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RST Pro Series Adventure-Xtreme Race Dept jacket and jeans review | Textile jacket and jeans tested

By BikeSocial Member

The BikeSocial member Test Team is made up of experienced riders covering high mileages who are able to subjectively analyse and review kit that they use day-in, day-out.

Posted:

12.06.2024

 

Date reviewed: December 2023 | Tested by: Simon Roberts | Price: £249.99 (jacket) & £199.99 (trousers) | www.rst-moto.com 

 

The off-road specification of RST’s Adventure-Xtreme Race Dept textile jacket and trousers mean they excel in certain circumstances, but could definitely be the wrong choice in others. I tested both on a BMW R1200GS Adventure between July and November 2023 and covered around 2300 miles to figure it out. 

Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Adaptable and ideal for building a layering system

  • High levels of ventilation

Cons
  • Class B safety certification will put some riders off

  • The (optional) hip and leg armour is too mobile

  • Requires extra purchases to provide full protection

 

Protection and certification

The Adventure-Xtreme jacket and trousers are certified to Class B under the CE regulations and come with no impact protection as standard in either jacket or trousers.

Class B covers garments with no impact protectors included, but the garments must provide the equivalent protection of Class A garments (as a minimum) in all other elements of the testing, such as protection against abrasion and seams bursting.

During testing I wore the Adventure-Xtreme with different combinations of Level 2 armour (the highest level within the CE standard). I wore RST’s own Contour Plus protectors, which you can buy separately, RST’s Airbag Armour Shirt and a pair of armoured Forcefield Pro XV 2 Air Pants.

Pockets inside the jacket and trousers hold the Contour Plus armour inserts if you choose to buy them. I found the positioning of the jacket armour to be good, with the external plastic shoulder cups providing a notably secure and stable fit.

The knee and hip armour in the trousers, however, was frequently poorly positioned as a result of the loose fit of the trousers. I resolved this problem by wearing the excellent and close-fitting Forcefield pants instead.            

Reflective strips on both jacket and trousers improve rider visibility at night and the trousers also feature a heat-resistant section on the lower leg.

All motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and Europe is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is a good thing for riders as it can help them choose kit that has provable levels of safety because, to meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. To fully understand the labels found in all bike kit, click here.

 

 

  

Pockets

The jacket has five pockets in total. Three are external – two front cargo pockets and a large map pocket on the rear. The cargo pockets have Velcro and press stud closures, whereas the rear pocket uses Velcro only. There are two internal pockets - one securely fastens with a zip, the other with a Velcro tab.

The trousers have four pockets - two cargo pockets on the front have Velcro and press stud closures, while the two side pockets fasten with a zip.

Both jacket and trousers have a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating, but there is no waterproof membrane, which means none of the pockets are truly waterproof.

All four cargo pockets are secure, deep, well-sized and gusseted so access is good, and they have genuine utility, which is not always the case with adventure jackets.

 

 

 

Fastening

The jacket has a chunky YKK primary zip that is easy to engage and has been faultless in operation. The bottom stop of the front zip is protected by a flap that is secured with two press studs. There are two further press stud flaps towards the top and at the very top of the closure. The jacket and pants can be connected via a 360-degree zip, and the trousers are fastened with a Velcro closure. The jacket cuffs continue the back-to-basics approach and are cinched down with a Velcro flap only.

 

Adjustment

The jacket has minimal adjustability - accordion stretch panels above the elbow and at the shoulder blade promote movement and there’s basic webbing adjustment at the waist. The trousers have four-way stretch panels around the crotch and upper inner thigh and accordion panels above the knee and seat. A large (13in) gusseted zip with several Velcro tabs at the lower leg provides an off-road orientated fit to accommodate even the most substantial off-road boots.

 

 

 

Ventilation

RST says the Adventure-Xtreme is “completely off-road orientated” and as such is able to boast a degree of ventilation not found on general-purpose adventure-type textiles. On the front there are two armpit vent panels (with corresponding exhaust vents), two zipped shoulder vents and two front vent panels each measuring 11cm x 18cm when uncovered. Each arm has two zipped vents and on the back are two zipped vents and one enormous vent panel measuring 22cm x 30cm when uncovered.

