Tested: Spidi Outlander motorcycle textile jacket and trousers review

The Spidi Outlander textile jacket and trousers are laminated motorcycle kit that promises waterproofing and direct-to-body ventilation. Full, honest review

 

Date reviewed: October 2020 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £389.99 (jacket), £299.99 (trousers) | spidiuk.com

 

The Spidi Outlander jacket and trousers on review here are laminated waterproof textiles designed to cope with a wide range of weather conditions. I’ve been wearing them on a Kawasaki Versys 1000, Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and BMW S1000XR in a variety of conditions, on motorways, A-roads and twisty B-roads…

 

For and against
  • Certified as PPE to Level AA
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Decent-sized Level 2 armour
  • Water gets in through vents
  • You need to wear a neck tube
  • Could use more pockets

 

Fit

Fit is of course very subjective, so always try any gear on for yourself, but I found the jacket and trousers both fit me well and as expected for their sizing, with arms that are neither too short nor too long, and a snug feeling around my body.

A snug fit is the best bet in any riding kit as it helps to keep the armour in the right place, and also reduces the chance of the material (be it textile or leather) bunching up in a slide, which can make it tear more easily.

 

 

Protection and certification

It’s great to see both the jacket and trousers certified as PPE to level AA, especially when some leather garments are only rated to the lower A specification.

While it is only a guide, AA is considered a touring level of protection, with the top – AAA –giving the highest level of safety based on these EN17092 standards.

There’s armour at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees that’s a good size so offers a decent level of protection, especially as it’s rated to EN16210: 2012 Level 2 (the highest of two ratings for armour). There’s no back protector unfortunately, and while there is a pocket for one, it needs to be held in with specifically-located Velcro patches, so I wasn’t able to fit the D3O one I already have. Spidi’s Warrior 510 back protector adds an extra £48.99 to the price, but I’ve been wearing this with the Ixon IX-U03 airbag vest.

Besides the lack of a back protector, my only slight grumble is that the armour tends to feel a little stiff, especially when it’s cold.

Reflective graphics on the chest, arms, back and calves add extra visibility; I have the black/grey jacket, though there’s also the option of a brighter black/yellow, which replaces the light grey and red panels with bright yellow.

From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the law, click here.

 

 

Pockets

While I am a fan of the design of this jacket, pockets aren’t its strong point.

The main pockets on the front of the jacket are a good size, but they’re only secured with two patches of Velcro – one at either end of the flap. That means the pocket never feels very secure, and it has a tendency to flap open in the middle. Having said that, the contents did somehow stay dry during my testing.

There’s a zipped map pocket on the rear, though don’t put paper maps in there if you’re riding in the rain as there’s no storm flap.

There’s a single zipped pocket at the chest, behind the main zip (on the right, unusually), and if you’re wearing the removable thermal liner, you’ll also gain a Velcro-closed mesh pocket on the inside right near the bottom.

The trousers have a vertical pocket on either thigh, but they’re not very deep, so of little use for much really. I like a decent pocket in the trousers for when I’m moving my bikes around without the jacket on, but my big bunch of keys fall out of these.

 

 

Fastening

The main jacket zip is a good, chunky YKK with a fabric pull tab, the storm flap over the top securing with Velcro.

The jacket and trousers can be zipped together with a smaller YKK zip running covering about two thirds of the circumference. If it were a couple of inches longer it’d be a little easier to reach, but you soon get used to it.

The trousers are fastened with two poppers and a YKK fly. Unfortunately the storm cover behind the fly doesn’t have much slack in it, so it’s really hard to get your nut cannon over the top when you’re struggling in a services loo after two hours of cold riding. That’s when you’re glad the connecting zip doesn’t go any further and you can drag the top of the unfastened trousers right down.

Thanks to the EST (Ergonomic Safety Tuning) collar, you can get a good fit around the neck. Sounds techy, but put simply, the popper that secures the collar is on a Velcro patch, so you can easily move it around to get the right spot.

 

 

Adjustment

Two straps on either side of the jacket give a good, tight fit, while the biceps feature another strap, and the forearms have a choice of two popper positions.

The cuffs just have a Velcro strap to seal them tight, but I can only just get some waterproof summer gloves under there – winter gloves won’t fit, so you’ll have to wear them over the outside, which can sometimes lead to water running down the arms and into the gloves.

An elasticated draw string around the hem helps to seal the bottom of the jacket, and the trousers have Velcro strap adjusters on either side of the waist. You can fit a belt if you want, thanks to five loops around the top.

The bottoms of the legs have long zips, along with a Velcro adjuster – they cinch nice and tight around my standard-sized Daytona Road Star boots, yet are capacious enough to slide over my TCX Drifter enduro-style boots.

