KLIM’s ALTITUDE Gore Tex Shell – Part II the PANTS


All pics are clickable for larger versions – 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.

Repeating some of the intro stuff from my jacket review for those who did not read that from Saturday.  

**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)

OK, now on to the Altitude pants.  I initially bought a size 14 which is what I wear normally in pants.  When I received them they felt and looked HUGE on me, so I exchanged them for a 12.  I think if I stayed with the 14’s I could have used them as an over pants but for the everyday riding I do which is usually just with base gear and change into pants for work they would have been way too big.  

The Altitude pants like the Latitude pants I owned I think are NOT meant to be an over pant, so keep this in mind.  Also, you may have to down size from what you believe you would wear in the KLIM pant.  I ended up keeping the size 12 and I am happy with the fit over my base layer. Here is the techno info about these pants:

Klim Women’s Altitude Pants

The Klim Altitude Pant proudly showcases the fit designed specifically for women with the proper armor technology for a perfect match. Featuring the latest D3O EVO technology, forward-thinking armor (also designed specifically for the aggressive female rider), GORE-TEX Guaranteed To Keep You Dry fabrics, intelligent stretch panel engineering, and increased use of 3M Scotchlite reflective patches. 

Features:

  • Gore-Tex Misano performance fabric
  • Gore-Tex stretch panel in groin for increased range of motion and comfort
  • 840D high tenacity nylon abrasion zones at knees, inside lower leg and seat hem
  • 3M Scotchlight reflective for increased nighttime visibility
  • Two side front vents
  • Two rear vents
  • Two hip pockets (REALLY SHALLOW HIP POCKETS)
  • Leather inside knee panels for grip and protection
  • Functional and fashionable

Protection:

  • D3O EVO knee armor
  • D3O EVO hip armor

Internal Features:

  • Inseam with expansion gusset to make the pants 4″ longer

where taller grrls can extend the length

  • Specifically designed for women riders
  • 11 sizes specifically for women
  • Jacket to pant zipper panel

So, lets break down the pants.  I noticed with the female sizing a better fit in the crotch area and hips.  Like I said I owned the first generation Latitude by KLIM and these feel very familiar.  Klim used the same Misano material as they do in the men’s new Misano Latitude suit.  840D high abrasion material they are calling it now…I knew it as 840 Cordura in the high impact zones like the knees.  

**Grrls these pants are low risers.  Below the belly button.  For some this might feel totally weird, for others like me all ready wearing Traverse pants that hit me below my belly button no big deal.  Again just trying to remember what might surprise the majority when comparing this suit with other brands.

You can see the darker grey that is the heavy duty fabric

The waist can be synched by using the straps and velcro them snug or loose.  Not a whole lot of expansion in the actual waist even though there appears to be sort of flexible back that stretches a bit but not much.  I would add some sort of elastic to the sides of the pants for comfort and movement not the back only.  There are two rubber buttons used to snap the pants securely .  

One word of advise when using this gear and ensuring it stays water tight.  Make sure all your zippers are all the way up, make sure anything with gussets is neatly folded and pulled up before you zipper up and you will stay dry.  Half the time these suits may leak is due to human error.  Just some words of wisdom now that I have owned KLIM since 2010.

Hand pockets

View of the front hand pockets.  Nice flap to cover the zipper but to be honest these pockets are pretty useless.  Way to shallow for anything to be put in them no less your hands.  My key which has my garage door opener, luggage key as well as my mailbox key do not fit in these pockets.  So again, if a 2nd generation is released I would like to see the KLIM R&D department re-think these pockets.  

I love the idea but they could have done better in this area.  Also, there is no cargo pocket on the leg like my Traverse.  I used that pocket all the time for my wallet, gum anything.  So, I know I will miss these features but the good news the jacket has 2 decent side pockets which can be used just the same.

side leg front vents

The vents on the front and back seem like they will work.  Won’t know until obviously the weather gets warmer.  Again I actually love how KLIM picked orange to be used for the water tight zippers. I think it makes the suit stand out.  Not a HUGE fan as to how light the suit is, I love the grey version of the Badland’s.  I like the KlIM green and grey’s but this looks more like almost white.  I don’t care about getting the suit dirty but sort of wished the colour was actually a bit darker, maybe muted is the word I am looking for???

back vents

Here are the rear vents, just two but like I said should work nicely with the location of the fronts and where these are located as well.  Also, you can actually open them easily with your own reach while the pants are on versus having to take them off because of their location. 

Another close up where you can unzip the pants to increase the length.  I sort of wish KLIM just made short, regular and tall pants rather than this feature but I bet it has saved them a lot of money.  I say this because when you put the pants on not using the extra 4 inches you can feel the extra fabric getting your legs in there.  Not a HUGE deal, nor a deal breaker but again just a small tie bit of info to be aware.  Initially I got my foot caught inside the pant leg and couldn’t figure out what I was stuck on.  ;-) 

The legs have a larger zipper and gusset.  I wear Alpinestars Toucan boots and  the pants fit nicely over them.  You can also tighten the bottom of the pant leg using their three button/snap system.  I left the pants as wide and can be for my boots but I will also try to tighten them up and see if I can get the pant legs into my boots verses over them.

