Starting out Lightweight Dual-Sport. Want to stay light + simple. Recommendations for Jacket + Pant?

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
I used to ride street, and a tiny bit of MX. Just bought a Honda CRF300L, with a number of key Rally mods on the way. Plan is for both literal and figurative light dirt touring (2-5 days).

As basic as this sounds, I am struggling with pants and jacket. it seems either MX-style (add your own potection) or high-alpine thick warm kevlar gear. Could anyone recommend a good pant and jacket that has some level of protection but would not cause a person heat stroke in the deserts?
 
Last edited:

RDinNHand AZ

Active member
Over the years (30+) of buying specialized M/C riding gear I settled on FirstGear jacket and pants. Yes I know there are more expensive ones but for me this hit the sweet spot. I've ridden in AZ heat, cross country, all New England weather, Maritime Provinces etc. Not strictly summer or winter gear but well vented and removable liners. I have their pants to, less ventilation but liners so you keep the protection and can ride in the summer.
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
I've explored via bike for about 20 years. Mainly Colorado, Utah and NM. I've also had the expensive European
gore-tex riding gear to the gear I use now. I've never had Klim but, like it.

When living off a bike for a week I've found the 3 piece ventilated suit with crash protection the most versatile (jacket, pants, insulated liner and rain liner). Generally speaking the 1or 2 piece vented waterproof jackets and paints (meaning a jacket with some type of insulated liner) never seem to have enough venting when the weather gets hot so you end up unzipping the front jacket to vent kinda defeating the safety aspect and the "waterproof " zippered vents never seem to be fully water proof. Plus the pants just get hot due to lack of adequate venting.

The fully vented jacket/pant combo (with liners) seem to be a good compromise since in the morning when it's cold you slip in the insulated liner and remove it as things warm up. Same with rain liner.

So, with all that being said I current use the Olympia brand, Hi-Viz, 3-piece, fully vented riding jacket, pants with crash pads. I've had it now for 3-4 years and it's seen Colorado snow, rain, mud, Moab sand, heat and NM heat and dust with a few, slow speed lay downs. I'm very happy with it so far, particularly the vented pants.
Cheers and good luck!

7766C51D-6B86-4EA5-AF68-301F15B95FF6.jpeg
 
Last edited:

marret

Active member
Personally, having to put on rain liners is a hassle, but needed if one goes with mesh gear. Liners don't work as well for rain and snow as well as Gortex. It is all a compromise. Gortex gear, even vented, will be hotter (or warmer) than mesh gear. Mesh isn't cold weather gear. Really depends on a given ride. I also have a mesh jacket with rain liner in addition to the Klim jacket and pants.

We rode to Deadhorse and back from the continental US, weather from 30ish to high 90s F. About 12000 miles in 30 days. Wore Klim Gortex jacket and pants. Heated liners top and bottom, layers, or just underwear depending on Temps.

I have moved to SMB travel, but Klim would still be my go to gear. I have a couple pairs of FirstGear gloves and my heated gear is FirstGear (made by Warm and Safe I believe). So I like FirstGear and have heard good things about Olympia as well.
 
Last edited:

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Agreed. Everything is a comprise when it comes to riding gear and living or spending an extended period on the road/trails and only those that have been there can fully understand and appreciate it and what will or won't work for their riding style. I found the inserts worth the time and effort due to the varying terrain we ride/camp in (mountain cold in the morning, desert hot in afternoon) on a daily basis and the a momentary break on the side of the road to add or remove gear is usually welcomed.

Kinda like most riders don't like Hi-Viz colors. At first I wasn't a fan until the explosive growth of SBS, ATV and Jeep traffic on the mountain trails. If they can't see you they'll run you off the cliff and some of the dark colors riding gear is made of just blend into the trees or shady side of the cliffs like camouflage.

Olympia is a OK to good entry/mid level riding set ~ $300-$500, definitely not a KLIM. My first all Gore riding set was ~ $1300. I still have it but don't use it anymore due to some of the "old school" features and simply too limited in it's breathability.

BE safe
6AE0F176-798C-4031-A69E-DC51B82D555D.jpeg83855734-47CB-4B4A-9075-5143A2907E6C.jpeg
 

Cabrito

I come in Peace
I used to ride street, and a tiny bit of MX. Just bought a Honda CRF300L, with a number of key Rally mods on the way. Plan is for both literal and figurative light dirt touring (2-5 days).

As basic as this sounds, I am struggling with pants and jacket. it seems either MX-style (add your own potection) or high-alpine thick warm kevlar gear. Could anyone recommend a good pant and jacket that has some level of protection but would not cause a person heat stroke in the deserts?
@pskhaat
Your struggle is real. Fit and function is key and hard to figure out without being able to try stuff on. I've had a lot of different gear over the years and it's been a journey of trial and error.

For the higher temps I can recommend the KLIM Dakar pants. I've been using mine for several years, and they make a pretty good compromise for street/dirty traveling. They have cargo pockets and big vent zippers on both legs with hip and knee padding. My current road tripping setup though are my KLIM Switchback because they vent really well and have usable pockets. Both are on the lower priced tier of KLIM products.

For the jacket you want a lot of vents, and the ability to un-zip from top or bottom. On hot days the ability to unzip both top and bottom has been real nice. My current jacket doesn't have the bottom zip, but I still like it. (Revitt Sand 3)

If budget wasn't an issue I would have a KLIM Baja S4 set for warm climates.

My preference on jackets is to have room to layer up with my own layers so I can wear them around camp or town. Either my KLIM mid layer jacket or my puff jacket. Turns out when you aren't wearing layers the jacket is more roomy and makes air flow even better.

I like to carry a rain jacket that goes over my gear so I can also wear it around camp or around town if needed. Currently I carry a FrogTogg cheap jacket and even though it's bulky it's very light weight. Their ultra-light jacket/pants combo have held up great for several years, and the pants will fit over my gear. It's also a real cheap option. I carry a set in my Rig and have a dedicated set for the bike.

Personally I have gear sets for multiple types of riding. I used to wear my ADV gear for everything except single track trail riding, but for long dual sport rides that are over-night or multi-day if it's going to be hot and I want protection I use my dirt gear and take the FrogToggs for wind/cold protection and also carry the puff jacket.

ADV Rider flea market is a great place to buy and sell gear from other riders especially if you're budget minded.


Dakar pants with full Thor Armor compression jacket under my jersey in Baja


KLIM Switchback pants and Revitt sand 3 jacket



Light weight TUSK rain jacket over my gear. This worked for cutting the wind but didn't do well in the rain. I used it twice and have gone back to carrying the bulky FrogToggs.
 
Last edited:

Forum statistics

Threads
180,113
Messages
2,807,174
Members
215,300
Latest member
Bock
Top