Summer Touring? You’re Going To Need Wet Weather Motorcycle Gear!

| | ,

There’s always that one bit of kit that I can never seem to get right in any hobby.

For instance, my main passion outside of motorcycles is photography.

And no matter how much I try, and no matter how many camera bags I buy, I can never seem to find one I like.

Back in the world of motorcycles, my arch-nemesis (for a while) was always waterproof motorcycle clothing.

Wet Weather Motorcycle Gear: My Quest To Get It Right

I started off with a cheap, one-piece motorcycle rain suit off eBay that I used for my first-ever tour to the Alps.

Cost-wise, it was probably around £25. And to be fair, it did actually work.

But it refused to fold down into a compact little bundle. And in the end, it was so much of a pain to get on and off that getting wet was preferable.

As well as that, it wasn’t ventilated. So in the summer months, whilst the suit would protect me from the rain, I’d get wet from the inside out – courtesy of my own sweat.

motorcycles in rain - wet weather motorcycle gear
Wet weather motorcycle gear: The quest to get it right! (Image via BMW Riders)

What Is The Best Rain Gear For Motorcycle Riding?

If you run this question through Google, you’ll be inundated with manufacturers of laminated jackets. And all of them will tell you just how great their gore-tex motorcycle rain gear is at keeping you dry.

And of course, they have a point.

But the problem is, you can expect to pay in the region of £1,000 – £1,500 (and above) for one of these super-duper jackets. In the same way, the pants aren’t much cheaper.

£2,500 For Motorcycle Rain Gear??

Now, if you’re planning on riding through the wet season for three months in Finland, I can kind of see why a £1,500 laminate jacket might be worthwhile.

But for a 2-week trip to the Dolomites in summer?

£2,500 is an extortionate amount to pay for a motorcycle jacket and pants regardless of the weather conditions. But for a summer trip to Europe? It’s just so unnecessary.

Accordingly, a motorcycle waterproof over jacket combined with a standard, relatively cheap motorcycle jacket is perfectly adequate.

richa waterproof motorcycle jacket
Standard waterproofs are much more versatile – and cheaper (Image: SportsBikeShop)

Wet Weather Motorcycle Gear: Layers > Bulk

For the readers who have been around Motorcycle Tourer for a while, you’ll know that I champion the notion of layers.

Therefore I don’t buy all that much motorcycle-specific gear. Yes, I buy motorcycle jackets, pants, and boots, etc.

But everything I buy is centred around layers. And most of them are from the world of hiking, running, and cycling.

Why?

Because they’re way lighter, way better, way cheaper, and way more technically advanced than the overpriced shit they try to sell you in fancy motorcycle showrooms.

Keeping warm and dry (or cool and dry) is all about the adding of (or removal of) layers.

And if you want to stay dry but cool on your summer tour, you need to think about your gear as a series of layers. Not as a £1,500, one-size-fits-all laminate jacket.

It just doesn’t work like that.

advspec - wet weather motorcycle gear
Wet weather motorcycle gear works better as a series of layers. (Image: AdvSpec)

First Things First: Keep Your Riding Gear Dry

One of my problems with laminate (or generally high-end) kit is that it gets wet. And when riding gear gets wet, it takes hours to dry.

As well as this, you’ll drip all over the hotel reception. You’ll have to hang your stuff up over the bath when you get into your room. And you run the risk of your kit not being dry in time for tomorrow.

Have you ever had to put on wet kit the day after a deluge?

I have, and it’s shit.

If there’s a sure-fire way to ruin even the most enjoyable of rides, it’s by starting it with wet gear that keeps you cold and miserable all day long.

Yes, I know that water technically runs off laminate jackets.

But seriously, why take the risk?

Save yourself £1,400 by spending £100 on a waterproof over jacket and pants. Then put them on and take them off as the weather changes.

