MSR may be built upon its contributions to off-road riding, but the brand’s motocross influence is growing to the point that MSR products are no longer limited to just the woods or the desert. Its new NXT gear, for example, is just as solid slicing through trees as it is being pelted by loamy roost, and this crossover functionality is perfectly suited to the demands of riders like myself who will race on a track one day and ride trails the next.I wore the NXT jersey by itself and under a jacket for both moto and off-road, and each time I was impressed by the overall comfort and feel. MSR’s designers really pushed for a racer-inspired fit with the jersey, and this contoured design is what makes it feel natural on the body. The collar and sleeves are super-comfortable and nonrestrictive, while the shoulders and elbows articulate well and don’t bunch up while moving. I found the sizing to be spot-on with what I ordered, although the generous cut (aka extra material for more mobility) made for sleeves that were just an inch or two long for my preference. Aside from that, I don’t have a single other complaint about this setup, and after over three months of hard riding and regular washing the $49.95 jersey is still holding up great, minus some shredding on the sleeve from a high-speed low-side.
The $159.95 NXT pant has all the usual features that make it a player in this category, from the three-quarter-length mesh liner to the ratchet belt closure. The knee on the pant is cut perfectly for larger kneepads like the ones I wear, and the burly leather panels withstood even the most exposed (ahem, Husqvarna TC250) header pipes they came into contact with. Comfort was on par with the jersey, and several mid-ride concentration lapses on my part didn’t result in any substantial crash damage to the pant (though I can’t say the same for my handlebar). About the only issue I had was that after a particularly muddy ride, I had what seemed to be an extra difficult time getting the stains out. I threw every laundry trick I had at it, but the pant just didn’t look the same after really flogging through the muck.Bottom line: Is the NXT gear worth the dough? I say yes. Between the above average comfort, good durability and clean, cool style, this is absolutely some of the best gear I’ve worn all year. I wouldn’t mind a bit easier washing, but then again, I was a pretty disgusting mess after that ride. Whichever way you slice itfrom the track to the trailsthis gear is a great choice.
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