My Gear...

What gear we have tested and approve of; and how to get it…

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For on-bike photos, I use the Olympus TG-4 camera on a lanyard around my neck to snap photos while on the move:

Olympus TG-4 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black)

My current suit, the Rukka AirMan Jacket and the Rukka AirVision Pants. Great quality, absolutely comfortable (3-season), and rainproof. I have been touring in this suit (and the predecessor Rukka Airway jacket) for 3 years now, in temperatures ranging from the mid-30’s in Oregon in October, to the high-90’s in Monument Valley in June.

With the liners in, a fleece sweater as the middle layer, and an Under Armour Cold Gear base layer, I am consistently very comfortable riding down to the mid-30’s. Adding heated gear as a middle layer instead of the sweater gets me down to the teens comfortably.
Removing the liners is easy and the special fabric of the suit provides a large amount of airflow. Typically, I remove the jacket liner when the temperatures climb above 70. Unless my route has a 0% chance of rain, I usually leave the pants liner in, since the liners make the suit rainproof. Putting the liner into the pants on the side of the road is (unfortunately) not really an option ;), putting it back into the jacket takes two minutes (probably less, if not zipped into the shell).

Speaking of rain. I have ridden many a time in thunderstorm downpours, and did not get soaked. The AirMan jacket (and my Rukka Airway before that) have a high neoprene collar that even prevents water from the bottom of the helmet from seeping under the liner (a common issue in the rain). During my last tour in April, I was riding for more than two and a half hours through moderate-heavy rain on I-80 in Nebraska and stayed absolutely dry…

One reason I changed from the Airway to the Airman jacket was due to the Airman’s slightly longer construction, the addition of a pocket in the back, and – primarily – because both the outer shell and the liner have a zipper to connect it to the pants. On the Airway, the liner was missing the zipper, so I wasn’t able to zip the jacket and the pants together with the liner in. No big deal in normal riding conditions, but in case of an accident, there was the possibility of the jacket sliding up, exposing my torso or back. With the Airman, I can keep the top and bottom zipped together, providing a bit higher accident protection.

In summary, I highly recommend the  Rukka AirMan Jacket and Rukka AirVision Pants as a perfect suit for touring on a motorcycle. While not a four season option, this suit will be perfect for riders who typically tour from early Spring into late Autumn. Adding heated gear can make this suit even an option for winter riding. A bit pricey, but remember, you only have one body, and no ‘cage’ around it, and as usual, you get what you pay for…

Before I purchased the Rukka suit, I was wearing the Olympia Phantom 1-piece suit for almost 5 years. The Olympia Odyssey is the new version of that suit. I recommend this suit as a year-round (with the liner and appropriate base layer/s) rainproof suit for the more cost-conscious rider.

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