PRODUCT EVALUATION: KLIM WEATHER GEAR
The cold never bothered us anyway By the staff of Dirt Wheels
The winter temperatures are dwindling just as the snow on the mountaintops melts away. Temps are on the rise, but the cold and wet weather isn’t entirely over as spring rounds the corner. We ventured out to find the last of the heavy rain and snow to test a Klim gear set that we are enthralled with. The Traverse gear and Aggressor base layers may be a hit to the pocket book, but they are worth the investment if you ride in harsh conditions.
WARMTH FROM BELOW
Klim’s Aggressor 3.0 pants and shirt are claimed to be their warmest base layers. They have lesser options if you don’t need all the heat, but we planned a winter-style adventure specifically for this test. The layers are made of polyester and spandex 255G with a gridded design that traps heat. The seams are strong and don’t rub your skin uncomfortably. The Aggressors are made of moisture-wicking material that dries quite fast. The shirt has cut-outs at the ends of the sleeves to run your thumbs through that keep the sleeves from rolling up.
Each piece costs between $63.99 and $79.99 depending on your size and choice between Black Heather, Gray or Black color options. Sizing ranges from small to triple extra large.
TRAVERSE THE TERRAIN
Originally we wanted Klim’s Dakar gear for the adventure, but were directed to their waterproof Traverse jacket and pants. This setup will run you a pricey $399.99 to $429.99 per pant and similar for the jacket, which is tough to swallow, but Klim’s gear is extremely durable and long-lasting. Some of our editors still have sets that have lasted them over a decade!
The Traverse jacket is made of a two-layer Gore-Tex shell with a main nylon 66 shell. The shoulders and arms are 500D Cordura-reinforced. That sounds like it would get pretty warm, so thankfully there are two arm and chest vents. The inner liner is also moisture-wicking. All utilize nice YKK zippers. The main closure zipper is covered by a storm flap, along with the two outer chest pockets, and all the zippers are easy to use with gloves on. There is an inner zippered chest pocket as well.
The collar and hem of the jacket are adjustable, along with the Velcro wrist cuffs. Klim designed the collar with a micro-fleece material so it’s comfortable around your neck, and there is a Velcro closure to keep the jacket sealed around your neck. If you like to run padding, there are pockets on the shoulders, elbows and back. You can run this jacket with a chest protector over it. We wouldn’t recommend an under protector unless the jacket has some spare room on your frame. Color options are black, gray and green with sizing running from small to triple extra large.
The Traverse over-the-boot pants are made of the same materials, which means it is also waterproof. The knees and lower legs have 500G Cordura reinforcement, and the knee is wide enough to run braces or pads under. There are large leather panels that protect the insides of your knees from engine heat. A moisture-wicking mesh liner works well, and there are large thigh vents.
There is only one pocket on the left thigh of the pant that sits at a slant, which is great for use while sitting on your ATV. It is large enough to hold a phone, keys and wallet with ease. The waist is adjustable on each hip with Velcro straps. The closure system has material that runs behind the entire zipper so water won’t get inside. Finally, the bottoms of the legs open up to aid putting boots on and the closure is adjustable. You can order the Traverse pants in a regular or tall version, with sizing ranging from 30 to 42 with the same three color choices.
IT’S COLD AND WET
We loaded up some 4×4 quads and pointed the truck through strong rain and snowfall. Once we faced the cold to gear up, we were quite warm, thanks to the soft and comfortable Aggressor 3.0 base layers. The Traverse gear fits nicely and is sized as labeled.
Even the wind chill didn’t faze the gear much, but we expected to find ways to get water through the layers. Unfortunately we did, but that was our fault. One rider forgot to zip his jacket up, and the other didn’t adjust the jacket waist closed with the pull cords, so splashes from puddles were the enemy. Past that, we never had a drop of water faze the gear. Sure, water can wick in through the cuffs and collar, but that’s expected.
The vents and pockets were all easy to operate while riding or not. We did wish for more pockets in the gear. You can certainly get water through open vents, but the snow didn’t venture in. When the weather warmed a bit, the vents came in handy and kept our body temps down. The single downside to this setup is the hefty price, but that is hard to avoid with true Gore-Tex clothing, and you will get a great product from Klim that will last years. Go to www.klim.com to check out the extensive gear line that includes gloves, summer gear, optics and much more.