KLIM’s ALTITUDE Gore Tex Shell – Part I the Jacket
**Please all women interested in this Jacket please try it on with your liner of choice before you buy it. The collar could be an issue regarding how tight it will feel around your neck. TRY THIS suit on in general before BUYING! It will be in your BEST interest…trust me!**
Let me preference this review by saying I am just your average run of the mill female ADV rider and all my reviews are honest based on WHAT I believe and hope they are useful somehow. Had to get that out because I get many emails from folks criticizing I am not an expert…no kidding…i know that and completely aware. ;-) Now, on to my initial review.
Today I will review the Jacket and for tomorrow I will review the pants. PICS are all clickable for larger versions
**Remember to support your dealers who sell KLIM. Not everyone does. My dealer Pacific Motosports does, and for all you online buyers again shop Revzilla through this blog…great online company. Tons a great companies and more seem to carrying the great line of KLIM products.
I took the suit out on a 200 KM trip on March 14th 2014. We just got heavy rains all night long but the skies parted and it turned out to be a beautiful Spring like day, even a little warm. I am going to post pictures, however embarrassing they are of me in my base normal gear I wear most days when riding and selfies of me in the suit. I did not have a helper so so of the pics are less than stellar.
I am not a fat grrl, but lack a defined waist, have a small chest, normal shoulders and am wide at the hips. I am almost 5’5″ with a 30.5 inseam. I am showing this pic and giving you a hint of my sizing. In jeans I wear a 14 but they are baggy…and in jackets I can usually get away with a Medium or Large in female sizing.
My usually base is simply LDComfort or LL Bean. The only other layer I would add would be a Gerbings heater liner. The Altitude comes with D3O armour which I always take out the hip pads no matter what. Why? Just because I don’t like hips pads. These are not bad and do not make you look too much wider than you are but needless to say they are out and will stay out. Armour stays really flexible when it heats up to your body temp.
Leave the suit outside in the cold garage and it can feel like a rock but not as bad as the older D3O. Up in Alaska we cracked a spine D3O pad after being out in the freezing cold. I was told this new version that would never happen.
- D3O EVO elbow armor
- D3O EVO shoulder armor
- D3O FLO 1 back protector (level 1)
Let’s start with the Jacket-this is where I think KLIM could make some adjustments in their future generation releases. I swore to myself I would never buy a Klim first generation anything because they do listen to real rider reviews and often eventual changes. I hope if enough of us grrls out there agree on some mods to make the jacket less stereotyped, then perhaps I would have to buy again..
So, who am I to tell KLIM R&D they need to make changes all ready with their jacket…I am me who always has an opinion and would love this gear to fit more grrls on ADV bikes than less and more comfortably.
The Altitude jacket is made just as well as the mens Misano Latitude, Same Misano material and KLIM uses 840 Cordura in the high impact zones. The suit feels much heavier than my Traverse I got in 2010 but to be expected this is a more technical piece of gear. So, let’s get to the point of reviewing this jacket and start with the Fancy features and sizing.
The Klim Altitude is a true woman’s fully functional feature-rich jacket tailored to fit the female form promises to break new ground in women’s motorcycle apparel. From concept to completion, this garment was specifically designed to fit and was based on the comments of hundreds of women riders.
- Gore-Tex Misano performance fabric (Guaranteed TO KEEP YOU DRY)
- 840D high tenacity nylon abrasion zones at elbow shoulder and lower rear hem
- Two bicep vents
- Pit zips vents
- 2 vertical back vents
- Adjustable side gussets at waist expands hip circumference 6″
- Collar to shoulder fasteners for when an open collar is needed
- Single adjuster on forearms
- External waist belt
- 3M Scotchlight reflective for increased visibility in dark conditions (Reflects light back to its source such as as vehicle headlights, making the rider visible to motorists more esier and earlier)
- External pockets – two lower hand pockets, two large horizontal chest pockets
- STAT Tag pocket on the lower left arm ( Holds an Emergency Contact and medical condition card, you need to register to get the card)
- Velcro wrist tab closures
- Jacket to pant zipper panel
- Functional and fashionable
- Specifically designed for women riders
- Special sizing specifically for women
- Internal pockets – two upper zippered mesh pockets, two lower velcro closure mesh pockets, and one hidden passport / money pocket
- Micro fleece lined collar
SIZING – The cut of the Altitude Jacket I would say is ideally made for the grrl who has a distinct waist line, who is lean through the gut and not too broad in the shoulders. I was would say the cut is still American versus European but the way it fits me the chest and shoulders is a bit restricted. I ordered a LARGE based on the size chart and would not go up to an extra large. Bottom line this jacket is more tailored than I thought it would be. I believe with the waist adjustment and arm straps, perhaps the R&D at KLIM could think of making the cut a bit more boxy, more room around the gut, shoulders and chest and allow the rider to synch the waist to give shape and adjust the hip gators as well.
