Tag Archives: Klim Outrider pants review

Tested: Adventure Spec Linesman jacket

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jak - 4Tested: Adventure Spec Linesman softshell jacket

Where: 1600km off-road tour in southern Algeria, a few days in Morocco in April and another month riding in Morocco in November.

UK price: £249
Supplied free for testing by Adv Spec

Weight: 1011g + armour; size tested: Large (me: 6ft 1in/186cm • 205lbs/93kg)

See alsoKlim Overland and Aerostich Darien

Additional photos by Dan W, Dave K, Karim H and Robin W

tik• Light and comfy to wear
• Stylish, low-key design makes it wearable off the bike
• Ready for armour (not included)
• Lots of pockets, including on the back
• High collar
• Sleeves zip off
• Vertical back vents work with a daypack

cros• Expensive
• Not breathable; for warm conditions try the similar but open-weave Mongolia (right) or the Atacama Race
• Don’t expect the protected feel of a fully armoured Cordura jacket


What they say:
aspecA windproof and breathable trail riding/rally jacket reinforced with Du Pont™ Kevlar® fabric on the key abrasion zones. Reinventing the trail riding jacket, via the tracks of the Trans Euro Trail.
For decades the trail rider had very limited options when it came to riding jackets. Either big bulky motorcycle kit that was restrictive and heavy, or lightweight outdoor gear that offered little protection. It always seemed like too much of a compromise. The Linesman Jacket is the culmination of the depth of expertise that Adventure Spec has established helping many tens of thousands of riders travel untold miles around the world.


Review
Adv Spec have lately introduced a batch of own-branded jackets including the vented Atacama Race, the similar open weave Mongolia and a softshell Linesman aimed at trail riders. It has been named after the volunteer researchers on the Trans Europe Trail (TET) which Adv Spec support – comparable with Touratech US’s Backroute Discovery Routes (BDR); a riding gear outlet sponsoring and even under-writing well researched ride routes.
I miss my old Mountain Hardwear softshell (right), left on a bus in Delhi after a couple of epic Himalayan bike rides. Back then outdoorsy softshell was quite pricey; a stretchy polyester outer fabric bonded (sometimes via a breathable membrane) to a soft, micro-fleece liner producing a lightweight shell that’s nice and non-rustly to wear while keeping the windchill at bay.
jak - 18What makes Adv Spec’s Linesman different from an outdoor-lineslablesports softshell is the lack of a membrane (my MH was annoyingly sweaty; not really breathable) or even a DWR coating. Instead you get a kevlar overlay on the high-wear or impact areas (the green parts) as well as front chest pockets which work as vents to purge through similar zipped slots on the back.

Your Linesman is not intended for tearing around Brands Hatch on you Gixxer, nor touring Alpine passes. It’s aimed at trail riders who’ll be doing their riding and crashing at much lower speeds. To make that less painful there are armour pockets at the elbow, shoulders and the back.
aspeclineIf you add in a hook or velcro tab at the top, this back sleeve could double up as a bladder holder. The Atacama Race comes with this feature; however it’s done, it would be good to see it added to the Linesman, even if a useful two litres might put a strain on the jacket. It’s nice to not have to use a day pack to contain your hydrator.
The shoulder armour pockets thoughtfully pin up out of the way towards the collar because on the Linesman you can zip-off the sleeves. The theory is, with the sleeves stashed in the rear pouches, the jacket more wearable in hot conditions. While I’mjak - 1 pretty blasé about armour, I’d still rather ride with sleeves. If I’m getting stuck into a sweaty work like a difficult bike recovery, I’d probably aspecnoslevjust take the jacket off. But I can see the value in removing them while retaining the security and utility of the pockets, perhaps on a warm TET evening in southern Europe for an amble down to the village bar. Update: In Morocco in April it was over 30°C so I did ride with sleeves removed and very pleasant it was too. The other two were cooking in their membrane jackets.

There are eight pockets: two on the outside at the hem as big as your hand; two smaller vertical chest pockets which double up as vents (so probably not a place for your phone or wallet); two more zipped pouches above the back hem which you can just reach with the jacket on; and two huge and very handy mesh ‘drop pockets’ inside (below left). I find these most useful and have added mesh versions to my other riding jackets; an easy and secure place to stash gloves of maps without having to interact with zips apart from the front one.

