The Adventure-X is billed as the Pro Series and is RST’s flagship adventure jacket and is the next evolution in the Adventure range. This is the first of two parts of a review of the RST Adventure-X jacket and trousers/jeans. Part 2 will be written when I have used them for an extended period and can comment on their longevity and what they are like in a variety of riding conditions. Part 1 will cover my reasons for buying the jacket, the features I like/dislike, and my initial experience riding in the gear.
Why This Kit?
Recently I have been in the market for a new jacket for adventure riding, with a longer trip to Central Asia in mind. Buying motorcycle clothing is of course a minefield. Not only do you have to decide “does it fit well?”, “do I like the style/colour?” and “is it in my price range?” that you have with normal clothing, with motorcycle clothing you also have to consider “will this keep me safe?”. There are many arguments to be made for what makes a safe piece of equipment and that could be an entire post, but it broadly comes down to clothing that is comfortable, fits well and is tough enough.
If you don’t already know, the EU recently changed its regulations regarding motorcycle clothing. Whereas previously motorcycle clothing itself did not have to be tested as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), now all motorcycle equipment design to protect the rider must now be tested as PPE. This involves tests such as abrasion resistance and seam strength. As a result of this testing, the clothing will receive an A, AA or AAA rating. Separate to this, the armour is also CE tested and classed as Class 1 or Class 2 armour, depending on how much force it transmits to the rider from an impact. This is why a lot of clothing used to be sold as “CE Rated”, where it was only the armour that had been tested.
One of the big selling points of this kit was the fact that RST have chosen to publish and advertise the AA rating and Class 2 armour. This is something not all manufacturers are doing, or probably will do. This gives a good peace of mind that not only the armour but also the fabric has been tested to a decent standard. In addition to the safety rating of the jacket and jeans, I was impressed with the features set, liked the look of it and it fitted me well when I tried it. Other jackets I considered were the Alpinestars Andes and Rev’It Neptune.
The first is the venting. Both the jacket and trousers have two panels at the front that can either operate as a slit vent, or be unzipped and rolled away to reveal a large mesh window. This allows for great airflow, which is aided by two large exhaust vents on the back of the jacket, and arm vents that run down a good length of the arm. These again have a mesh behind and allow for a good amount of airflow to cool your upper body while riding. There are also a number of accordion stretch panels to make the both the jacket and trousers nice and articulated. This is important as using a tougher material to attain the AA rating could have created a stiff jacket that was awkward to move in, but I have not found this to be the case.
Next are the pockets. The jacket and trousers are both full of pockets which is so useful. The jacket also has a pouch at the back where you can stuff a riding snack, lightweight waterproof or map, and there is a removable pouch with a strap which could be used for taking valuables with you should you wish to leave the jacket with the bike. Additionally, there is a compartment built into the back to hold a water bladder. I have not used it yet but I imagine it will be very useful on long rides. RST have developed this jacket in conjunction with Mick Extance, so I imagine his Dakar expertise has shaped and guided the decisions made when designing this jacket.
I have the jacket in black/grey/white. It also comes in black, green/ochre and white/red/blue. The flashes of reflective tape subtly placed around the jacket are a nice touch for a bit of extra visibility when riding in poor visibility or at night.
When looking for a jacket, I was initially looking for a jacket with a waterproof, breathable outer shell made of something like GoreTex. I quickly realised that the jacket I wanted did not exist for the price I was willing to pay, so some compromises had to be made in my searching. The Adventure-X range is indeed waterproof, but the waterproofing is an internal zip-in layer that is bonded to a thermal layer. This means that the outside of the jacket can potentially get heavy and wet, even if I am still dry. In addition to being heavy, having a lot of wet textile ontop of an inner waterproof layer hinders its breathability . The counter to this however is that an outer layer that does not have to be waterproof is likely to be more breathable, so should preform better on hot dry days, and a rain-shell over the top of the jacket is another viable solution to waterproofing.
Having the waterproof layer and thermal layer together also means that they are only really useful in colder weather. Having to commit to waterproofing and a thermal lining together makes the jacket feel a bit sticky on days when it is both wet and warm. I don’t envisage this to be a huge problem though and as I use the jacket more, I will probably start to understand better when to put the inner lining in and when to take it out.
I am 5’11” and 70kg with a 30″ waist. I ordered both the jacket and the jeans in ‘small’ and both have fit me very well. For comparison I had also ordered the jacket in ‘medium’ but found it too large, both in the chest and arms.
So far I am very impressed with the jacket and trousers. For the money, they have a great feature set, safety rating, and fit me very well. I have only ridden in them for around a month, but overall impressions have been positive and I have not been regretting my choice.
This review is going to come in two parts, and I will write the second once i’ve had a chance to ride in the gear for a while and in a variety of weathers. When I have written it, it will be linked here.
Disclaimer: This equipment was purchased with my own money and my opinions are my own