Shrinking The Planet – One Ride At A Time

Aerostich Roadcrafter 1 Piece Suit Long Term Test Ride

For about six years now, Kim and I have been doing nearly all of our daily and adventure riding in an Aerostich 1 piece Roadcrafter suit.  We thought that perhaps you’d like to know a bit about the suits themselves and how they’ve performed for us.  The short answer is “remarkably well” with only a couple of reservations. 

So let’s talk a bit about the suit itself.  With its “armor” inserted, it’s big, it’s fairly heavy, and at first it’s not really easy to get on and off.  Are you put off by this?  You shouldn’t be, because here’s the complete story about the suit. 

It’s made of 500 Denier Cordura (i.e. heavy weight) which is highly abrasion resistant and which although not as abrasion resistant as leather, is pretty damn good.  It’s also made of man’s single greatest accomplishment in textiles since the first diaper and that is Goretex.  I am convinced that Goretex was a divine miracle of some sort.  Water resistant (nearly water proof) and breathable, this fabric can keep water out and breathe (letting hot damp air out) at the same time.  If you have ever ridden in the rain on a warm/hot day and you are wrapped in the sauna of an non-breathing rain suit, you know the miracle that Goretex represents (cue rainbows and harp music).  You stay dry and cool.  Nice! 

There are some bugaboos however.  Downpours of greater than an hour or so will ultimately overcome the Goretex fabric and you will get wet.  Light rain or drizzle for extended times can be handled without issue and you will stay dry.  One issue that does occur on a hit or miss basis depending on the suit is what’s been known as “Aerocrotch”.  After extended periods in the rain, water can accumulate in the crotch area of the suit and ultimately soak through leaving you with a nice wet crotch area.  Uncomfortable for riding in and even more so when you arrive at your destination and you take off your suit with that “I just pee’d in my pants style.”  Marvelous.   Strangely, this doesn’t occur in all suits just some.  I may have something to do with the fit of the suit.  For example, my suit has Aerocrotch, Kim’s does not.  Hmm….

I do note that Aerostich has redesigned the zippers of the one piece Roadcrafter suit and they claim the Aerocrotch issue has been solved.  They are also indicating that they will soon offer retrofitting of old suits with the new zippers and I for one am so satisfied with my suit that I am going to send mine in when this option is offered.

As far as ventilation goes, it has plenty of vents to let air in.  There is one that opens across the entire portion of your back and one under each arm that travels from mid-bicep to mid ribcage.  There are also two hip vents just behind the hip pockets.  As a result, as long as you are moving, you can get quite a bit of cooling air through the suit.  Our experience has been that you can be comfortable in the suit as long as you are moving into the high 80s, low 90s.  However, if you consistently must travel in a lot of stop and go traffic with temperatures in the high 80s or greater, you might want to seek another option.   

There are many pockets and you can carry just about anything you could possible need in this suit.  There are two velcro closable on the thighs of the legs, a large zippered compartment on the chest, one on the left arm and two large pockets where pants pockets would normally be. 

The neck and wrists are adjustable for size (and air flow) with velcro tabs.  Options galore exist for the suit including clear map pockets for thigh, arm, made to specification sizing, extra comfort neck material.  You should really go to their website at http://www.aerostich.com/roadcrafter-one-piece-suit.html to check out all the options.

After you learn how to put the suit on, it is really, really easy to get on and off.  Literally, you can get the entire suit on or off in less than 30 seconds.  Really.  When you first get the suit, you feel very clumsy putting it on or taking it off, but as you learn how to get in and out, and the suit softens up (it is a bit stiff when you first get it – sort of like blue jeans) you’ll put the suit on or take it off just as fast as you take off all your other clothes.  It really is that easy.

All in all, we really, really like these suits.  They have served us very well in our travels all over the world including our rides on and off pavement.  If you consistently ride in very hot temperatures in stop and go traffic, the regular Roadcrafter one piece suit is probably not for you.  However, we note that Aerostich has come out with Roadcrafter Light and Ultralight suits that offer less abrasion and armor protection but are reportedly cooler and lighter weight.  We have not tried either of these suits so we can not render an opinion on them.  Oh and BTW, if you ever have a problem with the suit, or want it reconditioned (which we have done after abusing our suits for 5 years), Aerostich has fabulous customer service and will repair and refurbish its suits for a nominal charge.  They offer the same service for crash damaged suits. 

