Firstgear TPG Expedition Suit

Editor Score: 83.75%
Aesthetics 7.75/10
Protection 8.25/10
Value 9.5/10
Comfort/Fit 8.75/10
Quality/Design 8.5/10
Weight 9.5/10
Options/Selection 7.0/10
Innovation 7.5/10
Weather Suitability 9.5/10
Desirable/Cool Factor 7.5/10
Overall Score83.75/100

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.

Aerostich Roadcrafter 3 Review

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.

I’ve also tested Firstgear’s two-piece Kathmandu outfit, which is constructed with Hypertex waterproofing like the Expedition, in the snow and cold, and I have yet to get wet.

I’ve also tested Firstgear’s two-piece Kathmandu outfit, which is constructed with Hypertex waterproofing like the Expedition, in the snow and cold, and I have yet to get wet.

The back and lower half of the roll-up hood in the Expedition suit is waterproof and keeps rain from trickling down the back of your neck. It’s also helpful in keeping you warm in very cold temperatures.

The back and lower half of the roll-up hood in the Expedition suit is waterproof and keeps rain from trickling down the back of your neck. It’s also helpful in keeping you warm in very cold temperatures.

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.

The interior cuff at the bottom of each pant leg on the Expedition suit keeps out wind, cold, wet, and road spray. The Aerostich suit is machine washable, the Expedition suit is not.

The interior cuff at the bottom of each pant leg on the Expedition suit keeps out wind, cold, wet, and road spray. The Aerostich suit is machine washable, the Expedition suit is not.

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.

For more information check out www.firstgear-usa.com or www.aerostich.com.

At five feet, 11 inches, and 185 lbs, I ordered a size Large TPG Expedition suit and it fits me incredibly well for an off-the-shelf garment. The suit’s not overly baggy (waist straps help with that), and both arm and leg length are perfect for various riding positions without creeping up and over boots, or outside of glove gauntlets.

At five feet, 11 inches, and 185 lbs, I ordered a size Large TPG Expedition suit and it fits me incredibly well for an off-the-shelf garment. The suit’s not overly baggy (waist straps help with that), and both arm and leg length are perfect for various riding positions without creeping up and over boots, or outside of glove gauntlets.

  • Kevin

    Great report, Tom: I have long wanted a 1 piece suit but at 5’11” with a 29″ inseam I can’t find an off the shelf suit that fits well, so mix matching 2 piece jobs has had to do: I could custom order, but the price quotes have been deal busters and after about 5 years I took it off my Christmas wish list:

    • http://motorcycle.com/ Tom Roderick

      My inseam varies between 32″ and 33″ depending on the garment. So I doubt the Firstgear suit will fit you as well as it did me. The Aerostich is expensive (they’re rumored to last about forever), but you can order them “Short,” which might be a great fit for your dimensions.

      • Kevin

        Short will not work because what I lack in inseam is in my torso, nobody wants to ride with a wedgie going on:

        • http://motorcycle.com/ Tom Roderick

          According to the Aerostitch website:

          “We can adjust the sleeve lengths, elbow armor position, leg length, knee armor position, and many other variables, but we cannot change the body/torso length. For semi-custom fitted garments, we start with the body/torso size that is the closest and change the arms and legs as needed.”

          Of course you’re back to the original problem of this being an expensive proposition. However, as long Aerostich as suits are rumored to last, it’s an investment that should last you a decade or more.

          • vastickel@gmail.com

            More than a rumor! Well over 200,000 miles and perhaps 15 years old? Still protecting, with zippers still zipping. Perhaps some abused Velcro fasteners and color change(nice shade of pink) but still not only protecting, but increasing my overall pleasure of motorcycling! Before dismissed as too expensive-think in terms of a lifetime garment, and it might sound like a rational choice. Andy used to give a discount if one motored to Duluth, Mn in person. Maybe still an option?

  • Steven Holmes

    this might actually be a nice replacement to my insulated wal-mart work-onesie i wear under my 2 piece (3 season) gear when it gets really, really. chilly.

    yeah the Aerostich is probably a fantastic system, but I sure can’t afford to drop over a grand on a suit. The Firstgear actually looks like a great, functional system at a much lower price point.

    nice work, Tom, and a great read.

    • 12er

      I have a stich and an old firstgear Kilimanjaro 3/4 jacket. While the jacket is no stich it is a nice piece of kit. I have some Olympic gear too, but I think I like Firstgear over Olympic in general. Since prices are similar Firstgear feels much more secure. Granted my Stich at 10 yo and 60k miles is still going strong, the pink, uh er once red keeps fading but that’s a badge of honor…

      I unfortunately crash tested my Firstgear jacket and at low speed you couldn’t tell it hit the ground. Ironically I had just gotten off my bike and was walking across the street when a car hit me in the crosswalk. I was knocked across 3 lanes of traffic and got up (all be it a bit tick’d off) pretty much fine.

      I see the stich has shot up big time lately, Mine was $600 and change eons ago, now over a grand. Still for the price a stich is much cheaper than a skin graft and comfy too.

  • Ryan Mullins

    Tom, Are you wearing the suit as a stand alone item, or as an over-garment?

    • http://motorcycle.com/ Tom Roderick

      Both. If it’s warm I’m wearing shorts and a T-shirt. If it’s cold I’ll have thermals, jeans, long-sleeve shirt, maybe a heated vest, whatever it takes to stay warm. For commuting purposes it’ll fit over your work outfit.

      • Ryan Mullins

        Thanks for the response. Sounds about what I am looking for.

  • http://www.themotorcycleobsession.com/ Chris Cope

    In fairness to Aerostitch, it’s my understanding that they also have pretty solid aftersales support, along with guarantees on the product.

    • 12er

      Yes Sir, great company. They’ll even repair your suit if you go down for a fee of course. Well unless they decide its too far gone.

  • Campisi

    Why does every textile riding suit have to have eighty-seven pockets and Michelin Man tailoring? The only option that comes close is the Joe Rocket Survivor Suit, but it sports outdated armor and insufficient water resistance.

  • VegasVFR

    i ride with a Aerostich Stealth full length suit. it is baggy and wont win any fashion contests, but with chest and back and TF6 armor and waterproof, i feel comfortable on the road. i have been hit many times by birds and debris without consequence. i also like the pocket that can carry water bottles, snacks, first aid supplies when i cant carry a pack or have hard case bags. I can peal the whole suit off without having to take off my shoes. I have multiple suits but i wear this one when i don’t do a track day. its all about what works for you. This works for me.

  • J.P.

    I have a pair of the Olympia one piece armored textile suits. A summer suit with all mesh that works great in the Florida heat and their all season suit for the cool and cold weather. I have thousands of miles and several years on both and they are excellent. Best of all the cost of both of them wasn’t too much more than the the TPG, although prices might have changed since I purchased.