It’s always a shame when something that is exceptionally good at what it is designed to do is retired from a manufacturer’s range. However, as is the case with these FLM Stormchaser waterproofs, there are still some around and they are worth the effort in trying to find, as they work incredibly well and are extremely well thought out.
You might think waterproof over-garments are much of a muchness but these are proof that this isn’t always the case. There appear to be plenty of the one-piece variants available (see below) but personally, I tend to prefer two-piece versions – if, for example, I’m out in a lightweight summer jacket that happens to be waterproof but in jeans and I may encounter rain, then I’ll just stick the trousers in a bag to keep my butt and legs dry just in case, for example.
Out of the box, these are slightly different from familiar waterproof, in that they are cut much more like proper riding gear. The jacket, for example, fits like a touring jacket and is long enough to keep you well protected, with an elasticated waist to prevent a large amount of voluminous waterproof material to flap around as you ride. It also has a drawstring at the hem and hook-and-loop adjuster straps on the upper arms to tailor the fit like a normal outer jacket.
The cuffs are also elasticated and feature a decent length of hook-and-loop – this means it is easy to get them on but they will also do up tight around gloves’ wrist straps to prevent water ingress. There is a full-length double storm cover over the main zip with hook-and-loop closure and the collar is deep enough to help prevent water from climbing up over the neck and getting in that way.
If it’s really bad, then there is a really handy hood tucked away in the collar that includes a rear section made from the same waterproof material as the rest of the jacket but with a large stretch section that goes over your head and under your helmet. This will prevent water from running down off the back of the helmet and into the collar at the back of the neck – possibly one of the most annoying things in motorcycling...
The jacket is formed in mainly black but with a large white stripe running across it with reflective strips as well to help with visibility in poor conditions. There is also a waterproof pocket on the left chest, with a doubled-over closure flap secured with a full-length hook-and-loop while there is also a Napoleon pocket and one on the inside.
The jacket is also fitted with a mesh lining that helps to promote airflow within and is described as having a breathable membrane. Just how breathable this actually is can be debated – I have certainly never had any external water coming in though I have found myself somewhat clammy inside as I do with most waterproofs but I learned over the years that a little warm moisture is much better than lots of cold...
The trousers are similarly well designed and thought-out; they have a short zip to join to the jacket and grip panels on the butt, which can be really useful depending on the finish of your seat. They too have large white panels and reflective strips and large zipped gussets at the base of the leg to allow you to get your feet in while wearing boots.
However, I would still recommend the age-old trick of a pair of plastic carrier bags over your boots first; they will prevent the inside of the trousers from getting mucky and help your feet to slide into the legs.
There’s no adjustment in the legs as there is on the jacket but you don’t really need it – by the time the leg gussets are done up and you’re in, you’re covered. Like the jacket, the leg cuffs are elasticated and have a good length of hook-and-loop to get them nice and tight over your boots to prevent any water from getting in through zips or lace holes, depending on what you’re wearing.
While I tend to wear the right clothing for the - likely – conditions, you often need a pair of waterproofs just in case. I used these to and from a road-bike trackday when I was riding there and back in a set of leathers. It’s always a little risky riding your bike to and using it on a trackday, if only because you need to wear the leathers you’re riding in on the way there and back.
But in this instance, these kept me bone dry during a two-hour slog through motorway traffic with no water coming in at all. The same couldn’t be said about my sports boots but then, they weren’t supposed to be waterproof but these kept most of the water out – certainly above the ankle where they closed.
They allowed plenty of movement on the bike in a sporty riding position without feeling restrictive and worked exactly as they were intended to. Impressive.
• Great fit
• Completely waterproof
• Good value
• Scarce - if you find them, get them before it's too late
More waterproofs on MCN
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