Staying comfortable on a foul-weather ride has a price. Usually in dollars or in agony and suffering if you skimp on the dollars part. At close to $600 for pants and jacket, the Klim Traverse gear not only fits the bill, it comes with one. But the age-old adage of “you get what you pay for” stands true here. First, the Traverse gear is proudly made from Gore-Tex and guaranteed waterproof because of this. I can 100 percent vouch for its ability in wet weather, both warm and cold, as I caught monsoon thundershowers and early fall snow while wearing my set. And since I sweat like a chubby guy riding a motorcycle hard, the latest version of Gore-Tex definitely breathes better than I remember in the past, even if I can still produce sweat faster than it can wick it away. There is even moisture-wicking fabric on the inside of the jacket to aid in this feat, and it too works for me over time.
But what separates the Klim from a lot of the other weatherproof gear is the combination of three very crucial areas of performance. The gear is built tough, using 840-denier Cordura in the high-wear areas, which should last for more than a few seasons. This is important when you lay out cash like this. Second, they open up (pant and jacket, both) and ventilate with properly placed, functional and controllable weatherproof zippered closures. And the best part-the fit. The stuff is about average in weight for foul-weather gear, but it rides on your body like a lightweight shell and pant. That for a very normal-build 5-foot 10-inch, 185-pound rider wearing 34-inch waist and XL jacket. It does not restrict you while riding and isn’t floppy or flappy in the wind. The build list of the pants and jacket (check out the website) will make a feature fiend happy and has more than enough information to fill up all the well-placed pockets in the pant and jacket. There is room for all the necessities short of adventure touring. The collar is lined with brushed tricot, a fleece-like gasket material so the neck does not chafe, and the closures on the neck and sleeves cinch up to keep the elements out, then open up to let air in. The shell is windproof as well as water-deflecting, so the jacket is about as warm as you could expect from a non-layered jacket. But if it gets warm out, the large underarm/torso zippers will let in the air immediately.
The jacket is $299.99 available in S/M to 3XL, and the pant is $289.99, sizes 28 to 42, available only in a gray/black color combo with some slight reflective hints. Simply put, if you can pay for this stuff, you can play in it any time. And I did! -Jimmy Lewis