April showers bring May flowers…and June usually brings the inevitable rain storm…even if you’re planning a long distance motorcycle trip and you really wanted sunshine! Last weekend I rode up to Yosemite in my new Klim Latitude suit, and even in “sunny” southern California I hit a few hours of rain!
Summertime has been known to produce a storm or two, and if you’ve got somewhere to be, well, you just have to keep on riding! Don’t let this summer’s rain dampen the time you spend enjoying your favorite mode of transportation — two wheels. There’s a lot of really cool gear out there to cover you from head to toe should you get caught in the…well, you know, that four-letter word that starts with R!
Not only are there advances in keeping out the rain, but the industry has also been paying attention to our demands and has improved the form, fit, and function of ladies motorcycle apparel so that it no longer feels like you’re putting on an oversized garbage bag, or, worse, something made for a man.
Here are a couple of my favorites. I’ll expand this article as I get to know more good gear!
$659.99 SIZES S – 4X
When it comes to rain gear and touring, I like the Latitude Jacket for three main reasons: fit + weatherproofing + protection.
- The jacket adjusts to my shape with an adjustable collar cinch at the top, adjustable waist cinch straps and a waist/hip extension zipper at the bottom. It also has two sleeve adjustment straps to keep the armor in place.
- It’s made with GORE-TEX®. It’s pricey, but you get what you pay for when it comes to high-end motorcycle safety apparel. I love the GORE-TEX® guarantee to keep you dry. I also like that all of the venting is covered with KLIMATEK™, a cooling stretch mesh for fit and comfort. I want to keep the water out without stopping the airflow.
- I want to know that my elbows, shoulders, and back are protected. Those sections are protected with D3O®. It’s easier to point you to a link to explain how that stuff works (thanks Wikipedia! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D3o). It is good to know that it meets and/or exceeds the Level 1 limb protector CE certification. Also, the jacket is made with high visibility fabric to help keep you visible in low light conditions.
- I really like all of the external and internal pockets, and there’s a headphone access port if you’re a fan of listening to tunes while you ride. With these features, you will be riding in comfort and peace of mind, enjoying your ride without worrying about the rain.
$310.00 SIZES M – 2XL
Until I started riding in GORE-TEX®, I used this style of rain jacket as a road trip essential, conveniently stuff-able in the included bag. A helmet-friendly hood stows in the collar, too, and it has hand warmer pockets that pass through to the interior. Add these extras to the important features like being waterproof and breathable and I think downpours and pelting rains won’t have a chance to dampen your ride! Please note, this jacket does not include armor.
STELLA YAGUARA DRYSTAR® JACKET TECH-AIR® COMPATIBLE
PRICE: $649.95 SIZES S – 2XL
I like this design for the female rider A LOT. I like the large stretch panel on the back of the shoulders and arms to make it easier to move with flexibility. They’ve also improved the riding fit with a buckle waist adjustment. And pre-curved sleeves construction reduces rider fatigue, which makes for a safer overall ride (IMHO).
This jacket also has one of the coolest options EVER (!!!), the option to purchase the Tech-Air® airbag system, that’s right! An airbag for your jacket!
PRICE: $1,149.95 SIZE S – 2XL
It’s great that the Drystar is designed to be worn with or without the airbag system. The jacket is designed with stretch gussets on the arm and sleeves to accommodate the jacket’s inflated volume without compromising seam strength or material integrity. This garment offers so much protection, that if fear of riding is keeping you off your bike, this just might be what you need to mount up and enjoy the ride.
SIZE S – 3XL $119.95
Ok, just for this one, I’m going to step away from the women’s department (I know, I know.) I’ve had conversations with some gals who just like the full rain suit (and I did, too) in a certain phase of my moto exploring. I like the fact that you just wad this thing up and stow it until you need it, you don’t have to get undressed roadside (like you do with some riding suits where the water-barrier layer is on the inside of the jacket!), and that basically you just pull it on without fiddling with OMG where is my cell phone? What do I have in my pocket that might get ruined? I’ve done that soooooo many times I like this idea of ONE AND DONE! Anyway, the Hurricane Rain Suit is extremely lightweight and 100% waterproof. And you can slip in and out of it pretty easily with the thigh to chest zipper.
VIKA V2 WATERPROOF WOMEN’S BOOT
SIZE 36 37 38 39 40 41 PRICE: $249.95
Back to a woman’s fit here! And I must say, it’s hard to make galoshes look, feel, and perform, but I find these boots awesome with their clean design. (No, they’re not really galoshes, I just like that word from the mid 19th century!) Add to that the protection offered with its ankle-disks and the adjustable fit across the shin; that makes them appealing in my opinion.
Making a breathable boot that has all of these features can’t be easy. When looking for a boot, I want protection of course! And I want dry feet. Dry from the rain and dry from the heat. How can you have ventilation and not let the rain in? There is a technical explanation for how these boots ventilate, but I will just say that it’s in the specially designed fabric. These boots are made for breathability through three seasons with 100% waterproofing guaranteed. The design offers protection with reinforcements in the shin and heel. Getting the boot off and on is made easy with elastic zip and wide velcro band.
Ok, so there ya go, from head to toe, my top rain gear picks right now. Rain riding may not be something you plan on doing, but with the possibility of Mother Nature doing her thing, don’t let a few drops of rain keep you from taking your grand (and groovy) adventure!