So what does this all boil to?  If we were to use a star rating system, we would give the Aerostich Roadcrafter one piece suit 4.5 stars.  We’ve seen a lot of suits and a lot of options, but the Aerostich Roadcrafter works best for us.

8 responses

  1. Joe

    Although Aerostich stuff seems a little dated compared to the high tech stuff coming out today, wearing it again reminds us of just how truly good and ahead of it’s time it was. I’ve owned a few suits, including a very high tech Halvarrsons safety suit. As awesome as the Halavarrsons is (and it truly is an amazing bit of safety equipment), I put my old Roadcrafter on and it just plain works and works very well. I recently picked up a Darien jacket and was once again reminded of this fact. Nothing stylish or trendy about it, a true case of function over form.

    There are a few tricks to help with the Aerocrotch (mine has it too Mike) although with a little work with come seam sealer, I can now comfortably ride home from work (just under 20 miles) in pouring rain and not be accused on incontinence. 🙂

    Like

    May 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    • Good points Joe. Guess where we got the idea to look into the Roadcrafter from? Hmm….

      Like

      May 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm

  2. How about a post-crash comment. I managed to high side my GSA about three years ago at about 35-40 mph. I was wearing my RC one piece. It provided great abrasion resistance, and everywhere it provides impact protection worked out well. My only negative comment would be that unlike my other suit, a Kevlar mesh siut from Cycleport, the RC does not have armor built in to protect ribs/chest. My ONLY injury was 5 fractured ribs. Nothing else was even sore post crash. i still wonder if I would have broken those ribs if I had chosen the cycleport that day.
    I did ship it back to Aerostitch, and the replaced some panels and cleaned it for about $300.
    It’s still my choice for commuting anytime mesh would be too cool. Did about a one hour ride in a moderate rain on an unfaired bike recently and nothing got wet.

    Like

    May 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

  3. Excellent point Ken! Thanks for the real world comments on the Roadcrafter. I know there is serious debate over the Cycleport and the Roadcraft suits with claims made by both manufacturers. We’ve never ridden with the Cycleport so obviously we can’t comment, but your real world experience with the suit is an excellent way for folks to get a feel for what else is out there. Perhaps you’d like to do a full write up on the suit? If you’d be so kind, we’d be happy to publish it here. Send us an email at ridetoadv@gmail.com and let us know if you are interested.

    Thanks again for your comment!

    Mike and Kim

    Like

    May 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

  4. I bought a Roadcrafter in March, 2012 and just sold it. Guess what I’m replacing it with? Yep, a Roadcrafter. The suit was outstanding, just too hot. I ride on a fully faired bike and it’s just unbearable in the Florida heat. It’s perfect for my annual trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, but that’s 1 week out of 52. The suit is on its way to upstate New York – perfect!

    I’m waiting for the sizing tool results and will likely choose a Light once I consult with Aerostich on the phone. The Ultralight is interesting to me, but I’m concerned about it being “too light”

    Like

    May 29, 2013 at 8:40 am

    • Matt,
      Thanks for your comments! We too are thinking about the light/ultralight suits. Let us know what you think when you have a chance to ride in it!

      Best regards,

      Mike and Kim

      Like

      May 29, 2013 at 11:47 pm

  5. Hi there – I was wondering what you did for armour on your suit? Did you get anything extra? Cheers!

    Like

    January 2, 2014 at 9:05 am

    • Hello Rob,
      We bought our suits with the standard armor, nothing more. Standard armor consists of shoulder, knee and elbow protection. We did not purchase the back or hip protection but we have found that the armor that comes with the suit is pretty good. For more extreme off road, we often end up wearing a pressure suit that includes the chest and back protection as an undershirt. Depending on your sizing, it can fit under the suit comfortably if you remove the stock armor. Hope this is helpful to you.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Mike and Kim

      Like

      January 2, 2014 at 1:19 pm

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