When riding the bike I opened the hip gators and used the two way zipper to make the jacket feel more relaxed. It helped but I could still feel some tightness across the chest area. Also, the jacket does bunch while sitting on the bike in the chest and shoulder area as well. This is common for me with KLIM suits. I have worn and own the Traverse since 2010, tried the first generation Latitude when it came out and all the jackets tend to do this on me.
The collar. Like the height, does not interfere with my helmet. I am going to have to get more coordinated to line up the snaps and try to get them secure. Seems like a no brainer but I initially found this to take a lot of time but I think I am getting quicker. ;-) My issue with the collar is when I put on my Gerbing Heater liner zippers all the way up for warmth, it makes the Altitude collar pretty tight and hard to snap close. As a matter of fact I was unable to get the snaps closed at all. Because the jacket is quit fitted on me adding that extra liner could pose a comfort issues.
I will try it out while riding. I didn’t have to wear a liner yesterday. This jacket on me feels less like a Gore Tex Shell and more like a fitted jacket.
The above pic shows how you can open the collar and secure it open so no flapping. Use the snaps on the shoulders and you are able to secure the collar. Again I would have just used the Rev it style hook, or maybe would have just rolled back to the on itself with a snap. This set up works but why reinvent some wheels? If you have the collar open, my helmet strap got caught quite a few times on the velcro. Something to be mindful when I decide not to completely zipper up.
Nice to get a jacket all ready equipped with great armour especially the spine. Many high quality jackets still send them out with FOAM making the owner have to upgrade. Sending a jacket out that costs $$ with a cheap piece of crap foam protector seems insulting to me. ;-)
Good view of the side hip extensions. I like this idea and would have loved to see this concept on the KLIM Overland suit. I was thinking of buying that suit but would still be forced to wear a men’s large jacket and would float in it like my Traverse. I need larger guy sizing because of my hips.
Collar secure and all suited up. I actually love the 3M highlights and as for the colour? Yes it’s light, will show dirt but these suits are easy to care for…Machine Wash warm, rinse well, tumble dry medium unit completely dry. The PITA part is taking out the armour. These suits when they get dirty and/or dusty can lose some of it’s waterproofness. When I am on trips sometimes I use a hose to at least get the dust off when I can’t find a laundry machine.
Close up of waist adjusters and forearm. Simple to use pull and secure to the Velcro and you are done. Having the ability to adjust the suit somewhat is good. I made the jacket fit with absolutely no flapping away in the wind, no loose ends. You can use the straps the cover the zipper pulls too. Nothing more annoying that a zipper pull flying around in your eye sight too.
Back view not so flattering. Like I said I have hips and my father’s wide girth and the suit does not make that any better but I am not really into looking like a fashion plate. Here you see the rear exhaust vents on both the jacket and pants. Will review the pants tomorrow. Again lot’s of 3M reflective tape, the embroidered KLIM name also reflects. KLIM was very tasteful where they placed their name and how they used their logo on this suit.
The least flattering view is the side. Again I am not skinny at all, athletic build but here I think because the jacket fits snug around my chest it appears I have a beer gut and little to no shape. I will hit the treadmill more! ;-) In any case, good way to see the zippers, how they used the orange to highlight pockets and vents. I really LOVE the orange! I think the vents will works well and there is no doubt I will use this suit in the Summer and all seasons. Inside one of the chest pockets i found what looks like a waterproof fabric case. Maybe to use for your phone? Not sure but did not take a picture of it. Those of you who buy check it out.
Jacket has decent hand pockets which I use all the time, the pants not so much. Pants have 2 little “hand” pockets that are shallow too. I will review the pants later but I miss the cargo pocket I have on the Traverse pants and if adding hand pockets on pants I would make them more useful than not.
Out in the wild. Suit is now USED and mine to keep. I am psyched that KLIM has produced a suit made from equal material as the guys, a waterproof shell that keeps the outside and inside dry…a suit with technically placed vents and pockets inside and out. I think this validates that we as women adventure riders are being taken more seriously. I know we are what? Less than 10% of the riders out there so KLIM is taking a chance to produce a costly suit for how many of us???
My opinion is this…If you value your body, want to ride, make sure you have enough money at the end of the day to spend on GREAT gear versus OK gear. KLIM has always kept me dry, no need to stop to add rain liner etc. To me it’s worth the price and also how serious they take their motor sports and customers.
QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? Feel free to post away. I hope some made it down to this part of the post. I will probably edit this post as I remember more things but for now this is my 1st Impression of the jacket. I will take this on my cross-country solo trip coming up in May. Oh, would I recommend this jacket? If you are leaner than me, have a smaller waist and are not overly large in the bust area you will love this jacket.
I will learn to adjust but my body type up top is really on the fence when it comes to HIGHLY recommending this based on fit alone. The quality and thought that went into this suit is impeccable. If I find after my month-long trip it’s not what I thought I might get the Latitude Misano in a men’s medium. Oh, but I do LOVE the Orange on this jacket and I am being serious! ;-)