Thank you again. Some thoughts below but in essence I agree.
Originally Posted by teizms
Got some interesting questions and am responding to them here:
Q: Opinion on the Companero, comparsion to the Gore-Tex liner they provide:
The Companero is a great jacket- but is it really worth that price? Stadler makes solid gear. I spent a lot of time examining it during Intermot.
In functionality, both the Companero & Sahara) have been designed for a similar purpose. The main difference is that the Companero includes the waterproof outer jacket while the Sahara does not and lets you choose your own rain suit.
Why don’t we include a rain suit with the Sahara? We have talked to several leading waterproofing brands. We could never come up with a waterproof jacket that would cost YOU less than the Frogg Toggs – despite the Frogg Toggs being just as waterproof. So with our version of the rain suit (like with the Gore-Tex suit) you pay more but don’t necessarily get better real-world performance.
Now – how expensive is it so replace the Gore-Tex layer of the Companero? Damage does not have to occur in a crash but rather normal usage such as an off-road ride with a lot of falls in harsh conditions. Being the less abrasion resistant layer, the rain suit will be much more easy to damage and rip-up. Frogg Toggs are $39 to replace and I couldn’t care less about how harshly I mistreat them (because they are easily replaceable). I wouldn’t treat my Gore-Tex suit the same way because I know it is going to cost an arm and a leg to replace. Also look into how much the Gore-Tex suits weighs and how does it pack. There are reports about the suit that raise these concerns.
One of the main differences between the two products is regarding abrasion resistance. Touratech (or Stadler) chose to protect the elbows and shoulders with additional layers of Cordura. The Sahara jacket has large panels of SuperFabric in the shoulders and elbows that are far more effective. Yet - the Sahara is far more affordable.
Apart from that, the two products are similar and are working to achieve the same functionality. I think the Companero also uses Sas-Tec armor (not sure), similar to the Sahara. Anyway, all the details about the jackets are on the web and you can compare the features and materials to determine how you want to spend your money. You asked for my personal opinion and here it is: The Gore-Tex liner on the Companero is not worth it and the jacket does not offer any unique features/materials that would convince me to spend so much more on it compared to the Sahara.
I am especially glad to hear that you consider the Sahara and Companero as "working to achieve the same functionality". This raises my hopes that I could have similar performance and functionality as the Companero (which I like, having seen it and tried it on in-store) at a price that I can afford - let's say $1000 for your jacket + pants + froggtoggs, rather than $2500 or so for the Companero (cheaper if purchased in Europe, but beyond me in any case).
It is also encouraging for me that you consider the Sahara no less in quality than the Companero, despite the huge price difference. This becomes more credible when we realize that
- when you buy the Companero, you sort of buy TWO full outfits, approximately (probably not quite) doubling the price;
- teiz is probably generally better value per dollar than Stadler/Touratech
The rainsuit : Part of the selling argument of the Companero is that you buy "3 suits" : 1. the mesh suit (equivalent to the Sahara) ; 2. the mesh suit + goretex shell (alternative to the Sahara + Froggtoggs) ; 3. and the goretex shell by itself. This last option, TT says, can be used for outdoor activities or around town. It is probably much better quality than Froggtoggs, and has some motorcycle features (cinch straps, waterproof pockets in outer jacket), but the question is, as you already said, whether it's worth the expense; and whether it's the right gear for you. E.g. I already own a nice goretex shell for hiking/walking around town that suits me better than the Companero goretex shell, partly because it isn't extra roomy to fit over motorcycle armor (thus providing better fit off-bike and taking up less space in the panniers) and doesn't have all the pockets etc. that look goofy around town.
Armor : Companero is indeed all Sas-Tec, including level-2 back protector - same as the Sahara. Thanks for pointing out the superfabric, where Sahara > Companero.
Bulk : from videos I've seen, the Companero goretex jacket itself fits in the back pocket fine, but when you add the goretex pants it does become a bit bulky. Froggtoggs or a standard (non-motorcycling) goretex shell is more compact, which matters to me.
I don't personally worry as much about how expensive it is to replace/repair damage, as I have very good insurance coverage, but it's still a good point.
Sounds like the Companero remains an attractive option for those with deep pockets, but the Sahara is a real alternative at a much, much better price.