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Realistic raingear expectations


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I'm planning a 3,000 mi. ride starting in about a week and a half. I'm pretty sure I'll roast a little and freeze a little, which I can handle, but what I have had little success with is riding in continuous rain - which will probably happen.


So today I decided to test my usual go-to jackets: a well worn BMW ComfortShell and a Firstgear TPG Teton. My test was to stand in the shower with the jackets all zipped and velcro'd up to see whether they were "rainproof" or not. In both cases the sleeves leaked in the area of my elbows and forearms while the torso areas seemed to pass the test. Well I don't want soaked arms, at least, after a few minutes of showers - so both jackets failed my test!


Both of those jackets are (were) supposed to be rainproof - and maybe they were so earlier in their lives - but they leak now. I think I need to solve my raingear problem.


So here are my questions: Should I get a new allegedly rainproof jacket hoping it really is rainproof? (I'm thinking BMW TourShell). Or, should I just pack an additional dedicated rain jacket and put it on just before the rain begins to fall? (I have a BMW Rainlock 2 jacket). Are rainproof textile jackets ever really rainproof? Is it likely my ComfortShell has failed due to wear and age?

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I have found two kinds of raingear that I had zero leakage with. My Motoport zip in liners and my Tourmaster over the riding gear rain jacket.


Aerostich, Frogg Toggs, and some others were leakers. Don't get me started on boots that are waterproof.....

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I have a 10-year old (or maybe older) Hein Gericke mesh suit with a wind and waterproof liner. Surprisingly, it still works. I've even used the jacket liner as a layer riding in severe rain and snow on my dirt bike - and was the only guy to show up with a dry t-shirt at the end of the day.


My Dainese boots haven't leaked yet.


Don't get me started on waterproof gloves...... haven't found the secret to that yet.


FYI - I also carry some latex gloves and plastic-bag-poncho.


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The stuff I say in my reviews is waterproof - is waterproof. Because I ride at least a good 1,000 miles in rain before I give it my stamp of approval. So far:


Sidi boots - not a drop.

BMW Allround Gloves - not a drop.

Held Air N Dry - not a drop (in the dry part)

BMW Streetguard 3 outfit - not a drop (no need for rain gear when wearing this)

HD rain gear (worn over mesh) - not a drop



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With just a week to go until departure, I'd grab the rain jacket and enjoy the trip with the gear you know. Now is not the time to be mussing with your mojo.

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I have said it before, but my BMW KlimaKomfort rain suit is so old I can't remember when I bought it, but it still keeps me completely dry in any rainstorm. It is also a great windbreaker and my last weapon of cold defense after the heated jacket liner. It may not even be made anymore but if I needed a replacement, I would look for a used one. d.

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Plus one on the original Goretex Klimakomfort :thumbsup:

I too don't know what I'll do if my suit ever wears out.


I think you will be fine packing your BMW rainlock as a just in case item.



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We carry and wear dedicated rain gear over our mesh and/or our waterproof textile gear.


Several reasons.

More conspicuity.

Keeps us dry and warm.

Even if your jacket is waterproof and keeps you dry, it will be soaked and has to dry out which can be a pain on the road, IMO, hanging it in a hotel room or friends. YMMV.

Same for the pants.

Our jackets have hoods which go under your helmet and helps keep you dry.

Boots, both wear SIDI's and they don't leak.

Gloves, we take multiple pairs of rain gloves and also the Aerostitch Triple Digit rain covers.

Riding all day your rain gloves will have issues just taking off and on so we switch 'em and keep the wet ones in a plastic bag to be aired out overnight.

Sometimes in winter/wet on a trip we carry 4 or 5 pairs each. I think it is important to have hands dry, and warm.

Best wishes for a great trip.

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The first symptoms a Gore-Tex jacket is on its way out is that water will "seep through" the arms. That's how I knew my old Hein Gericke was due for a replacement.

Otherwise... I am far too cheap to bother with a replacement unless it's strictly necessary.

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Part of your answer lies in the answers to these questions: Where are you going? A trip up to the Canadian Rockies can be a lot different than a big circle around the midwest. Are you on a tight schedule? Having the option to wait it out is mandatory in my book. How remote will you be? It's nice to be able to pull off the interstate, check into a motel, and/or use the laundromat, if it's available. And what's the risk of you getting wet? I've recently learned that tropical rain, while it can be a nasty deluge, actually has a low risk aspect, in that I'm just not ever gonna get cold if I'm soaked (hell, most of the time it feels good, and I'd just as soon leave my raingear in my bag!) That's exactly opposite of most of my experience commuting in Seattle.


For what it's worth, I wouldn't worry excessively about it. wear your go-to gear, bring another lightweight layer of raingear if it's handy, and if those don't cut it while you're out there, figure on stopping at a laundromat or motel.


As far as your expectations about staying dry goes, you'll get the whole spectrum of opinions. And you know how opinions go: They're like armpits. Everyone has a couple, and most of them stink. But "Realistic expectations" are just that: You might get wet now and then. Don't let it ruin your day.



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I continue to use Frogg Toggs. Toured Ireland for 21 days in July, 4 days no rain, 5 days pouring rain and intermittent showers the other 10. When I get them on before a rain I stay dry, but I'm often too stubborn to give in that quick. They are relatively easy to pack and carry, lightweight and provide an extra layer when the temps drop, with or without rain. As tallman mentioned "Even if your jacket is waterproof and keeps you dry, it will be soaked and has to dry out which can be a pain on the road, IMO, hanging it in a hotel room or friends"...and I hate putting on a wet jacket to dry while riding. My 2 cents...YYMV.

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Harley Davidson and Tourmaster over my BMW mesh riding gear works for me. Rain gloves.....I was at Cycle Gear and saw these cheap gloves ( I ride with nice expensive gloves) that were in a bin for $24 that said waterproof. I bought them just to try them out. I have used them in heavy rain from tank to tank and they are completely dry. I sometimes use them in the winter too, because they are also wind proof. I wouldn't want to go down in them but for rain protection...they work great.

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Bought Rev'it rain jacket and pants a couple of years ago. Compared to what I used to wear, it's a lot lighter, and also hi-viz yellow. It works. I also use Aerostitch triple-digit rain covers over my gloves.


I have a BMW Rallye suit, but the notion of taking off my pants on the side of the road to put in a liner is ridiculous (and hot). I also don't want a suit with gortex fused to the fabric, as I think it would also be too hot (don't want to be effectively wearing "rain gear" 100% of the time, when it rains 10% of the time).

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Most of my gear is truely waterproof, but I still insist on carrying dedicated rain gear as well. If you are looking at a a couple hundred mile day of solid rain, I don't think dedicated rain gear can be beat. If nothing else, just to keep the damp chill off


I have a set of First Gear rain gear that has never leaked a drop. I also carry Aerostich triple digit rain gloves. I can't say I like them, but they work great for their intended purpose

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