Klim Traverse Jacket and Pants Review |
Plus Klim Dakar Pro Gloves Test
It has been nearly 20 years since purchasing a lightweight enduro jacket and my old-school Malcolm Smith jacket needed to be replaced by something with modern performance and function, along with some contemporary styling. Enter the Klim Traverse Jacket and Pants combo.
The concept of a lightweight enduro jacket—as opposed to a much heavier ADV jacket—is to have flexibility between weather, temperatures, and functions in a package that can work in off-road racing conditions. Enduro riders need to dress in base and mid-layers for protection from the elements and dangers off-road.
I ride California deserts and mountains predominately in lightweight gear in layers of various clothing depending on the temperatures for many years. Even in hot weather, I wear a jacket for protection, as opposed to a jersey and roost deflector.
I wear layers of warm vests with high neck collars and even scarves when it’s cold, and store them in a backpack as it warms. I never want to feel restricted in stiff jackets and chest protectors.
As a protective option with the Klim Traverse jacket, you can insert optional D3O T5 CE-approved armor in provided slots in the shoulders, elbows, and back. Typically, I only use the shoulder protection as my injuries have been broken collarbones and torn shoulder ligaments, rather than breaks from tree or boulder impacts.
A priority with off-road gear is having air flowing through in warmer activities, and shutting it out when cooler, or wet. The Klim Traverse jacket’s oversized zippered chest and wrist openings, with large overlapping storm flaps, are the areas to reach for as you go with your gloves on while riding. There are more vents in the back to allow full ventilation. Inside is a breathable, moisture-wicking mesh lining.
I haven’t had a chance to test the Klim Traverse jacket in the rain—blame California’s ongoing drought—so we’ll have to rely on the reputation of Gore-Tex (there are two layers) and Klim’s assurance that the Traverse is “guaranteed to keep you dry.”
Assisting the Gore-Tex in fulfilling Klim’s promise are over-lapping flaps at the zippers.
I enjoyed the high collar neck cover with soft micro-fleece—there’s nothing to snag on my long adventure face stubble. Other great features are the pull-string adjustable collar and waist to keep out the drafts and moisture. The watertight interior smartphone pocket, featuring an earbuds wire slot, is easily accessible by lowering the top zipper from the neck.
Built with the same waterproof Gore-Tex and rugged Cordura construction, the Klim Traverse Pants provide ample breathing vents, storm flaps, and large zippers, but minimal storage. Compared to my older Klim Dakar pant, the goal was again a lighter and waterproof design.
Pant-over-boot designs keep debris and water out with help of the adjustable Velcro boot cuff. The waist provides the same Velcro adjustability.
Like the Klim Traverse jacket, D3O CE-approved hip and knee pads are optional, and the knee is roomy enough for those who wear knee braces. Below the knees are inside patches of leather for good gripping of your tank and engine heat protection.
I mistakenly identified the leg-length pocket for knee cups as a place to store my route maps and thought I lost them, only to slide down to the shin and over the boot—my fault, so don’t make that error.
One hip pocket is provided on the left leg for your items, but sorely missed in the side-legs of the Dakar pant for my wallet and car keys. One could argue that the matching Traverse Jacket takes care of that cargo problem, but not everyone will purchase a matched set.
Like the jacket, the Traverse pants are guaranteed to be waterproof, even at highway speeds. If it ever rains, I’ll let you know my experience.
Working in concert with the Klim Traverse ensemble are the Klim Dakar Pro gloves
A very well-built glove for impact protection, the Klim Dakar Pro gloves feature built-in padding and reflective road strips.
Though Klim markets the Dakar Pro gloves for “aggressive off-road riders,” it’s perhaps more designed for adventure bike crowd, and less for pure off-road riding.
The Klim Dakar Pro gloves can feel bulky and restrictive in aggressive riding with their extensive knuckle and finger padding. Like many boots, they need time to break-in before attaining the needed flexibility and fit.
While cold weather requires warmer, insulated (and bulkier) gloves, and true off-roading dictates a lighter design, the Klim Dakar Pro takes a middle route that many will find pleasing.
The Klim Traverse pants and jacket are functional and durable. Based on Klim’s reputation, I believe they could look great and still perform 20 years from now, making them well worth the $800 it costs for these two high-end items.
Klim Traverse Jacket Fast Facts
Colors: Black; green
Klim Traverse Jacket Price: From $400 MSRP
Klim Travers Pants Fast Facts
Size: 30-42; Tall 32-40
Colors: Black; green
Klim Travers Pants Price: From $400 MSRP
Klim Dakar Pro Gloves Fast Facts
Colors: Black; gray
Klim Dakar Pro Gloves Price: $90 MSRP
Klim Traverse and Dakar Pro Gallery