KLIM LATITUDE – Second Opinion (w/Modified Collar)

A couple of months ago we sent our jackets back to KLIM USA to have the collars shortened on our Latitude jackets.  This is a mod that anyone can get presently as there have been quite a few complaints about the stiffness and height.  After this trip Cheryl has decided to return to her Traverse suit and has asked me to put her suit up for sale.  I am still up in the air about it. 

We have worn this suit for over 6500 KM now.

  • Nov 2012 UPDATE:  We both SOLD our Latitudes.  In the end, nice looking suit but the stiffness of the Cordura was over kill for us.  We are both back to wearing our Traverse and I have to admit the fit of the Traverse pants especially WINS!
Old collar

While we both feel much better protected in this suit compared to the Traverse, the use of the 840 Cordura all over the Latitude might be a little too much.  The suit has broken is after riding in the heat on this last trip in July.  Yet, still not as comfortable as we both would like.  KLIM might be releasing the 2nd generation to this jacket soon and perhaps other gear as well in the near future.  No promises but this is one company we know for sure listens to its customers.

Up next are a few more pics of the BEFORE collar mod and then I will show you the after shots.


Here are a few self taken pics of the new improved collar.  By lowering it the collar no longer hits the back of our helmets.  This is good for shoulder checks.  By lowering the front it no longer jabs into our necks.  One thing Cheryl noticed though while riding up the Oregon coast with her Gerbings liner in, was that water would sneak in the back even with the tie pulled.  There is felt used at the rim of the collar and we both find this actually collects water in the pouring rain, gets wet and makes you feel wet around the neck and upper body.

Front with new collar mod

You can see compared to the first picture that the collar no longer hits my chin.  Nice height now.

In this pic you can see the felt they use at the top.  This is the part we find that gets wet.  The height has been shortened all around as well and they have added more Velcro for the flap to stay open.  Not a huge fan of Velcro being used at the collar. 

When we had out Rev It Cayenne jackets they had an adjustable hook for the collar.  That was a decent set up.  You could adjust the width and secure it based on what you were wearing underneath and if you want to it open there was a little clip as well to fold the collar back on the Rev It.

The biggest improvement is the back.  The first version of the collar was way too high and would  interfere with shoulder checks by hitting our helmets.  The back really makes a difference to us as far as safety.

So, our overall second impression?  We wore this suit in temperatures ranging from low 50’s F to 107 F on this  past trip.  July 9th – July 20th 2012 to KLIM.  We managed to stay ATGATT throughout the heat by soaking our base layers and keeping only the arm vents open a bit.  I was amazed with this thick material and being Gore Tex that we could actually ride in such high heat.  So, for that I am impressed.

We stayed dry in a good old west coast pouring rain on our last day riding home.  The suit does loosen up as you ride in it.  The material breaks in but still is rather stiff.  The pants fit too snug in our hip area but once up feel pretty good.  We still like the way the Traverse pants fit better.  Way more comfortable in the waist and hips.

At the KLIM rally most of the guys who wore this suit said they were content with it.  I got the feeling though they also wished for lighter material to be used in the low abrasion zones.  So, Cheryl wants out of this suit and I am on the fence. 

Any questions or comments feel free to ask or post.

Author: advgrrl

Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!

16 thoughts on “KLIM LATITUDE – Second Opinion (w/Modified Collar)”

  1. Hey Riders! here are my 2cents worth:
    While I’ve always been an ATGATT rider myself, I’ve felt that a lot of gear makers go for overkill (to use a terrible word in the case). I’ve had jackets and pants that felt so much like battle-armor that it was interfearing with the ride- My favorite riding pants are the Klim Baja (thought now having moved to the pacific NW I’m thinking the Chinook might do me better), light and very comfortable while still giving me the feeling of enough protection.
    As for the necks – wow, I haven’t seen Klim’s jackets in-person but WOW, those are some tall necks! Most of my jackets have much lower necklines, but to beat the rain issue you mentioned (as well as potential sunburn) I often wear a baklava (another bonus is you feel like a ninja, and who doesn’t love that once in a while?).

