There's no odometer ticking over on my Aerostich suit. Not that it needs one. After a year as the go-to suit for my 100-mile commute from Los Angeles to our office in Irvine, you can read the scars and lines on the waxed-cotton Cousin Jeremy suit like a ship's log. On the left shoulder, a brush with a delivery truck. Across the thighs, the weird creases from a week's commute on a cruiser. The legs have hot, dry scars from high pipes, and the entire front is stained dark, like a greasy paper lunch bag. Some suits look like they're ready for space, others like they're ready for the track. My Aerostich looks like it's come off a shift shoveling coal into a Scottish steam engine in the dead of winter, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Pry open a pocket or a zipper and the unmolested original color of the Aerostich becomes apparent. Every exposed surface, though, shows the grit and funk of thousands of miles of riding.Chris Cantle

Andy Goldfine, the founder of Aerostich, hit on two big innovations when he created his first suits in 1983. The first was an ankle-to-neck zipper that makes getting into—and out of—his one-piece suit a snap. The design is so clever that it makes wearing a Roadcrafter over street or business clothes a viable option. The second and even more influential inspiration was that Gore-Tex and Cordura were a match made in heaven. Motorcyclists have taken advantage of the combination so widely since that it's almost ubiquitous in our business, but in 1983, Goldfine was breaking ground. The Aerostich Roadcrafter that resulted is a modern masterpiece. A hard-wearing tribute to modern science lauded by almost every motojournalist in the business.

Top: There's such a thing as an off-the-rack Aerostich suit. The Cousin Jeremy isn't one of those. The breast label is thick with the names of employees who put their sweat into the suit at Aerostich's Duluth factory.
Left: The Roadcrafter is packed to the gills with pockets, all of which seal up nicely against the weather.
Right: Likewise, the main neck to ankle zipper. Heavy duty hardware keeps the suit closed up and a Velcro'd flap keeps the weather out.
Chris Cantle

I have an original Roadcrafter, bought cheap off Craigslist. It's black and silver, well broken-in, and perfectly serviceable after the use and abuse of two owners. The thing would doubtless last me another decade, but an Aerostich catalog landed on my doorstep shortly after taking the reins at Motorcyclist and the Cousin Jeremy suit called my name.

Aerostich’s rad retro tag dates back to the early days of the company.Chris Cantle

We wrote about the Cousin Jeremy a year ago when it wasn't nearly as surly. Back then, before thousands of miles of bugs and road grime, the brown cotton was pleasantly uniform. It was paper bag colored, sure, but the crinkly, dry kind of paper bag you get before french fries soak their grease deep into its fibers. But, unlike paper bags or synthetic Roadcrafters, time has made the waxed-cotton onesie better. Stretching and shrinking in the sun and the heat, the suit has molded to my body and it fits like no Cordura suit ever could. Never mind that it might nearly stand up on its own; if it did, it'd be in my shape exactly, like an oily brown shadow.

Waxed cotton doesn’t hold a candle to Cordura in many ways. Repairability, abrasion and weather resistance among them. What it lacks it fortitude it makes up for in classic style.Chris Cantle

Curious friends asked for an update on the waxed-cotton onesie, and here it is: The Cousin Jeremy is still keeping water and weather out. It’s still comfortable too, even as we ride headlong into winter, its zippers and vents work flawlessly, it’s fasteners as good as new. It’s still doing everything one would ask of a riding suit, actually, which is remarkable considering the suit was Goldfine’s nod to hipster vanity. Cousin Jeremy is a real human being, you see. A Los Angeles-dwelling motorcyclist of the cool kid variety that served as a template for the pragmatic Minnesotan Goldfine’s best shot at appealing to a younger, less middle-aged and GS-riding customer. A year later, we can tell you that it worked. Good gear is hard to find, but gear that gets better can only be considered great, regardless of what you ride.

A year later the Cousin Jeremy is still doing everything one would ask of a riding suit, and it’s only getting better.Chris Cantle


Grade: A
Summary: Impossibly functional, impossibly funky. There’s nothing like this waxed-cotton Aerostich.
Price: $1,127