Jacket and Pants Review
Forget about packing the rain suit…in fact, forget about the rain suit completely. The Italian designers at Alpinestars have fabricated the ultimate motorcycling jacket and matching pants that will keep you dry even under torrential-like downpours.
And the best part? It’s all somehow made of leather. But there’s more…Alpinestars may be on to something bigger here with the 365 Gore-Tex Leather series; the "Versace" of moto apparel may have created the only known leather "do-it-all" riding gear.
And after some aggressive sport touring in weather ranging from a bone-chilling 38 degrees with snowflakes to a humid 85 degrees with stinging rain, I would agree – strongly agree.
By "do it all," the gear will keep you cool or warm, provide comfort combined with protection, and, amazingly, be completely waterproof but also breathable. Did I mention this versatile apparel is made of leather? And the 365 Gore-Tex Leather apparel has one more feature if you like the subtle look, that Euro style…
As most riders know, leather prevents most road rash when you hit the pavement, has a long life, and there’s also that emotional gravitation motorcyclists have towards leather – it simply looks good. But the downsides become apparent when the skies darken up. Remarkably, if not magically, the 365 Gore-Tex Leather keeps you dry, all while feeling like the some of the most comfortable leather ever worn.
Yes, both the jacket and pants are 100-percent waterproof, but where it gets even more magical is both are also 100-percent breathable. How can this be possible? The 365 series is designed with an invisible Gore-Tex membrane that combines two separate construction ideologies to create a 100% waterproof and breathable leather jacket with a polished appearance.
From a technical standpoint, the apparel is constructed of an abrasion-resistant Gore-Tex Pro Shell solid leather, perforated leather Gore panels, and 3L Gore stretch materials that are constructed to maximize Gore-Tex membrane performance. The perforated leather is treated with chemicals, making it repel water, soaking up less than 10 percent of its weight in water. These chemicals also provide quicker drying once the sun shines down on the leather.
To keep the rain out where most others first leak, the jacket features a double-zippered center closure with a crossover neoprene flap for water drainage. The zippers on the pockets and sleeves are also 100-percent waterproof, while a drainage edge that divers water off the jacket is constructed into the upper back panel.
The entire Gore-Tex leather is also treated with a special dye that reflects up to 30-percent of the sun’s rays on warmer days, keeping you cooler. In the direct sunlight, I’d expected the black to soak up everything, creating much heat. But the apparel was surprisingly cool.
The jacket features removable CE-approved BioArmor in the shoulder, elbow and chest. This material provides additional absorbent over foam padding, and is half as thick. The jacket also has a dropped tail, a comfy mandarin collar, hand-warmer pockets and a zip-out fleece thermal vest with a high-knitted collar. The inside is made of mesh, and it comes with a zip-out fleece vest.
While providing ultimate comfort while riding, the 365 Gore-Tex Leather Pants feature a reinforced leather seat panel, CE-certified removable "Smart" knee and hip protection, wide lower leg gussets with 100-percent waterproof zippers, which will fit a plethora of boots, a fly gusset with 100-percent waterproof zipper and a removable quilted upper thigh warmer.
Concerning the fit of the jacket, I am 5’11, with a medium athletic build, weighing around 165 lbs. I usually wear a size 52 in European (42 stateside), but knowing this jacket would be used in colder weather, I went with a 44 for layering. Because it has a very "Euro" fit, normal sizing may be a bit snug for some people. As for the pants, they fit true to size, and zip directly to the jacket.
The jacket has a sport-riding cut to it, but not too aggressive, which felt equally great on the VFR or the CBR. According to Alpinestars, this jacket is marketed towards the sport touring market, but it’ll be equally as effective on a cruiser or sportbike.
And if image is a concern, and being subtle is your idea of fashionable, the 365 series has it; the jacket features one logo on the front, and a thin stripe across the back that continues over the arms with one simple logo inside. It may be a bold statement, but if Steve McQueen were alive today, I’d bet he’d be sporting this series.
Another note on style; there’s been a growing market for apparel that not only protects, but also looks so stylish the garment doesn’t appear like protective motorcycle gear. The Gore-Tex also has this, adding to its remarkable versatility.
Except for the leather piece attached to the jacket’s main zipper slapping me in the chin during speeds over 65 mph, the only other grumble with 365 Gore-Tex series is price: the jacket retails for $1,299, the pants $1,199.
Yes, you can buy three jackets for the price of one 365 Gore-Tex Leather jacket…but for the extra funds, the 365 will most likely outperform all three of those jackets, all while keeping you bone dry. The same can be said for the pants. But if the extra money’s there, it’s well worth the investment.
365 Gore-Tex Leather Jacket: $1,299.95
Sizes: 48-60 (Euro)
365 Gore-Tex Leather Pants: $1,199.95
Sizes: 48-60 (Euro)
For more information visit www.alpinestars.com