Product Review: Klim Valdez Parka & Adventure Rally Pants
Working in motorcycle tourism affords me plenty of opportunity to put motorcycle gear to the test. This past February, a ride through the fierce Patagonian wind, rain, and cold finally saw my old waterproofing system fail, and a need for new gear. Immediately after that trip, I upgraded to Klim’s Adventure Rally Pants and Valdez Parka, and offer my comments on these products:
First Impressions: Taking the gear out of the box, I could see that Klim had built this gear with a higher level of quality in mind than what I’m used to seeing. Not just in the extremely durable structure, but the detail and precision that’s involved in the construction. Quite impressive.
Comfort: Properly fitted, both the Adventure Rally Pants and Valdez Parka are as comfortable as I could ask for any gear to be. This is surprising considering how rugged the pants seem to be upon first holding them. They’re pre-formed and shaped well enough to be comfortable from the start.
Ventilation: As good as I could ever ask for. The vents on the Rally Pants in particular form almost a “scoop” when open in the riding position, channeling plenty of cool air through the enormous ventilation chambers. Even in the hot jungle of Ecuador and Colombia, neither the pants nor jacket were uncomfortable.
Durability: While the Valdez Parka is certainly a rugged jacket, the Adventure Rally line of gear is amongst toughest gear on the market. On a rocky gravel road in the Colca Canyon of Peru, I had to lay my bike down at speed to avoid a serious clothesline from a metal barricade the highway police had lowered. (See HD video of crash below.) After sliding through the gravel, the pant leg of the Adventure Rally Pant was completely unmarked without damage. Any other pant I’ve seen would certainly have some loose threads and signs of wear, but aside from having to dust them off, my pants still look brand new.
Padding/Protection: I actually use a separate system of knee/hip/thigh padding, so I’ve removed the padding included with Klim gear and replaced it with my own. The included padding appears to be of good quality, but my main comment here is how comfortably the Klim gear works with my alternative padding system. In the slide-crash situation in the paragraph above, I walked away without so much as a flicker of pain in my leg after sliding over all the rocks and gravel.
WaterProof: Even after 8+hour days of riding in steady downpour rain, I’m staying completely dry inside. The ventilation zippers are all sealed properly, and the neck, wrists, waists and every other point is easily clinched off to keep me dry. Whether it’s Klim’s choice of GORE-TEX materials, or the design of the gear itself: It works.
Pricing: Yep, it’s definitely on the high-side of what’s available out there, but the fact with motorcycle riding gear is that” you get what you pay for.” Go cheap and get wet, or buy the right gear now and look forward to weather riding challenges.
The Verdict: BUY THIS GEAR!
Make the investment now, and avoid having your riding adventure plans altered by weather issues that make it unsafe to ride. Anyone who’s been soaked while riding can attest to just how cold it is with all that air rushing past your body, and how dangerous it can be to ride while shivering cold. Klim’s Adventure Rally Pants and Valdez Parka will not only keep you dry and comfortable now, but my prediction is that it’s gear that you’ll enjoy for many years to come (even if you have to slide under barricades in Peru!)
(Below, our video review and video of the crash in Peru that did nothing to scar these pants.)