Adventure-riding outerwear must deliver protection against all weather conditions and provide crash protection while remaining comfortable for tank-draining stretches on the bike. The Durban Gore-Tex jacket and pant are four-season, high-end members of the Alpinestars Tech Touring collection, putting forth the best efforts of a brand with one of the deepest histories in protecting riders around the world.
The first quality that becomes apparent as you don the Durban jacket and pant is exactly that: the quality of construction and materials. The outer shell is comprised of different weights of nylon, strategically chosen to balance durability, weight, and protection. High-abrasion areas have welded ceramic-coated “Superfabric” reinforcements. A mesh liner houses CE-certified protectors for knees, elbows, and shoulders. Chest and back pads are also provided and are upgradable to the Nucleon line of protectors. The pant has leather panels on the insides of the lower legs, and reflective accents adorn both jacket and pant for increased nighttime safety. Zip-in Gore-Tex and micro-fleece liners are used to provide 100-percent waterproof/breathable protection and warmth against stormy conditions.
The fit of the jacket is enhanced by an internal adjustable waist belt (similar to a kidney belt), which also ensures that the protective padding remains in place during aggressive riding. Multiple arm volume adjustment points and gusseted, articulated elbows also enhance fit. Zippered cuffs with Velcro tabs customize the fit around the wrists, and the collar is compatible with neck braces. The pant employs heavily articulated knees and a stretchy back panel to minimize restrictions while riding. Waist belt adjustment and a removable suspender system guarantee the pant stays in place while the zippered ankle cuffs with Velcro tabs accommodate a wide range of boots. Jacket and pant can be zipped together for extra security, and both are available in seven sizes.
The jacket has an array of zippered vents on the sleeves, shoulders, and sides of the back. A unique mesh panel that runs the vertical length of the main closure can be used to zip the jacket closed, providing a huge frontal area of airflow. The zipper flaps are held open by micro Velcro (won’t snag other clothing) tabs and snaps. The sleeves are removable for wear as a vest. The pant has a pair of vertical zippered vents on the front of the thighs. As for pockets, together the jacket and pant have 12 as well as a hydration bladder pocket.
Riding with the Durban Gore-Tex jacket and pant inspires confidence, as the quality of construction and materials bodes well for protection against both weather and crashes. True adventure is not scripted, and this Alpinestars setup wholly proved its mettle in multiple instances of unplanned changes in weather and unwelcome dates with terra firma. Hours of riding through mountain storms, both on the road and dirt, proved the absolute waterproofness of the Gore-Tex liners, the only water entry being minor dribbles through the neck and sleeve openings at highway speeds.
The warmth of the micro-fleece bonded to the waterproof liners was welcome in the mountains, but in the more temperate climates of the Southwest, this tester wished the waterproofing function was separate of insulation. Another gripe for me is the inability to comfortably use knee braces, especially with the waterproof liners in use. The Durban adventure suit is on the heavy side compared to other options available, but the durability, safety, and four-season protection offered are a worthy trade when there is only one kit on board.
The Alpinestars Durban Gore-Tex jacket and pant combo is an utterly capable and durable companion for motorcycle adventures. It is not light, it is not cheap, but when true adventure calls, the Durban setup is the one this tester grabs first.