    1. Yep you are correct with the over kill in material. I know KLIM will adjust this when it comes to this jacket and their future gear. They are learning like we all do. Biggest and most important priority for us is weather/waterproofing. We need to stay dry as you now know living in the PNW. KLIM has nailed that for us without needing to use liners or a rain suit. So, you live and learn…that is what it’s all about. I mean seriously do you want to know how many bikes we have bought only to find out we LOVE the DS bikes? LOL 😉

  2. I somewhat agree but I think you should use the gear for 4 seasons before making a final desicion. What I found on our trip was that the latitude gear really performs in the cooler weather. You can go for a lot longer without needing to use electrics.

    1. it’s the fit not the 4 season quality. I am still fencing the suit but Cheryl has made her decision. I believe we will see a new improved lighter Latitude jacket very soon. Nothing wrong with this suit just for us too much heavy Cordura. 😉

  3. I do know what you mean as I was thinking I may sell mine also as it seems like a lot of overkill but I also think the stuff will last a lifetime and the investment has been made, so may just keep it for that round the world trip one day.

    Do you think if the vented the traverse a bit better that would be the nice balance?

    We are looking for new gear for my wife and was thinking of the traverse line but maybe will wait and see what thy do with the next gen Latitude. Our trouble is finding a dealer that actually stocks the whole line. May be able to find one on our trip late this summer.

    1. I think more vents on the traverse and more pockets would be great. Having said that I believe we will see a new improved latitude with many of the things we are looking for in an adv jacket. Hope Klim reveals a new jacket by August. As for the pants? The latitude pants need to be cut less slim, more like the Traverse.

      I would wait for your wife if you can and see what happens in the new year with Klim. They are really trying to embrace the female rider and say they will be coming out with gear made for grrls.

  4. Hi, I’m trying to decide between buying the Latitude pants or buying the Traverse pants and adding the D30 armor. Since you’ve owned both, I’m hoping you won’t mind answering a couple of questions…..

    1. How do compare the abrasion resistance of the two pants? If I read the specs correctly, the Latitude uses 840 Cordura throughout, but the Traverse only uses the 840 in high wear areas. What material do they use for the Traverse in the non-high wear areas?

    2. Does either pant have a significant advantage in hot or cold weather? I’m guessing the Latitude is better in cold weather because of the heavier material and the opposite is true for the Traverse, but is the difference noticeable?

    Thanks for all the info on your site!

    1. Hi Brian…put it to you this way…if we did not feel safe in the Traverse we would not wear it on the road. The Latitude 1st generation was just too stiff. We sold both suits even though we got the collars modified at KLIMS expense. We hear the new version is “better” but still has a high collar. For the $$ I would go with the Traverse. In the cold weather we wear base layers and heated liners. In the summer the Traverse opens up more than the Latitude. Not really more vents but lighter and less restrictive. We go out to dinner in the Traverse. The Latitude looked great but did not feel great. I don’t like knowing I am wearing gear and being aware that my gear is constricting. In the Traverse we hardly know it’s on and although it lacks 840 all over it does have it where it counts most.

      Too much heavy weight Cordura can be a bad thing. That is why KLIM released the Misano Latitude. Add D3o to the Traverse and you are really good. Remember though the D3o in COLD weather feels like rocks until your body heats it up. I would suggest keeping your suit inside if using this armor rather than outside in the winter.

      Let us know what you decide and thanks for the question. Feel free to ask about anything..as you can tell I have a lot to say…Leslie 😉

      1. Leslie, Thanks for the help. In the end, I decided to splurge and ordered the Badlands Pro pants. I had minor reservations about both the Traverse and the Latitude, and I really couldn’t decide which was the better option for me or if I’d be completely happy with either. The Badlands were more money than I wanted to spend, but the specs meet or exceed everything I was looking for. Hopefully they won’t disappoint. I generally get several seasons out of riding gear, so it will be worth the money if I like them. Now I just have to wait for them to arrive.

      2. Nothing to report yet. I’ve been patiently waiting for the pants to arrive. FEDEX says they’re on the truck for delivery today, but I won’t be home again until Sunday. Will let you know.

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