You don’t want to be putting on cold, wet, kit the day after a soaking

The Benefits Of Separate Wet Weather Motorcycle Gear

Have you looked at the tech sheet of premium, waterproof motorcycle gear?

There’s so much technology in it. And that’s because it has to keep you warm, keep you dry, keep you ventilated, and be breathable.

Further, it also has to be windproof, flexible, durable, and protective.

And whichever way you look at it, that’s a lot to ask from ONE garment.

A laminate jacket is the equivalent of going into a restaurant and ordering a 4-course meal all at the same time. On one plate.

And this is the beauty of waterproof shells. They have NO other function than to keep you dry. They don’t attempt to keep you warm and half of them don’t even have pockets.

Having one purpose and one purpose only, they are designed to keep you dry.

As a result, they do a fricking awesome job at it.

weise rainproof oversuit
Wet weather motorcycle gear is designed for one job, and one job only (Image: Weise)

Fancy Wearing Your Wet Weather Motorcycle Gear Dinner? No, Me Either

The other thing with premium motorcycle gear is that it can only really be worn on a bike.

Now, the internet is awash with people like me advising you to take as little luggage as possible.

And a big part of packing light is packing gear that can be used for multiple purposes.

With a layering system, you can use individual layers for specific jobs whilst off the bike.

Using Layers Off The Bike

For instance, a waterproof shell comes in useful if you have a day off and decide to go and explore the local town.

You can use your mid-layer fleece in the evenings for dinner with a pair of jeans and some trainers.

Or you can use your base layers for a chilly morning hike up whatever mountain range you are in.

Can you use your £1,500 laminate jacket for dinner? Not really.

And would you want to carry its weight up a mountain – complete with armour and its lack of ventilation? Not really.

Layers – specifically waterproof layers – make so much more sense. And at a fraction of the price.

base layers
Layers allow you to double up kit that you can use off the bike

How Much Should I Spend On Wet Weather Motorcycle Gear?

As mentioned above, I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to spend over £2,000 on a laminate jacket and pants to stay dry.

A mid-range jacket teamed with some waterproof shells is all you need.

So with this in mind, all the waterproof shells listed below come in at less than £100 (around $140.)

If you’re into hiking or camping you could certainly spend more on super-technical layers. And I would recommend you do!

But for a summer tour? The following wet weather motorcycle gear is perfect.


1. The North Face Resolve 2 Jacket

north face jacket - wet weather motorcycle gear
The North Face works well as wet weather motorcycle gear (Image: The North Face)

This jacket by The North Face is lightweight, waterproof, seam-sealed, and breathable. The hood is adjustable and stowable (so you can choose to wear it under your helmet or not.) And the velcro storm flap adds waterproofing integrity.

  • Around £100
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Seam-sealed
  • Windproof
  • Stow-away hood
  • Storm flap with velcro closure
  • Elasticated cuffs
  • Adjustable hem cord

2. Craghoppers Orion Jacket

craghoppers jacket
A cheaper alternative to wet weather motorcycle gear (Image: Craghoppers)

This lightweight and practical jacket from Craghoppers is waterproof and breathable thanks to AquaDry construction. It comes with zipped pockets, an integrated storm flap, cuff adjustments, and reflective details.

  • Around £60
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Zipped hand pockets
  • Zipped inner mesh pocket
  • Storm flap
  • Adjustable drawcord
  • Hood
  • Reflective details

3. Berghaus Deluge Pro 2.0 Shell Jacket

berghaus jacket - wet weather motorcycle gear
Berghaus is good for wet weather motorcycle gear (Image: Berghaus)

This versatile and reliable jacket from Berghaus is both waterproof and breathable due to the use of 2L HydroShell material. It comes with an adjustable hood and features handwarmer pockets for when you’re off the bike.

