Stepping back a few weeks to EICMA, the big moto show is about more than just bikes. Of the nearly 1,500 exhibitors at the show most are gear and accessory companies. And the companies that are worth their salt have their stuff out on display, so you can poke it, pull at it, and try to decide for yourself whether it’s actually worth the money. Step forward Dainese and its expanded Explorer range.
Be a Part of TMO
Dainese had clued me in to the range shortly before EICMA but I’ll be honest that I let that media release dwell in my inbox because I find it sort of hard to get excited about gear I haven’t seen or worn. Arguably I’m operating by a double standard here because I’m perfectly happy getting loopy for bikes I’ve not actually seen or ridden. But the point is, now that I actually have seen the new Explorer stuff in person I’m pretty into it. First, though, let’s watch this comically over-the-top promo video:
Yeah. That’s a bit much. For those of you who didn’t click on the video, Dainese says its new Explorer range draws from lessons learned about human movement while developing suits for a 2030 Mars mission. I didn’t know there were concrete plans for a Mars mission (is this a Space Force thing?), but it’s nice to know that when the first people arrive on the Red Planet they will be fashionably attired.
There are three jacket/pants combos that have been added to the Explorer range. Going by price from highest to lowest, they are the Antarctica, Gran Turismo, and Dolomiti.
Costing US $2,400 or £2,050 for the full suit, the Antarctica Gore-Tex outfit is the one that really drew my attention at EICMA. The thing looks so warm; I just want to put it on and take a nap. Longtime readers will know that I am perpetually trying to find gear that can help my Texas-born ass better tolerate the misery of riding through British winters. Dainese suggests this is the kit for me, promising “the ultimate garment to face extreme riding adventures.”
I’m not sure I’d describe the M4 in February as an extreme riding adventure, but that’s where I would want to use this suit. It features a removable inner goose down jacket beneath a “laminated Gore-Tex 45.000mm shell.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds good and the gear looks and feels robust in person. There are zippers and pockets galore, of course, as well as an “External Fast-Fit lumbar belt” to help ensure a good fit. The good news is you don’t have to get it in white (who would do that?). The Antarctica is also available in black.
For a good deal less, however – US $1,800 (or £1,400) for jacket and pants – you could get a lot of the same suity whizbangery in the Gran Turismo. Same “laminated Gore-Tex 45.000mm shell,” same connections to space stuff, same lumbar belt, same slightly awkward-looking pockets. Because it’s a road-focused item, the Gran Turismo jacket is available with hi-vis accents.
Offering “maximum comfort, safety and practicality for long-range journeys,” it seems to differ from the Antarctica primarily in the absence of a sexy down jacket. Instead, you get a removable thermal fleece. Considering the savings, I’d probably choose this one and buy a Keis heated vest to compensate for whatever’s lost in losing the down jacket.
But, then, if you’re buying heated clothing you may not need the fancy internal bits of a suit. Which means you could perhaps get away with paying $1,170 (or £900) for the Dolomiti jacket and pants combo. It also has a removable thermal fleece and is, according to Dainese “the perfect garment to live fully all riding journeys all-year long, whatever the weather conditions.”
Dainese says the jacket is built for use in “three different configurations: rain,
cold and winter.” All three of those things are present simultaneously in Britain; one assumes the jacket is capable of dealing with more than one condition at a time, however. Looking at the spec of the Dolomiti it appears you don’t get the back protector that comes standard on the other two jackets.
KEEP READING: Check Out TMO’s Gear Reviews
Being an established fan of Dainese gear (the company’s Tempest boots and Universe gloves are my go-to kit), I have, of course, put on my best pair of Pretty Please Pants and asked Dainese for a Gran Turismo suit for review. They tell me the gear won’t be available to press hacks until January; I’ll keep you posted.