I can see the thinking behind water-resistant YKK zips on the front pockets/vents, but unfortunately this makes them too stiff to operate one-handed on the move and as you can see left on the top zip, the press-seal doesn’t close up fully to keep water out.
Seeing as these are the more used zips, I’d prefer the conventional, freer-flowing zips as used on the rear vents and pockets (the lower zip pictured above). After all, the main front zip is the same. This ease of use applies linespokespecially to the front chest pocket/vents which are handy to open or close on the move while leaving the rear vents open. Like on my Klim Overland, these rear vents are inaccessible with the jacket on, let alone on the move; it’s often easier to ask another rider to zip you up or down.  If it’s raining, valuables are better off in a waterproof pouch while you either get a bit wet or pull on a mac.


What did the others wear?
jaxI have a rather casual sense of dress in the desert and prefer not to feel hot or sweaty. I don’t like being weighed down or in-your-fullface lids or synthetic legwear and I don’t mind being cold for a short while. I wore: TKC Baja boots, Klim Outrider trousers, the Linesman with a wicky/merino  undershirt plus a Shoei open face. I was comfortable with these choices and unlike many, couldn’t be bothered change once at the camp.
Of the dozen other riders; 10 wore full-face MX, most with goggles; 3 had neck braces; at least 5 wore full armour underjackets over vests or jackets; 7 wore Cordura riding jackets all the time and probably with armour – the rest wore jerseys most of the time; 1 wore waxed cotton + armour; 10 wore nylon riding (over?) pants probably with armour; 1 wore jeans with armour and 1 wore leather trousers.

xr4 - 17The sort of riding I did in Algeria added up to a half-days on the plateau highway at elevations up to 1600-m, regular gravel pistes, gnarlier soft sand and 2nd-gear sandy tussock oueds, short dune crossings, churned up sandy canyons, and wide-open sand sheet down at 500m, all with regular stops to allow regrouping and playing the klimagsand. Temperatures ranged from freezing mornings to the upper-20s Centigrade.
Underneath I wore a wicky T-shirt or long sleeve, either synthetic (right) or merino when chillier.  That’s quite a mix of terrain, speeds and temperatures wearing similar kit; I tend to put up with short-term discomforts forcefieldrather than faff about with layers. Through it all the Linesman unobtrusively coped with the occasional opening or closure of the rear vents. I wore mine with only Forcefield elbow armour (left). I must admit I’ve felt better crashing hard in a Cordura jacket, with or without armour. Softshell has a rubbery feel which would snag as you slide and tumble, especially on the road where thick Cordura abrades almost as well as leather. Luckily that’s not something I’ve done for decades and on this trip it was just the usual slow speed spills.

xr4 - 27Best of all, I like the Linesman’s plain styling while not being yet more boring grey or black. Others, including non-bikey types, commented on the stylish, look too; something you can wear off the bike without handing over a pizza. Maybe it’s the design or maybe it’s the stretchy fabric which see a total lack of adjustability using cinch-cord, poppers or velcro. The plain elasticated cuffs and neck don’t need doing up or pining down once the Linesman’s on. It all helps enhance the look without detracting from the jacket’s function.

jak-17It’s probably not the only biking jacket you’d want to own, and you do wonder how durable the softshell will be after a couple of years of inevitable scuffing, but the Linesman does represent a new type of biking jacket with as much optional impact protection and storage as a typical Cordura-and-membrane coat, but more on-the-road windproofing than the fully  vented jackets like Revit’s Cayenne Pro, Klim’s Inverse or Adv Spec’s own Mongolia and Atacama.

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Tested: Klim Outrider pants review

updated autumn 2019

klou10Tested: Klim Outriderkot-3 pants.

Where: 3000km over a month in southern Morocco. Then another 5000 in Morocco and Spain, another 1000km in Algeria in 2018 and again in 2019, twice.

UK price: £165 at Adventure Spec.

See also: Klim Dakar ITB; Aerostich AD1s

tik
• Usual Klim quality
• Not plastered in Klim branding
• Exterior knee sleeves make armour easily removable
• They make handy stash pockets too
• Can pass as slightly unusual normal jeans
• They didn’t go cargo-pocket-mad, as many do
• Cotton-Cordura fabric feels tough, but breathes well
cros
• Regular length was too long in the leg (shortened mine)
• Way too baggy at the shins for riding bikes too, even OTB. I cut a wedge out and zip put in
• Expensive, but will last

klou13As I wrote, I’ve been looking for some riding pants that make me feel protected but don’t weigh a ton like my old leathers, and aren’t sweaty, bulky, membrane overpants. There are those kevlar-impregnated demin jeans, but who actually wears jeans these days?
aspecAfter a while I decided my Klim Dakar ITBs were just too race-focussed, under-pocketed and too nylony for my tame level of desert touring. At the 2016 NEC klou11Adv Spec put me onto Klim’s forthcoming Outriders – normal looking, jean-like riding pants with well-thought-out armour. Something you can wear on or off the bike. In other words: ideal do-it-all travelling trousers.
When they arrived my 38″ Regulars weigh 1440g with the armour, or 1090g without. More than half that of my leathers and a bit less than the chunky Dakar ITBs.

