Tag: klim

Klim Altitude Women’s Gear – Early Adopter Blues

Klim Altitude Women’s Gear – Early Adopter Blues

I’m in for over 10,000 road miles on Klim women’s Altitude jacket and pants so, I feel like I can fairly give my impression of it.

When I was looking for GORE-TEX gear in the summer of 2014, based on how happy everyone I know who owns the brand Klim has been, it seemed like a perfect choice. The introduction of their women-specific Altitude jacket and pants presented itself as perfect timing. The caveat? At the time, gray was the only color available for the Altitude. If you wanted the suit, you bought gray or you bought something else.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Are you an idiot? It’s a light color, it’s going to get filthy.”

Honestly, I thought the same thing. Aesthetically, I really like light-colored gear and having owned and cared for some in the past I thought I would just continue my efforts of being diligent about keeping it looking tidy. My prior experience had been: when it started looking gross, you throw it in the machine/tub, let it dry and voilà! the suit would look gorgeous once again.

It seemed easy enough, so I bought the suit with dreams of finally being dry without rain gear.

In the beginning: Look at me – clean as a whistle!

My first major outing of the suit was during a ride through the Alps. We had variable weather for 10 days and a couple thousand miles ranging from hot, to cold, to mist, to snowflakes and downpour. The most important thing for me was that I stayed dry. Day in day out, I was feeling like a million bucks in my super-suit never having to stop and don rain gear.

Overall the cut of the jacket works for me. It has enough give and room in my “problem areas” without creating loose flapping fabric in others.

I do miss having a top-opening pocket for ease of use on the jacket. There are side vertical-zippered pockets at the hip level. I never feel secure enough to put anything in them such as a phone because chances are I will not zip the pocket and I’m afraid that whatever is in there will fall out.

The jacket front does have 2 large vertical pockets. My favorite part is the elastic tethers and plastic clips inside of them. I use them for my camera and my SPOT tracker.

The pants? I feel like the rise is too low when I’m in the seated position and that bugs me. The pockets on the hip are too shallow to put much in them. I use them for small items like loose bills, change and a chapstick. You cannot fit any typical smartphone, camera or a wallet in there while you’re trying to free up your hands. There are no pockets on the legs to do that duty either.

Returning from my alpine trip I rode into the autumn again with its variable weather and again I stayed dry. In that regard the Altitude suit has been absolutely terrific.

After a several thousand miles, it became time to wash the suit. Keeping it clean is important to keeping it waterproof. Besides, while it might look good from a distance, the road dirt was really starting to show if you were standing next to me. What’s that saying? Good from far, far from good. That describes the appearance of this suit to a T.

 

Klim has pretty clear washing instructions which I followed.

My collar before:

 

My collar after:

 

I washed the gear per the Klim instructions. The result on my pants?

 

When the gear didn’t come clean, I soaked it in the tub with some Oxiclean powder. I even used Oxiclean stain stick on certain greasy spots on the backs of my my pant legs. After the Oxiclean soak, I put it through the washer 2 more times.

The washing really didn’t do much of anything, visibly. When it was all washed and dried for the last time, I resigned myself to the fact that I would never get this suit clean. The real slap in the face was to have another chick rider look at me and say “your jacket looks like shit.” Burn! 😆 That sucked to hear because I can’t do anything about it. I spent over a grand on this get-up. But… she’s right.

This is what my “clean” jacket looks like:

  • Jacket $550-ish
  • Pants: $500

I’m in for over $1000 to look like a perpetual dirtbag. Awesome. If you’re naïve like me and think you’ll be able to wash this suit to keep it visibly clean, think again.

  • The construction quality, fit & finish of the suit is great.
  • It is waterproof. I have not gotten wet through it.
  • The zipper pulls become frayed and fuzzy from snagging on the velcro.
  • The rise on the pants is too low for me.
  • Love the elastic band clips in the front jacket pockets.

