Among life’s least miserable problems is that since MO is located here in sunny, parched SoCal, we really don’t get a chance to test much rain gear. But knowing something about your subject matter is such a quaint concept anyway. Luckily, we haven’t always lived here, and we know how to reach out to our soggy friends in other climes. Here’s what seems to be by consensus the best way to keep your person dry when riding your motorcycle in the rain.

Rainsuit!

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

Well, duuuh! The inimitable Joe Gresh recommends “any cheap, two-piece, black vinyl suit that has a Velcro front closure. The last one I got at Cycle Gear was like $59 and works great.” Looks like the Bilt item in the pic is actually a one-piece suit, goes for $54.99, and gets 4-out-of-5 stars because it reportedly suffers like so many, from LCS, Leaky Crotch Syndrome.

Scrolling through RevZilla’s site, though, there’s the Nelson-Rigg SR-600 Stormrider two-piece, even a few bucks cheaper, with a 5-star rating.

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

Nelson-Rigg SR-600 Stormrider

There’s also Dainese one-piece for $160 that gets lousy reviews and a $130 Rev’It of which one reviewer said: “a coffee filter would be more effective.” Gresh is right again! The two-piece Nelson-Rigg seems like the winner, and you can get it in hi-viz orange, which is excellent.

But wait! The John Deere two-piecer sold at Home Depot gets 5 stars, too, and it’s only $47.64. You don’t need to be told how to find Home Depot, do you?

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

Frogg Togg’s All Camo Rain Suit sells for just $69.99. Camo’s not what you want on your bike in the rain, of course.

Many swear by their Frogg Toggs, slightly pricier but reportedly of higher quality, available in many styles and colors – and made in Arab, Alabama, which I did not know was a place until now. Its website can teach you to cook duck and various other life skills.

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

The Frogg Togg Cruiser Jacket, in hi-viz yellow, is more like it.

The problem with any rain suit, unless it’s already raining when you leave your dwelling, is that you have to carry it around all the time, and it’s easy to forget. No problem if you ride a bagger; can be a problem if your bike doesn’t have built-in storage, since no rain gear does you any good if you don’t have it with you when the rain starts to fall.

So, how about a riding suit that’s also waterproof?

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

The Dainese two-piece suit in this photo is still hanging on my rack, and since it’s kept me dry on at least three really wet day-long rides over the past decade that I can remember, I’ll never get rid of it. Until I get a new one. Gore-Tex is the magical mystery membrane that lines the inside of the suit, a patented stretched-Teflon fabric invented by Bob Gore that keeps water out but lets water vapor (sweat) pass through. If Dainese’s rain suits are leakers, you’d never guess it from wearing this thing. 

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

The current equivalent is something like this Dainese Carve Master Gore-Tex Jacket, $599.95

Yes, you’re going to spend at least $400 or 600 on a Dainese jacket and another $400 on Gore-Tex-lined pants, but they’ll last almost forever and you can forget about carrying a rainsuit.

Other high-end Gore-Tex-lined moto garments are of course available from Alpinestars, Rev’It, Spidi, et al – and there’s a very good reason all of them pay Gore-Tex big royalties to use its product: It works.

Some of those companies also offer garments lined with their own Gore-Tex imitations for way less money: Dainese calls theirs D-Dry, A’stars calls its waterproof liner Drystar – and some of our consultants are less than impressed. Former MOron Sean A. says: Speaking from direct experience, the worst is Alpinestars’ price-oriented “Drystar” brand of waterproofing. Their genuine Gore-Tex line of gear is very very good. The Drystar stuff appears to be scientifically engineered to keep the outside of the jacket dry while creating an internal tropical rainforest of human funk.

Sean S. reports: Alpinestars really pissed me off when I bought a bunch of Drystar gear for SoCal commuting, where it rains like three times. It rained like 15 times, and I was fucking soaked every time. They replaced the jacket free, with another leaky piece of crap.

Oh dear. Maybe they’ve gotten better? Use your google and read the reviews of any garment you’re thinking of buying.