Fyi: I bought these Outriders at a discount from Adventure Spec in return for advertising in my books 

What they say:
The Outrider is designed to traverse the environments and demands of the multi-sport enthusiast. Scrambling out to your favorite fishing spot, hiking from the trailhead to the lake at 9,000ft, or cruising the boulevard to the pier at sunset. Wherever your next odyssey takes you, the Outrider is ready for anything. Built with the quality you expect from KLIM®.


Review
klimoutridersI was pretty sure I’d like the Klim Outriders and out of the box I wasn’t disappointed. I’m around 6′ 1″ and 94kg, 37″ waist (when I left for Morocco), and an inside leg of 32″ (unchanged). So ’38 x 32 Regular’ was my size.
But these pants are actually a yard long in the leg and once worn standing up, sag at the heel, like the image right, but morekot-jak. Once the armour’s in and with some riding up when sat on a bike, they actually look correct. And if you wear them ITB (in-the-boot) to eliminate snagging the baggy ends, it ought not matter (or so I hoped). Better too long than too short, I suppose.
You get two front pockets with a jean-like coin slot insidekor-6 one; two at the back, one with a flap and stud, and a smartphone slip-in on the left thigh so you can check in without taking your hand off the throttle.
kor-mrInside, mesh takes the slim D3O hip armour pads (left; I didn’t use them on my trip), and at the knees you slip the armour in from the top, position with unobtrusive velcro and do up a stud.
Even without the armour these long, double thickness knees will give some extra protectionkot-mika, and feature drain holes at the lower ends for those deep BAM crossings (right).
The 75% Cotton-Cordura fabric is hefty without feeling like scout tent fabric or being unduly sweaty. The attention to detail and klou15triple-stitching is confidence-inspiring and the shade of dark brown works for me. Maybe it was all part of the grand business plan, but it’s good to see Klim getting away from the sporty racewear and into more mainstream riding gear which will have many more buyers.
Before I even got to Morocco my Outriders got soaked while waiting in the rain to board the ferry at Algeciras. A good test to see if they’d dry on the hour’s crossing. They did.
Over the next month, I rode in temperatures from 35°C in Westernoutfad Sahara, to close to freezing in the High Atlas (with runner’s leggings underneath). In all that time the Outriders never felt too hot and sweaty, nor chilled my legs out of proportion to the rest of me. On the very hot days, just stopping for a minute in my Overland jacket, with all vents and zips open, saw me start sweating; my legs in the Outriders remained stable.
klou1Because they’re so long, tucking the rolled-up ends into my boots and then doing the boots up became a chore on some days. And, perhaps because my boots aren’t full knee height and clamped to my leg, over the course of a day getting on and off the bike they’d work their way out and need stuffing back in.
I could have worn them ‘OTB’ but klouripI’m sure they’d have snagged on something and got oily or ripped. As it was, they got ripped anyway while paddling hard through a sandy oued – didn’t notice till later as I was slightly desperate at the time. I suppose they caught the footrest or gear level on a forward lunge.
klou6I got them machine-washed once – probably high temp and not inside out, contrary to instructions. I can’t say I noticed any shrinkage, if that is the reason (in fact I out-algwould have welcomed a bit). I didn’t crash in them either, though I dare say something closer-fitting like the Dakar ITBs would keep the knee armour in place better.
Back home I got them shortened by 2 inches (using the off-cut to patch the tear), and a few months later cut a wedge out of the lower klimoutzippleg to get a slimmer shin fit and installed a zip along the inside. A side-benefit of the zip makes them easy to pull- or roll up to the knee for wading or general airing-off. But all up klimoutzipthat’s a lot of after-market sewing for an expensive pair of trousers. I know the American fit is typically larger than in Europe, but an inch is still an inch.
After another wash or three, the Klims are fading but are in good shape. For the moment they are my general riding trousers, quick-drying and without the weight of leathers, the sweatiness of the ITBs or synthetic-ness of membrane over-trousers.

klimotrs