Weise Waterproof Motorcycle Gear
Leather – it’s without a doubt the ultimate choice for most motorcyclists when selecting apparel. The abrasive-resistant material has been protecting skin since the heyday of those sudden misfortunes associated with two-wheel adventures.
And although leather’s major function is there – abrasion – others are lacking, such as waterproofing. Many companies have addressed the waterproof issue, but price tags usually hover around the $1000 mark for only a jacket.
But the UK-based Weise is out to change that pricey scenario by offering the Hydra series of motorcycle apparel. The Weise Hydra leather jacket and pants are waterproof via removable full-sleeve/leg Reissa liners, and offered at the price of standard leather motorcycle apparel – under $500 for the jacket, under $400 for the pants.
And the best part? The Weise Hydra products performs each duty claimed, something I proved after six months of testing throughout various weather conditions typical in the Northeastern Pennsylvania.
First is the obvious intention of the Hydra name, waterproofing. Unlike other motorcycle garments that have a waterproof layer built into the actual construction of the material, the Hydra jacket and pants feature a removable waterproof and breathable Reissa liner.
I was skeptical about the waterproofing of the internal liner, but after I encountered the first rainstorm, I remained dry. Although dry, the Reissa liner gives a slight perception of feeling wet. This is especially true in the Keprotec flex panels, and if any water touches the actual Reissa liner (e.g. if you have a vent open).
The Reissa liners are paper-thin and flexible, providing a light, comfortable feeling on the skin. The Spandex-like collars on the edge of the sleeves and pants are initially awkward to the skin, but this feeling quickly subsides. And although waterproof, the Reissa liners also allow moderate amounts of sweat to escape due to the breathability factor, even in conditions when the temps are in the upper 90s.
But if the skies are clear, the rider can simply remove the Reissa liner. The Weise Hydra jacket’s liner easily folds to be stored away unnoticeably in a hand-warmer pocket; as for the pants, it will store in a pants pocket, but adds bulk.
As for outer construction, the Hydra jacket and pants feature 1.2-1.4mm Monaco leather with CE-approved armor contained within the elbows, shoulders, knees and back. All the armor is comfortable and removable. For certain trips around town, I found the back armor to be a bit bulky, so I removed it.
The jacket features Keprotec stretch panels along the inside of the arms and armpits for flexibility, the pants having these panels throughout the crotch area and behind the knees. The Keprotec is thin, enhancing the cooling factor in those areas. When the temperatures drop, though, this becomes a slight problem; these Keprotec flex panels let in much cold air. A quick fix would be good base layers in the pants (nothing is more uncomfortable than a cold crotch!), and since the jacket doesn’t feature a full-sleeve liner, good base layers up top also.
For warmer weather, venting is optimal, especially on the Hydra jacket. It features a vent on each forearm and shoulder, and two exhaust vents on the lower back. Be careful while zipping the vents, though; the mesh-like material under the vents can get lodged into the zipper and rip.
And if it’s going to rain and you don’t want the sensation of water through the Reissa liner, make sure to zip the vents all the way, tucking the zipper all the way under the leather hoods.
The pants also feature two vents on the upper thighs that work optimally, though Weise could have designed them a bit larger. To further increase breathability, there are two thin strips of perforated leather on the front of the pants, and perforation across the front and back of the shoulders in the jacket.
For additional comfort, the Weise Hydra jacket and pants feature soft Neoprene at the collar and cuffs, and textile strips under the YKK Zippers. The pants feature two small pockets, and the jacket has two hand-warmer pockets and an internal one.
Regarding sizing, since the jacket is UK-derived, it tends to be a bit smaller. I typically wear a 42, but I went with a 44, which remained a bit snug until a few rides helped break it in. But if you go with a larger size, the jacket features two Velcro waist straps to further personalize fit. The pants also ran a size small, with the same break-in period as the Hydra jacket.
Weise also tastefully added additional safety features; the Hydra jacket and pants feature 3M Scotchlite reflective piping that adds nighttime visibility. And for a solid, one-piece feeling, the pants connect to the jacket via 360-degree zipper.
One other note about the pants. For comfort while sport touring or cruising, I prefer the pants to go over the boots, not underneath as one would for race leathers. But the Hydra Pants have tight cuffs, and when zipped closed the pants only fit under full-length riding boots, not over them.
To combat this feature, I simply unattached the bottom of the Reissa liner from the pants. I would wear the liner under the boots, but unzip the leather pants and place them over the boot, zipping them as far as needed to keep them stable above the boot.
The UltimateMotorCycling.com verdict. If you’re looking for the protection of leather but want to leave the rain suit at home, the Weise Hydra jacket and pants is worth checking out. Just remember that when the temps drop below 60 degrees, the Weise Hydra jacket and pants don’t provide optimal warmth, so wear proper base layers. Also, make sure to try on both the jacket and pants for sizing, though, since both garments are built a bit on the snug side.
Weise Hydra Jacket:
- Sizes: 40-50
- Color: Classic Black
- MSRP: $479.99
Weise Hydra Pants:
- Sizes: 30-40
- Color: Classic Black
- MSRP: $389.99