Dainese’s D-Explorer suit is ready for anything you can throw at it. This top-of-the-line textile suit will help you endure almost any weather and look good all along the way.
There are many suits on the market that can handle cold weather effectively, but few can do this while offering venting capable of making them work outstandingly well in very hot weather.
Knowing that I can ride with this suit in a temperature range from below freezing (with proper base layers) to desert heat, makes it a top choice for me when the conditions of a ride are uncertain.
The D-Explorer does this with its modular flap system—venting curtains on each side of the front of the jacket and a wide swath in the center of the back, as well as one on each thigh. These curtains, as opposed to the ubiquitous zippered vents on most adventure gear, zip open and fold out of the way to reveal great areas of pure mesh, enabling the massive airflow needed to keep cool when the weather reaches triple digits. The jacket’s rear curtain can be removed and stashed in a storage pocket at the lower back.
Additionally, the curtains utilize ribbed rubber clasps to allow the rider to choose between three open positions for just the right amount of flow. Here in California, we do get cold weather that requires the use of all the removable layers that come
with the jacket.
However, when it gets hot, we want more venting than many suits can deliver. Cooling is also aided by wide-opening, full-length sleeve zippers operable in either direction, with mesh inside.
On the subject of layers, Dainese gives us the classic three-layer setup with choices on how they can be used. First, Dainese starts with the outer layer made from a quick-dry combination of Mugello, Duratex, D-Stone, and mesh fabrics. Shoulder, elbow, back, knee and hip protection is included and certified to Europe’s stringent EN1621.1 standard.
Underneath is a Gore-Tex layer that helps cheat the wind and rain, yet allows moisture from the rider’s body to pass through and be eliminated. Beneath the Gore-Tex is a second under-layer of quilted high-tech polyester that acts as an insulator.
Some manufacturers have moved to a single under-layer for their garments that combines both functions, but Dainese has chosen to equip this model to allow the greatest flexibility. You may install either layer, or both, in the jacket and pants.
On one test ride, I was caught in a morning rain. It was no gully-washer, but there was steady precipitation with temperatures in the low 60s. Not expecting rain, I had all the under-layers removed, was wearing only a t-shirt and skivvies beneath, yet I found myself comfortable and dry.
Even though the Gore-Tex layer was omitted, the rain beaded up and blew off the jacket and pants with no seepage as the outer fabric is also treated for water-resistance. Later on that ride, the sun came out and temperatures rose into the high 80s. I opened all the vents fully and liken the airflow to almost that of a pure mesh sum- mer suit.
I found the suit to be all-day comfortable whether in rain, cold or extreme heat. The modular flap system is easy to use and seals up well with zippers and hook and loop when not in use. There are elasticized sections on the trousers above the knees, as well as at the back of the waist to allow movement without strain on the fabric.
This jacket is chock full of a long list of other amenities including double side- adjustable collar, adjustable upper-arm and waist straps, waterproof outer pockets with a second pocket on each, windowed sleeve pocket, chest protector pockets, Napoleon pocket reachable under the storm flap without unzipping, thermal and Gore-Tex liner pockets, jacket/pants fastening zip- per, and the two lower metal snaps on the storm flap are rubber-coated so they won’t mar your bike’s finish.
We matched Dainese’s Veleta X-Trafit Gore-Tex gloves with this suit and they did a nice job favoring temperatures ranging from mid-50s to low-80s. They are lightly insulated, non-vented all-textile, Gore-Tex lined, and waterproof.
Built with pre-curved fingers, a short cuff with adjustment straps, and Amica suede palms, the Veleta X-Trafit gloves are designed for touring, are very light on the hand, and offer good feel. Dainese glues the Gore-Tex membrane over the outside of the glove and places metal mesh Techno inserts over most knuckles. These are geared to either summer or mid-season use.
When your ride is long with widely varying temperatures and conditions, and far away from your closet, the Dainese D-Explorer gives you the full spectrum of comfort adjustments that you crave while keeping you looking good.
For additional information, visit Dainese.com.
Story from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; for subscription services, click here.