Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Follow up Review: REV' IT Gear

I've had several inquiries lately about my experience with my REV'IT Angel Jacket and pants. Here is the follow up review after a season's wear. See original review here.
What's wrong with this picture? Look closely now. Oh, you can't really see it. What is wrong is that I have a $500 riding suit on that needs to be covered with rain gear. This did not make me happy. No offense to my First Gear rain gear, it performed flawlessly, always does, just remember to bring it with you! What makes me unhappy is that my REV'IT is about as effective fending off rain as a 16 year old fending off advances on prom night. But don't hit return quite yet; because if you don't need hours of wet weather protection, or you already own decent rain gear, REV 'IT has many redeeming qualities. Depending on what type of conditions you ride in, it may be perfect for you! Read on:

I recognize that one jacket can not be all things in all weather. When the weather is going be above 85 for most of the trip, having a mesh jacket along is invaluable. I am so glad I decided to pack my Joe Rocket. The Angel jacket has acceptable vents, good in the back, small in the front. The front vents are very difficult to work with gloves on, as you are given a tiny tab, more suitable for a necklace, to work with. The optimal temperature range for the Angel jacket is 55-80. Heat Grade: B+
The pants have no vents, but they have a slight mesh quality about them. I felt that the temperature range for the pants was much the same as jeans would be 70-80. I’ve worn the pants between 45-106. I had a real problem with humidity. The lining of the pants sucked onto my legs, almost immobilizing me; I could barely throw a leg over the bike because the pants where pasted onto my legs. I learned that this could be avoided by adding a layer, be it a thin yoga pant or as others have suggested, silkies. But think about it…the hotter it gets the less you want to have more clothes on, but you have to! There were times we checked into our hotel rooms and I just ripped the pants off, I was so hot in them.
I was chatting with a man at a coffee stop near Glacier. He had the men’s version of the same pants. He said he has never had a problem with the lining sticking. My thought is that a man’s hairy leg keeps the lining at bay. Do I need to go Euro? Heat Grade: B-

The jacket has a zip out quilted liner. I find that I remove the liner at about 70 degrees. I add another layer, a Gerbing electric jacket at about 55 degrees. I turn on my electrics at 50 degrees. If you do the bulk of your riding in the 55-80 range, this jacket is going to be flexible enough for you.
I like the adjustable collar feature, especially when I layer. I can still snap the collar with the Gerbing collar up or with a wind triangle on. If your riding position is bent over, a wind triangle is a nice addition to keep the air from shooting down your coat. Cold Grade: A
Like the jacket, the pants have a zip in quilted liner. The range in which I use the quilted liner is smaller than the coat because you can’t really wear electrics with the quilted liner, it’s one or the other. In mild weather, I add a pair of thin cloth pants, and that is fine until about 55. Around the 50-60 mark, the quilted pants are very cozy. Below 50 I’m replacing the quilted liner with my Gerbing electric pants, plus the cloth pants layer. Cold Grade: A

Jacket & Pants
The lack of protection from the rain is the biggest disappointment of this gear. True you don’t need to suit up if it’s misting or light passing sprinkles, so it’s more water resistant than say…toilet paper. But if it’s raining for an hour or two, you’re getting wet if you forgot to bring your rain gear. Wet Grade: D

Before setting out on my trip, the weather in New Hampshire was cool and damp, so there was not a lot of testing done. When I did have the jacket on, it was usually with the quilted lining in place and/or I was on the K12GT. Both variables hid a problem that plagued me for my entire trip. With the quilted lining out, and wind swirling around me, the jacket billowed. I felt like I had an ill fitting life jacket on, at times the jacket was lifting up around my neck. I took to tying it back with a bungee cord, and even then it would creep up. It drove me nuts!! I had to sit on it to keep it down.
I feel that perhaps I have the wrong size coat and that is causing the problem. However, there are design issues that could have helped. The Velcro belt around the waist is ornamental; the belt does not tighten. It would be such an improvement if it had a synch cord on the inside, to stop the air from inflating it. This billowing does not happen when the lining is in or when I have full air on my chest, like on the K12. Fit Grade: D
I really like the fit of the pants. I feel comfortable walking around town with these on, nothing like being stuck wearing a ‘Stitch. They stay down over my boots nicely. I use the zippered pockets a lot. They are good at collecting bugs too. Fit Grade: A


Laughingdog said...

