I finally received my new Klim Badlands kit from Adventure spec.
Ordering from a sample/pics and spec was a bit daunting considering the price but having spent a lot of time looking for the right kit and with some experience of technical clothing through a career in Outdoor and Mountain equipment sales I felt pretty confident.
The overriding decision to go for this brand was their decision to use a mountain spec laminate waterproof system. This offers the best opportunity to keep not only the wearer dry, but to reduce the amount of water the outer fabric retains during prolonged wet use. Other products use an internal second lining that presents the waterproof barrier. Whilst a more cost-effective (read simpler) method of keeping the wearer dry, by not bonding the membrane to the exposed shell of the garment prolonged use will allow the outer to become saturated. This Increases weight, reduces breathability and worse of all the wind chill of wearing a soaked jacket on a motorcycle are all less than desirable.
A Gore Pro-shell fabric seems to be the best option in my view to prevent all of the above issues. The pay off is the increased complexity in producing the jacket and therefore the cost. Gore-tex is not the only quality waterproof membrane technology out there and many exceed their standards. However, it is the brand of choice for many manufacturers, especially those in the adventure travel segment.
Having worn the new suit for all of an hour today, it’s a bit soon to say how it’ll be in extended use. That said, the fit is excellent as are the adjustments available to you. On bike its comfortable, although walking about its pretty heavy, no worse than other comparable adventure travel suits considering the level of CE spec protection inside.
Speaking of armour, I need to spend some time adjusting the internal position of the pads as they have loads of placement options. I really like the sternum pads, never seen these integrated into textiles before. Also the back protector is built into a large elasticated waist strap that stabilises the unit and also supports the jacket. Excellent design.
I’ll report back as time goes on, especially after our impending Spanish trip this winter!!