Riding gear update

As you may have read in the TAT post mortem, I need to update my riding gear. Specifically, the jacket and pants.

I was considering a few different jackets; my main criteria is that the jacket shell is waterproof (when the vents are closed) and that a liner can be used for warmth. I don’t want a jacket where the liner is required to make it waterproof. Good ventilation is also a necessity, as is proper protection from impacts and sliding.

The candidates (so far) are:

  • Olympia AST
  • First Gear Kilimanjaro
  • Aerostich Darien Light

I have an Olympia Air Mesh jacket now, and I like it. The things I don’t like are that it’s black and the liner makes it waterproof so the jacket shell soaks through in a downpour. The AST has a waterproof shell and is available in a light color.

The Kilimanjaro seems to have the features I’m looking for, but I’ve not seen one in person so I’ve relied on reviews. I will need to see one before using any of my plastic money.

From all the reviews I’ve read the Darien seems to be the top of the list, unless style is a primary constraint. The fact that the Darien is made in the USA (and can be altered and repaired by the manufacturer) is a huge factor in it’s favor. The time-proven reliability and quality are undeniable.

Pants will be the second part of the equation, and the Darien pants seem to fit the bill as well. I’ll continue to read and ask questions so that, hopefully, I’ll make a good decision and can ride both the road and trail in comfort and safety.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

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