Gear: Dainese Teren suit review

Okay, okay, so it’s taken me a while to get the test done on this suit. The upside of this is that I managed to get a goodly amount of time in it and I can say in all honesty, with hand on heart, that I love it.

There’s a lot of adventure orientated riding suits out there and the price can get rather high, but of all the gear I’ve tested in the past, the only suit that ever really fit me — as in felt like it was made for me — was a Dainese.

So I had high hopes for the Teren and it did not disappoint. The suit has been used for everything I do on a motorcycles be it a road tour, to bike launches, to getting stuck in muddy holes while scouting for the Fundy Adventure Rally.

Fit, finish and storage

first_adventure_rideAs I’ve already stated, fit is great. There’s no bagginess, no tight spots – it just hangs on you like a well made suit. The material used is a stretch Codura which has a very durable feel to it and has quite a heft, though not so much that it becomes intrusive on the ride.

The jacket has adjustable sinches at the waist to ensure the pants don’t sag, zippers at the wrists and even the neck has adjusters to keep it all snug. Upper arm too baggy? Then adjust the lacing via a drawstring hidden in the chest pocket.

The pants have limited adjustability at the waist (I’d like to see a bit more range here), but the zippers at the base of the legs open up enough to make getting the pants on and off a breeze and there’s just enough room to be able to place the suit over tall boots and still zip the legs tight.

The pants come with detachable braces, though I would have appreciated a few more inches of slack as they did pull on my shoulders and it became quite noticeable after a long day in the saddle. The jacket and pants can be zipped together, which stops any cold air riding through the gap but I found that this pulled the pants up a little high and came awfully close to wedgie time. Maybe I should point out that I am on the extreme side of things (6′ 4″, 230 lbs), so these issues may be unique to people with god-like statures.

Teren_pants_studioArmour is shaped to fit your joints without impediment, the cuffs come with a “hand gaiter” that hooks over your thumb and allows the gauntlet of your gloves to sit between it and the outer sleeve, blocking wind and rain from your arms. It feels a little odd initially but can be circumvented by not hooking it over your thumb if you don’t like it.

The suit comes with quite a few pockets. The two outer pockets near the waist of the jacket are quite large and are waterproof and worked well until one of the zippers gave way (see ahead). And then just behind these are a couple of mesh cargo pockets for a water bottle or camera that you may want quick access too.

There is a pocket in the back of the jacket for maps, snacks and anything that may need a pocket the width of your back to fit into. The chest area has another two pockets under the vents (note – you do block the vents if you put anything in though) and just on the left, next to the main zipper, is a vertical zipped pocket (wallet) and behind it a horizontally zipped pocket (I used that for my pens and notebook).

If_lost_return_to
Sleeve pocket and hand gaiter

But wait, there’s more. Both sleeves have clear pockets (accessible by zippers), which would work for a credit card or cash for tolls, and the pants have two goodly sized pockets at the front for phone, change, keys, etc. It should be noted that these pockets do zip up and you should always do that as they sit front and a little to the side which allows a phone to slide out when you sit down. Exactly what happened to my iPhone 4, never to be seen again.

Climate control

When things get hot, the Teren suit offers a clever option for cooling things down again by using hidden flaps that cover messed areas on the front and back of the jacket and above the knees on the pants. The flaps are held in place by a strip of Velcro and two pop buttons so that it can be folded down and reattached to more pop buttons below to uncover a meshed area.

jacket_vent_pocket
Chest flap opens and buttons down to expose mesh vent.

This effectively makes a large hole for the air to come in as opposed to a slit from a zippered breather. There’s a similar, but much larger vent at the back of the jacket, so with the front and back open you can get a very good flow through, as long as you’re moving.

It’s an interesting idea and works great on the road when you get a bit of speed but not so much in the slower trails – especially when you’re trying to pull the front wheel of a F800GSA out of a mud hole on your lonesome because you thought assured yourself that you would turn back if the trail got nasty as you had no-one riding with you …

But I digress.

I also used the suit in colder conditions, and by closing all vents and inserting the warm liners (or a fleece) and even the waterproof layer, it can keep you quite toasty, if not a little chunky looking.

Waterproofing

Rob_2
The suit is there, hidden below the waterproofs. This is a much better waterproofing solution in my experience.

As we’ve discussed many times before on CMG, the current trend to waterproof a suit by supplying zip-in waterproof inserts is not a good one, and this is the system the Teren suit uses, although the Codura outer shell does offer a modicum of water resistance.

Liners are a quick way to ensure waterproofness without having to try and build it into the outer material (expensive and/or prone to failure). However, try inserting a liner in your pants at the side of the road when a rainstorm pops up its ugly cumulonimbus incus. It not only takes a good five minutes but is liable to get you arrested for exposing your tighty whities to the passing school bus full of kids.

15_Suzuki_GSXS1000_rob_front2
Although the Teran suit is adventure style, it was so practical I used for everything including press launches.

