Klim Traverse Gore-Tex Jacket and Pants Review and Details
There has been a lot of talk and speculation about the Klim Traverse GORE-TEX Jacket and Traverse Pants on ADV since last May. There were even some pre-production sample pics leaked, which very much wet the whistle of a handful of inmates, me included. (NOTE My pics have a slightly blue hue do to the overcast outdoor lighting, these are iPhone 4 shots believe it or not)
A few weeks ago, we got our hands on the production level sample of the Jacket and Pants. Just in time for the weather. There were definitely some changes between what has officially made it to the market vs the pre-production Canadian sample which has floated around, although at a base level many key things have stayed the same.
IMO the Traverse offers a lot of bang for the buck for the Enduro / Dirt inmate as well as the more dualsport focused adventurer who likes the ides of a very flexible GORE-TEX shell platform. I rode it for almost 4 days in the rain (albeit mostly on the road commuting to work) somedays with just a T-shirt on underneath. I found the shell performed very well at stopping the rain, but also having the GORE membrane stop the wind kept me warmer than I expected riding in low 60 degree temps at highway speed in the rain with no thermal base layer. People often forget about the fact that blocking the wind completely allows your body to retain much of its warmth even without thermal tech layers. Everyone's tolerance to cold is different though.
As soon as have a chance to offroad it or someone on our team does, we will update this post with out opinion of its performance.
I did a full write up below or you could watch our video to absorb it at your leisure vs reading. (The Klim Traverse video and more pictures will be coming shortly)
KEY POINTS - Please note we put these bullets together in an effort to connect the dots, they are not the vendor provided description.
PRICE - $299 for Traverse Jacket, $289 for Traverse Pants.
APPLICATION - KLIM's first Gore-Tex waterproof / breathable Enduro & Offroad Specific piece. Previously the Offroad gear was not waterproof and the Adventure Rally is considered a hardcore dualsport and adventure crossover piece. The Traverse was built with multi-season offroad and light ADV riding in mind.
SHELL - 840D Invista Cordura in Impact areas (From collar down to the sleeves, inside of all cuffs and edges, up pant cuff and around knees, lower leg) - Gore-Tex Proprietary Shell (matte finish) in chest back, upper leg and other less abrasion-prone areas. The Invista Cordura is a heavier weave and overall material, the Gore-Tex proprietary shell is slightly lighter gauge and different finish. The lighter weight makes it more comfortable and breathable. Also full grain leather is used on the inside of the boot and calf area on the pants for durability.
BREATHABILITY - Non-Removable Gore-Tex Performance Shell laminated to the shell materials in both a 2-layer and 3-layer configuration throughout.
ARMOR - None included. Shell is cut roomy enough to be worn over an offroad compression style armor suit OR rider can purchase one of 2 armor packs. A CE Armor Pack or a d3o Molecular Armor Pack. (We have a CE armor pack in the outfit in the pictures) There are Armor pockets built into the Shell at the Back, Elbows, Shoulders, Hips and Knees. The optional armor packs cover these bases.
VENTING - The Jacket has 2 large pit zips and one storm flapped 16" horizontal back exhaust. The Pants have 2 front ~6" intakes which have matching exhausts on the rear of the leg. The primary vent configuration is built for upright offroad riding.
FIT - True to Size / American cut. The sizing is correct taking into account that some type of armor and/or base layers will be worn underneath. With no armor in the fit will be too big if you go by the size chart. I am 5"10 175lbs with broad shoulders. I am in a Large Jackt and 32 Pants. The Pants size fit fine for me with or without armor and under layer. They have a belt at the top for waist adjustibility. I wear a 32x32 in jeans.
LINERS - None. The Traverse is a shell system. The liners along with armor underneath are your choice and be tweaked to perfectly suit your type of riding at that moment. Versatility is the key here.
FINER POINTS -
COLOR SCHEME - It looks like KLIM went with a lighter color scheme than that of the pre-production sample, which was based off of the VALDEZ.
ZIPS - YKK Throughout with KLIM developed pulls built specifically for usage with gloves.
LEATT BRACE - Not Compatible. The Adventure Rally is compatible with the LEATT system though.
SEAMS - Taped to GORE-TEX spec throughout
CERTIFICATION - The Traverse is GORE Storm Test certified which tests continuous rain from above and rain from a forward angle. This level of cert is different than the GORE OnRoad test which is bascially the former + a "firehose" level of water from multiple angles to simulate continuous highway torrential rain. The GORE Storm Cert allows for Klim to be able to keep the cost down while designing for more offroad applications. The certification level really doesn't affect the level of waterproof of the garment shell, but it does potentially make a difference at certain water entry points like zippers that do not have the water resistant coating (3 jacket vent zips, pants leg pcokets). The Pit Zips for instance have a internal and external storm flap to guard against water intrusion, but a direct underarm splash could get some trickling drops at the zipper ends. Keep that in mind if you are thinking of picking the Traverse for 600 mile a day rain riding in the PAC NW.
COLLAR - Fleece lined with the fleece rolling over the top of the seam and onto the outside of the garment.
REFLECTIVE - 3M slivers in key places on the torso as well at the shoulder elbow and sleeves in areas that move to improve visibility.
LINING - Polyester wicking mesh for breathability and comfort.
JACKET CUFFS - Adjustable with Velcro, there is no internal thumb loop wind gator as we saw with the pre-production sample.
JACKET SLEEVES - Tapered and slightly smaller than the VALDEZ or snow oriented KLIM product. The articulation and position of the sleeve is also slightly forward to be oriented for standing bike riding vs seated snowmobiling.
JACKET WAIST - Adjustable shock cord at hem with longer length in the seat. The jacket is also long enough to go over and be cinched when the rider is wearing a lowerback or fanny tool kit on longer rides.
JACKET POCKETS - Two water resistant handwarmer pockets and one napoleon chest pocket with water resistant zippers. The Napoleon is a dry pocket, the handwarmers ar mesh backed on the inside while remaining waterproof from the exterior. There is also an internal chest pocket on the right side.
PANTS WAIST - Double front button with gator backed crotch zipper. High elastic back for stretch and to ensure to keep "riders crack" at bay :-)
PANTS CUFFS - Adjustable and open from the inside of the leg with leather in bike contact areas.
PANTS KNEE and LOWER LEG LINING - To guard against the pants being worn down form the inside out, the 840D Invista cordura continues to the underside of the hem and up six inches to guard against boot buckles. The inside of the inner leg (which will rub between your boot, knee/shin armor and the bike) has 840D Invista Cordura all the way up to above the knee. This is key in keeping the inside of the pants in great shape with use wearing internal MX style boots and leg / knee armor.
PANTS SEAT - 3 layer reinforced in the seat to guard against abrating and reinforce the waterproof properties.
As we said earlier, the suit was designed for heavier offroad applications than full on-road touring, but if you are willing to step up the extra cost to grab the d3o the CE armor pack other than the most extreme monsoon conditions the combo should have you good to go in most onroad settings and conditions dependent on the base layers you add underneath - all for just under $700 (including the add on armor in some form in the cost)