If you live in Washington State or some jungle climate like Costa Rica, by all means, spend some serious coin and get the absolute finest, long-lasting foul-weather gear you can find. But if you are like us and live in a climate where you can often avoid riding while it is actually snowing or raining, the prices of foul-weather gear are not attractive. Our riding buddies used to choose to suffer a little in the cold or wet. But now, we have all discovered the A.R.C. Back Country foul-weather pant and jacket. The pant is of the over-the-boot design, and it is loaded with features like a membrane-type, breathable, waterproof fabric with a full mesh liner, pockets and even warm-weather vents covered with waterproof zippers. The waist is fully adjustable with Velcro side straps and a ratcheting front-buckle system. Our favorite feature is the genuine-leather lower-leg panels. Few OTB pants offer the header-pipe protection that the A.R.C. pant does. The waterproof, 300-denier Cordura shell material is light enough that you don’t feel like you are in a straight jacket. That light weight is impressive considering the pant features sealed seams and a Maxtex membrane that is breathable yet waterproof, and it is reinforced with heavy ballistic-style nylon in the seat area and knees.
Rocky Mountain’s A.R.C. Back Country pant and jacket give you bad-weather confidence at a seriously great price. Both are comfortable for quads or UTVs.
The bottom of each pant leg zips open to allow putting on your boots. The subtle black/gray combo is great for looking incognito while dual-sporting, but a brighter option would be nice; otherwise, we have no real complaints. As with all OTB pants, the Back Country pant allows plenty of freedom to move while keeping trail junk out of your boot tops. You will be shocked at how much more water-resistant your current riding boots will seem when the tops are covered with a waterproof shell.
We also like the pant’s protective flap that covers the fly zipper to keep mud and dirt out. The Back Country pant is sized from 30 to 44, and the price is $79.99!
The A.R.C. Back Country foul-weather jacket has even more features than the pant, so it is great for sport or utility quads. At times we felt the hidden belt in UTV seats, but it wasn’t really an issue. The internal belt allows the entire jacket to turn into a waist pack if the weather warms up too much. This jacket has the breathable and waterproof shell, a mesh liner, multiple pockets, zippered vents and adjustable sleeve cuffs. This jacket has five pockets (two internal and three external), and the chest pocket includes a headphone port. Another clever feature is a zippered, adjustable neck opening at the rear of the neck. Open the zip and the neck accordions to allow riding with a neck brace. The jacket comes in sizes large to 3XL, and it costs $79.99!
There is a single vent in each pant leg. It is covered by a waterproof zipper. The vents help, but don’t confuse these with warm-weather OTB pants. Save them for adverse conditions.
We’d like to see color choices in addition to the black and gray, but otherwise we have no complaints. The pant and jacket are comfortable, have every feature you could want and offer nice protection.
This simple opening at the rear of the jacket neck makes the jacket work for those who wear neck braces.
A.R.C. is one of the Rocky Mountain ATV house brands, and they always hit a great price point, but this price is crazy-cheap for a breathable, waterproof pant or jacket. This isn’t a set of gear you will wear all the time, but boy will you be happy you have it in the cold and wet. Sizing on the pant is fine, and RM ATV warns the jacket runs a little small. If you wear anything under the jacket—for warmth or protection—go up at least a full size. Contact them at (800) 336-5437 or www.rockymountainatv.com.