We are regularly asked why our KLIM motorcycling clothing does not have a lining. This is because Klim works with layers. Why is this that? Because this is a proven concept! Not only among motorcyclists but also in any kind of outdoor activities this is the way to go. Besides the fact that this is the best way to stay warm, you are also prepared for the temperatures that await you when you get off your bike! But how do you deal with layering? We are going to tell you that right now!
In layering you work with three types of layers: the base-layer, mid-layer and outer-layer. These three layers all have their own function: the Base-layer wicks transpiration away from your skin, the Mid-layer insulates by retaining air and the Outer-layer protects you against wind and weather. These layers come in different types of materials.
The Base-Layer is the first layer you put on. They come in different kind of materials, with different functions and qualities. One of our favourite materials is Merino wool. This type of wool has many advantages: you can wear it in all temperatures and in addition to having a good insulating effect, it also has an antibacterial effect. Because of this, this base layer will not stink as quickly. Very handy if you don't come across a washing machine for a few days! It also dries quickly.
There are also synthetic base-layers such as the Klim Aggressor line. The synthetic layers are breathable and insulate well. A disadvantage compared to merino is that synthetic fabric loses its insulating value faster when it gets damp and it will also smell more quickly.
The Mid-layer is the layer you wear between your base layer and your outer layer. You can vary or even combine these depending on the temperatures you are dealing with. The nice thing is: you probably already have some in your wardrobe!
With a mid-layer we quickly think of a jumper or a cardigan. However, not every jumper or vest is equally suitable for use under a motorbike jacket. If you put on that beautiful knitted jumper from grandma under your suit, you will notice that you get a lot of annoying pressure points. Make sure to wear something without big zips, buttons or other things that can cause irritation. Also avoid a hoodie! If it hangs out of your jacket during a downpour, the water can crawl right in! A hoodshell under your jacket is not good for your comfort nor for your safety!
Thumbholes in the sleeves are very handy as well. This makes it easy to keep your sleeves in position when putting on your jacket. Also, they won't crawl up while driving.
If a jumper is not warm enough you can switch to an insulated layer. These are also available in different versions, all with their advantages and disadvantages. The two most important types we know are jackets with a synthetic or down lining.
Synthetic lining is ideal because it insulates well and can withstand water well. This also ensures that it is easy to wash. However, a disadvantage of synthetic lining is that it is relatively heavy and bulky. You will not just squeeze this mid layer into a corner of your bag.
Goose down is the holy grail in insulation. In addition to being super insulating, it is very light and very compact. You can easily stuff a down jacket in a small bag and therefore it takes up very little space in your luggage. The disadvantage is that down jackets are often made of rather vulnerable material to make them as light as possible. Down also loses its insulating effect when it gets wet.
In case of very cold situations, it is of course perfectly possible to combine a vest and a down coat. The more layers, the more insulation you have!
The outer layer is the wind and waterproof layer that you pull over your mid-layer. Because we usually sell Gore-Tex suits, this will usually be your motorbike jacket. In case of a (partly) mesh jacket, this can also be a rainsuit, or a windstopper. There are even people who swear by a rain suit over their waterproof motorbike suit in extreme cold! In the end, every air chamber helps to keep your body warm. Are you travelling by motorbike? Then take a compact rain coat with you as an outer layer for when you get off the bike!
If you commute a lot by bike, you may not want to pull out layer after layer when you arrive at the office. In this case, heated clothing comes in handy. You connect these clothes to the battery of your motorbike. This way you will always stay at the right temperature, even in winter! In addition to jackets, heated trousers, socks and gloves are also available.
Layering with trousers
The layering system we have just discussed is, of course, not only suitable for the upper body. Of course, base layers are also available for pants in the form of Long Johns. There are also insulated pants, most of which will be synthetic.
Layering with gloves
Even with gloves you can apply the layering principle, although it is not as extensive as with your upper body. For example, liners are available in different thicknesses. You will notice that a good waterproof and windproof glove in combination with heated grips will survive the winter well.
If this is not enough, you can apply an extra protective layer by using Handlebar Muffs. The advantage of the hand muffs is that you can ride longer with thinner gloves. This gives you more feeling when holding the handlebar and more control over the brake and clutch levers.
This was quite a list of information and you may got a bit confused now. Feel free to visit us in the shop for help with building up your layers, even if you don't have a KLIM suit!