After about a month I love this jacket. At first I thought I may have ordered a size too large but have since realized it is perfectly sized for wearing alone and with layers. I chose a size larger than my jacket size and in a regular length. Before ordering I spoke with a ‘Stich customer service rep and he was fantastic. We discussed what my layering requirements were and my sizing details. He went and tried on a Transit and related it to his sizing as a reference. Because of his efforts I got the perfect size jacket. Many thanks to him.
The jacket has begun to “soften” up and become mine. I love the fit and finish. And it looks absolutely fantastic. Last week I dropped my GSA for the first time (not a pavement queen but a real adventure bike) in an uphill hairpin on a mountain logging road covered with deep gravel. My right forearm took the brunt of the fall and slid through some pretty gnarly gravel for about two meters before I stopped. The Transit doesn’t even have a scratch on it and the armor did its job completely. After brushing the dust and marks from the gravel off my Transit is as good as new. I hope that is the last test of the durability and armor…
Though I have not ridden in heavy rain for a long period I have gotten wet. There has been no water migration into the interior of the jacket. The collar is great but not enough to seal completely at the back of the neck so I will use a Rooster Aquafleece Neck Gaiter over it when things get wet. There is no way to make a collar do absolutely everything and still be comfortable so I think the Transit collar is just right. The jacket dried quickly and did not get heavier when wet.
Sitting in the sun at traffic lights is a bit weird. I expected to feel like I was baking in a leather oven but did not. It still gets hot but you can actually feel the sun NOT penetrating the leather. It’s like you are standing in the shade but you are in the direct sunlight. Ambient heat is a reality but the increasing temp from sun baking is greatly reduced. Really impressive.
No problems with sleeve length or the cuffs. They are supposed to be a bit long and the closures work very well. And as is the case with the overall jacket they look awesome and add to the classic styling.
So far I love the function of this jacket and the way it looks. It is very well made, versatile (I also wear it when touring on my GTL), awesome looking, durable and everything else one could want. What could be better than Gore-Tex mated with leather???!? This is a simple, purpose-built garment that has all the right features and none that you don’t need. It’s not a “Swiss Army” adventure jacket with all kinds of stuff that you don’t need even if you’re running The Dakar. This is a faithful companion that I suspect I will be wearing much more often than any of my many other jackets. If and when it continues to perform and does hold up for many more years I might even say it’s almost perfect.
(Posted on 5/9/12)
Having owned an Aero Transit jacket for nearly a year now, I think I can chip in with a worthwhile review. I’m a 12-month a year rider who lives in southeast VA, so I face a wide spectrum of weather, from 20-degree cold in the winter months to humid, boiling hot 100+ degree days in the summer.
I should preface this review that I’m a bit of a bike clothing/gear hound and experimentalist. I highly value PPE while riding and I’m willing to try various brands and various items, always seeking to tweak what I use and striving to have “just the right gear for that 1 particular ride in that particular weather”. Along with owning various Aerostich gear (Darien jacket, Falstaff Jacket, and Roadcraft jacket), I regularly use a lot of non-Aero gear. My favorite pants are a Fieldsheer mesh pant, and I have Icon and MotoPort jackets that get a ton of use. So, I’m not “wedded” to ‘Stich and I readily use other products.
Any-hoo, the Transit jacket is a superb jacket. The leather is spectacular grade A+++ quality and the protection is stupendous. You put this jacket on the first time, and you can just feel the protection, sturdiness, durability, and quality. Actually, the pictures of this jacket, while of good quality, don’t do this jacket justice, and I would proffer that no photos will do a jacket like this justice. You truly have to see it, feel it, and wear it to appreciate the incredibly high quality of this jacket.
You can get a ton of use out of the Transit during about 9 months out of the year, obviously depending on where you live. Although the jacket breathes well, in broiling 90+ degree weather, it’s a bit too hot, and I much prefer a mesh jacket such as my MotoPort mesh. The Transit can be used in the cold, although my Aero Falstaff and my FirstGear Kilimanjaro are better options in cold, windy weather.
The jacket repels rain quite amazingly. I’ve been through my share of rainstorms in the year I’ve owned this jacket, and its waterproof qualities defy belief. This makes the utility of this jacket quite impressive. I commute 28 miles each way to work and often work 10 hour days, so it’s nice to have a versatile jacket like the Transit when the weather changes unexpectedly and rain, wind, and cold move in out of nowhere.
