Date reviewed: January 2018 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £879.99 | www.tranam.co.uk
Like the Navigatorr jacket that I wear these pants with, the Rukkas are laminated Gore-Tex with armour in the hips and knees, and reflective areas front and rear. I’ve been wearing them for six months now – in all weathers – in the UK and Spain…
While laminated kit is renowned for being rather stiff, these Navigatorr trousers feel plenty flexible enough – they are hefty, but I regular wear them all day when out for meetings.
The waist is elasticated, with an adjustable belt that’s given a perfect fit for me. There’s also a pair of braces included, but I’ve not needed to use them.
There are two stretch panels in the crutch that mean you never feel restricted, and the bottoms of the legs have a long zip, with enough space to get over even my tallest adventure boots. To avoid drafts, the Velcro tags have enough adjustment to cinch tightly around the bottoms of my legs if I’m wearing shorter boots.
The seat area has Rukka’s ‘AirCushion’, which adds a thin layer of air pockets for more comfort – they’re not obvious, but I certainly haven’t found myself shuffling around for comfort as much as I usually do after a few hours in the saddle. An additional patch on the bum helps to prevent you slipping on a wet saddle, and reduces wear.
As well as the various waist sizes, you can buy the Navigatorrs in short, standard and long lengths, so they should suit pretty much anyone.
There are two main pockets, which are deep and expand well. They’ve also proven water-tight, as long as the water-resistant zip is closed and the top folded over and secured with the two poppers.
There’s also a single pocket on the right, which is big enough for smaller, slimmer items and has a water-resistant zip. It takes serious weather to get past this, but don’t use it for your phone.
There’s a standard zip fly with a water-proof section behind it – so water won’t drive through – and a pair of poppers to close the waist. These only have one position, but the adjustable belt means this is a secure and simple system.
A full length zip allows the trousers to be connected to the jacket for safety, and to prevent wind and water from driving up underneath.
A pair of water-resistant zips reveal vents beneath the main pockets on the front of the trousers. They give enough air flow to help cool you off, but if you’re regularly riding in very hot conditions, you might find these a bit warm. Having said that, I’ve rarely found any trousers to get too hot on a bike.
The thermal liner has 60g insulation and Outlast, which helps regulate your body heat. Even in winter, I haven’t felt the need to wear it as my core is warm enough. If you’re riding a more open bike, or suffer from the cold, you’ll likely want to use it.
The liner’s a snug fit, so make sure you try the Navigatorrs on with it in if you think you’ll be using it a lot, but it secures with a fine zip around the waist and the bottoms of the legs, so won’t pull out when you’re getting undressed.
These trousers – like the jacket – have proven to be completely waterproof. A laminated liner means that even when the Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating starts to wear, the outer won’t ‘wet out’ as badly as a garment with a cheaper-to-produce drop-liner.
I’ve not had one bit of water creep in anywhere, and am yet to put the trousers on to find them still wet from a previous ride.
Designed specifically for Rukka, the D3O armour fitted is a little larger than usual – so covers more of your hips and knees – and approved to CE Level 1.
I crashed off-road on the BMW G310GS launch, and while it wasn’t a big one, it was my knees that took the majority of the impact. Unfortunately, a rock sticking up hit the side of my knee as I slid, so I got a small bruise there, but nothing major.
The Rukka’s armour is very well positioned and relatively secure for textiles, though it’s worth keeping in mind that there are no adjusting straps on the legs, so do check the movement of the armour when you try them on.
The only damage to the kit, despite dragging it along the rocks, was a small nick out of the surface of the leather panel on the inside of the knee. Impressive.
Rukka kit bought and registered in the UK has a six-year warranty; it really is made to last, and if – like me – you ride through the year, you’ll appreciate the benchmark weather protection and extremely solid construction.
Yes, it’s expensive, but if you can afford it, this gear is a solid investment that will last you many tens of thousands of miles.
Did you know…
WL Gore and Associates was founded in 1958 by Bill and Genevieve Gore to serve the electronics market. In 1969 their son, Bob, discovered a new polymer that led to the expanded polytetrafluoroethylene being used in fabric, medical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, oil, gas, aerospace, mobile electronic, music, semiconductor and automotive industries.