weaknesses of the Roadcrafter (you didn't say if you had a one-piece or two-piece). I had a one piece and the crotch leaked in the rain.

    Others will have to comment about Darien's and Two pieces. But, I hear the Darien is more waterproof. Two pieces are easier for fit if you are not built like a GQ model.
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  3. #3
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Rick,

    I have a roadcrafter and a darien. Both are hi-viz (Darien pants are black). For the around town stuff the roadcrafter can't be beat. I like the fact that it is so easy on and off and that I have complete protection. If I only had the Darien I am sure there would be times when I would only use the jacket because I am "just going down the street" which is where many accidents from BDC's (brain dead cagers) happen.

    For my longer rides I like the two piece because it is dryer and I can remove the jacket off the bike. I like to wear polypro underwear and this makes it less than socially acceptable to remove the roadcrafter in a resturant.

    Here is a little list of where I see advantages of one vs the other. This is subjective and the differences are very small so YMMV. I am sure we could find a few hundred riders who would disagree with my list.

    Ease of use: Roadcrafter
    Dryness: Darien
    Ventilation: Equal
    Comfort: Equal
    Sportriding: Roadcrafter
    Touring: Dairen

    No matter which you choose you can't go wrong with Aerostich gear. I have one of the original hi-viz roadcrafters and sent it back to Aerostich for new velcro a few months ago along with my darien pants which had some slight abrasions (don't ask don't tell). Both came back looking like new, with replaced velcro, zipper pulls and in the case of the RC it was washed. The Darien was tuned up with a few new panels, I can not tell that there was ever any damage or repair to the gear. The complete service for both items was around $250 and I also got a nifty set of stickers. I know of no other riding gear that provides this much value or a company so committed to the rider.

    Good luck with your quest.
    Rob Nye
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  4. #4
    Miserable Mark MarkF's Avatar
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    Roadcrafter is for me

    I have a 2-piece Roadcrafter. I bought the Darien first then returned it. The jacket was too bulky in my opinion. Also the armor in both the jacket and pants is in a little fabric pocket held on with six velcro tabs. In the roadcrafter it is inside the lining, which the Darien doesn't have. I wear just the jacket for around town and put on the pants with the bib converter for trips and cold or rain. I would rather have a 1 piece for ease of wear but then I would need a second jacket for those days I chose to go pantless. Also, it's nice to shed just the jacket at fuel, nature and rehydration stops. I love the looks of that new BMW Motorad jacket that matches the Boxer Cup Replica but I saw no advantages over my 'stich!

  5. #5
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I have a two-piece Roadcrafter, and have not had a problem with leaking.

    Occasionally, I will wear just the jacket.

    I had forgotten about the "unlined" aspect of the Darien. That is something to consider, as the lining and armor configuration is a real comfort issue.

    Rick (working ... back later for more) in AL

  6. #6
    I like bikes! BMWGypsy's Avatar
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    I have both a two-piece Roadcrafter (RC) and a Darien and I agree with Rob Nye's commentary.

    I first purchased the RC. The ease of use and the amount of protection are what attracted me to the suit. I commuted to work and wore skirts or suits underneath (got a lot of hairy-eyeball looks as well; nothing like stripping off *pants* and revealing a skirt and nylons.). I chose the two-piece to fit my non-male form. I'm also short-waisted, so I got a short jacket with long pants. I have *rarely* unzipped the two pieces.

    I *upgraded* to the Darien a couple of years ago for the waterproofness. I use it for all my trips where a) the weather is questionable or b) it's gonna be cold. I find my Darien to be easier to layer stuff under. By stuff I mean: windbloc fleece, Gerbing's liners and polypro underwear. With these, I am never cold and I am dry. I do find the pants to be a bit warm in hotter temps.

    Course, I also own two sets of custom Vanson leathers that I use for most rides at this point. One perf'd; one not. Carry a rainsuit.

    How do I use them all:

    1) Roadcrafter for work commuting and around town errands
    2) Darien for questionable or cold weather
    3) Leathers for all other rides - temps determining which suit.

    As always, YMMV.

  7. #7
    Confused Hillbilly 102624's Avatar
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    I have a 1pc roadcrafter and love it. I have not had the wet crotch problem many complain of (though I feel if I did have an oilhead, it would surge ). I have not had a Darien, but have owned a 3/4 length jacket before - the old Hein-Gericke Paris-Dakar leather jacket. I liked it but have not wanted a 3/4 jacket since I sold it. 3/4 jackets just don't do it for me - but I didn't know it until I tried out what else there was. I think the Darien looks good and the quality should be unquestionable, but I wouldn't get one. Maybe I'll get a 2pc roadcrafter - in many years when my current wears out.

