Date reviewed: February 2022 | Tested by: John Milbank | RRP: £239 (jacket) & £179 (pants) | lindstrandsmc.com
The Lindstrands Transtrand jacket and Berga trousers on review here make for the cheapest laminated motorcycle kit we’ve ever reviewed. Laminated waterproofs see the membrane bonded directly to the back of the outer shell, which makes it dry off more quickly and be less likely to get waterlogged than a drop-liner, which is where the membrane is separate to the outer.
Once the preserve of the most high-end brands, laminated kit has been getting more and more affordable over the past few years, despite its more costly construction.
I’ve been wearing the Transtrand jacket and Berga pants (that’s the last time I’ll call them pants), for around 800 miles on the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT (with a short screen) in all weathers to find out if they’re worth buying…
Whether you’ve owned laminated kit from several years ago, or simply tried it on, you’ll know it could be heavy and stiff. Things have changed, and like others available now, the Lindstrands Transtrand jacket and Berga trousers are flexible and lightweight, with a quality appearance.
The outer shell is a 420 Denier polyester, which I have in the ‘grey/yellow’ colourway, though black/white or an adventure-looking green/orange is also available.
While this is very much a (relatively) budget waterproof suit, there are some neat details including the well-finished collar and water-resistant YKK zips.
Fit is subjective, but I’m a slightly overweight 5’10” and the 52 jacket and trousers are right for me, though I should maybe have considered going up a size for my lower half.
The jacket’s available in sizes 46-66, while the trousers come in 46 to 62, or 48 to 60 in short leg lengths.
A set of braces are supplied with the trousers that clip on if you’d like to use them. They work well but can ping off occasionally; they’re not as secure as some designs, but the best I’ve used have been on trousers costing more than five times as much.
Both the Lindstrands Transtrand jacket and the Berga trousers are CE certified to AA, EN 17092. This is typically considered the touring level of protection, and while the abrasion resistance of garments subjected to even the higher AAA tests is at a lower level than that needed for the previous standard in EN 13595, it’s always best to buy the highest-rated kit you can.
CE Level 1 armour is fitted at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees (2 is the higher impact resistance, but typically thicker). It’s held in place with Velcro, meaning there is some degree of adjustment available – especially useful for those who are longer or short in the leg.
There’s no back-protector supplied, though that’s not really a surprise at this price; there is a pocket and Lindstrands’ own Okelbo Level 1 protector costs £39. The zip that secures the protector’s pocket could press against your back if you have a rucksack on, but I haven’t had any issues. I’d prefer Velcro here, but in the unlikely event it does prove uncomfortable, you could always remove it.
I do have one issue with the armour in than I’ve found it a bit too easy to catch my foot on the knee protector in the left leg, despite it being beneath the mesh liner. I’m used to it now and keep my foot out of the way, but the first couple of times it flicked the armour off its Velcro fastener, leaving it to drop to the bottom of the leg. I had to take the trousers back off, unzip the bottom to retrieve the piece then fix it back in place.
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The Transtrand jacket has two main pockets that have a horizontal opening covered by a Velcro and popper flap – each is big enough to keep a phone and wallet or big bunch of keys in, plus I prefer this top opening as my gear feels more secure. At the chest are a pair of vertical zips for vents but these would work as pockets if you wanted.
On the back of the jacket is a good-sized map pocket that you could tuck a base-layer in, and behind the main zip is another single, decent-sized zip-closed pocket.
The trousers have a pair of zipped pockets in the usual places with water-resistant zips, plus cargo pockets lower down the leg with Velcro and popper fastening.
The main, water-resistant jacket zip is covered by a storm flap, with another gusseted flap to catch the water behind it.
The trousers have a zip fly with two poppers above that. I really like that the gusset behind this has a popper that allows it to expand, which makes it a lot easier to push down out of the way when you’re stood shivering at the loo in a motorway services.
I’d have preferred hook fasteners at the waist as my belly pings the poppers open at times. Granted, I have issues with cake-retention, but a change of hardware here would be appreciated.
The trousers and jacket have a full connecting zip, which is great, though it is a little fiddly to get started. Once on the go though, it secures easily.
The trouser legs can be cinched up, but they could use longer Velcro on the bottom to allow them to go a little tighter. They’re not bad by any stretch, but there’s room for a tweak there.
Equally, there’s not quite enough Velcro at the cuffs to seal tightly around my wrists, and the strap pulls on the zip section, which makes it bunch up more. Having said that, there is room to get my relatively thick Held two-in-one winter gloves under the cuffs – which is the best way to wear gloves in the rain – and they do seal very well.
A neat strap system at the jacket waist gives a great fit, plus a popper allows two positions at the bicep, along with Velcro straps at the hem.
The trousers have a length of Velcro belt at either side, giving an adjustment of just over an inch on each, but these tend to pull up over the waistline as there are no retaining straps – untidy and a little uncomfortable if you have them pulled tight. I tend to use the braces, but it’ll depends very much on your body shape.
On both legs and each side of the chest are two good-sized water-resistant zips that cover straight-to-body vents. With no membrane behind them, these give much better cooling, though the chest ones will be hidden on a bike with a large screen.
The rear of the jacket has a large vent running all the way across the back at shoulder-blade height.
If not the best in class, the venting is very good, especially for a laminated jacket, and even more so for one at this price. You’ll have no problems with this getting unbearably hot in the summer.
There is no thermal liner supplied with the jacket or the trousers, and this is definitely not warm kit. It’ll keep the wind out, so layer up and you’ll be fine.
Inside the jacket and trousers is a combination of a light mesh liner and a 3D mesh, keeping them from sticking to you in the heat. The trousers also have a thin foam pad at the bum for extra comfort (it probably also helps the abrasion resistance in testing too).
All the seams have to be taped in a laminated construction, which can make it more costly
I spent a solid hour in torrential rain with the Lindstrands Transtrand jacket and Berga trousers, finding them to be completely waterproof. The ventilation is well tucked away, and while I got cold in the 2-3°C ride, I was on the Tracer 9 with a low screen and got home bone dry. Excellent.
Being a laminated construction, while the outer shell will still wet-out (get soaked), it dries a lot more quickly than garments with a drop-liner, making it far more pleasurable to put on after a break, or if commuting in bad weather. Some kit can still be soaking at the end of a day’s work, which is no fun.
If your kit is dictated by your budget, then you can’t go far wrong with this Lindstrands, but here are some others to consider…
These are just three of many alternatives – you can find all the textile riding kit we’ve tested here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through BikeSocial membership.
At £418 for the jacket and trousers, this is great value for money. Sure, there are cheaper, non-laminated options, but to see laminated gear getting down to this price point is incredible.
It’s not perfect of course, but the small gripes I have are more than forgivable given the cost, waterproof performance and decent venting. Definitely recommended.