Klim Tactical Shirt Review [Off-Road Protective Base Layer]

I took the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike on an intermediate level trail and discovered that it was above my Ténéré 700 skill level when muddy, rocky, and rutted. It was there that I twice tested the Klim Tactical Shirt armor—the hard way.

Both drop and falls were at near-zero mph, but I still tumbled. In fall one, I landed on my left elbow and didn’t feel anything at the skin level. Fall two was a chest plant into a foot-tall tree stump. Although I let out an audible grunt, my intercom pals knew I was ok because they immediately heard me cursing about having to heft the Ténéré off the muddy trail again.

Klim Tactical Shirt Review: Price

I dropped the Ténéré 700 two more times in quick succession. The Poron XRD armor and the Klimatek fabric construction were working as designed. Poron is a Rogers Corporation brand for industrial polyurethane products, while Klimatek is Klim’s proprietary moisture-wicking feature.

According to Klim, the Klim Tactical Shirt is an armored base layer intended for dual-sport and off-road riding. It is a low-profile, lightweight, and flexible alternative to hard-armor vests. As with adventure boots, there is a tradeoff between comfort and safety.

Klim Tactical Shirt Review: MSRP

I can wear the Klim Tactical Shirt all day and forget about it until the moments the armor protects me. It is a very comfortable, next-to-skin armored base layer. It is a fully breathable, wick away, antimicrobial, long sleeve compression shirt with open-cell Poron armor in all the appropriate locations. The Poron XRD armor varies in thickness from a half-inch in the chest and spine, about a third of an inch in the elbows and shoulders, and around a quarter-inch in the forearms and kidney/rib sides. Note that this armor does not have CE certification.

There were plenty of low-hanging branches on the higher-speed trails that weren’t dodge-able. My forearms, chest, and shoulders hit a few, and the slap didn’t translate through the Poron armor. When I was mentally expecting an “ouch,” the Tactical Shirt was “ouch-less.” The sleeves have reinforced thumb holes to keep the arm armor in place should you find yourself sliding on your elbows. They are also helpful when slipping your arms into an overshirt, jersey, or jacket.

Klim Tactical Shirt Review: For Sale

I am 5’ 10”, 193 pounds, with a 43-inch chest. The size chart is spot-on for a Large for my 43-inch chest. I selected the XL at 46-to-48 inches because I wanted more room for a warm winter under-layer. The entire shirt is super breathable, and every slab of Poron armor has ventilation holes every quarter-inch.

When I started feeling hot due to all the quick succession heavy lifting, I unzipped my Klim Traverse Jacket—I had taken all the armor out of it for the test—and the airflow to cool me off was immediate and all over. Kudos to the breathability of this Tactical Shirt.

Klim Tactical Shirt Review: Dual-Sport, Off-Road, Adventure Motorcycles

Because the Klim Tactical Shirt is next to your skin, you will want to wash it like any other undergarment. I have worn it several times without washing, and it still smells brand-new because of the Polygiene antimicrobial technology that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. When it is time to wash it, just toss it into the washer using cold water in the gentle cycle, and then tumble dry it on low.

I look forward to soaking it in a cool creek on a hot summer day and seeing how long it will provide evaporative cooling. Dry or wet, it has a cooling effect when underway on the Ténéré 700.

Upper body protection is essential when riding technical off-road terrain, whether on a dirt bike, dual-sport motorcycle, or an ADV machine. Thanks to its comfortable fit and efficient ventilation, the Klim Tactical Shirt is an excellent four-season armored base layer.

Klim Tactical Shirt Fast Facts

  • Sizes: SM to 4X
  • Color: Monument Gray; Black

Klim Tactical Shirt Price: from $250 MSRP

Klim Tactical Shirt Review Photo Gallery