I live in Australia and came across roadcrafter suits being worn by many of my fellow competitors in the Iron Butt Rally. The suits have a stong following amongst the long distance riding community for good reason. The suit is cooler in hot weather, warmer in cold weather and waterproof compared to my leathers that I wore previously. How much do I like it, well my wife and I took a trip to Duluth just so that she could also get one. That may not sound very passionate, but we live in Melbourne Australia! (Posted on 9/1/09)
I bought my first, and so far only Roadcrafter, a one-piece in Grey, in about 1997. It is late 2009, and it is still fine.
I have slept on my back in the woods in the rain for four hours without getting wet, (tilting slightly to the right). I have ridden fifteen hours at temps below 35 degrees, without undue discomfort (with a good windscreen, a Kanetsu vest and appropriate layering). I have ridden three days straight with temps between 102-106F and midwestern humidity and full sun, and as long as I was moving, it was about as comfy as you could get (not very). I have ridden two days through the southwestern desert, with temps around 108 degrees, and I was cool as I could get, and water consumption was down to a quart every three hours, compared to a quart every half hour with a leather jacket and jeans. I commute around Minneapolis in temps as low as 8 degrees F, and the problem areas are the neck and hands, not the suit. I have seen four thunderstorms in a day, nearly gotten hit by lightning (felt a shock in my left hand), and above the belt, I was dry. I have hit a car and not broken anything.
Around 12 years, 120,000 miles, all those adventures, and still the same suit. It has been repaired maybe three times. They are incredibly good about it. There was even an occasion where I showed them a problem I was having, ten years after I bought it, and they told me it was a manufacturing defect and fixed it free! What planet is this?
You can be wearing a three piece suit on a customer call (which I have done a lot) or just be in your undies (which I have not) and you can just pull it on over your biggest shit-kickin' boots and zip it up. An absolute must for commuting/ grocery getting, and darn handy otherwise.
Only bad point: My old model allows water in right over the zipper of my pants, so after a half hour of heavy rain, I look incontinent when I take it off. I hear the new ones are better. But if you keep riding, it does sort of breathe and dry out.
Hidden advantage: You look like some kind of road worker or lineman or other professional- the style is understated, and above all, you don't look like you're showing off. I credit this with the sudden cessation of speeding tickets upon starting to wear it. Silent grey fellows are just less noticeable to cops.
Is there anything better? Not for utility, durability and efficiency. Is there a better value? I doubt it. Is there greener? Not much. They last long, they are repairable, and they are almost entirely domestic, parts and labor.
Trust me, if you ride, you need one. Save the extra money it costs by riding a cheaper bike. Enjoying your bike has more to do with wardrobe than you think. Ride to Duluth (a good idea for countless reasons) get one. (Posted on 8/25/09)
I bought this suit (black/high vis yellow) about 3 years ago and use it almost every time I get on my bike. I use other gear for trips to the market.
Last September I used it for 14 days and 4500 miles on a trip from Southern CA to Eastern WA and back.
The first 5 days we had morning temps in the 60's and afternoon temps in the high 90's. I was hot sometimes but I zipped the front open part way and I was comfortable enough. I was never cold even as we encountered 60 degrees and rain for 7 hours from eastern WA to Portland, OR.
I now consider my suit "broken-in" and comfortable.
I wouldn't consider any trip on the freeway or in the mountains without wearing this gear.
When this suit finally wears out i will definitely order another; i look forward to that day.
BTW, Sean did a great job getting me size properly into my one-piece, Thanks Sean (hope he still works there) (Posted on 8/20/09)
I've had the one-piece roadcrafter suit for almost a full season now. I am very pleased with the craftsmanship, materials and the people at Aerostich. The suit is made from excellent materials and assembled with skill. It will take you quite a bit of practice to get in and out of the suit easily. I used to get very frustrated with getting my boot through the right pant hole, but now it's easy.
I do have some complaints about the suit: First is that a one-piece suit is very hard to size properly. I had to send one back because it was too short in the torso. The next size up was so big it looked like a clown suit. Plus the knee pads hang too low now. I got bad advice from the sizing professional at Aerostich who recommended a size that would not have solved my problem. I ended up with a suit that works, but I am not at all satisfied with the fit. I'll be taking it to a local tailor for alterations. I don't blame Aerostich- it's just that body part ratios are so different from person to person.
The other gripe I have is about the pockets. The left breast pocket is tiny and difficult to access. And the pass-through back of it is a pretty useless gimmick. They should have made the left breast pocket just like the right one which is cavernous and useful. The front leg pockets are also difficult to access because the tops of them are horizontal instead of ergonomically slanted. The hook and loop closure on those pockets is unacceptable in this day and age and should be replaced with zippers. And one final rant is that the neck closure sucks. That is one very important feature as any rider knows. The zipper should go all the way up instead of ending 5 inches short. The velcro neck closure stinks.
