Another spring, another Gear for the Year article. Here’s what I’m looking at running this year. There are plenty of extra photos in the gallery, to give you an idea of what the gear looks like from all angles.
Rev’It Sand 2 jacket, pants, Sand Pro gloves
First off – last year’s experiment with general use dual-sport gear was less than successful, so I’m trying again in 2013 with some kit from Rev’It – I’ve got the pants, jacket and gloves from their Sand 2 lineup.
As its name implies, the Sand 2 jacket ($490) is designed for riding in hot, dry areas – it flows 200 per cent more air than the original Sand jacket, Rev’It says. There are vents in front and back, and in the arms as well. If the user really wants to cool off, they can even integrate an evaporative cooling vest.
It’s also designed with safety in mind, as it’s compatible with the Leatt and MOVEO neck brace systems, and comes with CE-approved elbow and shoulder armour (it costs extra to upgrade the stock spinal protector to a Seesoft unit).
The Sand 2 gear doesn’t have a waterproof shell; like a lot of modern textile gear, there’s a removable waterproof Hydratex liner, and a removable thermal liner underneath that. Both the pants and jacket use this three-layer system.
As with any good two-piece system, the pants ($330) zip into the jacket with a zipper at the back.
The pants have zippered openings at the bottom, to make it easier to pull them over boots. Like the jacket, they feature several reflective patches to aid in nighttime visibility. There’s CE-level armour in the knees, and the hips feature soft foam padding, similar to the jacket’s back armour.
I also got my hands on some Sand Pro gloves to test ($120). These dual sport gloves have goatskin palms; the back of the gloves are made of mesh, for cooling, and knuckle protection comes from rubbery PU-injected knobs, that flex with your hand, instead of a rigid carbon-fibre plate.
Schuberth C3 Pro helmet
Schuberth’s C3 Pro is an upgrade to their existing C3 helmet (Editor ‘Arris ‘ad one of these for Gear for the Year previously and really liked it).
Like the C3, the C3 Pro is a flip-face modular helmet; it has an integrated antenna that’s suppose to boost the range of the accessory communication system (they threw one of those in with the helmet as well).
They’ve upgraded the ventilation system to flow more air around your noggin, and they’ve also made some changes to the padding.
Of course, Schuberth also makes plenty of noise about how quiet their helmets are; the C3 Pro has been tweaked to cut down on wind noise from the already-quiet C3.
It has a drop-down sun visor, like the C3, allowing you to leave your Ray-Bans at home and a Pin-Lock visor provides fog-free vision.
The C3 Pro retails around $770.
Dainese Carroarmato boots
The quest for actual waterproof dual-sport boots continues in 2013 and this year I’m running a pair of Dainese’s Carroarmoto boots, originally destined for Editor ‘Arris who found his feet a tad too big for Dainese’s largest offering.
They’re a high-end set of kicks aimed at the on-and-off-road market, with Gore-Tex waterproofing, cowhide uppers, a nylon ankle guard, and a funky plastic insert on the toe for shifting gears. There’s Velcro closure at the top of the boots, and two adjustable aluminum buckles on the side, and a rubber sole.
The boots are safety certified to the EN 13634 standard, and there are reflective inserts for visibility. They retail for about $370.
I’m looking forward to try these boots out. I’ve been disappointed in the boots I tested the last couple years; it seems manufacturers can’t get waterproof motorcycle boots right. Maybe Dainese has the right formula?
I found the boots a tad tight (I got size 11 boots) but I think they’ll break in quite nicely.
As with all our Gear for the Year stuff, I’ll be wearing them as my main gear for, well, the year and then posting a follow up article on how well they worked (or did not) over a season’s use – something we find gives us a good clue as to how materials and waterproofing claims actual hold up in the long term.
Thanks to Chris Kraus at Revzilla for the help in getting all this set up.
Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.