BMW AirFlow Apparel ReviewIt seems we no longer have winters here in Southern California – at least not when one would expect it. This is why vented apparel is what I wear most often. It was hot in February and March, then tapered off into the cool weather, which continued through June. But the hammer comes down in July because whatever is controlling the worldwide weather has not forgotten the heat.Fortunately, during recent high temperatures I was able to take several rides wearing BMW’s AirFlow suit. I look forward to putting it on again when our thermometer heads north, as this is a suit dedicated to hot days.
The BMW AirFlow suit is fully committed to warm weather, although it is not all mesh. Its strategically placed AirTex mesh panels are wide open and have no provision for closure. The flow of air feels almost as strong as with a full mesh suit, yet the wearer gets the protective benefit of heavier Polyamide/Polyurethane fabric in the solid areas of its construction.The AirTex panels are plentiful. On the jacket they are located on the chest, side and back rib areas, and the forearms, shoulders and top of the back. The trousers have only one panel per leg, located over the front of the thigh and extending seam to seam.Thoughtfully, BMW includes a nice red windproof and waterproof zippered shell that can be worn over the jacket. It’s great for a hot day that starts cool. Don the liner in the morning and stuff it into a pocket when the ride heats up. Also included is a small waterproof stuff sack that can hold the liner or your phone and valuables in the event of an unexpected shower.BMW AirFlow Jacket ReviewThe BMW AirFlow jacket is cut short and designed to be close fitting. It features Velcro adjustment straps at the waist as well as two external handwarmer pockets and three inner pockets (two with zippers). The sleeve ends have traditional zippers with Velcro tab closures. There is also a zipper to mate to compatible trousers. Reflective stripes are sewn into both shoulders and upper arms, front and back. NP2 (certified to DIN EN 1621) protectors are included in the forearm/elbow (height adjustable), back and shoulder areas.In fashion typical of all its garments, BMW designs and constructs this one with consideration for the many little details. For example, inside the jacket the lining is mostly a silky poly mesh as you will find in many jackets. What is unique are two four-inch wide vertically set panels down the back on top of each shoulder blade, from collar to hem. These panels each have 12 grooves raised 1/8-inch that keep the mesh off the wearer’s back to allow for maximum airflow. It works!The two straps sewn inside from collar to hip is another seldom-seen feature. It took me a while to realize they are meant to allow riders, upon arrival on a hot day, to carry the jacket like a backpack.All told, this is a stylish and comfortable garment in which to spend your day.BMW AirFlow Pants ReviewThe trousers are a slightly narrow cut but still generous and certainly not skinny. Velcro holds the adjustment straps at the waist and there is a zippered slash pocket on each side. Again, NP2 protectors are included at the knee (height adjustable) and hip. There is also a zipper to mate to the jacket and the pant bottoms have zippers with Velcro tab closures.The lining is poly mesh throughout but for a solid poly panel in the seat and down to the knees. The fabric on the back side of the knee has a different weave, presumably for improved comfort and flexibility when riding.When riding, the BMW AirFlow pants – like the jacket – don’t bind or chafe and are a pleasure to wear all day.BMW AirFlow Gloves ReviewThe BMW AirFlow gloves are constructed of extremely soft, perforated leather that appears to be cowhide but there’s no mention of the donor animal. On the back are hard plastic knuckle protectors and AirTex panels with a Velcro tab closure. They extend about two inches above the wrist and are lined with soft polyester. A suede-like insert is on the back of each thumb and a double-thick, padded section is sewn on the palm.While not as ventilated as a mesh glove, they appear and feel more protective and are extremely comfortable.BMW AirFlow 3 Boots Review
I don’t always go for matching attire but in this case the BMW AirFlow 3 boots really are good looking and light weight. Designed in the touring style and 10 inches high, they are made of real leather with sewn-in AirTex sections and protective cups around the ankle. TThe rubber sole has a light tread, the heel is reinforced with leather on the inside and has reflective stripes outside. Also reinforced is the shin, ankle and toecap. They’re secured by zipper and Velcro and match the AirFlow ensemble perfectly. Comfort is optimal and there is plenty of air movement through the boot.For these warm times BMW’s AirFlow suit, gloves and boots are a wonderful antidote to the heat. They are also a perfect companion to BMW’s new Rider pants. The Rider is slightly narrow and they don’t fit well over full-sized boots with protective uppers. The AirFlow 3 is just right.BMW Prices (all MSRP):
- BMW AirFlow Suit: $1038 ($629 jacket, $409 pants)
- BMW AirFlow Boots: $239
- BMW AirFlow Gloves: $119