I really like the suit despite the complaints. This is a ton of money for a suit with some flaws and it might not fit your body type. Another thing to consider is the bulk of the suit. It's heavy and not very compactable. My 46L can be compacted down to about the size of a 5 gallon bucket if you really cram it. I find the suit useful for just about any weather- rain or shine, and temps from 25 to 100 F. Of course it's hot when you're not moving, but the vents work well in the heat. The easy on/off makes it great for rest stops on long summer tours. (Posted on 8/20/09)
I just finished an 11,000 mile ride from the southern Oregon coast to Nova Scotia and back. "Big Red" aka my Roadcrafter one-piece suit was my main outfit be it rain or shine.
There were times when the Roadcrafter was too heavy in extreme heat so I donned my Bohn armored shirt along with their pants under my jeans. The neat thing about this set up was I could easily put on the 'Stich without any mods. What I did was remove the knee pads from the 'Stich and when I had to put it back on - usually because a thunderstorm kicked in - the Bohn knee pads were already in place.
Another thing I did was replace the set of hard pads as supplied with the Roadcrafter with their new soft ones. I did this because the hard ones began to hurt my knees after a few hours and the softies took care of that. These may not offer the highest level of protection as the hard set but I still feel confident they'll do an adequate job.
Rain? Believe me Nova Scotia will provide all the moisture you'll ever need. I ran for hours through some of the nastiest stuff I've ever encountered including rides to Alaska and the 'Stich held up. I caught a little drizzle down the back of my neck and upwards from my ankles but nothing of any concern.
Bottom line is I'm totally sold on the one-piece 'Stich so if anyone's interested in my designer set of Rev'It gear let me know, I won't be needing them any more.
I bought my Roadcrafter suit in 1990 and, despite many wearings and washings, mostly with a garden hose to get the smashed bugs and road dirt off, it still looks like new.
It is super comfortable in a wide range of conditions and it is easy easy to don and doff.
It seemed expensive when I bought it but, when I consider its durability and how many times I have used it during the last 19 years, the cost-per-use is pennies. Viewed that way, it might be the least expensive I own.
I have lots of other gear in my closet and most of it stays there in my closet while I use the Aerostich on almost every ride.
The vents keep me cool, especially when I wear my cool vest inside, and it keeps me warm when I wear fleece. Absolutely versitile!
If I could have only one piece of gear, the Aerostich would be my choice. (Posted on 8/7/09)
Had it for a year now and truly love it! Fits good, feels good, handy pockets, easy on/off for commute. NEVER leaked ,even 1300 mile Indy Moto GP 2008. Don't know why, it should leak, but it stays dry. Only down side is it is a little hot in summer traffic and has a drafty collar in winter. (Posted on 8/4/09)
I have been using a Roadcrafter one piece suit since the mid-1980's. I have never had occasion to "use" the full protective qualities of the suit until two weeks ago. I came off my bike, went over an embankment and landed about 40' below the highway. I sustained multiple broken bones, including a broken scapula, clavicle and seven broken ribs. These injuries were the result of impacting something hard. However, I literally did not get a scratch on me. My stich was pretty much destroyed and the shell of my helmet was broken from severe impact with the ground, but I did not receive any roadrash or broken skin of any kind. Looking at my stich, it is readily apparent that I would have lost my life had I not been wearing my Aerostich Roadcrafter. I am ordering my third Roadcrafter one-piece suit (to go along wtih my Darien for off road use) and will not ride a street bike without wearing my stich. Thank you for making the best riding suit I know of. (Posted on 5/29/09)
I have had my suit for over a month and love it. I thought about it a long time and looked at cheaper alternatives but they didn't fit well and were a pain to get on and off. In this case you get what you pay for.
I am commuting almost full time, 65 mile round trip. I don't know how I did it before. No more changing clothes and the Aerostich requires at least one less layer than my lined leather in cold weather.
Last week was typical MD spring weather. It was 38 degrees for my Friday morning commute and I was comfortable with jeans, sweatshirt and light fleece.
On Monday afternoon it was 93 degrees. I was comfortable with khakis and a tshirt. You can't beat that for all season.
The sizing was right on. I am 6'1 200 lbs, athletic build and am fairly hard to fit. The 46R fits perfect.
Do be patient though. When I tried it on it felt tight through the arms and shoulders.
I told my wife I liked it but was probably going to have to return it. After a day or two and especially after riding it was broken in. It was actually the armor I was feeling and it loosened up. (Posted on 5/18/09)
Have had my Roadcrafter for about 5 months now. Have
ridden in hard rains, to and from work and not getting wet.(15 miles a trip) The details that the suit has are awesome. A little tricking at first to put on and zip up, however a little practice and it is very simple to master.
In the summer months its a little warm, open the vents and keep moving. More enjoyable in the cool months. After reading about craig wheeler I got bought a Roadcrafter also. The two reasons I where my Roadcrafter, for my loving wife and 6 year old son. (Posted on 4/25/09)