If you really need to spend some money to stay dry when the going gets tough, all the he-man adventurers swear by their KLIM stuff.

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

KLIM’s Gore-Tex-lined Badlands Pro Jacket will set you back about $1000, but it’s guaranteed to keep you dry.

The problem with most suits like these, however, is that regular clothes don’t really fit very well underneath them, the pants especially, so you’re back to needing to carry, and keep dry, regular clothing for when you arrive at your destination unless you’re comfortable walking around in your long johns.

This is where the suit that’s touted most often when you ask experienced riders pops up repeatedly, your Aerostich Roadcrafter. That’s because of the sheer convenience of the thing. The Roadcrafter is designed to go over your normal clothes in one quick two-zippered swoop, which makes it easy to throw on whenever you’re going further than just a few miles – which means you’ll never be caught in the rain without it. 

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

Aerostich Roadcrafter

From the beginning, the Roadcrafter was designed to be waterproof, but most would leak a bit into the crotchal region after an hour or two of rain unless the wearer assiduously followed the maintenance directions. The latest Roadcrafter 3 is constructed of Aerostich’s exclusive American-made mil-spec 500-dernier Cordura GORE-TEX fabric, and in addition to a few other upgrades, is also claimed to be 100% leakproof. We tested it, using actual rain, here, and came away dry as Lynchburg.

BOOTS 

Gore-Tex. The end. 

Just like with jackets and pants, all the name players offer rainproof boots lined with Gore-Tex. Ones we can personally vouch for include but are by no means restricted to:

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

These Sidi Canyon Gore-Tex jobs have been in production for decades because they work. Gore-Tex keeps your dogs dry while still allowing them to breathe. It’s a miracle. These sell for about $350, but last forever.

Veteran MOron Gabriel Ets-Hokin files this report: Only Gore-Tex guarantees the finished garment will be waterproof forever, even if you’re not the original owner. Gore industries will actually buy you a replacement article after they inspect the old one. I’ve done it three times, once with a pair of combat boots I took from a giant pile when I deployed to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Gore bought me a new pair of $300 Danners to replace them!

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

My trusty Aerostich R-3 and whatever Dainese Gore-Tex boots these are kept me dry and happy on an all-day wet cruise aboard the new 797 Monster a couple years ago.

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

The modern equivalent must be something like this Dainese Freeland Gore-Tex boot, which retails for $289.95. Not bad.

Natch, there are many, many motorcycle boot manufacturers. Use your google. 

Maybe you’re attached to an old pair of comfy boots that predate Teflon, and you don’t wanna buy new ones. How about some boot covers, then? All the above-mentioned gear makers offer some kind of waterproof boot covers. 

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

These are Aerostich’s Boot Raincovers. They pack really small, sell for $67 – and you can have them built into tiny pouches in the cuffs of your Roadcrafter suit if you want to. Smart.

GLOVES

At the risk of sounding like whatever the digital equivalent of a broken record is, gloves with a Gore-Tex liner are the best thing for keeping your digits dry and your palms not sweaty.

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

You don’t have to spend $250 for these Rukka Argosaurus Gore-Tex X-Trafit Gloves to get really nice, comfy, dry gloves – but if we’re talking Best rain gear, these are going to be right up there.

And just like with boots, if you’re happy with your old gloves you can just buy rain covers to slip over them, like these from, again, Aerostich.

These Triple Digit Covers sell for $47, pack really small like the boot covers, and are highly effective.

 

Heated grips are a godsend. Cheap plastic handguards help a lot if you ride in the cold and wet a lot. We assume.

VISION

Last but not least, it’s advisable to be able to see without having to crack your visor open to let air in, which usually tends to also let water in which then splatters all over the place including on your glasses if you’re wearing them. There are all manner of treatments for the inside of your faceshield designed to keep it from fogging up, including a light coating of dish soap…

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

Nothing works as well as the Pinlock insert, which creates a small air gap between itself and your visor, which positively keeps it from fogging up.

 

 

Best Motorcycle Rain Gear

Finally, insert your head through here, and you’re ready for the wettest ride.


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