Which Klim suit for long distance riding

#1
Dear all,
I think about buying new gear. I’m thinking about the Klim badlands pro or the latitude. I am also planning to use heated gear. I have some concerns with respect to the weight of the badlands pro jacket and long distance riding. What is your experience concerning this specific topic?

Thank you very much for your comments.
 

Vlad

Premier Member
#2
I use the Bad Land Pro jacket and have for some time. Works well ,good ventilation plenty of pockets and as water proof as any I’ve used bearing in mind all the zippered vents. It’s not heavier to wear than any other premium jacket as far as I can tell. As to wether you want to use all the body armour well that’s up to you. I find it comfortable and have done many IBA runs wearing it. Having no liner you will need to layer under it in winter and if you use an electric liner you will need some kind of insulation layer between it and the jacket.
I use the latitude pants and have for many years. They have been outstanding to use in all weather. I didn’t think the jacket was as functional as the Badlands Pro.
 

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#5
I'll be the dissenter. ;) I rode for 100k miles with an Aerostich Darien, (with back armor), including a lot of rallies, and the MERA 10-n-10. I then switched to a Klim Latitude and rode the '13 IBR in that, along with a bunch of other shorter rallies and touring for another 100k. I still wear the Latitude in the colder months.

I've worn the Badlands only in a shop, walking around with it on for 20 minutes or so, test fitting helmets, etc. It is heavier and bulkier and restricts movement a bit more than the Latitude. Venting is about the same. You can't get away from that chest armor unless you remove it, it's just going to be more weight. I think the Badlands is absolutely the first choice if you're doing ADV work, BCDR rides, etc. If you're doing more road work and touring, it's overkill, IMHO.

Klim has some other gear now too. Check that out as well. And don't gloss over Aerostich Darien jackets.

Pants... Well, YMMV. I can't stand any Klim pants. The zippers are too short and you have to remove your boots before you can take off the pants. That may be trivial to many, but not to me. I get to the hotel, shuck my jacket and pants and then get the bike sorted, covered, grab some ice or what ever, all while wearing LDComfort and my riding boots. After that, I'm in the room and hitting the shower, eating and going to bed during an LD ride or a Rally.

When I'm touring and camping, same deal, except that I'm setting up the tent and getting camp sorted. I'm not going to take off my boots, then put them back on to get stuff done before being done for the night. Sure, I carry a pair of sandals, but if I don't need to unpack them, that's saving me time.

Klim pants are like taking your gloves off to pump gas. A lot of people do that, but they are doing it wrong and it costs them time. I've been to Klim in Idaho and spoken to some of the designers. Nice folks, but they don't ride like we ride. They day trip ride where they start and end at home.

If you're not riding off road, stick with the Latitude or Darien. You have no need of the extra protection of the Badlands, IMHO. It's good gear, it's just overkill for LD riding.

PS: Order both the Badlands and the Latitude jackets and try wearing them around the house. You'll be sending the Badlands back.
 

lakota

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#7
Agree with Eric about the pants. The leg zipper can be a pain until they become a part of your routine. However, ventilation is better on the Badlands jacket, 12 vents versus 6
 
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cacomly

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#8
I like my Badlands Jacket. My first I destroyed on the way to the 2015 IBR. I replaced it in 2015 and have been wearing that one ever since. Only complaint is I like keeping the front zipper down for a little fresh air and as stated above the chest armor gets in the way.

Only other comment is the Hi Viz fades badly. What was once High Viz is now pale yellow - almost white. But that is 6 years and 125,000 or so miles

Regarding the weight, once on I don't notice it
 
#9
I'll offer another combination - I ride with the Klim Apex Jacket & the Badland Pro pants. The Apex jacket is a step above the Latitude in protection & materials without having all the pockets of the Badlands. I had a pair of Latitude pants first but traded up to get the Badlands for the better armor and materials.
My only other comment would be to wait for the once (twice?) a year closeout / discount sales. You can get the Apex / Badlands level gear at the regular Latitude prices.
 

kwthom

=o&o>
Premier Member
IBA Member
#10
<...>Only other comment is the Hi Viz fades badly. What was once High Viz is now pale yellow - almost white. But that is 6 years and 125,000 or so miles
Not a Klim owner, but can concur with the fade of Hi-Viz apparel (Firstgear).

Would I buy Hi-Viz of anything again? I'm not so sure.
 

Patrick Ford

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#11
Aerostich AD-1 pants and a Darien jacket. Once I got over the cheap gear and finally spent for quality gear I've never felt the need to try any of the other high quality gear. I'm sure there are plus and minus points for each but If you're happy with what you have, why keep looking? As to the fading H Viz, it's not a fashion show and no big deal. YRMV
 
#12
Good topic. Gear having had both Klim and AS, I've gone back and forth each has pros and cons. I absolutely loved my AD1 lights, but ... they didn't perform well against muffler heat. After several years nothing below the knee was water proof. Switched to Klim, great stuff. minus the crotch zipper, it is terrible. After my Beartooth pass laydown, which melted the cordura and left a minor hole in my arm. Switched back to AS Cousin Jeremy which is waxed cotton. I really would like to avoid melting myself to the road again. Waxed Cotton has it's own unique challenges. Let's just say you might want to be up wind if you see me coming. 114 in Tucson in a suit that doesn't wash leaves a unique patina and scent.

Bottomline there's not a prefect suit just options and trade-offs.
 

KEN PHENIX

Premier Member
IBA Member
#13
Attached is a comparison of the Klim jackets. I chose the Kodiak for its unique euro fit (has its own size chart) and it's a bit lighter than the Badlands with all the same goodies. The Apex is a great jacket too.

There is much to discuss about heated gear choices when wearing a Klim outer layer. That's my forte so I'll go there.

First, there is a substantial difference in the breathability of Gore Pro found in Badlands, Kodiak and Apex and Gore Performance shell used in other Klim models and Aerostich. Gore Tex is designed to let heat and vapor out and the Pro Shell does a much better job of that. So the best choice for summer would be the Apex for its Pro Shell exterior and ENORMOUS VENTS. For winter Klim's bring your own base and mid-layer philosophy kicks in, more so with the Pro models but all will need a thermal layer.

Heated Gear: Most heated gear makers compensate for lack of wattage by adding insulation. This helps retain warmth but adds bulk to the garment. Unfortunately several brands like Hotwired, Firstgear and Tourmaster recently went to Venture Heat to supply their heated products. The Venture built jackets produce barely 50 watts. The built in button control severely limits available glove choices, but I digress. Conversely, Warm&Safe jackets (full disclosure I am proud to be a dealer for) crank out over 90 watts and are uninsulated to save bulk. A thermal mid-layer however, is needed when worn with an uninsulated Gore Tex jacket like Klim. I'm free to talk any evening after 5:30pm mountain time. 409-363-1417
 

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KEN PHENIX

Premier Member
IBA Member
#15
A lot of good info there Ken. What do you recommend for a good thermal mid-layer that doesn't break the bank? Thanks!
Cheap is fine Steve. Any thin poly fill jacket will work. Wind blows right through the Gore Pro Shell so a mid-layer that blocks wind will help hold warmth in. I use the quilted liners out of my old ReVit jacket and pants with my new Kodiak gear.