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.
- 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
- D3O EVO knee armor
- D3O EVO hip armor
- Inseam with expansion gusset to make the pants 4″ longer
- 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.
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.
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.
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???
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?
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.