The Adventure Spec waterproof jacketJune 7, 2017
The Adventure Spec Insulated JacketJune 7, 2017
THE ADVENTURE SPEC LINESMAN JACKET
Somewhere between the big, motorway munching ADV riders and the super lightweight enduro athletes sit a curious bunch called trail riders. A lot of the gear they use tends to be a bit of a compromise, good protection but bulky and hot, lightweight but more for racing than days out camping on the bike. For Roads End, Dave Lomax got to put the new Adventure Spec prototype gear through its paces. Designed specifically for trail riders, this was the first proper field test of the Linesman Jacket.
In an environment like Argentina we know we are going to encounter almost all the weather conditions that you can possibly imagine...and we did! Deciding on the clothing for that range of conditions isn’t always easy, but something that I always do is try and make sure that I have the most comfortable riding gear I can find for the conditions that I am going to spend the majority of my time in. Then I take extra pieces that enable me to survive the more extreme and unlikely scenarios.
In the case of Argentina the weather was so varied that I ended up taking a full ADV Layering system to allow me to cope with anything from emergency bivouacs below 0 degrees at nearly 5000m to baking windless valleys and sand dunes at 40+ degrees.
For me the key piece in that clothing system was my prototype Linesman jacket. In all but the most extreme conditions of wet weather or baking heat it carried my equipment, kept away the chill of wind and light rain, protected me in falls and was so comfortable that I mostly forgot I had it on. For mostly dry environments it is the king of riding pieces and a typical day in the life of a Linesman Jacket looks a bit like this...
The Linesman jacket with arms removed.
The peace and solitude of an open camp fire. With a camera crew.
Capable of shrugging off the odd shower and keeping you warm on a freezing desert morning (with the removable arms in place and vent zips snugly closed) I’ll have everything including the fully windproof front zip tightly closed to start my day. I’ll have my windproof gloves on too, swapped for my normal riding gloves out of the one of the back pockets, to keep my fingers from going numb until the sun comes up. This early my other rear pocket will be empty too. My buff around my neck and over my nose rather than in its usual comfy home.
As the day roles on and the sun comes up I’ll quickly slide down the two front vent zippers. The cooling air over my chest will give me another hour of comfort before its time to stop and remove the buff and swap out those windproof gloves for my usual lightweight pair.
As the heat increases I’ll stop again briefly to reach around and open the two large rear vents either side of my drinking bladder pack. The air now flows cleanly through my chest area, around my torso and out of the rear of the jacket evaporating my sweat and cooling me perfectly.
As the day heats up even more and the dust rises my buff may well come out of my pocket again to stop me breathing in too much dust and the neck zip will be opened a little.
Up to 25 to 30 degrees I will ride like this all day with total freedom of movement and dry comfort. I also know that the kevlar woven high impact areas will look after me during one of my inevitable sessions of rolling around on the floor under the bike WHEN they happen.
If the temperature really rises, it’s time to stop and remove the sleeves. I know this will compromise my elbow protection, but by now I’m so hot that if I don’t start to cool more effectively I’m going to be in trouble (I’m sweating fluid faster than my body can absorb it). So I look to my AS armoured base layer (with kevlar impregnated threads) to look after me, and as long as I don’t have a ‘big one’ I’m usually fine. My sleeves slip easily into the rear pockets again and I still keep the body of the garment in place helping to locate my back protector protect my core and carry my essentials with me.
"Is it too late to mention I'm a vegetarian...?"
I have a large scale map in one of the the huge internal front cargo pockets and my docs in the other, a Motion Pro trail tool and Leatherman live in my lower front external pockets and and a light weight drinking bladder rucksack on my back (with attached Spot Tracker). Add a few chewy bars, water purifying tabs and suntan cream and I am pretty much self contained and almost everything I need for day to day operations is with me. I don’t ever need to break into my luggage.
As the day cools off I reverse the procedures of the earlier in the day. The sleeves go back on, the buff comes off, the vent zips close and and I snuggle back down into the jacket as the early evening chill sets in.
I’m still in the jacket as we sit around the fire….why take it off. It’s super comfy. I only remove it for bed and rest my feet on it knowing that with the bladder refill in the morning I need only grab it and go. My lightweight waterproof shell remains wrapped tightly in my luggage ready for the only thing my Linesman can’t handle...a proper downpour!
Watch Rob and Dave put their gear to the test over 5,000 miles of South American wilderness.