When I was preparing for my 4500 mile moto expedition through Chile and Argentina, I knew that conditions would range from blast furnace hot to garage freezer cold, from dry scorching pampa to deluge soaked rain forest, from billiard table asphalt to post-apocalyptic blast cratered dirt roads. If I was going to live to tell the tale, I was going to need a first rate Do It All jacket/pants combo to survive.
Over-dramatizations aside, this was my first dual sport moto adventure, so I threw myself on the mercy of the bombers at Atomic-Moto.com when it was time to purchase the appropriate gear. After extensive conversation with their knowledgeable staff, I took AM’s advice and went with the Klim Traverse Jacket and Klim Traverse Pants. Listening to their recommendations turned out to be one of the wisest decisions I could have made.
The range of temperatures and conditions were as broad as expected. In Santiago I experienced daytime highs in the mid 90s, while days in the far southern environs were filled with high winds, heavy rain, and temps in the mid 30s. The Traverse combo were up to the task, displaying a remarkable versatility.
With just a t-shirt and boxers underneath, the Traverse combo were serviceable in the Santiago oven. Dual zippered vents on both pant legs created a decent breeze in and around the nethers, extra long pit zips kept the air flowing around my torso and out the vent across the back. Keep yourself moving and you’ll stay surprisingly comfortable no matter the Traverses’ sturdy 840 Denier Cordura / Gore-Tex sandwich.
As I rode south, the Traverses came into their own. Having experienced rain on Days 2, 3 and 4, I quickly grew confident that the jacket and pants would keep me dry. So I layered up underneath them (including a light down jacket) and never worried about getting wet during any of the deluges I endured.
And really, there just isn’t anything much worse than being wet and therefore cold when on a bike. There’s a certain smugness from knowing that your gear is up to the task, so by that criteria, the Traverses excelled. And it got to the point that when the rain would come, I would just smirk inside the helmet, secure in my knowledge that the Klim duo would keep me warm and dry.
Durability? During the 1100+ miles of off-pavement riding, I fell three times into the thick gravel edges of the Carretera Austral and Ruta 40. I got up each time laughing at my own ineptitude, completely unharmed. The Traverses showed no sign of burned, torn or frayed edges after any of my attempts to slide into home plate.
I do have one issue with the jacket. No matter how often I tucked its lower back edge underneath my butt, it would work its way out and flap upwards from the wind, letting in unwanted cool air and occasional moisture. I really had to be conscientious in keeping it completely tucked under my rump. A couple of clips or Velcro loops would solve the issue. I only see this as an issue for riders 6’2″ or taller (which I am); anyone shorter than that shouldn’t have trouble keeping it securely under your bottom.
The right jacket and pants play a huge role in the enjoyment of any moto trip, no matter how near or far you’re riding. Combined with the appropriate underlayer clothing and the exceptional Klim d3o armor, the Traverses perfectly fulfilled my needs at every step of my South American adventure.