— PRODUCT EVALUATION:
Stay fresh and clean in your UTV for $129.99.
By the staff of Dirt Wheels —
Driving UTVs is a dirty business, but we can’t help but love the sport. It can get annoying having to change clothes after a ride because we are too covered in Southern California desert dust or dirt to ride in our trucks! Fortunately, Klim, a major motorcycle and snowmobile gear manufacturer, has created a driving suit that will keep you generally dust-free. They call it the Terra Firma dust suit, and it will run you $129.99.
The water-resistant suit is made of Klim’s rip-stop polyester and cotton. There are stretch panels designed into the shoulders and lower back of the suit. The built-in waist belt is adjustable, as are the Velcro sleeve cuffs. Klim designed five pockets into the suit. There are two generous chest pockets that can fit a wallet or phone (not recommended if you use a harness-type seatbelt system), two thigh pockets that are large and one more pocket on the bicep of the right arm.
Two armpit vents are designed into the Terra Firma suit that allow you to get into the pockets on your clothes underneath the suit, as well as cool you down. The dual-zippered entrance of the suit starts from the collar and continues all the way down the right pant leg. This makes getting in and out of the dust suit easier than having to step both legs into it. The last interesting design element of this suit is the built-in (and removable) kneepad on the left knee.
WHAT IT’S LIKE
The only way to test a dust suit properly is to—you guessed correctly—get it dusty! We took a few UTVs out to the desert and drove in each other’s dust for a 20-mile loop for the first test. The Terra Firma suit was covered in dust on the first stop, but once our tester opened it up, his clothes were still clean like he had just stepped into the machine at the start of the day. Next, we had our tester open the vents for the second loop. Once the loop ended, his clothes were a little dusty, but not compared to the suit. Finally, to our test driver’s dislike, we had him leave the suit behind. He wasn’t thrilled when we got back, because he had no clothes to change into! His clothes were so covered that he almost drove home in his underwear so he wouldn’t get the inside of his truck dirty.
The vents helped keep us cool in the heat, and, fortunately, the suit will fit over a jacket to help us stay warm in the cooler months. The built-in kneepad was a big plus. Our managing editor always hits his knees on UTV doors, as do we, and he was excited to hear that a company built a pad into the suit.
At the end of the day we could quickly take off the Klim Terra Firma dust suit, stow it away and get into our trucks with relatively clean clothes on. We aren’t sure how the water-resistant suit would keep up in muddy or really wet conditions, but for the desert and dry terrain, it is worth the price. Go to www.klim.com or call (208) 552-7433 to get yourself a suit. They come in multiple sizes but in only one color at the moment!