I happen to like the mandarin collar of the Transit, which some folks complain about. It’s soft and pliable and works pretty well. Can a little bit of water slip in under the collar? Yes. Maybe it’s the old GI in me, but that doesn’t annoy me.
The sleeves on the Transit have been criticized, and rightfully so. Yes, I understand that sleeves on a bike jacket should be long, due to the crook in the arm while riding, blah blah blah. And yes, I ordered the correct size, as I spent a good 25 minutes on the phone with the helpful ‘Stich folks before ordering my size 46 jacket. Fact is, the sleeves are at least 1-inch too long; maybe even a smidgen more too long. While using gauntlet gloves, the excess length gets bunched up under the gauntlet. Now, the good news is that, as the jacket gets worn in, the end of the sleeves softens up some, and this is manageable. I wouldn’t bypass this jacket based on the sleeve length problem; am just pointing it out to be objective and to manage expectations.
The other small problem is the “skinny-ness” of the sleeve “tunnel width”, particularly in the elbow, forearms and wrists. I’m a fairly average guy -- 5’-9-1/2” tall, 194 pounds. I don’t have “Popeye forearms”, yet the sleeves on the lower arms are abnormally tighter that they should be. This becomes a problem when you try to wear under the Transit, oddly enough, the Aerostich TL Tec Wind Blocker Fleece liner, as the bulk of that liner can get gummed up in the sleeve. To alleviate this, you merely have to do a small tug of war, back n’ forth, as you put the Transit jacket on. Instead of this grappling act, I’ve resorted to thinner liners, such as ones made by Nike, Helly Hansen, UnderArmour, and especially a Windstopper ™ liner made by NorthFace. Sure, these aren’t biking-specific liners, but as I noted above, I do a lot of personal experimentation with a variety of items to find solutions that work best for me. The Transit by itself is adequate in weather down to around 45 degrees, but in lower temperature than that, and you absolutely need a liner of some sort underneath, unless you grew up in Alaska and have incredible tolerance to below-freezing temperatures. .
Overall, I have been quite pleased with this jacket and I would recommend the Transit to serious riders looking for protection, style, and utility. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worthy of the price.
(Posted on 11/6/11)
The Perfect Riding Suit does not exist. I have a Darien jacket and pants which have served me well for 100K miles, from Prudhoe Bay (twice) to Unuvik to Ushuaia and back, as well as an Iron Butt 48 Plus One, but the lime green was fading and the suit showing signs of wear, so I broke down and bought a transit suit, jacket and pants.
Let me insert here that I live and ride a lot in Phoenix, so this suit is not going to be perfect for this kind of cook-stove weather. Nevertheless, I have ridden this suit for about 4000 miles, and am quite happy with it. Sure, it is hot when the ambient is 105 Fahrenheit, but there is no "perfect" in riding suits, or much else, for that matter. On a long ride, there is no room for several suits to adapt to the weather conditions, and a distance rider
I have not ridden all day in rain in this suit, but last week got caught in a gully-washer up in Jerome, AZ, and for the 15 minutes of heavy rain, I experienced no wetting what-so-ever. This suit is comfortable in most situations. I have a Widder vest and gloves, and will use those in conjunction with the Transit suit when temps drop, expecting to be just toasty warm and comfy.
This suit is quality, and it has met my expectations fully. I knew it would be "warm" in the desert heat, but am willing to suffer a bit of that in exchange for a suit that provides good abrasion protection, rain repellent features, excellent ballistics, and all around riding comfort.
I believe in ATGAT, and this suit makes it easy to conform to that policy.
I highly recommend this suit for serious riders.