 

 

Ventilation

The most effective ventilation is typically found on adventure suits with vents up the arms, but the laminated construction points to this having to compromise to a certain extent in order to stay more water-resistant.

The jacket has two large panels on the chest that are secured along the bottom edge with a water-resistant zip, and the side with Velcro and a small storm flap behind that. On the rear are two large exhaust ports. It’s an effective system (unless you’re wearing a rucksack of course), thanks to the fact that the chest panels vent directly through the garment, rather than hitting a waterproof drop-liner. This means a good rush of air can blast in (depending on the size of your bike’s screen), and flow around the upper body then out of the rear, taking heat with it.

The leg vents are effective too – while there aren’t any exhausts on the rear, the vertical water-resistant zips open to reveal perforated fabric that allows air to get right inside.

 

The Spidi Outlander textile jacket and trousers are laminated motorcycle kit that promises waterproofing and direct-to-body ventilation. Full, honest review

Unfortunately the fabric in the leg vents can get caught in the zip, and I managed to tear mine that way. Once damaged, the tear can jump quite quickly across the perforations, so take care. Ultimately, it doesn’t affect the performance or integrity of the suit, but it does look untidy, and further gets caught up.

 

Warmth

The removable thermal liner helps keep you warm outside of the summer months, and it’s well-made with mesh sections under the arms and at the crotch.

The jacket’s 200g lining and trouser’s 100g both clip in, though on the jacket you need to zip it closed and fasten the collar separately to the outer jacket.

In use on the Royal Enfield, I could feel a slight draft around the centre of the chest, which makes me think that air was getting in through the corners of the chest vent flaps. On bikes with fairings and screens, this will be less of an issue, but the Outlander will need a little extra layering for the coldest months.

 

 

Liner

The jacket and trousers both feature an airtex fabric lining that doesn’t stick to your skin when you’re sweaty. Combined with the strong venting, you shouldn’t find yourself too hot in this kit very often, especially in the UK!

Overall it’s really comfortable, but it’s let down by one design flaw; the collar is lined with a fine, 3D mesh (it holds space behind it for air to circulate), which should help to keep your neck cool, but it also rubs, leaving the skin red and sore after a while. 150 miles into one trip, I was really reluctant to turn my head for shoulder checks as it was stinging so much.

The front of the neck has a soft neoprene panel to keep your chin snug – that would have been lovely around the rest of the collar against my delicately pampered skin.

If you wear a neck tube, this gripe is irrelevant, but you will need one for anything more than a short hop, unless you have a really leathery old neck. You won’t notice it anything like as much with the thermal liner in either, as that has its own soft collar.

 

The Spidi Outlander textile jacket and trousers are laminated motorcycle kit that promises waterproofing and direct-to-body ventilation. Full, honest review

While the thermal liner’s collar is soft, the outer jacket’s is a mesh that soon rubs against a bare neck

 

Waterproofing

Laminated kit tends to offer better waterproofing than gear with a separate drop-liner inside as it can usually dry off more quickly – while the outer material will still wet-out (get soaked), it dries more readily thanks to the membrane being bonded directly to the back of the outer shell, rather than letting the water get right the way through and between the shell and liner.

This construction method is typically more expensive, so it’s great to see it appearing in more mid-range (and budget-priced) kit.

While the shell is waterproof, unfortunately the ventilation does compromise the seal as

 

The Spidi Outlander textile jacket and trousers are laminated motorcycle kit that promises waterproofing and direct-to-body ventilation. Full, honest review

 

I’ve found the bottoms of my boxer shorts get soaked. It’s no real surprise as there’s only so much a water-resistant zip can do. The top of the zip isn’t covered either though, so there’s a small hole for the for the water to drive in. My underwear got so wet on one long ride that I had to go commando when I changed into my jeans at my destination.

There’s also a gap above the fly, which water can get through more easily, though my pants did seem to get most wet from the bottom up.

The jacket vents haven’t let quite as much water through, though it does still find its way, and the severity will depend on how much weather-protection your bike provides.

 

The Spidi Outlander textile jacket and trousers are laminated motorcycle kit that promises waterproofing and direct-to-body ventilation. Full, honest review

The vents allow air to pass straight to the body, which is why they’re so effective

 

Spidi Outlander jacket and trousers review: Verdict

Due to the weaknesses in its waterproofing, and the inability to get much under the cuffs, the Outlander isn’t an ideal all-weather commuter suit.

However, as a summer-orientated outfit, it’s easy to wear, fits well and has a good level of protection. The ventilation works great and it’s water-resistant enough for a ride that sees you get caught out in showers or short storms. With that in mind, I do like this kit – it’s a toned-down adventure suit that’s more relevant to British riders than some of the more extreme gear out there. It does need to be worn with a neck tube though…

 

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