There is leather patches around the knees.  I like this feature for the look but also when standing on the pegs I guess one could say having leather in this area would be kinder to the side of your bike.  Less abrasion possibly less chance of marking up your tank?  Maybe better grip?  Not too sure but I like the fact that the leather does not go down to the bottom of the pant leg.  Why?  On my Traverse if you get your legs totally soaked the leather soaks up that much water.  Like a water crossing or even just pouring rain.  So, nice touch and just enough for me.

Next picture is obviously me with just my base layer on and the pants.  I look fat in this picture but again I think it shows where they hit me below the waist line in the front and then I have a back version so you can see that the pants have a bit of rise.  KLIM has thought this out.  You might experience a saggy butt while standing but it makes sense why they cut the pants this way for sitting and riding for hours and hours.  The pants are very comfortable when sitting having that extra material there.  Keeps the pant legs from riding up too high and you don’t feel your butt being compacted by the seat of the pants. Make sense?

Again nice use of reflective 3M tape and embroidery.  I have no waist that low.  My so called waist line is much higher lol.

There is a 4 or or 5 inch zipper inside the back of the pants that will allow you to connect the jacket and pants.  I never use this feature.  I think it’s a nice option though.  You can see the saggy/baggy butt in this above picture.  I have absolutely no issues with this because I know how comfortable it makes for long distance riding.  

NOW…if you have made this far down into the post I have ONE pet peeve when I read descriptions of this suit.  Question?  Has ANYONE ever seen the words 

  • Functional and fashionable

used to describe guys gear?  I laugh because even in this day and age there seems to always be a need for retailers to use words like these to sell/entice to we gals.  Fashionable?  Ok, I sort of get that, I mean there are many out there that want to be fashionable I suppose but I guess I would rather see functional and protective.  Rant done.  Thanks.

Finally the suit all together.  Remember this is my initial impressions and will post my secondary impressions while on my 1 month sojourn in May.  I have to say to KLIM thank you for taking our, meaning grrls needs seriously.  I believe your development team has done a very good job out of the gate but like I said in my jacket review located here  I feel the  cut of the jacket might be a little too tailored for gals with little distinct waist lines and the pant pockets not so useful.  I am nit picking here but overall I am excited that there is now a Gore Tex suit, made with the same quality material as our guy counterparts in the market.  

When it comes to sizing grrls, I think BMW has done a good job having better range in their sizing department by almost getting in 2 sizes into one.  What I mean is that if you are a size 12 pants but maybe gain some weight or lose, the pants can still be fitted.  It’s just how they do it.  Triumph gear always uses ranges for their gear.  In the future it would be awesome to see KLIM copy this approach to gear.  We all fluctuate in sizes, wouldn’t it be GREAT to not have to worry about that diet and the gear instantaneously becoming too large or small?

My present ride, 2013 BMW F800GS

 

I digress but you get the point.  Overall, I am satisfied, love the suit in theory but maybe just not in actual fit due to the jacket.  I am going away for 1 month cross country trip in May and will travel with my Altitude the entire way.  Not bringing another suit so it better be comfortable enough.  ;-)  

Would I recommend these pants?  YES

QUESTIONS?  COMMENTS?  Feel free to post away. I hope some made it down to this part of the post.

16 thoughts on “KLIM’s ALTITUDE Gore Tex Shell – Part II the PANTS

  1. I want to thank you for this. I’ve been looking for a good set of riding pants for my wife when we ride 2-up. The price of these is a bit high considering the alternatives, but your honest review gives me more information to pass onto her than all the other stuff that is geared toward male buyers. Keep it up!

    Gregory

  2. Great review, Leslie. I’m quite surprised to hear that people have been complaining that you’re not an expert when you have probably done more adventuring than 90% of others out there… some people have too much time it seems!

    I like the idea of a zip for shortening/lengthening the legs – my gear has snaps on the inside at the bottom which allow you to turn them up at 1″, 2″ and 3″ which works well in general, but means that the reinforced seam finishing at the bottom is up your leg and if they drag it will damage the regular gore tex. The zipper avoids this but can understand how it can be annoying to get your foot stuck half way…

    The BMW gear is very, very good – both in quality and value. I have the Rallye 3 jacket and City 2 trousers, and they are what I would call “european standard” style – ie designed to be conservative/plain. People don’t like to stand out much here. I have to admit I’m not mad about flying the flag so to speak with the emblems on the shoulders, and removing them would leave circles of holes where the heavy stitching was.

    I love my Icon Raiden gear, it is *nearly* as good quality as the BMW stuff (and about 15% cheaper) but clearly styled after snowboarding gear – oversized, comfortable fit, and is grey, red and white with a clever dye sublimated topographic pattern which is surprisingly effective at hiding dirty bits in the white areas. It’s certainly not discreet but at least people notice me more, which means they are (hopefully) not hitting me. Also love that it’s the only ADV jacket I’ve come across which has a (removable) hood – like you, I live in a rainy climate so it’s good to be able to cover my flowing locks (ha!) when I take off my helmet. It’s rounded off with a removable ‘backpack’ where you can pop in a standard water bladder.