For 2015, Klim introduced the suit in black and I feel, frickin’ bummed. It’s the early adopter blues. If I could trade this suit in for a black one, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

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One of My Favorite Things About the Klim Altitude Jacket

One of My Favorite Things About the Klim Altitude Jacket

When you get a new piece of riding gear, the first moment that you put it on everything is wonderful. It’s the best jacket/pants/pair of gloves you’ve ever had. It isn’t until down the road that you find the little things about it that bug you. Or on the flip side, you find something you really appreciate about the garment. You’ve really got to put it through it’s paces in different conditions to make a fair assessment.

That is one of my biggest gripes with the way riding gear is reviewed across the web. Someone takes one ride in a jacket and gives a review. You know? Riding 20 miles in a jacket doesn’t cut it. Wear it for a week, a month, in variable conditions THEN review it.

And I get it. Reviews need to be timely to sell the current model but the process is often flawed, in my opinion.

::Taking my curmudgeon hat off::

So, on the lighter side of things – Of course I LOVE the waterproofness of the gear. But if you would’ve told me that one of the things I would appreciate most about my Klim Altitude jacket was 2 stupid clips inside the front pockets, I would’ve rolled my eyes at you. Which I’m really good, by the way.

Two stinkin’ clips.

Inside of one pocket, I clip my itty bitty point-n-shoot camera and on the other, I clip in my SPOT tracker. And then… my life is perfect.

fuzzygalore klim jacket pocket clip

As a motorcyclist, you know how it goes. Sometimes you pull over to the side of the road to snap a photo and have to go fumbling around pulling your (non-DSLR) camera out. Maybe you keep it in your tankbag or topbox so that it doesn’t get wet. *fumble*fumble*walk*walk*snap*walk*walk*fumble*fumble*

Because my life is now perfect, I get off the bike (or maybe not) pull the camera out of my pocket without fear of dropping it, because in my perfect life it’s clipped to me, and *snap*. Then I willy-nill-illy shove the camera back in my pocket. And I am freeeeeee!

Life? Perfect.

 

The Klim Altitude Jacket Has Landed!

The Klim Altitude Jacket Has Landed!

It’s here! It’s finally here!

I’ve been waiting all week for my Klim Altitude jacket to show up. It finally arrived on Thursday after what felt like an eternity.

First impressions of it have left me with stars in my eyes. The fit and finish is wonderful but I think it takes weeks and months to know whether or not you love a riding garment.

klim altitude ladies jacket fuzzygalore
Does this jacket make me look waterproof?

It is at this point in our program where everyone can thank me for buying waterproof gear. We will be experiencing a drought from here on 😀

You’re welcome!

Can I Finally Kiss My Raingear Goodbye?

Can I Finally Kiss My Raingear Goodbye?

On Thursday morning while being completely useless at work before the long 4th of July weekend, I decided to check out the ladies Klim gear on Revzilla.com. You know, “just looking.”

I don’t NEED new gear. I’ve got more jackets than I can possibly use. Just last spring I bought myself 2 new REV’IT jackets. What all of the gear – I’m apparently hoarding – has in common though, is that is isn’t waterproof. Yes, it all has rain liners and they work – to a point. But I absolutely would not trust that I could make it from my house on a multi-hundred mile trip on the slab in the pouring rain and be happy about it without the use of rain gear over top. That isn’t a knock against the gear – it doesn’t guarantee that it is waterproof. You know what you’re getting in to up front.

For the record – I don’t like interior rain liners. The outer garment becomes completely saturated and weighs a million pounds while you stand dripping on line at a 7-11 getting coffee.

Frankly, I don’t know why I bother with the whole “maybe I should…” charade. Once a thought enters my mind I’m pretty much all in. When I say something like “What do you think of this Klim jacket?” to Kenny, it can be taken as a clear indicator that I am about to buy it. And the pants.

And so I did.

Box numero uno containing my pants arrived bright and early on Saturday morning.

ladies klim altitude

Now I play the waiting game with UPS to deliver my jacket. It is officially half-passed eternity, in case you were wondering.

Will this setup be the thing that makes me finally say goodbye to needing raingear? GORE-TEX guarantees waterproofness.

This spring while riding with two dudes in Klim gear, in the rain all the way to WV, they stayed dry. Not that I’m excited to find out – but, I’m excited to find out 😀

What’s your experience with GORE-TEX riding gear?

 

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