It simply doesn’t work and if you opt to keep them in then you’ll likely overheat. And if you do hit rain with them in, you may be dry but your suit is now soaked and weighing in at 50 lbs to boot. And all that cold water next to your skin cools you down pretty quick too. Pah.

No, it’s a bad idea and perhaps one of the only faults I can find with the Teren. Thankfully it is easily fixed with a set of external waterproofs (it would be nice to see these being an option at time of purchase).

BTW, in the interest of doing a proper job, I did try getting wet with the inserts and remained bone dry, so they do work, even if it is a bad idea.

Protection

Shoulders have external armour as well as internal. Cording helps to keep upper arms tight.
Shoulders have external armour as well as internal. Cording helps to keep upper arms tight.

The suit comes with CE level 1 removable armour in the knees, thighs, elbows and shoulders – where there’s additional external ‘thermoformed’ protection that Dainese reckon offers abrasion resistance comparable to leather. I’m not sure if this really adds to the protection or just makes the jacket look very protective, but it’s done subtly enough so as to not make you look like some weird comic-book hero.

The back has a built in pocket for a back protector and although this is not provided (it will accommodate Dainese G1 and G2 protectors), the pocket was big enough to take the protector from my racing leathers which has been in there ever since.

Unfortunately, the suit is a bit limited when it comes to reflective material, with a decent strip on the back and a short line on the sleeves near the cuffs. There’s really nothing at the front to speak of.

Wear and Tear

ride_splash
This is how I wash my gear …

Despite my general abuse (include one wipeout in the gravel) and tendency to not follow washing instructions, two years hence the Teren suit still looks great with no fraying or material breakdown.

staining2Due to the lighter material colour used, it does show some staining, namely something that had splattered on my chest, mud splashes on the lower leg and a black smudge on one leg when I had to fix a puncture on Zac’s DR650 and wiped my greasy hands on them – but I can’t really fault the Teren for that one.

I did have one of the outside waterproof pocket zippers fail on me (the zipping bit came off one of the tracks) but otherwise there are no issues.

Conclusions

Tough, durable, functional, all-season and one of the best fitting suits in the business makes the Teren suit a no brainer for anyone who wants something that they can hit the road or gravel with.

Dainese_overallAs far as pricing goes, the pants are listed on the Dainese site for C$399.95, and the jacket is listed at C$499.00 but is currently out of stock (for a list of Dainese outlets in Canada, click here).

That’s great value and I would recommend anyone looking for a good suit that fits well, works well and will actually last, to consider this. You can pay less, but you get far less for your dollars as a result. You can also pay more, but then you’re likely to hit the law of diminishing returns – it’s difficult to see how this suit can be beat for value.

Yes, go buy a Teren suit, you will not be disappointed … as long as you can find one of course. They are proving so popular it appears the company is having trouble keeping up with demand.

Sizing and Colours

Sizes are 46 to 64 euro and colours appear to be black, light grey/black or dark grey/black and green judging by the pic I found (below) but Dainese doesn’t really clarify this on its site. If I could choose again, I’d go for darker options, to avoid the staining issue, otherwise I’m 100% happy.

Jacket-colours


Video

Although this next video is from an online store (Revzilla), they do a great job going over the elements of the suit:

2 thoughts on “Gear: Dainese Teren suit review”

  1. Was looking for reviews on the Teren suit and came across your article. Your point of view regarding waterproofing got me thinking: it is the eternal dilemma for motorcyclists. I’ve tried multiple suits from multiple brands with zip-in rain liners and suits with integrated waterproof fabrics. Both have their pros and cons.

    The zip-in rain liners are a hassle for sudden downpours but some argue that since the abrasion/impact resistant outer shell is still on the outside, you don’t have to worry about damaging the rain liner in a fall, and when the weather is nice, the suit can still have reasonable airflow with them removed. So easily 3 seasons (spring, summer, fall).

    The fully waterproof suits are more practical and can be worn in 3 seasons (fall, winter, spring), but since the suit is by default quite a bit warmer, then you will need another mesh suit for summer (when we do most of our riding anyway) which defeats the whole purpose of the one-suit-for-all gimmick of the fully waterproof suit. Not to mention fully waterproof suits are almost always very expensive compared to everything else.

    The least compromise can be had by simply using external waterproofing aka rain suits – they can be put on and put off in a jiffy, and if you are worried of falling while wearing it thus damaging it, rain suits are generally cheap so if you do damage it, you can easily buy another one. I agree though, that the option to buy multi-season jackets with or without zip-in rain liners is a good thing (or, create stand-alone rain & thermal liners that can easily be attached to any of their jackets) and more manufacturers should be doing it. This will easily universalize their lineup for 2 and 4-season countries. Rain liners that can be worn both inside or outside, removable hoodies/neck warmers and removable monkey paws seem to also be gaining traction in the market currently.

    Some Japanese manufacturers have started offering their rain & thermal liners as stand-alone products that can be bought separately so you can even convert a mesh jacket into a 3 or 4-season one, although with their multi-season jackets you still can’t opt out of buying the included liners. Of the Europeans I can only think of Rev’It as having done something similar with their new lineup of technical liners.

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