What I Wore in Alaska

Jacket: Ladies’ Medium FirstGear Kilimanjaro

  • Waterproof! Even in hail and rainstorms, it kept me 100% dry without needing any further rain jacket
  • Reflective! It doesn’t look flashy, but there are reflective pieces in the piping that help you stand out at night/in the rain
  • Comfy! In the cold, I could layer a T-shirt, long-sleeved T-shirt, and electric vest under it without feeling smooshed or cramped
  • Easy to wash! When I got home, I unzipped the liner, removed the armor (easy!),
    and shoved it in the washing machine. Looks like new now.
  • Fleece removable liner! Not only comfy; it doubled as a sweatshirt/jacket at night and when I was off the bike walking around towns.
  • Looks good! It’s actually a women’s jacket, so it fits correctly and looks pretty good. You can almost tell I’m a girl.


  • A little toasty in 100F central CA on the return trip, but that’s wasn’t its intended purpose anyway

Pants: Helimot custom leather pants


  • Waterproof!
  • Fit perfectly since it’s custom
  • Bugs wipe off


  • Leather is less comfy than textile on a long trip
  • $$$

*Why leather pants? I’m 5’1″ and have a hell of a time finding textile pants that fit. Since I already had the leather pants from my 2-piece leather suit, I decided to wear them instead of spending more money on textiles and the subsequent alterations.

Boots: Daytona Ladystar

  • Extra 2″ of rise! While wearing my boots, I’m a towering 5’3″! Booooooya!
  • Waterproof! Really!
  • Comfy to walk around in, even after riding all day


    They get really hot in warm/dry weather

Gloves: Helimot Buffalo 365

  • Really comfy: no seams to bite into your hands
  • Kept a lot of rain out — they’re not waterproof, but my hands weren’t cold and miserable in the hail/rainstorms
  • Broke in really well and now feel like I’ve had them for years (in a good way)


  • $$$
  • The palms are light beige (deerskin) and thus get dirty quickly – though this is sort of cool because you can really see which part of your hand you use to grip the handlebars

Base layer: Underarmor T-shirts

  • They’re made for hot weather, so they wick sweat away easily
  • They pack up *really* thin
  • Easy to wash in the sink, and they dry overnight


  • Don’t work so well in cold weather; the air flows through and makes you chilly until you pull over for a sweatshirt

Under layer: REI camping underwear

  • Comfy
  • Easy to wash in the sink, and they dry really quickly (less than overnight) — no sense in hauling around 5 million pairs of undies


  • Look sort of like granny underwear, so don’t meet any cute non-riding boys
  • You will get very sick of wearing the same 3 pair of underwear, despite washing them nightly

I also wore “normal” socks (whatever was on sale at TJ Max before I left), and an RF800 Shoei helmet. Nothing much to say about either of those.

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