2005 BMW R1150GSA
2007 BMW K1200LT (Totalled)
2009 Suzuki VStrom 65 (Posted on 9/23/11)
I have close to 7,000 miles in this jacket this season. I wore it from Mpls to Westcliffe, CO. in the beginning of July. The weather ranged from 48º to 108º with wind , rain and hail. It performed flawlessly. With either a cotton T or a wicking T it was comfortable from 60º to about 95º, above that you need to unzip a bit and keep moving. It is truly a pleasure not to have to stop and do the one legged jig putting on a rain suit. Simply the best suit out there, and I have owned a lot. (Posted on 8/25/11)
ooohhh my what a perfect jacket,what sleeve problem. like advertised it felt soft and supple the moment I put it on.it is relaxed and very flexible with the elastic inserts, they are in the right spot for my fit.since I've had my second layer of skin we gone through two rain storms ,dry dry dry oh my.so much for my old leather.thanks Don.oh I don't work for Aerostich. :-)> (Posted on 6/12/10)
I've had my Transit jacket for just about a month and these are my initial impressions. I thought sizing was pretty right-on. One phone call to Aerostich got me the right size on the first try. The jacket looks well made. Compared to other leather jackets I've owned (mostly Vanson), it is very comfortable right out of the box. I do have some issues with the proportions of the jacket though. As noted by others, the sleeves are long. This makes the cuffs bunch up around the hands and makes it hard to put on gloves. To get my gloves on, I need to ty to extend each hand out of the sleeve as far as I can to get the gauntlet over the sleeve. Once I do that, the jacket feels fine and I don't have the problem of the cuffs bunching painfully over my hands, but I could see how it might happen especially if you have shortish arms or ride a sport or sport-touring bike. I ordered one size larger than I thought I needed so I could layer fleece under it. This may have resulted in the sleeves being a little long on me, but the sleeves are way longer than the one size up should have resulted in. If I look at all of my jackets lined up in the closet, the Transit's sleeves are obviously hanging lower than any of the others. Others have complained about the cuff design, it is a bit bulky but overall, I like the design. I really feel in my case it is sleeve length that is the problem. It is not a deal breaker, but it is something I will need to live around unless I want to come up with the extra money to have the jacket altered - if that is even possible.... The collar did chaff on me a couple of times, but seems to be OK now. Maybe I developed calluses on my neck or the collar smoothed out - or something.
Otherwise the jacket is as advertised. It is cooler than a regular black leather jacket, but that's not to say it is especially cool when you are caught in traffic on a bright sunny day either. It is a step in the right direction though.
Things I would like to see on the jacket would include shorter sleeves and a removeable storm collar for cold weather riding - or at least a snap or velcro closure at the neck. (Posted on 5/17/10)
I already had some Goretex leather pants from another manufacturer. I did not like their jacket so went with the Aerostitch Transit jacket. On receiving the jacket it was immediately obvious that the Aerostitch product was made better. Initially the jacket was stiff and I thought the front was too long. However after wearing it for a couple of days it fits like a glove. Totally waterproof in all day rain with the bonus of not holding water like a textile jacket. So walking into a cafe' from the rain is not so embarrassing and it drys much quicker. It is warmer on very cold days than my existing textile jacket from a very reputable manufacturer. My heated vest also works more effectively as the leather jacket keeps the vest closer to my body. I just wish I had purchased it earlier.
I have a couple of small negatives. The wrist zips gradually undo themselves an inch as I ride and I wish I had purchased the jacket a long time ago. I love it. (Posted on 5/16/10)
Update: My other gear hung in the closet during the 2009 season. The Transit suit was what I wore, although sometimes I substituted my First Gear over-pants for the Transit pants. When it was cold I wore it with the Aerostich Kanetsu Airvantage Jacket Liner (reviewed separately).
It was an especially cool and wet summer so I rarely had a chance to experience how this suit performed when the ambient temperature was above normal body temperature. In the upper 80’s and low 90’s it was comfortable and I partially unzipped the jacket only a couple of times.
The Transit is absolutely waterproof and windproof. In cold, wet conditions I’d rather wear this jacket (with a heated liner) than any other I’ve ever owned or tested. At below 40 degrees the ability to withstand wind while riding a naked bike made it practical to travel, although under these conditions the longest I rode was 4 hours.
Cleaning bugs off the leather was easy, despite the perforated texture. This is a heavy jacket and although remarkably flexible for new leather it will require at least another year to break in. The pants are heavy and perfect for long days in the saddle, but not for walking around at rallies or strolling about taking in the sites. I’d suggest buying them a size or two larger and wearing them as over-pants. The mesh lining does make them comfortable heat-wise and the flex-panels work as they should, yet these are heavy leather pants.