You have very interesting timing for this post. I just finished taking a weekend trip up to New Hampshire and back on my R1150R....sporting my fairly new Rev'it gear. I bought a Cayenne jacket and the Dakar pants. I love how well they fit, and haven't had the issues you have had with regards to different fit with or without the liners. However, I was sorely disappointed with their performance in the rain on my way up Friday.

Fortunately, I had some proper rain gear to throw on over top. But by the time I was able to do so, it was too late to keep me from being relatively miserable the rest of the way up that day.

I would note that I learned two other gear related issues that day. First, Goretex gloves made my Held aren't as waterproof as they may claim (well, the right glove was. the left leaked like a seive). Second, Oxtar Goretex boots are exactly as waterproof as they claim. I was stuck in that torrential rain on Friday from around noon until 10pm. I even went ankle deep in water on one side road in Connecticut. Despite all of that, my Oxtar boots and Rev'it socks kept my feet bone dry.

Anonymous said...

Try washing your jacket and pants with the Nikwax TX. Direct: http://www.nikwax.com/en-gb/products/productdetail.php?productid=3&activity=
My textile jacket had become pretty absorbant but this stuff made it good as new.

SheRidesABeemer said...

The Nikwax is a good suggestion, and I probably will do just that. Although I got mixed results using this in my 'Stitch. But I think that was due in part to user error, the one piece 'Stitch just didn't swoosh around a household washer enough to properly distribute the product. What I'll do is try just the RevIT coat and hope for better results.

KEN PHENIX said...

I just ordered my Dakar's today. Did you have water issues with the pants or just the jacket? Thanks

Unknown said...

I read this post with some dismay as I also have the Angel/Factor jacket/pants combo. My commute is less than 10 minutes each way and I haven't had the chance to really test out the waterproofing.

Were you wearing the jacket liner at the time of your drenching?

SheRidesABeemer said...

10 Minute commute. Perfect. You will be fine for a 10 minute commute. I mean are you really going to leave the house on the bike if there is a monsoon out there? ;)
FYI - I did not have the quilted liner in when I got wet, at least I don't think I did...but the quilted liner would get wet...ick.
Here's the thing, if you've already spend $500 for the REV'IT gear, spend another $79 for a set of First Gear rain gear, then you won't have to fret about getting caught.
ps. I have not tried the Nik Wax suggestion yet for my current gear, but know plenty of BMW Aerostitch owners who swear by it.

Unknown said...

Well, I live in Oregon, so monsoon days on the bike aren't as rare as I'd like. :)

Reason I asked was that I was under the impression that the waterproofing "magic" was in the liner, not the jacket itself. I've had a few rides long enough where the jacket was soaked but I stayed dry.

I think I'll follow your suggestion regardless!

Aron Ahlstrom said...


My name is Aron and I work for REV'IT! USA. I am pained to hear about your problems with waterproofing with your Angel jacket and I am assuming Factor pants. I would be happy to try and address your problems as these items are still under warranty. If you have the time and inclination, please call me at 888-681-0180 and we can talk about a solution.

As was mentioned, Nikwax products certainly help with exterior waterproofing. However, this should not have happened and I am sorry if it caused you discomfort and inconvenience. I can tell you that we are constantly striving to improve our products and are making strides every day to innovate and improve our quality control. I hope to hear from you soon and congrats on the great article in American Motorcyclist! Cheers, -Aron

Anonymous said...

I ride in Alaska, where the weather is less than user friendly for motorcycle riders and my Revit suit works great. I have ridden through numerous showers, water and snow,temperatures running between the mid 30's to upper 60's and I have remained dry and comfortable.