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Thread: Alternative Riding Jacket to Aerostich?

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  1. #1
    Registered User R100RS's Avatar
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    Alternative Riding Jacket to Aerostich?

    I really like the Aerostich Darien jacket, but am looking for something a bit more affordable that is still high quality.

    I'm looking for a waterproof do-anything textile (not leather) jacket. I want good abrasion resistance (obviously) and am a touring/sport-touring rider who also commutes. I'd like to be able to wear the jacket year-round, every day, so venting is a must for the 90-100 degree days. Not overly concerned about having a liner, I already have a fleece liner that I could use with the jacket. I don't need all the pockets and what-not, either, just looking for the basics. I want to replace my Gore-Tex rain jacket with a real riding jacket that offers real protection that I can wear all the time.

    Does such a thing exist at a price I can afford?
    Last edited by R100RS; 07-15-2003 at 06:04 PM.
    -Mike

    '02 R1150R
    '88 R100RS

  2. #2
    Registered User dave92029's Avatar
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    I have owned several Aerostich riding suits over the years, and used to think that they were the best over all piece of riding gear.

    Well with the passing of time new products are introduced and improvements are developed. i feel that the First Gear Kilmanjaro jacket and pants are better than the aerostich because:

    The Kilmanjaro is 100% water proof ( I rode 700 miles in very heavy rain during a recent IB 100CCC, and stayed dry ); Excellent venting for hot weather; breathable material; great pockets/storage.

    My only complaint is the neck flap is long and gets in the way when not secured.

    Oh yes did I mention that the First Gear suit is $150 ++ less expensive.
    Dave Mishalof
    Escondido, CA
    Charter Life Member # 28793
    IBA # 43

  3. #3
    Miserable Mark MarkF's Avatar
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    When I was looking to buy my Roadcrafter I asked about other suits. I didn't want a long style jacket like the Darien. I was told that the Tour Master riding gear is dry and inexpensive but that in a real life crash the armor ended up in the wrong place and didn't do the job. That's why I came up with the extra cash for the 'stich. If you want to spend less then the Tour Master might be a dry suit.

    MarkF

  4. #4
    Have bike, will travel lancew's Avatar
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    Have a TourMaster 3/4 Cortech jacket that I bought in 99 and have put around 35,000 miles on (in?). Have worn it in everything from 35 to 110 degrees. Did a mid-February one day trip from Atlanta to Nashville to Charlotte (750 mi) in some of the lousiest weather I've ever ridden through, it has always worked extremely well.

    I am very happy with it, but I think the waterproofing is starting to go. Last couple times I've ridden in the wet have also been on hot days, so I've kept zippers, vents open and gotten damp. Not sure how tight it would be if I buttoned up.

    Have no first-hand experience of crashworthiness. Hope to never gain any expertise in that area. Knock wood.

    Would buy this one again, also feel the FirstGear stuff deserves a close look- their gloves have been pretty good to me and they seem to be a good value.
    #92115 - '01 R1150GS

    Why don't they make a Nerf Martini Glass?

  5. #5
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Having crashed in a stich I can honestly say the extra $200 is well, well worth it.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
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  6. #6
    Midwest Command ptero's Avatar
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    I have no experience with the 'Stitch beyond discovering they don't make 'em big enough!

    I would heartily mirror the earlier comments on the First Gear Kilimanjaro. I got one last summer and have enjoyed it across a very wide range of temps and conditions. From below 32?? to above 100?? f. Yah, 100 is still pretty hot, but with the venting, I could keep wearing the jacket longer in the heat than I could with a traditional leather. Part of that was also due to a water source. I use a Camelbak (I think there is a thread on hydration).

    I have the jacket only, and still wear leather chaps. The jacket is waterproof and I carry just the rain suit pants these days.

    The venting is great. It does require a stop and few minutes to open or close the venting. The pocket arrangement is good too. There is also a liner. I have only felt the need for it when the temps get down towards freezing.

