Aerostich Roadcrafter Two-piece Suit
Retail MSRP $767.00
The Roadcrafter suit has become so well loved by its owners that it has almost earned the kind of, "If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand", status previously reserved for Harley-Davidsons. For fifteen years now, Aerostich has been tweaking and modifying their flagship suit with function over form as their mandate. Let's face it, no woman has ever swooned when a man rode past sporting a banana yellow riding suit, but damn if the legendary overgarments don't get the job done under nearly any circumstance.
The two-piece suit that I received features all of the bells and whistles of the one-piece suit, yet allows for the versatility of wearing or removing the pants or jacket separately.
While the configuration may add a few seconds to your in and out time, it's hardly a struggle. The free-floating nylon taffeta lining helps the suit to slide on right over your clothes. Two zips on the pants and one on the jacket and you're in like Flynn! With adequate use of the available venting, I was able to arrive at work with my more dapper garments unsoiled by sweat and un-rumpled by the suit.
The jacket overlaps the pants by about six inches to seal out the elements, and is attached by a two-way zipper sewn into both the shell and lining for a stress-proof connection. The pants have an inner waist drawstring that keeps them up if you separate the jacket, and bib-type suspenders are also available.
Removable high quality TF2 padding is provided for the knees, elbows, and shoulder areas. These felt bulky at first but molded to my body with use. In fact, while the entire suit was somewhat stiff initially, it soon softened and became far more comfortable. According to longtime users, the Aerostich just keeps getting more and more comfortable with time. Frankly, I was amazed that wearing such a substantial garment over my clothes could be as un-constricting as it was. I pretty much forgot about the suit after awhile.
I've logged about 300 miles per week in this suit for the past three months. Sometimes, I just wore the pants with a leather jacket on top, sometimes I wore it zipped-together all of a piece. I almost always wore it with slacks and a collared shirt underneath. During this time, I tested the suit on everything from a Ninja 500 to a Vulcan 2000 and quite a few others in between. Having ordered an accurate size by using the Aerostich the sizing chart and after braking the suit in, there was no sense of being constrained despite the variety of bike style and riding position challenges it faced.
As for safety, I'm not the type to overly concern myself with "what if" questions, but I often find myself aware of impending dangers and inconveniences when I'm riding. However, I must say that when ensconced within the Roadcrafter, normal concerns such as rain, cold, or a sudden outbreak of road rash were but a butterfly flapping lightly in the back of my mind.
Even the black Roadcrafter provides excellent visibility to drivers from all angles, as 3M Scotchlite™ reflective material crosses the back vent, the front pocket flap, and the ankle adjustment tabs. Of course should you opt for the HighViz banana suit like local MOron Ross Bagley, the 3M reflectors will be rendered superfluous!
The suit is laden with 8 external pockets all designed for ultimate convenience related to a wide variety of purposes. Easy access zippers are even provided to reach the pockets of your jeans. Velcro closure tabs at the waist, wrists, and ankles help to seal off against wind. The double-stitched seams are all hot-tape sealed and while the zippers allow for the remote possibility of water getting into the suit, these can even be bolstered by the application of seam guard products. While torrential downpours are hard to come by in So Cal, I intentionally went riding in a drizzle and even after returning home and hopping into the shower (while still wearing the suit), I found the Roadcrafter to be every bit as water tight as advertised.
The gusseted wrist zippers, underarm zippers, and two-way back vent zipper provide good ventilation when traveling in hot temperatures. One could easily foresee the Roadcrafter becoming a clammy sauna during the summer months, but it remains fairly comfortable due to a multi-layer application of Gore-Tex laminate that repels rain, but allows perspiration to escape. This works in a simple but ingenious fashion. The Gore-Tex membrane contains 9 billion microscopic pores per square inch, each one 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water but 700 times larger than a water vapor molecule. Hence, liquid can't get in but vapor can escape. Just like in science class! I wouldn't push my luck in temperatures above 95 degrees, but the suit itself is surprisingly climate controlled and you can always wear the pants with a lighter jacket.
All Roadcrafters are made with 500-denier Cordura nylon that is lighter and cooler than leather and offers similar protection. Your tender buttocks receive a double layer of Cordura, and the shoulders, elbows, forearms, knees and shins get a layer of 1050 denier, urethane-coated ballistics nylon. While racing leathers offer more abrasion protection in a high-speed crash, they tend to get soggy when rained on and don't work so well for everyday use, or commuting with a business suit under your protective layer. Many people say (and I agree) that the Roadcrafter is the best safety option, when it comes to civilian use garments that can be worn over clothes. Not to mention the fact that having accessible pockets is nice!
The suit is conveniently machine-washable once the pads have been removed. After washing, the exterior will need to be retreated with a water repellent product like Scotchgard™ or Tectron. The Roadcrafter is available in blue, black, red, grey and yellow, in 23 stock sizes including short, regular, and long versions. A full range of custom alterations are also available. The highest praise I have for the Roadcrafter is that it quickly became transparent to my consciousness, even though there is little doubt that it greatly increased my safety factor and made motorcycle commuting a much more convenient proposition for me.