I have spent many Saturdays on the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike riding on-road to off-road locations for scenic rides in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. That has meant riding in the damp seasons and warmer periods, with wide ranges of temperatures.
My adventure days can start in the high-40s and end in the upper-80s. It takes really flexible riding gear to accommodate 40-degree temperature swings. I don’t want to use all my energy shivering on the freeway on the way out, or overheat on the highway heading home.
In Oregon, I experience three-season riding in a single day. When it starts raining, the thought of being wet and cold crosses my mind. Fortunately, the waterproof layer of the Tourmaster Ridgecrest jacket ($240) and pants ($190)—part of the brand’s Horizon Line—kept me dry and comfortable.
The Tourmaster Ridgecrest Jacket comes ready for the weather that we ride in. Against the base layer of your choice is a zip-out thermal vest liner with a smartphone pocket that is big enough to hold my 7.2-by-3.6-by-1.2-inch Garmin Montana 700i GPS. Conveniently, each of the three layers has the same huge smartphone pocket on the inner right side.
The thermal vest liner was not enough warmth for me at 48 degrees on the freeway behind the small windshield of the Ténéré 700. The jacket’s outer shell is flow-through mesh just about everywhere it can be, so Tourmaster added a featherweight Riessa-fabric, zip-out, long sleeve layer that is windproof and waterproof, yet breathable. Keeping 48-degree wind out helps, but the cold eventually transfers from layer to layer. So, I stopped to put on a fleece that I can always count on as my extra layer.
The Ridgecrest jacket has eight (yes, eight) exterior pockets on its front panels, with a 7-by-7-inch inner pocket on the left and another large phone pocket on the inner right. I like to eat well on the trail, so I discovered that each of the two cargo-style pockets on the front can accommodate a six-inch sub sandwich and a small bag of chips (if you let the air out of the bag) or two half-liter bottles of water.
With lunch and hydration taken care of, there are still two flat zipper pockets on the outside of the cargo pockets, two zippered vest pockets, and two zippered hand pockets under the cargo pockets—that is a lot of front pocket space. There are two substantial kangaroo-pouch style pockets on the lower back. There, I stuffed a rain liner, thermal vest, baseball cap, and a bathing suit—really, that all fit in the rear pockets.
The Tourmaster Ridgecrest jacket is designed for comfort in the riding position. I am a bit under 5-foot 10-inches and wear a men’s Large in shirts and jackets; a 46R suit jacket fits me off the rack. With my arms outstretched, the microfiber cuff ends lay about one inch forward of my wrist bend—perfect for fitting over light or medium weight gloves.
Tourmaster paid attention to the small details on the Ridgecrest jacket. An example is the extra-length hook-and-loop straps to fully secure the cuffs around the narrowest wrists. Another little element is the cuff zippers for the mesh gussets; they are conveniently placed for one-handed operation. The neck closure strap hooks securely out of the way with one hand. The generous hook-and-loop waist belts offer a wide range of adjustment, and are attached to a hidden elastic panel for ease of movement.
As I discovered all the features of the Horizon Line Ridgecrest jacket, I realized I couldn’t think of anything missing on this three-season adventure-touring jacket. Besides the comfort and storage, rugged 1000D reinforced materials are used in the places we all hope are never needed.
Areas not subject to abrasion are either stretch panels or high-airflow mesh. There are reflective accents on the chest, arm, and back. I love the two-way front YKK zipper that eliminates binding at the waist but closure above. Attached to the bottom seam on the left side is a TPS carabiner loop. There is an eight-inch zipper in the back that can connect to matching Ridgecrest pants
There is removable CE Level 2 armor in the shoulders and elbows, and a non-protective pad in the back. Fortunately, the interior pocket in the interior back of the jacket can accommodate Safe Tech size Large, CE Level 2 back protection, which I opted for. Priced at $20 and available from Tourmaster’s sibling brand Cortech, it is an essential safety investment. Installed in its mesh pocket, I can feel it is there if that is the only thing I am thinking about. I quickly forget about it as soon as I start riding.