    I’m glad you finally found some gear that fits you well and that doesn’t have splashes of pink with kitty cats and puppies all over it – will be interested to hear how it does for you on a longer journey!

  3. I think the zips for lengthening the legs is genius.
    Drives me crazy that I have to choose between my pants being half way up my shin when riding, or having them hang under my heels when walking.
    Just curious as to your choice of the Altitude. Why the change from the Traverse? Did you want to upgrade, or did you want the female specific design of the Altitude? I’m curious because I’m wondering how you found the fit of the Traverse, and whether the Latitude (non gender specific fit version of the Altitude?) might have alleviated some of your fit concerns.
    Also thanks to George for drawing my attention to the Icon Patrol. Not a huge fan of the badges and logos on the Raiden design, but it seems the Patrol is the “plain” version of the Raiden. Looks like a good suit.

    • Just saw this comment Paul. I wanted gear that actually fits me. I have to take too large of sizes in the men;s stuff…my Traverse has served me well but the jacket has always been too large but tight around the hips and the pants same thing. The Altitude fits a grrls shape with the same quality as the Latitude. And I get to actually wear a suit that looks like it was made for my athletic shape. So, in the end it was all about size but a BIG plus, is I like the way this suit looks the best. LOVE the orange accents…you know a grrl thing. ;-)

  4. Leslie, after reading this, I am even more concerned about their sizing. I didn’t remember that you had to return both the jacket and pants, but because the jacket was too small and the pants too big. That doesn’t make sense. I also agree with your comments about the flexibility in sizing.

    BTW, I tried the Latitude jacket in a men’s medium this weekend and it fit like it was made for me. I am a size 12 all over, but kind of busty so I am afraid I couldn’t wear the Altitude Large either. And having space to wear a heated liner is a MUST.

    Anyway, thanks again for a great two-part review and I look forward to hearing how it does on your month long trip!

  5. Thank you for the review!

    I’ve been thinking about getting a new adventure suit to go with my new F700 GS. I am thinking about Klim Altitude or Rev’it, but nobody in my area carries these suits in women’s sizes.

    The Klim dealer had a sample of the jacket and pants at March Moto Madness, so I was able to have a look at them, even if they were not in my size. I love the look and cut of this suit. It is much more fitted than my boxy Kilimanjaro jacket. I noticed the Klim Altitude jacket does not have a removable liner, nor does it have much room for one. I am interested in hearing how the Altitude jacket handles cold weather. Do you wear a heated liner? Fleece? Is it warm enough for when the temperature is near freezing? Is this jacket cool enough to wear in the hottest of summer?

    Please update your review after you have worn your new suit on a few trips!

    ~Jessie

    Here is my review of the Kilimanjaro:
    http://adventuresofjessieanderic.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/gear-review-first-gear-kilimanjaro-jacket-5-0/

    The only update I would put on the Kilimanjaro review is that now that I ride a bike with no windshield and wind chill is much more of a factor, the boxy cut of the jacket lets too much cold air in. It is not a good cold weather jacket, even with a heated liner. Newer versions of the jacket are much more fitted and probably do not have the same issue.

    • Hi Jessie, I just left a reply on Altitude jacket sizing on Leslie’s jacket post, but I am more her size than yours. I currently wear a Kilimanjaro 4 and i totally agree that it is not an effective cold weather jacket. I wear a heated liner with mine, but it is boxy and lets in way too much wind. I ride a 1200 GS and I do have a larger windshield, but still feel the cold. I think my next jacket will be the men’s Latitude because I prefer the neon yellow blinding color. :-)

      • Oops! Did I reply to your comment instead of to Leslie’s post? Oh well.

        Awesome that you ride a 1200 GS! I love that bike, it’s just too huge for me. Are you going to be at the RA rally at Barber this year? Maybe we will both show up with new Altitude jackets!

        ~Jessie

      • No, Jessie, you replied to Leslie’s post! ;-) I just commented in both places. I am a maybe on the RA at Barber still…It’s so close I might make it over for one day. Are you doing the women’s off road thing? I need to see if I can re-find the link to it that someone sent me.

        Yes, I love my GS, and it is tall but I can deal with tippy toes most of the time with no problem. I have ridden much heavier bikes in the past, so I guess that made it an easier transition. I am not that tall (5’7″) but have longer legs than torso, so that helps me reach the ground.

  6. I was just at my local (sort of BMW dealership) and they had just received two pairs of the Altitude… I’m the opposite of you – short and curvy. I will be going back on Friday to pick these up I think before I head back to no choice retail land. I thought it was brilliant that I didn’t have to take these to a tailor to have 4 inches lopped off the bottom to make them fit, and that they actually went over my hips and the jacket cut in at the waist. I’m a little underwhelmed by light grey, considering where I live and ride. My HiVis yellow isn’t fairing well and I’ve never had to wash my gear every few rides, but do now. It’ll last one ride and look nice after that it’ll be used! I really didn’t need new gear, but I’ve got 10k planned for my summer vacation, so it won’t’ be new for long.

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