Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Overland Journal, Gear 2016
The KLIM Badlands motorcycle suit has become a stalwart model for adventure riders, combining extensive crash protection with all-weather Gore-Tex Pro materials. For 2015, the suit has been upgraded with better fit, new D3O armor, and refined styling. Having used the original model for years of domestic and international motorcycle trips, I was looking forward to evaluating the newest iteration. My assessment took place over a week-long trek across Southern Utah on a BMW 1200GS, when I encountered everything from warm and sunny days to single digit temperatures and driving snow.
One of the greatest strengths of the Badlands has always been crash protection; its design incorporates chest, back, elbow, shoulder, knee, and tailbone panels. The elbow and shoulder units employ D3O T5 Evo Pro for Class 1 impact ratings. The chest plate is a welcome addition, but KLIM used a white mesh sleeve to contain it. This white panel looks completely out of place on a black suit, and attracts dust faster than bad weather to an overland event. Storage is generous with seven pockets overall and one hidden compartment with a waterproof liner. The back of the jacket includes a water bladder sleeve and a large zipper panel for storing bulky items. The pants feature storage pockets at each thigh and adequate pass-through ventilation that runs from just above the knee to the bottom of the hip. The overall fit of the pants has also been trimmed and feels less bulky, while still allowing full movement.
The fit of the jacket is also improved with a more tapered cut and athletic pattern, and ventilation has been increased with the addition of two small chest vents. Overall weather resistance is excellent; the suit protected me from days of cold and rain. The two pieces can be zipped together at the small of the back to help limit buffeting and air ingress. I found the pants to be on par with the previous version, although the knee pads sometimes slide too low with active riding. I also experienced a stuck zipper at the bottom of the pant leg; the small closure around the boot is easily clogged by dust and mud. Despite a few minor complaints encountered in extreme conditions, the new Badlands is a welcome evolution of this well-respected motorcycle suit. klim.com, 208-552-7433