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Get'em While They Last!!! Aerostitch Transit 2 Suit Review

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Get'em While They Last!!! Aerostitch Transit 2 Suit Review

Old 06-27-2015, 08:24 AM
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Get'em While They Last!!! Aerostitch Transit 2 Suit Review

Coincidentally, I just received another email from Aerostitch regarding their dwindling inventory of Transit 2 jackets and pants. Aerostitch is famous for virtually inventing the easy-don armored and water-resistant Roadcrafter one and two-piece nylon / Gortex / ballistic nylon quick-entry suit that I've owned for +20 years. Their Transit 2 suit is almost but not quite FANTASTIC, as fantastic is one of those extreme words that often do too much justice to the recipient! However, I strongly recommend you buy the Transit 2 jacket and pants asap because once they're gone they're gone! Unlike the HD FXRG suit (Harley-Davidson® Men's FXRG Leather Jacket w/Pocket System. 98040-12VM) the Transit is truly waterproof and is permanently treated to reflect infra-red and UV rays to stay 20% ± cooler than any other true heavy-weight (and I mean heavy) black leather motorcycle-specific garment. BMW also sells a "waterproof" combination leather and advance textile suit (which is actually more expensive than the Transit) but it must be sent back to the Fatherland every few years (depending on exposure and use) to be re-treated to stay waterproof. BTW, the Transit suit leather does not absorb much rain water and what of it does dries out very quickly. Also, the Aerostitch CE equivalent rated armor in the shoulders, elbows, back, hips and knees seems highly protective yet very comfortable once warmed up a bit; although the back protector is very thick (though eq. to Level 2) still disappears from your consciousness when riding. Also, because the leather is so thick and heavy and the whole suit so well put together, you really get a sense of security and pride when wearing it. For some reason more so than I have experienced when wearing suits from other well-known, high-quality motorcycle apparel manufacturers.

However, the following are dirty-dozen negatives about the Transit suit but please bear in mind while going through them that I still give it two thumbs-up or 4.5 stars:

1. The garments are eye wateringly expensive but you certainly get what you pay for in this case.
2. They are made in Vietnam (of all places) to Aerostitch's design and specifications but quality is top notch.
3. Unlike all their other garments which they make in-house, Aerostitch does not offer custom tailoring or crash repair on this suit; although other leather experts do I've found out.
4. Sizing is a bit quirky. The pants are cut like low-rise blue jeans which are actually very comfy for riding. The jacket sleeves are overly long; I bought a regular 48 and the sleeves were like 2-inches too long and I usually need 35-1/2 sleeves. I then ordered a 48 Short and it was perfect! They pay shipping on all deliveries but you must pay return shipping, boo.
5. The jacket cuffs have these funky "cinch" straps with Velcro which are entirely unnecessary because the sleeve zippers snug the cuff down just fine, and the cinch straps add awkward bulk under glove gauntlets. I simply took a sewing kit seam thread ripper and removed the offending leather cinch straps and Velcro patch. No harm no foul, as the stitching does not penetrated the Gortex liner.
6. The jacket zips to the pants 220 degrees around but nicely leaves open the front 140 degrees (approximate numbers both). However, because the pants zipper only extends out an insufficient amount (IMO), zipping on the jacket is very difficult and unzipping it while wearing it is almost impossible! However, the fix is easy. The jacket and pants each come with a matching zipper section to sew to other jackets/pants. I just sewed together the 2 provided zipper sections and then zipped it to the pants and stitched the pulls at each end up so the stayed put, and voila custom extension that now enables easy zipping.
7. Because there are only zip vents in the jacket armpits and across the upper back, venting is minimal and requires leaving the one-way jacket zipper down for better cooling. On the plus side, due to the special “reflective” treatment, Gortex and micro-perforations, the jacket and pants run unusually cool for such heavy leather; significantly cooler than comparable motorcycle specific unvented heavy, solid leather garments. Another great plus (which I was not sure about when I read about it and first tried them on) is the pants have outside the leg zippers that run from the bottom cuff up to above the knee. Now I never put on pants after my boots or socks but it does make getting them on very easy for my aging and inflexible body, and when sitting around during a ride break, you can unzip zippers and show some flesh while cooling off. Sexy!
8. Comfort range is very wide, from 45°F with only a T-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt with a collar over it, and underwear for the nether regions (I do not recommend going commando down there or up top in any suit you could not through in a clothes washing machine; which the Transit does not fall in that category) up to maybe 80 to 85°F if the humidity is not too high. Below 45 a fleece jacket or more will be needed so size accordingly if you ride in very cold weather. I run an electric jacket liner and wear tri-laminated winter-grade bicycle tights much below 55°F but I’m a wimp and very cold-blooded. No matter the temperature I always wear “CoolMax” type long-sleeve long zip medium collar shirts, boxer-brief seamless rode race bicycle short style underwear, and below the knee smooth finish, semi-compression socks. But that’s just me. I always wear a “CoolMax” headsweat under a helmet too. Yes, you have me pegged. I personally would not wear the pants as over-pants but if you got them big enough you certainly could.
9. In order to keep water out of the pants fly zipper, a Gortex backed synthetic fabric girt extends up behind the zipper to just below the waist band. Now human females would not normally give this feature a second thought. However, for most average human males to void the bladder, this feature consequently requires un buckling the pants belt (if you need / use a one and which you must provide yourself, which is somewhat annoying given the buy-in price), unsnapping the waist flap snap, unzipping the fly zipper and manually lowering; and then reversing the process. Not a deal killer and understandable why the girt is required (and we all abhor wet crotches) but none the less an irksome feature for those like me who have prostate issues.
10. Pants knee room seems a bit tight but as the garment is still rather new, it has seemed to loosen up in the knees as it “breaks-in”; although Aerostitch told me it does not stretch out like normal leather due to the Gortex liner being bonded to the back of the leather.
11. I normally need a high-rise in pants and to a certain extent the Transit pants low-rise, jean-cut can cause minor discomfort if you happen to slide forward in the saddle without first rising up using your legs but again, for the most part the low-rise is not an issue and for those with a bit of a tummy could be a blessing.
12. Similarly, the thigh room may be a bit lacking for some but not really much for me and calf room is adequate and there is a lower leg Velcro flap to snug the ankle region. This flap like the jacket’s rear vent flap has a silver reflective cover that reflects white at night.

Despite all the foregoing “issues” that seemingly should add up to a thumbs-down review, they definitely do not IMO! Every motorcycle garment and suit I own, have owned and have worn has had its fair share of quirks that annoyed and confounded.

In the case of the Aerostitch Transit 2 suit, the sums of its parts more than make up for deficiencies its few deficiencies. So while I plan on keeping my other leather and textile suits and assortment of jackets and pants, I hope the Transit 2 suit is the last I need to by, and my other togs just may now hang forlorn in the moto gear cedar closet.

Last edited by skokievtr; 06-27-2015 at 07:58 PM.
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