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Old May 27th, 2014, 07:30 AM   #1
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[RideApart] - Gear: Klim Latitude Riding Suit

The Klim Latitiude Misano was introduced as a follow up to the Klim Latitude 840 in 2012. Updated with a new Misano Cordura® fabric laminated to the traditional GORE-TEX® shell that added flexibility to the jacket and a broken in comfort feeling right off the hanger. The suit still uses Klim’s 840D Cordura® to handle the toughest abrasion areas with additional reinforcement in the knees, shoulders, and elbows.

The zippers for both the jacket and pants are high quality YKK waterproof closures, while the buttons are rubber coated to protect your motorcycles paint and plastics.*Industrial grade Scotchlite™ panels and trim are used to add visibility. The Latitude pants and jacket are also fitted with D3O armor.*I chose the silver and white color option for added visibility and to help keep me cool in warmer weather. There is a Hi-Viz and all Black option as well.

The Latitude pants use the Gore-Tex® 3 layer construction technique. This means that the Gore-Tex® is bonded not only to the outer layer but the inner lining. This means no movement between the layers reducing wear and tear on the materials and greater durability.

There are four ventilation ports on the legs, two on the front thigh area and two exhaust vents on the back of the leg. They are protected by the waterproof zippers and a flap of material to help keep water out. The really nice part of these is they are designed for the riding position, flowing maximum air when on the bike.

The pants ride high in the back with an elastic panel that help fitment, there is also a zipper to attach it to Klim jackets. The waist adjusts using nicely integrated Velcro straps on both sides and the pants are secured using a double button closure for added security. There is also and extra comfort stitch area in the seat of the pants.

The pant legs are adjustable using a snap sizing for the ankle area and a zippered expansion.* There is enough adjustment here to make them work with many different sizes of boots, but the legs do not open wide enough to allow you to take the pants on and off without removing your shoes. The inner knee and lower leg add a layer of very smooth leather for protection against wear and heat from exhaust.

There are two normal hand pockets and a thigh pocket, plenty of room for carrying everyday items.*Armor is located in the hips, and knees. The knee armor is adjustable in several positions using velcro tabs.

The Latitude jacket uses the same Misano Cordura® outer shell bonded to a Gore-Tex® membrane using their two layer construction. The membrane is bonded to the outer shell only to improve comfort. Like the pants the jacket uses the sturdier Klim 840D for the abrasion and impact areas.

Ventilation is provided from five vents, two located in the arm pits, two on the outer arm, and a back exhaust vent.

Main entry is via a YKK *two-way waterproof zipper covered by a weather flap. The flap is kept closed using micro-velcro to prevent damage and snags to other materials. It does not feel substantial but it has kept the jacket closed at all times so far. There is a snap at the bottom to assist in keeping things closed and a Velcro closed collar that is fleece lined for comfort.

There are six external pockets leaving plenty of room for stuff. Two long chest pockets, three cargo pockets and a sleeve ID pocket withe universal emergency information symbol stitched beside it. Klim sends you a custom made emergency information card when you buy the jacket. The long chest pockets are referred to as map pockets by Klim, it’s not inaccurate as a standard folded map would fit in nicely. These six external pockets are joined by four internal pockets. None of these are very big but the open stash pockets are very useful for a phone or wallet. They are held closed by a piece of velcro and made of mesh.

Size is adjustable with well integrated side straps with an option to enlarge the bottom jacket opening for stand up riding with a side zipper and button. This gives almost two more inches of flex. There are velcro adjusters on the inside of the elbows to allow fro the sleeve adjustment. I find these are not positioned that great. When bending your arm they bunch and actually hurt as they pinch the skin on occasion. There are also Velcro wrist closure with enough adjustment to allow for over or under the cuff gloves.

Armor is located in the elbows, shoulders, and back. The back protector is very large and covers the entire back panel of the jacket. It is vented to allow air flow.

So how do they perform?
So far I have ridden in temperatures ranging from 25 degrees to 85 degrees. This has been a combination of rain, sun, some sleet, and even snow.

Cold Weather:
When the weather is colder the Latitude set lacks a thermal liners so bring your own base layer. With a simple thermal layer under the jacket and some heavy denim jeans I was comfortable at 25 degrees all day long. I was able to commute daily and other than my hands getting cold the rest of me was very comfortable. The jacket adjustments make it easy to get a base layer underneath and keep the jacket fitting comfortably tight so you don’t get an unwanted air gap letting cold air build up.

Warm Weather:
At 85 degrees the Latitude set starts to get hot when you are sitting still. Anytime you are moving the material is light and comfortable enough you are not over heated. There is very good air flow when you loosen the fitment straps and open the vents. At temps below 80 I never even bother opening the vents in the pants. It’s important to remember to loosen the adjustment straps to create space between your clothes and the jacket allowing the air to flow around you.

At $630 for the jacket and $500 for the pants this outfit is not cheap. It is however weatherproof, extremely durable, and flexible. Considering the 60 degree difference in temperature it’s been used it in comfortably; I would say it’s money well spent. You can easily spend more on multiple riding jackets and pants to suit that same temperature range, and when you add weather protection this good you can spend even more. Is this riding outfit for everyone? No maybe not. If you want a reasonably priced full riding setup that spans four seasons, with good comfort and protection, and without too much compromise, the Klim Latitude could be perfect for you.

The post Gear: Klim Latitude Riding Suit appeared first on RideApart.

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