  8. #8
    Registered User 104830's Avatar
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    Cool Darien Jacket

    I have had the Darien jacket for over a year now and love the thing great for about any condition, great protection from the elements and very well made

  9. #9
    Megalodon fish's Avatar
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    I've got a 1-pc Roadcrafter and a Darien suit. Roadcrafter is great for spring and fall, but it leaks (crotch) in the rain and fits too tightly to layer much under it, so it hangs in the closet in the winter. In the summer it's a veritable sauna...too hot! So it goes back in the closet in the heat too. Darien is waterproof with plenty of room for fleece and Gerbings, so I wear it throughout the winter. Doesn't vent well ,so it too goes into the closet in the summer. For summer riding, I've been using a BMW Commuter jacket (I believe they've changed the name this year) with the Darien pants, and it's been great well into the 100F range. I'm afraid there is no perfect gear...yet.
    "No one wants advice -- only corroboration." -John Steinbeck

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  10. #10
    Registered User acerph's Avatar
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    I bought a two-piece Roadcrafter in February. The 1st one was too small to put any layers underneath. After talking to the sales person at Aerostitch, I sent the 1st one back & received a bigger size. I really like it. The butt sags some when you're walking around but the suit is comfortable in the saddle (and I'm already married ).

    I rode my GSA about 90 minutes in a pouring rain a few weeks ago and got a small leak in the crotch. The rest of me was dry.

    There have been a few warm days already this year. Even with the vents open, I was a little hot. I'm pretty sure that summer will be miserable in it. Maybe I'll just use my well worn JR Ballistic jacket then.

    My brother and his wife have riden in Dariens for a couple of years, in all kinds of weather. They swear by them.

    It would be nice to be able to get both.
    dum vivimus, vivamus
    (while we live, let us live)

  11. #11
    Toadmanor
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    So here we are in 2010 and I believe this is the year I will actually scratch my Aerostitch itch. For many years I have wanted one and have vacillated between the Roadcrafter and the Darien. So now I come upon this statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMWGypsy View Post
    I commuted to work (got a lot of hairy-eyeball looks as well; nothing like stripping off *pants* and revealing a skirt and nylons.). b
    I hope that will not apply to me if i go the Roadcrafter path.

    These posts were written back in 2003 and I find two troublesome things with the Roadcrafter 1 Piece. First it leaks in the crotch (Brewers' Drip?). Secondly, it is too hot above certain temps. Have any of these problems been solved? Is the Darien truly more waterproof than the Roadcrafter?

    Oh my, I need help deciding! I just do not want another year to go by without me making up my mind and purchasing one of these things.

    The Toad

  12. #12
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    1 piece Roadcrafter -

    I have the one piece Roadcrafter and agree with most of the comments. Crotch leaking only occurs in heavy, sustained downpours where I probably shouldn't be riding anyhow.

    Since I usually keep riding I'll don the BMW Goretex 3/4 length overjacket - solves the leaking problem since the jacket covers the crotch.



    The Roadcrafter is perfect for cool/cold weather - once it goes over 80F I switch to mesh.

  13. #13
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Wow... old thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by Toadmanor View Post
    First it leaks in the crotch (Brewers' Drip?).
    It may leak in the crotch. Depends upon fairing and how you sit on the bike. My one-piece never leaked when I had an RT. It will leak on my GS. The difference is that when on my GS I sit such that there is a fold that creates a pocket that holds water directly above the zipper. Eventually the water gets through the zipper into my lap.

    If I remove my tank bag, though, there is sometimes enough air flow into my lap to blow the water out of the pocket before it has a chance to leak through the zipper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toadmanor View Post
    Secondly, it is too hot above certain temps.
    It's still hot. I found the Darien to be cooler, but it was heat issues that resulted in me switching to something with a removable waterproof liner. My R2P is much nicer than either Roadcrafter or Darien in warmer weather. That said, my Roadcrafter is still used quite often as nothing beats it for on/off when running errands.

  14. #14
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    What I have noticed about the few Darien's that I have seen is the taped seams on the inside fraying and even coming off.

    This is most likely due to a lack of a liner. The Darien does not have any lining period, unless Andy Goldfine decided to put one in recently.

    I'd buy one, but cripes it looks unfinished on the inside.

  15. #15
    Toadmanor
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    What I have noticed about the few Darien's that I have seen is the taped seams on the inside fraying and even coming off.

    This is most likely due to a lack of a liner. The Darien does not have any lining period, unless Andy Goldfine decided to put one in recently.

    I'd buy one, but cripes it looks unfinished on the inside.
    Now I am needing another bit of clarity.

    Is the Roadcrafter equipped with a liner? How is it more finished than the Darien?

    The Toad

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