If you’re a rolling moto-stone but you’ve never owned an all-weather one-piece suit, you’re doing yourself an injustice. For keeping warm and dry in the coldest and wettest weather, a well-constructed onesie will outperform a two-piece outfit any day of the week, month or year. Once owned, a onesie soon becomes the go-to riding garment because of its versatility and user-friendliness.
Aerostich is the industry standard when it comes to onesies. The patented full-body zipper is a novel design, and the quality of construction hard to surpass. Aerostich suits are also made here in the U.S., so there’s that to consider. But the Aerostich Roadcrafter Classic’s price tag of $1,087 is sure to be prohibitive to some. That’s where Firstgear’s TPG Expedition suit comes in. At $649.95 it’s nearly half the price.
What are some of the differences and/or similarities between the two? The Roadcrafter Classic’s shell is constructed from 500-denier Cordura where the Expedition’s shell is 420-denier. So, the Aerostitch has some added abrasion protection. For breathable waterproofing, Aerostich uses pricey (and, purportedly, more breathable -Ed.) Gore-Tex while Firstgear uses it’s own brand called Hypertex. Both have waterproof YKK zippers, and the Expedition provides the extra benefit of a hood that rolls up into the collar.
Both suits provide removeable, adjustable body armor. Firstgear utilizes D30 armor for the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and back pad, while Aerostich uses TF3 armor in all the same places. The suits both have strategically placed reflective material for nighttime conspicuity. The Aerostitch does provide a power cord port for connecting your electrically heated gear to the motorcycle you’re riding. The Expedition suit does not.
When it comes to fitment, Aerostich offers a greater variety of sizes ranging from 34 to 52 (10 sizes total), length choices of Short, Regular, Long, and six color choices. Firstgear’s Expedition is available in Small to 3XL (six sizes total) and only the one color combination of grey and black. Both garments provide a variety of exterior and interior pockets, as well as intake and exhaust venting.
TPG is an acronym for Technical Performance Gear – a variety of base gear, liners, jackets and pants meant to defend against the elements while providing temperature adjustment as well as protection from impact and abrasion. The idea is that the three layers (base, liner, jacket/pants) work in conjunction with one another to provide the wearer the highest level of comfort and protection.
Bottom line is that the Firstgear TPG Expedition suit has worked commendably in every atmospheric condition I’ve ridden through – except for those exceptionally hot days. No matter the venting, hot desert air is still hot desert air, and circulating it around your body is akin to being in a convection oven. This applies to both the Expedition as well as the Aerostich.
A big aspect of the price discrepancy is coming from the fact that Aerostich suits are handmade in Duluth, Minnesota. The tag inside the Firstgear suit says Indonesia. If supporting an American company with a U.S. workforce is an important part of your purchasing decision, look no further than Aerostich. On the other hand, you’ll save a bundle buying an awesome riding onesie if you choose the Expedition suit. The decision’s yours.