Quality, versatility and solid protection
With my 2016 Husqvarna FE350 having gone through a complete make-over recently, including being finished off with my own custom graphics, it was time to get rid of my old, very worn out riding gear. Having been fully equipped by REV’IT! last year with their adventure gear for my ride in Ukraine, I put a call in to see if they could help me not only look better, but make sure I was as protected as I need to be on the trails.
Well, REV’IT! didn’t disappoint. The quality of their off-road “DIRT Series” gear is on par with their excellent quality adventure gear and I actually think that it’s the stuff you don’t see that’s the best. By that I mean their Proteus Protective Jacket which is worn under your riding jersey is simply the best piece of this type of equipment I’ve ever used. Bar none. For starters, it’s light weight, features a 2-way spandex mesh body which is really comfortable and flexible when you are moving around on the bike. Press blurb says the shoulders are made of densely woven Hicom mesh which, while not the same as the vented spandex, it’s again super light and comfortable. Removable shoulder and elbow pads sit in neat pockets, are not obtrusive, and feature CE-level 2 armor for maximum protection. REV’IT! calls the armor “Seeflex”, they call the back and chest protectors “Seesoft”, and these sit in their own neat pockets in the jacket. There are some small side protectors as well, and all the armor pops out easily for washing purposes. There is a nice elastic waist band for keeping your beer gut in order on the trail and there are thumb loops at the end of the sleeves to keep them from riding up. After a number of various body armor systems over the years, although I must confess to not trying them all, the Proteus protective jacket gets full marks from me as it’s just so comfortable and easy to wear.
Also hidden from view are the Scram knee protector socks. Full marks again to REV’IT! here as they are really comfortable, practical and unobtrusive. A nice big knee and shin Seeflex CE-level 2 protector sits in an easy to access pocket. There are two adjustment straps, one above the knee and one around the calf so they don’t move around once you have got them set and pulled your pants over. They are lightweight, breathable, for what that’s worth under your riding pants, but the most important for me is the comfort and the level of protection with the pad going down inside my boot. No more Velcro chafing or sore knees from ill-fitting pads for me, and they come in their own custom carry bag so they’re easy to pack and keep track of in the gear bag.
REV’IT!’s Component H20 hard shell over-the-boot pants are a little different than my normal dirt riding pants. Water proof, with a removable thermal liner, they are certainly more focused on colder temperatures and dodgy weather, so I’ll probably have to look for something else in the dead of summer. They are lightweight though, and feature abrasion-resistant Cordura ripstop fabric so are very rugged as well as being stylish. They fit over the boots with a zipper and three position button set up to ensure a snug fit. They also come with conventional knee and hip protection, but with the separate Scram knee protectors I just have the hip protectors in.
There are soft leather panels on the inside of the lower legs for better grip when you are standing on the trail, and the pants feature practical cargo pockets with waterproof zippers. They also feature waterproof ventilation zippers for warmer days so you can get some air flow. I’m not convinced it’ll be enough for summer heat, but never say never. There are some other nice touches like the grip patches on the butt to keep you from sliding off the seat, a convenient ratchet system for synching the pants to your individual size and the aforementioned adjustment tabs on the calves. The lower leg is also fitted with a waterproof gator to go over the boots and keep water and mud out.
REV’IT! also sent some Rift Socks and they are just perfect for use with the knee braces. Using a 3D round knit construction for the sock part, they are said to regulate heat and wick moisture away from the skin. Although locked up inside a heavy riding boot I’ve no idea where the moisture is going, but they are extremely soft and comfortable. The top half of the sock is made from Lycra, which is thinner and lighter, so fits perfectly, and comfortably, under the knee brace. It has a silicon strip at the top of the leg to hold it in place on your thigh and they look as good as they work.
The last item that arrived was a pair of Massif Gloves. These were my go-to lightweight glove in Ukraine last summer, and I missed them this year when I wore a different brand of gear. They feature PWR/stretch mesh material on the upper side of the glove for venting, and have a neoprene cuff. They are also fairly protective with flexible TPR knuckle and protector shields, without being cumbersome, so feel on the bars and controls is excellent. They also give superb grip thanks to the Clarino fabric, which is said to be responsible for giving you the nice solid connection you will have to your bars. This, added to the comfort level, is what makes me such a big fan, as I’m sure you all know what it’s like to ride with a glove that isn’t giving you good grip and ending up with a sore, worn-out throttle hand at the end of a ride.
Topping off the ensemble (I borrowed that from a fashion mag), I have the Rough Jersey. It’s said to feature moisture wicking material, and of course is extremely lightweight. I do really like the look though, and actually feel I might get a couple of style points now out on the trail with all my new gear. Big shout out to Rev’it for hooking us up, and for making such high level, quality gear.
*All photos by Patrick Bayly.
For more on each of these gear elements, here’s their links: