When on tour, there are huge demands placed on your clothing and choosing the right textile motorcycle touring suit to cope with that is an important decision. It needs to keep you warm in case you encounter cold conditions; dry in case of the inevitable rainstorms or showers that can affect almost any ride; dry quickly in case you do get rained on so that you don’t start the next section of the ride in wet clothing; allow you to cool down in case the weather takes a turn for the better and, of course, keep you fully protected while you’re on the bike.
A two-piece motorcycle touring suit from the same manufacturer has many benefits; the jacket and trousers are designed to work together and will usually have zips that can join the two to prevent gaping at the back, for example or to increase their security in use. The jacket and trousers will also have similar warmth and dryness characteristics and should offer similar levels of protection top and bottom.
Speaking of which, as with any motorcycle clothing, you should be looking for a CE rating. When it comes to the overall garments, this is specified by a letter; B, A, AA and AAA, the latter being the highest rating for protection.
Similarly, with armour, this can either be CE Level-1 or the better Level-2 – this absorbs more energy in an impact and hence, protects you better. Also look for a back protector with the jacket or at least a pocket for one and similarly, ideally hip protectors on the trousers – if you’re in the saddle for a long time, you need to know you are protected as well as comfortable.
Related: Top motorcycle touring essentials
Other features to look in motorcycle touring suits for are a detachable thermal liner – admittedly most will have this – that will keep you warm when it’s chilly but also let remove it when it gets a bit warmer and vents to allow cooling air in, for the same reason.
Pockets are always useful particularly on a large tour, for wallets or cards for tolls, for example. Flexibility in the material is also handy though the higher the CE-rated protection, the stiffer it is likely to be.
The overall construction is important too; if you can afford a proper laminated outfit, then this should help shed water instead of absorbing it and increasing its weight, as well as making it more uncomfortable. The jacket will also be cut longer than say a sports-style version to prevent gaping at the small of the back and offer greater protection from the elements.
Here are some of our favourite two-piece motorcycle touring suits.
Rev’It Sand 4 H2O
Tested by Simon Weir for seven weeks, 5000 miles
Quality 4/5, Value 4/5
This is a really well-made textile suit (with a AA rating). It’s a three-layer job, with the outer material holding the armour – CE Level 2 shoulder and elbow protectors in the jacket, Level 2 knee armour and Level 1 hip protectors in the trousers. I added my own back protector to the pocket in the jacket. The inner layer is a thermal and, I’ll be honest, I’ve not tested it in this record-breaking summer. It’s plush and thick and I’m sure it will be effective.
The thermal zips into the middle layer, the waterproof one. It’s a rubbery, non-breathable material and too sweaty for comfort on warm-but-damp days. The jacket liner can be pulled on over the outer layer like a normal waterproof and works really well. The trouser element can only be worn zipped into the outer, so a separate set of waterproof leggings need to go in the pannier if the liner is left out.
In the dry, the large vents on the jacket work well. There are reasonable vents in the trousers, too. There are huge waterproof pockets on the jacket – I stuffed them so full of things I looked pregnant – as well as well as two inside pockets. There are four pockets on the trousers, too. I’ve used it on trips round Switzerland, Wales (wet!) and England and it’s a very good suit. It will come into its own on cooler autumn days, when the waterproof liners can be fitted.
Lots of pockets
Waterproof liner not breathable
Oxford Montreal 4
The Montreal has been one of British kit giant Oxford's staple ranges and now in its fourth iteration, it continues to impress, winning a Best Buy tag in a recent test by sister title RiDE. Find the trousers here (£129.99)
The jacket is a long, touring cut and the outer is formed in polyester with Oxford’s Dry2Dry membrane which keeps water out yet allows the body to breathe. Both it and the trousers come with removeable thermal liners and the jacket has six vents with the trousers, two.
Both jacket and trousers are fitted with Level-1 armour and there is pocket for a back protector.
Only A rated
A superb all-rounder that has a good stab at being all the suit you need, all year round, this laminated Goretex touring jacket and trousers from Richa punches well above its weight.
The price (over £1,000 if you add the matching trousers) means you'll want to wear this suit as much as possible, and usefully it packs enough weather protection to make this realistic. Add a warm jumper or heated vest in the winter and you will need for nothing more.
We've given this motorcycle touring suit a more thorough testing in our Richa Atlantic full review, in all weathers and on several different size motorbikes, so you can see whether this one is right for you.
Works all year round
On lots of different bikes
Could do with more vents
Less suited to sports bikes
The Budget one
The Hurricane jacket and Pacific trousers from Duchinni are impressive, I've worn these in horrendous weather and they stood up to torrential rain, spray and cold really well indeed. They are also well specified, the jacket is AA rated and comes with shoulder and elbow armour and a pocket for a back protector while the trousers are also AA rated and come with knee and hip armour. Find the trousers here (£79.99)
They are quoted as being waterproof, windproof and breathable and in use, I did indeed find they kept everything out, though the lack of vents means they can get a little sweaty when the weather dries up.
