I’ve never been a fan of all-season, two-piece riding suits. They tend to be bulky, overcomplicated and rarely live up to their billing. But Rev’It! knows how to design riding gear, and after commuting in the Dutch company’s Sand jacket and Defender pants for a few weeks and wearing them on the sport-touring adventure chronicled elsewhere in this issue, I’m impressed with their functionality and versatility.
The Sand’s shell is a patchwork of 500, 750, and 1000-denier Cordura-like material, with the heavier fabric in the areas more likely to kiss the pavement. The Defender pants are made from the same stuff, and step up abrasion resistance with a ceramic Superfabric overlay at the knees. Both garments contain CE-approved armor, the jacket at the elbows and shoulders, the pants at the knees. There’s also padding in the back and at the hips.
Both items come with quilted insulated liners, but long-johns will work better and be less cumbersome. Pull-straps at the forearms, biceps and the sides of the torso let you dial-in a perfect fit, which is helpful when adding or subtracting layers. Waterproofing comes by way of a removable Hydratex liner in the jacket and a Gore-Tex liner in the pants. I prefer the simplicity of membrane-backed shell fabrics, but in this case the removable layers are the key to the outfit’s versatility, since removing them allows the vents to flow. Speaking of vents, the VCS panels are some of the most efficient we’ve tested. Peel back the flaps at the chest and thighs and you’ll feel a breeze all over your body.
The flaps that cover the vents act as air scoops when they're open, and the thick mesh pan
Attention to detail abounds. A movable collar snap keeps the strap snug around your neck, and a hook pulls the collar open and keeps the strap secure in warmer weather. The jacket only has two pockets, but they’re large so provide plenty of storage space. I was able to fit a water bottle in one.
With the rain liners in and a base layer on, I remained comfortable into the low 40s, and with the vents open and the jacket liner removed 80-degree weather was entirely tolerable. When not in use, the jacket liner stows in a pouch at the lower back. I’ve remained dry while riding through a few rain showers, but we decided to supplement that testing with a garden hose, which Managing Editor Andreanna Ditton was all too happy to wield. Although the jacket and pants shell got soaked, I remained dry inside.
Nits are few. The waist is a little stiff due to the long zipper that lets you connect the pants to the jacket, and the abrasive Superfabric tends to scratch your bike’s paint where your knees rub. The only other drawback is price: The Sand trousers weren’t available when I placed my order, but selecting them instead of the Gore-Tex-equipped Defenders will save you $300 and avoid any scratches due to the Superfabric.
|Rev’it! Sand Jacket & Defender GTX Pants |
|Price: $449.99 jacket, $599.99 pants |
|Contact: Rev’It! USA |
|Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars |
Expensive, but if you want one outfit to function in all conditions, this one will do it.