  • Around £90
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Fixed hood
  • Drawcord hem
  • Handwarmer pockets
  • Made from planet-friendly materials

4. Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket

outdoor research jacket
Outdoor Research make excellent wet weather gear – adapts well for riding a motorcycle (Image: Outdoor Research)

Built for flash storm protection, the Helium II jacket is featherweight, breathable, and 100% waterproof. It’s also ultra compressible and packs down to the size of a chocolate bar. A great option for stowing in your top box, or even in your jacket pocket.

  • Around £100
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Ultralightweight
  • YKK zips
  • Adjustable hood
  • Zipped Napoleon pocket
  • Internal pocket doubles as a stuff sack
  • Carabiner loop
  • Elasticated cuffs
  • Drawcord hem

5. Marmot PreCip Plus Jacket

mermot precip jacket - wet weather motorcycle gear
Marmot jackets make for good wet weather motorcycle gear (Image: Marmot)

This lightweight, breathable, and waterproof jacket from Marmot has a lot going on. It has fully taped seams, underarm PitZips, is flexible, durable, and eco-friendly. The newer version has waterproof zips (rather than flaps) and is a welcome update from the original.

  • Around £95
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Seam taped
  • Attached, adjustable hood
  • Zipped hand pockets
  • PitZips for ventilation
  • Stuffs into its own pocket
  • Adjustable cuffs and hem

6. Helly Hansen Loke Jacket

helly hansen jacket
Loke jacket (Image: Helly Hansen)

The Loke jacket from Helly Hansen is waterproof, windproof, lightweight, and packs into itself. Its sealed zips add to weatherproofing and both the hood and the cuffs are adjustable. It also has two zipped hand pockets.

  • Around £90
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Windproof
  • Sealed seams
  • Storm flap
  • Adjustable hood
  • Water-repellent zips
  • Stows in its own hood

7. Jack Wolfskin Evandale Jacket

jack wolfskin evansdale - wet weather motorcycle gear
Evendale jacket (Image: Jack Wolfskin)

This Evandale jacket by Jack Wolfskin features a 2-layer membrane which makes it waterproof, breathable, and wind-resistant. It also features water-repellent zips, and an adjustable, stowable hood. Articulated elbows ensure a natural, comfortable fit.

  • Around £100
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Breathable
  • Environmentally friendly components
  • Adjustable, stowable hood
  • Preformed sleeves
  • Adjustable seams

8. Regatta Pack-It Over Trousers

regatta pack-it trousers
Regatta pants performing well as wet weather motorcycle gear (Image: Regatta)

These Regatta pants are tried, tested, and proven in the budget range. The loose fit ensures easy use when putting on over bike pants. They’re waterproof and breathable with wide ankles and feature taped seams.

  • Around £15
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Taped seams
  • Elasticated waist
  • Loose fit
  • Wide ankle openings for boots
  • Small pack-down size
  • Side openings to access pockets underneath

9. Mountain Warehouse Spray Waterproof Trousers

mountain warehouse pants - wet weather motorcycle gear
My Mountain Warehouse hiking pants make for excellent wet weather motorcycle gear (Image: Mountain Warehouse)

Fully waterproof and durable thanks to IsoDry and ripstop materials. Mesh lining provides breathability. And the half-leg zips provide ventilation whilst making it easy to slip on over boots. They’re ultra-light and pack down small.

  • Around £25
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Durable fabric
  • Lightweight
  • Half-leg zips
  • Drawcord/elastic waist

Wet Weather Motorcycle Gear: Conclusion

All these products are lightweight, waterproof, and breathable. They also have a small pack size and fit easily into your top box.

Plus, you can use them off the bike as well on it. So save yourself the additional £1,500 it would cost you for laminates. And spend it on another tour instead!


Affiliate links: If you purchase any product using our links to SportsBikeShop or Amazon, we receive a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. It keeps our site running so we can continue to bring you great content. Thanks so much for your support!


If you liked this post, give these a try!

Feel free to share!
Previous

10 Essential Touring Apps For Bikers (And Why They’re Good To Have)

Touring Motorbikes: Finding The Right Type Of Bike For Your Touring Style

Next