Mr Subjective On Darien Versus Roadcrafter

All protective clothing performance is relative, and all crashes are unique. Our crash performance information comes from examining the garments that have been sent back to us for repair. The Roadcrafter seems to be about 20% better than the Darien because it provides more layers of fabric over a larger area of the garment. These layers include both the elbow/shoulder/knee areas of ballistics nylon and the additional pockets that are on the Roadcrafter design. The sewing integrity and the Cordura fabric are the same in both garments. Neither was designed as a substitute for competition leathers.

We have seen one Darien Light (160 Denier Cordura) jacket that did well at an estimated 70 mph, and many regular Dariens (500 Denier Cordura) that have functioned in crashes at even higher speeds. The highest crash speed that we have ever seen was around 120 mph for a Roadcrafter. Most damaged garments received are from crash events occurring between 30 and 70 mph. Within this range the Darien, Darien Light and Roadcrafter designs all seem to be effective at providing useful abrasion protection. The Darien Light offers the least and the Roadcrafter the most, but all provide a lot more than typical jeans and street clothing jackets. This is because of the toughness of our fabrics, and the inclusion of hard shell pad systems at areas of greatest impact and abrasion contact. Like an auto airbag, Aerostich garments are supposed to be sacrificial in an accident. We are able to economically repair just about all of the damaged ones that are sent back to us, but if the cost is more than half of the replacement price, we 'total' the garment and do not repair it. This does not occur often.

Rider clothing safety is subjective. Those riding powerful sport bikes will prefer the closer fit and greater protection a Roadcrafter suit offers. For commuting around this small (100,000 population) city, I often wear a Darien Light jacket, an open face helmet, denim jeans and ankle high shoes. For weekend rides, I normally wear a regular Darien outfit or Roadcrafter suit, and a full-face helmet and boots. For a day at a racetrack school, I have only worn a Roadcrafter. . . with all the optional pads. . . something I would not choose for everyday surface-street riding here. On overnight trips, I use a Darien or Darien light outfit, (depending on where I am going, what I will be doing there, and how long the trip will be). For many years I wore only a one piece Roadcrafter everywhere, including on weeks-long road trips. That is still a favorite, but for my current everyday urban riding I mostly choose a Darien.

A possible long-term wardrobe for an everyday commuting, sport riding, and touring motorcyclist might include a one piece Roadcrafter, a Darien (or Darien Light) outer jacket and pants, an Unobtainium Darien jacket liner, an Unobtainium electric vest, a Polartec 100 sweater, a black leather jacket, Elkskin Roper gloves, medium weight insulated gloves, Combat Touring boots, ankle high light boots, newer denim jeans, a full face helmet, and an open face helmet with clear glasses or goggles. Riders investing in a large selection of gear like this should expect to use it for years of traveling and everyday riding. Woof.

Darien Versus Roadcrafter I