Comfortable and dry
No cooling vents
The winter wonder
Tried and tested by Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie: "I've given this jacket and matching trousers a thorough testing in this T.ur J-Zero and P-Zero full review but in short, I was really impressed by how warm and waterproof they were despite being constructed from remarkably soft and flexible materials."
Totally waterproof during testing
Really comfortable and warm
Clever horizontal pockets on the trousers
Tough D30 armour
Trousers are only A-rated for abrasion
No back inclusion protector
The adventure-y one
RST Pro Adventure-X
If you ride an adventure bike, a BMW GS, Honda Africa Twin or similar, then an adventure-styled suit will be perfect for touring in. This one from RST has been developed in conjunction with Dakar racer Mick Extance and features a MaxTex outer with double reinforced layers in key areas. Find the trousers here (£219.99)
It has a removeable thermal and waterproof lining that uses the SinAqua breathable membrane and the jacket is CE AA rated with a full suite of Level-2 armour, at the shoulders, elbows and back. The trousers are A-rated and come with Level-1 armour in the knees and a pocket for hip armour. Read our in-depth review here.
Adventure styling and functionality
High levels of protection
Available with airbag insert (£200 extra)
Waterproof layer is bonded to thermal liner
The long-lived one
Wolf Titanium Outlast
Wolf is a brand that has been around since the late 1960s and this, the Titanium Outlast, is one of its key offerings. Both the jacket and the trousers are made with a nylon outer layer that is reinforced in key areas and backed with a full waterproof layer to keep the water out. Find the trousers here (£199.99)
There are removable Outlast thermal liners, to regulate the body temperature and there is Level-2 D3O armour to the shoulders, elbows and knees, with a back protector pocket and also for hip armour. There are also vents on both the jacket and trousers for additional cooling air flow.
British brand with long heritage
Highest rated armour
Outlast temperature regulating liners
Only CE A rated
The high-end one
If you do a lot, and we do mean a lot, of touring, then you may find that a suit such as this one from renowned high-end manufacturer Rukka is worth the investment. Both the jacket and trousers are formed in Gore-Tex Pro3, a triple laminated material that sees water simply run off the outer layer, so it doesn't get soaked and increase in weight. Find the trousers here (£754.99)
It also allows the body to breathe and there are additional sectio0ns of Armacor for abrasion resistance. The jacket uses D3O shoulder, elbow, back and chest armour while the trousers have matching protection at the knees, hips and shins. Serious performance… for serious money.
Gore-Tex Pro 3 laminated material
Superb suit of protection
Outlast temperature regulating liners
The highly-specified one
The Camber jacket and trousers from British but often mistaken for Italian brand Spada packs a huge amount into its diminutive outlay. It uses a laminated outer layer for both the trousers and the jacket and both feature a quilted and removable thermal liner. Find the trousers here (£142.49)
There are Ventech cooling vents in both the jacket and trousers and both are also CE AA rated and comes with a five-piece suit or CE armour in the jacket – shoulder, elbow and back – and four-piece in the trousers – knees and hips.
Laminated material to shed water
Can’t think of any
The flexible one
Richa Touareg 2
The Touareg 2 is the second iteration of Richa's touring suit and features a durable outer with a removable Humax waterproof membrane and another, separate but also removeable thermal liner. The Touareg 2 is designed for changeable conditions, so it can be worn as just the outer or with the thermal or waterproof liners in place. Find the matching trousers here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richa-7TOAII100-6XL-Touareg-Motorcycle-Trousers/dp/B07QMZHXX7?tag=mcnarticle275-21)) (£259.99)
The jacket also has no less than 11 opening vents to allow cooling airflow through to the body in warm conditions and the trousers also have numerous vents. Both the jacket and the trousers are A rated, are vegan-friendly and come with D3O armour.
Flexible wearing options
Numerous opening vents for airflow
Not all may like multiple layers
The mesh one
Italian brand T.Ur (pronounced 'tour') is predominately adventure-inspired but this suit is equally at home on the dirt as the tarmac. It is designed to offer the maximum cooling airflow as possible yet at the same time, keep the rider warm and dry. The outer uses solid material in key areas but in others, it has mesh panels for that airflow on the chest and the front of the thighs. Find the trousers here (£199.99)
It uses a combined waterproof and breathable liner that acts as a thermal version as well, which means that to be dry, you will also be warm. The jacket is CE AA rated and the trousers, A while both feature Level-2 ventilated D3O armour, in the shoulders and elbows and the knees.
Huge cooling effect
Masses of adjustment
Waterproof liner also thermal liner
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