I must profess to feeling safer when wearing the Transit than anything else I’ve worn for street use. The last time the ground caught me, my ballistic-nylon jacket felt mighty thin.
I sorely missed having a nice large glove pocket on the jacket and those on the pants aren’t worth much except for some folded bills and a spare key. I would like to have at least one cargo pocket on the pants. For safety reasons, having stuff in pockets is not a good idea, but as a touring rider I like having pockets for a variety of essential items.
The test is over. I have other gear. What will I wear? For long hard rides where I’ll cover a couple thousand miles, I’ll wear the Transit. When the weather promises to be cold and wet or just very, very wet – the Transit. For test riding new bikes I’ll always wear the gear that offer the greatest crash protection, i.e. the Transit. For cruising downtown to hangout at a café and people watch – nope, I have more stylish leathers in the closet.
The Revolutionary Transit: First Impression
The Transit leather suit from Aerostich is something quite different. Imagine a leather jacket and pants that are perfectly waterproof, absolutely windproof, and keep you up to 30-degrees cooler than regular leathers when riding in the hot sun. Fitted with TF5 military-grade foam the Transit probably offers more impact protection than anything short of competitive racing leathers or Motocross body armor. Although it contains several familiar elements, the leather material used in its construction is a state-of-the-art laminate made by W. L. Gore & Associates.
Gore-Tex Pro Shell Leather consists of three layers: leather, Gore-Tex membrane, and nylon webbed lining. The outside is the highest quality cowhide—1.2mm thick perforated and 1.4mm thick smooth—that has been treated to resist water absorption and the use of a special dye that reflects up to 30% of the solar radiation striking it. These treatments also have the added benefit of prolonging the life of the leather. The newest Gore-Tex membrane is laminated to the inside of the leather and the seams are electronically welded to form a 100% waterproof barrier. This new membrane allows 25% more water vapor to be expelled than previous Gore-Tex products and the lamination process allows the membrane to stretch with the leather. The nylon webbed liner protects the membrane, shields the rider’s skin from leather abrasions in the event of a crash, assists air circulation within the suit, and provides a convenient means of creating pockets for armor and personal effects.
The benefits of this new material are: 1) 100% waterproof, 2) 100% windproof, 3) reduces solar heating by 20 to 30 degrees, 3) increased pliability, 4) increased durability and abrasion resistance, and 5) prolonged life (for the leather—and possibly for the rider). The downside is that the material is expensive and it requires special techniques—i.e. higher expense--to make anything from it.
Gore-Tex has licensed only a handful of the world’s best motorcycle apparel manufacturers to use this new material and Aerostich is the only one in North America who was granted such. The Transit design comes off the drawing board of Andy Goldfine, the innovator who introduced ballistic nylon to the motorcycle-touring world. There’s no question that Gore-Tex Pro Shell is superior to conventional leather, but how well does the Transit compare against the two-piece Roadcrafter suit?
The Transit is fitted with removable TF5 armor—lots of it. Unlike conventional foams, military-grade TF foam is soft and pliable until struck. The harder it’s struck, the stiffer it becomes as it absorbs the force of the blow. Afterwards this “memory” foam returns to its previous pliable state and is ready for the next impact. I’ve bench tested TF2 foam with a five-pound hammer and (unintentionally) crash tested it on the highway. As a result I’ve become a believer in the advantages of TF armor over destructive cell foams. Not only does TF5 absorb more destructive energy than TF2, the armor used in the Transit is encased in a flexible shell that is contoured to fit the body part being protected and pockets in the nylon web lining keep the armor properly positioned.
Waterproof leather justifies the use of exceedingly high-quality waterproof zippers. The Transit has eleven of these: the primary jacket zipper, the two 28-inch-long zippers on the legs, the 14-inch long back vent, one on each wrist, the fly, and on four pockets (two on the pants; two on the jacket). Behind the long zippers are positioned 3-inch-wide storm flaps and a there’s a gusset behind the fly and cuffs. YKK zippers are used on inside vest pocket and for the heavy 18-inch rear security zipper that attaches the jacket to the pants.
