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TourMaster Elite 2-piece rain suit

why i bought 'em.
I'm one of those crazy people who actually enjoys riding in the rain, so I figured that I'd better get a rainsuit. That's really pretty much the entire story. ;)

what i tried first.
From my December 19, 2002 entry:

"So, what with all the rain and all, I decide to purchase a rain suit. I figure I'll have the best luck staying dry with a one-piece, so I order the Tour Master Elite One-Piece suit. The smallest size it comes in is XS, but I figure it'll be OK -- according to their sizing chart, the XS jacket is one size too big, and the pants around 3" too long, but it'll be worn over my leather suit.

I get the suit in the mail the other day, put my leather pants and boots on, and try it on inside my apartment. I have ever since been attempting to draw a cartoon sketch of the person who would naturally fit into this suit. I can't do it. The shoulders and arms fit pretty well; the legs were a little too long, as expected -- but the crotch was a good 3" below mine, and there was a huge expanse of extra material in the midsection. Tightening the waist straps didn't help. I could have fit both of my 15lb cats in the extra space there, with enough room left over for them to fight.

Here, I have drawn an illustration of what I would have to look like to fit in this suit. Only the legs have to be more mutant-like to account for the low crotch and long legs.

Suffice it to say that it doesn't fit. I emailed Motorcycle USA back to see if I could exchange the XS one-piece for an XXS two-piece (why make an XXS two-piece but not one-piece? Who knows?), but I haven't heard back. Hopefully they'll be fine with that.[1]

Incidentally, I went to Tour Master's website to see if their sizing chart differs from MC USA's, and was surprised to see a separate link for "Rain Suits", along with "Cortech Jackets", etc. under "Women's Gear". But ha ha! Even though the other links do, in fact, go to specially-created women's gear, the "rain suits" link just goes to the main "rain suits" page. Apparently, you have to be either a 5'9" man or a mutant pregnant dwarf to warrant staying dry.

At any rate, I emailed Tour Master to regale them with my tale of woe, so we'll see what they have to say (most likely, "sucks to be you"). [2]"

[1]: MC USA accepted the return with no questions asked, and happily exchanged it for the smaller two-piece version for no extra charge (I only paid for shipping).

[2]: I received the following email:

Dear Carolyn,

Thank you for contacting Tour Master, your questions and comments are greatly appreciated.

We have acknowledged the need for women's sizes and have added them to our Cortech garments and the rain suits are next. Our current suits are intended to fit men and women but the cut leads more to the men's side. We are looking to develop the women's sizes for release next winter, it takes quite a bit of time to develop and produce such garments.

Carolyn, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask by return e-mail.

Best Regards,

Michael MacGregor
Products Department

where i bought 'em.
I've had good luck with the Motorcycle USA Superstore, so that's where I ordered the suit.

how i use 'em.
If it's just drizzling, I often wear only the rain jacket over my regular riding jacket. The quarter fairing on my motorcycle keeps my legs from soaking until it's full-on raining, so I often don't bother with the Elite pants unless it's really coming down.

The jacket also works really well in dry weather as a windbreaker. I wore it in Bryce Canyon in April 2003, at 9000' elevation and about 25 degrees F. I was wearing my normal leather suit underneath the rain jacket (i.e. not any sort of winter jacket), and the addition of the windbreaker made a huge difference.

In rainy winter riding, I wear the pants over my armored leather pants and electric vest. The winter jacket goes over the pants suspenders, and then the rain jacket goes over the winter jacket. It really doesn't feel as bulky as it sounds.

what i think of 'em.
The only real issue I've ever had is that my electric vest, winter jacket, and the rain suit jacket all have nice quilted collars. I have a short neck, so three layers of collar between my shoulders and helmet really push down on my shoulders, and it gets painful on a long ride.

Tour Master claims that women's rainsuits are forthcoming, but for now, we're stuck ordering men's sizes. Therefore, my suit is a men's size XXS, and it still fits a little oddly. The legs are too long, but not enough to be dangerous or inconvenient. Similarly, the waist of the jacket hangs over my butt quite a bit, but that's actually probably a good thing, as it keeps more water out. I do look a little funny, though; as though I'm, well, wearing men's clothes that are a bit big for me. ;)

My only other complaint is that, when folded up into the carrying bag, the suit is a bit bulky. The pouch takes up more than 3/4 of a saddlebag if I'm not really careful about packing it. It wasn't too much trouble on my desert trip, when I smooshed it into the top of a saddlebag, but if I was going on a longer trip with more things packed, it could conceivably be a pain in the ass.

Those are pretty minor nitpicks, though, and overall, I really like the suit. I've worn the jacket as a windbreaker a few times, in temperatures varying from 25F - 50F, and I've worn the entire suit through about 200 miles of downpour. After the last bout of rain riding, my winter jacket was a bit damp under the Elite jacket, but not wet. The leather pants and tops of my boots were bone dry. I was warm and happy throughout the 200 miles of wet, which is exactly what I expect from a rain suit. :)