Putting the style in textile: MCN's guide to the best waterproof gear you can buy right now!

1 of 1

Aside from being unpleasant and sucking the fun out of your riding, being uncomfortable or cold on a motorbike can lead to distraction or slow down your reactions. One of the best ways to avoid this is to stay dry. Here is a list of the best textile suits to help you do just that.

All prices listed are RRP, hit the links for latest prices.

Weise Dakar Adventure jacket £279.99 and Core trousers £99.99

Weise Dakar Adventure jacket and Core trousers

Tested by Dan Sutherland, three months, 1000 miles

This budget Weise suit is packed with features. With CE approved protection at the knees, shoulders, elbows and back, as well as multiple layers for weather-proofing, the outfit has tackled hundreds of motorway miles. But the trousers leaked after one day, thanks to a rip up the back of the left leg. This would be replaced under the two-year warranty.

  • Quality: 3 stars
  • Value: 3 stars

Check jacket pricing

Check trousers pricing


Rukka Nivala suit £1249 (jacket) £869.99 (jeans)

Rukka Nivala suit

Tested by Jordan Gibbons, 10,000 miles

The Nivala is Rukka’s top-of-the-range suit and as such it features a three-layer Gore-Tex Pro laminate lining that seals it from rain and wind and also prevents the suit from becoming waterlogged, so it dries off quickly. In terms of impact protection, there is D3O armour at the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips, plus it comes with back and chest protectors.

For when things get really cold, it also comes with a down jacket and trousers. I’ve worn it comfortably around 1°c for hours. The thermal layers aren’t permanently attached either, so you can wear them separately. When the mercury rises, there are a plenty of vents to keep things comfortable. My only complaint is that there are four pockets on the jacket but only two of them are waterproof. Oh, and it’s two grand!

  • Quality: 5 stars
  • Value: 3 stars

Check jacket pricing

Check trousers pricing


Richa Arc jacket £639.99 and Atlantic pants £419.99

Richa Arc jacket and Atlantic pants

Tested by Richard Newland, four months, 3500 miles

I’ve always struggled to believe that one set of kit can work in all conditions, but this Arc jacket is the first to prove the theory. Laminated Gore-Tex means it doesn’t absorb water, so it shakes almost dry after a downpour. It’s warm on cold days, cool on hot ones, looks technical but is uncomplicated in use.

The D3O armour is top notch and there are no signs of wear after 3500 miles. The Atlantic trousers are just as effective, and while there is a matching Atlantic jacket, I prefer the Arc’s sportier cut. Criticisms? The layered construction makes the whole outfit feel slightly like a canvas sail, but it’s just different.

  • Quality: 5 stars
  • Value: 4 stars

Check jacket pricing

Check trousers pricing


Rev’It Sand 3 Jacket £399 and trousers £299

Rev’It Sand 3 suit

Tested by Jordan Gibbons, three months, 4000 miles

I rode to Morocco and back and logged 4000 miles in all weathers and in all terrains and the Rev’It suit was excellent. The genius is the versatility. Zip in the waterproof and thermal liners and you can cruise in near freezing conditions. Conversely, whip out all the liners and open up all the vents (eight on the jacket alone) and you don’t boil when the temperature rises.

It’s not without fault, though. The cuffs are nonadjustable, which is a bit of a pain and it doesn’t come with a back protector.

  • Quality: 4 stars
  • Value: 3 stars

Check jacket pricing

Check trousers pricing


Oxford Mondial jacket and trousers £249.99 and £199.99

Oxford Mondial jacket and trousers

Tester Martin Fitz-Gibbons 12 months, 1500 miles

The Mondial’s waterproofing membrane is bonded to the kit’s nylon outer, so no separate drop liner is needed. Think of it like a more affordable alternative to Gore-Tex Pro. It’s watertight and because rain can’t soak into the outer fabric it dries quickly too.