The trousers have two zipped exhaust vents at the rear of each lower leg, and there’s a 11cm x 18cm vent panel when uncovered on the front of each thigh.

Because the Adventure-Xtreme has no waterproof membrane the degree of air able to reach the body (front and back) when required is significant.

Combined, the comfortable off-road fit, good fabric breathability, low collar and the ability to lower the jacket’s fastening zip by six inches, kept me cooler and more comfortable than ever in high UK temperatures.

 

Warmth

The Adventure-Xtreme comes with no insulation, a low collar and the armpit vent panels cannot be covered. For some this might be a deal breaker, but I was very happy to do without the thermal liner found in most motorcycle jackets, which is normally ineffective, and use other options to better suit different situations. For example, I used a DXR Warmcore long-sleeve shirt, a down gilet from Montane, a £14 synthetic padded jacket from Decathlon (which was fantastic) and RST’s own Thermal Wind Block base layers, which are reviewed elsewhere on BikeSocial.

  

 

Liner

The same mesh liner is used throughout the jacket and pants. It is fixed and performed perfectly at stopping the main body of the jacket and trousers from sticking to my body.

 

Waterproofing

The Adventure-Xtreme is not a waterproof textile suit as there is no waterproof membrane. The water-repellent coating on the fabric resisted showers, spray from riding on flooded roads, 35-minute commutes in road spray, and also in very brief spells of rain. Anything more than this, water gets in.

Because I knew the coating would eventually degrade I made a point of using SDoc100 Reproofing spray every now and again, which I am sure helped maintain water-resistance.

I took the lack of waterproofing as another opportunity to use layers to suit the conditions. I wore an Oxford Rainseal All Weather Over Jacket, a Richa Typhoon Rain Overall and also an Altura Classic Nevis Jacket, which I wore under the Adventure-Xtreme. The Altura costs £40, is designed for cyclists and comes with an excellent waterproof and breathability specification.

 

Three alternatives to the RST Adventure-Xtreme Race Dept jacket and trousers 

RST’s Adventure-Xtreme is not your usual textile outfit, and cannot be compared to jackets that come with armour and layers to keep the rider warm and dry. High-specification layering is increasingly popular, though, so there are some alternatives.

  • Like the RST Adventure-Xtreme, Rukka’s Rimo-R jacket and trousers are B-rated under CE and come with no armour. They both have a laminated Gore-Tex outer to keep the rider dry and this makes them less breathable than the RST combination and more expensive, with a combined cost of £1224.99.

  • Unlike this RST set-up, off-road specialists Leatt’s ADV MultiTour, DriTour and FlowTour all come with armour, rain protection and an AA rating in CE, but are designed for adventure riding. Check out the range here.

  • The Knox Seasonless Collection is all armoured and CE-rated to at least the A level and is a good option style-conscious riders looking for a layering system comprising garments from one brand.

These are just three of many alternatives – you can find all the motorcycle textiles we’ve tested here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through Bikesocial membership.

  

RST Adventure-Xtreme Race Dept review | Verdict

RST produces some of the most popular riding kit in the UK and I am confident in saying the Adventure-Xtreme is not its biggest seller and that many riders will not have even heard of it.

I feel that’s a shame because it looks fantastic in black/grey, and with the addition of armour and layers to suit what you’re doing and where you’re doing it I think it might just be the best outfit you’ve not yet worn.

I love the simplicity and pared-back approach the designers have taken, giving us no bells and whistles to go wrong.

The ventilation has been a revelation, the off-road fit makes this the most comfortable road-going textile clothing I have ever worn, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to pair the outfit with layers of my choice.

The addition of a heavy-duty grab handle at the back of neck is simply the icing on the cake.    

When paired with the right kit the RST Adventure-Xtreme textile jacket and trousers get a 10/10 from me.

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