The Safe Tech back protector has 10 ventilation slots and is positioned up high enough so that it won’t touch your motorcycle seat. The back pad is made of Viscoflex polyurethane memory foam that is soft to the touch. When an impact occurs, it hardens, dispersing the energy over a larger area. If your motorcycle has a backrest, the Safe Tech back protectors will push you forward about three-quarters of an inch
The matching Tourmaster Ridgecrest pants from the Horizon Line fit me really well. I wear 34×30 jeans. The size Large Ridgecrest pants are 36×32, giving me the extra room for a base layer, if needed. The top three inches of the waistband are elastic for automatically adjusting to standing or sitting. The back of the pants rises to give you extra protection against rain or cold filtering in from the bottom of your jacket. There is an eight-inch zipper in the back to attach to your Ridgecrest Jacket, and a much longer one to connect to older-style Tourmaster jackets.
The waistband adjusters can suck the waist of the Tourmaster Ridgecrest pants in to about 30 inches—congratulations on an amazing weight loss if you need that much adjustment. There are two deep zippered hand pockets, plus a pair of flap-and-zipper cargo pockets in front. The knees and seat are 1000D Honeycomb ripstop, with the rest either 600D polyester or hi-flow mesh.
The leg cuffs fit nicely around my Tourmaster Trailblazer boots—also Horizon Line—but wouldn’t fit over my full-height motocross boots. There is extra fabric in the body section of the pants, so I consulted a clothing designer to find out why. The expert explained that you need that extra fabric if you totally stuff the hand and cargo pockets. If you don’t have much in the pants’ storage areas, then you will have the extra-fabric look of textile riding pants.
When you don’t want the weather to directly hit your skin, the breathable and waterproof zip-out Reissa liner is there to protect you from the elements. I can feel the Reissa liner against my skin, which is comfortable. Plus, it allows for gripping the tank with my knees. I will be upgrading the quarter-inch thick foam pads in the hips to the Safe Tech hip armor for $13 a pair.
There are no Tourmaster Ridgecrest gloves, so I went with the Tourmaster Switchback gloves from the Horizon line for warm-weather adventure riding. There is a lot of smart design and materials in these comfortable $40 gloves.
The gripping area of the fingers and palms are pre-curved, supple goatskin. The tops are high-airflow mesh with TPR impact protectors at all the impact points I have banged at one time or another with brush, branches, and the ground.
The thumb and index fingers have touchscreen tips. The index finger is good for swiping, and the thumb tip works great for touching individual points, such as PIN codes and characters on the screen’s keyboard. I use a Crampbuster CB1 when cruising, and the padded spot at the heel of the palm lands perfectly on it. They are truly all-day comfortable.
I rode the most technical trails I have attempted on the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike wearing the entire Horizon line. The three Tourmaster Horizon Line items I tested fit well, perform well, look good, and are priced to capture the three-season rider’s attention. The liners will save you from the cold and rain, but the gear shines brightest for summer riding. While providing multi-point protection, the airflow through the Tourmaster Ridgecrest jacket and pants is terrific.
Tourmaster products are well known for their durability, functionality, and competitive pricing. The designers put it all together in the extensive well-thought-out Horizon Line, which includes many women’s versions of the apparel. As we publish this review, everything in the Horizon Line is 20 percent off on the Helmet House website, making the high-value apparel an even better deal.
Tourmaster Ridgecrest Jacket Fast Facts
- Sizes: Small – 4XL Tall (14 sizes)
- Colors: Black; Hi-Viz; Navy; Sand
- Price: $240 MSRP
Tourmaster Ridgecrest Pants Fast Facts
- Sizes: Small – 4X-Large; Medium Tall – 3XL Tall; Medium Short – 3XL Short
- Colors: Black; Sand Gray
- Price: $190 MSRP
Tourmaster Switchback Gloves Fast Facts
- Sizes: Small – 4X-Large
- Colors: Black; Gray; Red
- Price: $40 MSRP