You can open venting panels on the chest and thighs, plus two back zips, but it if you’re riding off-road in exotic climates, it’s very hot. Not being able to remove the waterproof liner exacerbates this. Armour is only lower-spec CE Level 1 for shoulders, elbows and knees, with no back or hip protection. Still, even forking out for upgraded armour, the Mondial’s clever waterproofing means it represents excellent value.

  • Quality: 3 stars
  • Value: 4 stars

Check jacket pricing

Check trousers pricing


Dainese D-Explorer Gore-Tex suit £649.95 jacket, £389.95 trousers

Dainese D-Explorer Gore-Tex suit

Tested by Bruce Dunn, 18 months

High-spec adventure-touring kit for all conditions. For winter and spring use, there’s a removable thermal lining as well as a Gore-Tex drop lining. Then, when you’re assured of warm temperatures and dry days, you can drop both linings and open the multitude of vents.

Owning to this layering system, the jacket is quite tricky to put on in full ‘winter mode’ so key to getting the best out of it is understanding how it works, making sure all the liners are retained properly and done up with the zips. I fell foul of this at first and wondered why rain was getting through during heavy downpours.

The suit is a bit bulky but it’s warm, well made and with its CE-approved armour makes me feel protected. I particularly like the way it fits around the waist and arms, with adjustable straps.

  • Quality: 4 stars
  • Value: 4 stars

Check jacket pricing

Check trousers pricing


Dainese Antartica Gore-Tex jacket £1299.99 and trousers £749.99

Dainese Antartica Gore-Tex suit

Tested by Michael Guy, three months, 1350 miles

I had high expectations for this top-of-the-range £2k Dainese combo and first impressions were good. A goose down inner jacket was toastie and removable, the fit was excellent and armour felt robust with sturdy D-Tec material around the shoulders, elbows and knees.

There are vents in the jacket and trousers, but they have limited airflow. Neoprene cuffs make getting the suit on and off tricky and it becomes a sit-down job every time just to get your feet free. The front pockets aren’t permanently attached to the jacket and are instead secured by a single popper at the bottom.

This means they flap around, and they’re a little too far back which makes getting a wallet out a real palaver. I’ll use the suit again in winter, but as soon as the weather improved I swapped back to an everyday suit as I found the faff too much.

  • Quality: 4 stars
  • Value: 3 stars

Check jacket pricing

Check trousers pricing


Alpinestars Stella Ares Gore-Tex jacket £399.99 and Stella Patron trousers £219.99

Alpinestars Stella Gore-Tex jacket and Stella Patron trousers

Tested by Alison Silcox, 12 months, 4000 miles

With a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner and removable thermal layer, this textile jacket and trouser combo is ideal for three seasons. With a full length connector zip and adjusters at the waist and hips, they’re comfortable and draught-free. Both the jacket and trousers have numerous pockets; the only issue is the outer pockets on the jacket are only showerproof. I love the pale grey, although it has started to look a bit grubby.

  • Quality: 4 stars
  • Value: 3 stars

Check jacket pricing

Check trousers pricing


Adventure Spec Linesman Jacket £249 and Mongolia Trail trousers £249

Adventure Spec Jacket and Mongolia Trail trousers

Tested by Jordan Gibbons, three months

I was getting tired of overly hot, heavy and expensive adventure gear that doesn’t really work for trail riding, so when globetrotting kit retailers Adventure Spec designed a simple suit, I couldn’t wait to get going. Adventure Spec’s set-up is based on layering up. The Linesman jacket is the centrepiece of the collection, which is a windproof but breathable jacket.

The core of the jacket is softshell, with Kevlar in key areas. There are vents on the back to keep you cool but if things get steamy you can zip the arms off and stow them in a rear pocket. If you plan to ride somewhere cooler you can layer up with their insulated midlayers (from £139) or if you’re planning to ride in the wet there’s a waterproof overshell (£375).

Matching the jacket are the Mongolia Trail pants where the cut and stretch panels means they don’t restrict leg movement whatsoever.

  • Quality: 5 stars
  • Value: 4 stars

Check jacket pricing

Check trousers pricing


More from MCN

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Advice…

MCN News

By MCN News