    Regarding Dave92029's complaint: the neck flap is long and gets in the way when not secured. It sure is and does. I added a section of velcro of the right 'persuasion' on the relevant section of the collar to provide a parking spot for the neck closure. Then it doesn't flap in the wind.

    reid
    Team Pterodactyl - Logistics and Tats
    Ride Hard or Stay Home - 93 K1100LT, 02 R1150GS

  7. #7
    Registered User R100RS's Avatar
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    Can you open the vents on the stich while riding?

    The price difference isn't that big between the Kiliminjaro and the stich, for me. I don't need a liner, so the Darien would be $367, compared with around $300 for the FirstGear. Optioned up (liner, armor, etc), the stich would be a lot more money. But, the armor I really want is the back protector, which is extra money for both of them.

    Anyway, keep the info coming!
    -Mike

    '02 R1150R
    '88 R100RS

  8. #8
    Midwest Command ptero's Avatar
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    My First Gear came with armour. It was about $325 off the rack at a bmw dealer.

    In this case, armour is defined as the foam pads inserted into the armour pockets in the lower back, shoulders, and elbows.

    This is significant stuff, though possibly not as heavy as you would prefer. I understood that heavier duty armour is available. Granted, I have not "tested" it, but I am happy with what I've got.

    reid
    Team Pterodactyl - Logistics and Tats
    Ride Hard or Stay Home - 93 K1100LT, 02 R1150GS

  9. #9
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    I found the vents on the stich to be very effective as long as you are moving. You used to be given a choice of armor, not sure if that is still the case (the new stuff Aerostich uses is pretty amazing stuff.) Size is an issue though, they don't make them beyond I believe it is a 52 chest size.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  10. #10
    Practicing the craft
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    Smile jackets

    I bought a Darien Light two years ago and find the lighter weight and shorter length to be just about perfect for the March to November weather riding around the Chicago area.

    Comes with removeable armor and I got a heated liner to go with it. In warmer airs, I carry it for a rain jacket.

    It's expensive, but worth the money. As far as real alternatives to the Aerostich products-there aren't any.

  11. #11
    Miserable Mark MarkF's Avatar
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    Originally posted by R100RS
    Can you open the vents on the stich while riding?

    But, the armor I really want is the back protector, which is extra money for both of them.
    Nope, you can half open the sleeve vents with practice but forget opening the back vent.

    If you want good back armor just buy a Bohn. They have one that velcros into a 'stich or you can wear it like a backpack with a belt.

    MarkF

  12. #12
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    I wear a Cycloak three seasons a year and a Firstgear Meshtex jacket in the summer. The Cycloak would be ok on summer mornings as I commute to work, but I like the airflow on the meshtex in the evening as I'm going home. I'm very happy with both. The Cycloak comes with a removeable liner for winter riding.

    Just my $.02.

    Carl
    '97 R850R

  13. #13
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    I wear a Cycloak three seasons a year and a Firstgear Meshtex jacket in the summer. The Cycloak would be ok on summer mornings as I commute to work, but I like the airflow on the meshtex in the evening as I'm going home. I'm very happy with both. The Cycloak comes with a removeable liner for winter riding.

    Just my $.02.

    Carl
    '97 R850R

  14. #14
    maggie1
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    I wear the BMW Savanna II jacket, and have barely worn the Joe Rocket Reactor jacket I bought this spring. The Savanna has body vents front and back, as well as vents that run from mid-bicep to wrist in the arm. It is tough, and well protected. I must say it was really expensive though, and was purchased as an impulse when I bought the bike. The jacket has proven itself to me though, and it is comfortable from <50 degrees to 90+. If this purchase is going to be made in a few months, you might find a good price on the Savanna II since it looks like BMW is retiring this series.

  15. #15
    going mobile 100981's Avatar
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    Thumbs up alt. jacket

    I've been using a Cycloak GT jacket for the past year and have been very happy with it. Keeps the rain and cold out, and is very comfortable.

    The GT seals up nice and tight around the neck and wrists. The entire jacket is well thought-out. It has under-arm zippers for when things warm up. The removal liner makes it a good 3 season jacket.

    I'm going to try it this coming winter with a Gerbing liner.

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