2011-09-29 15:20:15+0000

The Olympia AST is a great all-season jacket. The outer shell is waterproof, which means it can be a little on the warm side in the summer, but it also means you don't have to fumble with 'rain-proof' liners, or rain soaked outer jackets. It's got plenty of padding, and plenty of vents. Enough so that it's comfortable for me to wear into the upper 70s. For a long time it was my only jacket. It also comes with a warm liner. Paired with the right undergarments and the Ranger pants, I've been comfortable down into the 30s, without electrics. I've also used that combo to stay quite dry. Light rain is no problem, I've had some intrusion in heavy downpours but not so much that I was cold or soggy.

When I decided to tour Costa Rica on the back of a dirt bike a few years back I knew my AST would be too much jacket. So I picked up the Viper mesh jacket. Just as nice as the AST in every way, plus it includes a water/windproof liner and an additional warm liner. Surprise! The Viper's wind/waterproof liner and the AST's warm liner are interchangeable (the warm liner for the Viper goes inside it's wind/waterproof liner). The mesh kept me cool the whole trip, and the weather was warm enough that when it did rain we didn't bother with liners, we just got wet. I will say the elbow pads in the Viper do turn into swimming pools with enough rain. I paired my Viper with the AirGlide pants, which also come with a liner. If I had to do it over, I would probably go with the Recon pants. No liner, but the legs zip-off to become shorts.

If you're after a suit, the Phantom is pretty much the AST and the Ranger pants welded together, and the Stealth is the AirGlide Jacket and Pants and one piece. I'm not sure if either of those come with liners.

The two biggest pluses for me on Olympia are the price, they are very competitive but their quality is top notch and they stand by their product. Also, their cut is what they call 'American'. If you're lugging around a few extra pounds like many Americans (I know, you're Canadian) then you'll find that their gear fits better. For me the big issue has always been forearms. I find most motorcycle jackets painfully restrictive in the arms, and even with Olympia I had to size up on the AST for it to be comfortable with a sweatshirt underneath.

Olympia makes some nice gloves too (I think that's how they got started).

Another company putting out very similar products is REV'IT. Olympia certainly took cues from them when they made their X-Moto jacket/pants, copying REV'IT's Cayenne. REV'IT's gear is a little nicer than Olympia's (and they deal in Leather which Olympia does not) but considering how much more expensive it is, I'd go with Olympia every time. REV'IT's gear is a more European cut, and a little more stylish.

I'm fortunate to live within an hour of Philadelphia where Revzilla.com sells both Olympia and REV'IT (plus most of the other brands you'd want to see) so I've had the opportunity to fondle and try on a lot of different gear. They're a good bunch of guys at Revzilla and they're putting out some good video reviews on youtube. They always seem to be looking at avenues for promotion so maybe you guys could work something out. I know they do some sponsorship on WebBikeWorld.

I'm not affiliated with any of these brands or sites, just a fan. If you like I can also geek out on Shark helmets, Bags Connection bags and Motocomm communications units.

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  • alex
  • 2011-09-29T12:44:14-04:00

I like the sound of this - my Joe Rocket stuff is also supposed to be "waterproof" but it sounds like yours leaks a whole lot less than mine. Now, I just need to find somewhere that sells it. Or come visit Philly...

And sure, please do geek out on the rest.