The flexibility of Gore-Tex Pro Shell leather is augmented by strategically placed panels of ballistic nylon and, on the pants, accordion-like leather panels that cover the kneecaps and back of the waist. I suspect this suit will become much more supple the longer it’s worn.
The subtle touches that often get overlooked include soft-lined pockets, a heavy waist tab with snap, Velcro tab closures at the ankles and wrists, an adjustable waist cinch cord, and soft fabric on the inside of the collar. The large 3-inch wide by16-inch long reflective strip across the back of the jacket is a flap that covers a horizontal double zipper for the expansive rear vent--the same proven feature as found on the Darien and Roadcrafter jackets. The reflective material is also applied to the Velcro tabs on the ankle leg closure. These reflective strips are a sedate pewter color in daylight, but a transformed into brilliant white beacons when illuminated by headlights. I believe these are essential on a suit of matt black leather.
The Darien jacket has ten expansive pockets. Coupled with those in my liner and pants I can carry—and loose track of—an incredible amount of gear. The Transit has a total of seven modest-size pockets. The Darien and Roadcrafter allow a liner –jacket, vest, heated, or not—to be zipped into place. Not so for the Transit (although I will wear an electrically heated Kanetsu AirVantage jacket liner with mine). When temperatures exceed 100 degrees I often load the huge front pockets of the Darien with ice, with the Transit I’ll be limited to using the wet tee shirt method of evaporative cooling.
Being water and wind proof the Transit offers major protection against hypothermia. Add the new electrically heated Kanetsu and you can ride until Hell freezes over. In direct sunlight the Gore-Tex Pro Shell leather will keep you much cooler than conventional leathers and possibly a little bit cooler than ballistic nylon. Improved vapor venting of the Gore-Tex membrane and perforated leather will practically eliminate the sauna effect and greatly reduce the need for complicated venting openings (thereby retaining suit integrity in the event of a crash). Still, when ambient air temperature exceeds body temperature (i.e. 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) evaporative cooling methods --an ice vest or wet clothing—are highly recommended and the closer humidity approaches to 100%, the less effective the Gore-Tex vapor membrane becomes. The Transit is not a jungle suit.
The Transit doesn’t offer the crash protection of competitive racing leathers, but promises to perform better than any recreational motorcycle suit on the market – Roadcrafter included. These aren’t sexy leathers, unless you remove all the armor and buy one size too small, but the design is classic and won’t go out of style. I believe that the Transit offers a greater range of rider comfort (especially when augmented with a heated liner) than any suit on the market and the pants can be worn as jeans or as overpants. The Transit is a justifiably pricy, although it probably costs less than the deductible on your accident insurance. Regretfully the Transit is only available in standard sizes since the manufacturing process precludes custom tailoring.
The honest truth is that no comprehensive evaluation of the Transit can possibly be made until tens of thousands of miles have been logged and at least a year or two have passed. The best I can offer are my first impressions of a suit that promises to transform my riding experience. (Posted on 2/10/10)
Got the Transit suit during the rainy season in Seattle area and immediately put it to use in (near) record breaking rains.. absolutely no problems of getting wet inside the garment. The local tannery makes a great leather "dickie" that snaps around my neck before zipping up the jacket and that made the seal watertight and improved the chafing. A pair of Cortech Scarab gloves fit over ends of the jacket sleeves for a waterproof arrangement. I tied up some leather thongs to the zipper pulls to enable gloved usage. My suit has dried fairly fast if I hang it in the basement on a wet-suit hanger near the de-humidifier (doesn't everyone have one in Seattle?)... The one challenge (mentioned already) is having to pee...
other than that... it's extremely robust in construction and the armor (once it warms up) is comfortable... great value...
(Posted on 1/30/10)
I have had the Transit Suit a short time and have not ridden in the rain, so cannot comment on how it works in rain.
The pants are comfortable and I like the ease of putting on and taking off boots with the long zippers.
The jacket is the stiffest and least comfortable of five I have owned. It is hot and the collar chafes, but the cuffs are the worst. Even after clamping them as suggested they are so huge that I have to struggle to get my gauntlets over them, the zippers won't stay zipped and the bunched up leather hurt my wrists. I'll probably have to get them altered to fit.
I hope the jacket loosens up with use, but there is no hope for the cuffs. (Posted on 1/20/10)