When the weather's wet and cold, the vast majority of motorcycle-specific rain gear works well at sealing out the rain and chilling winds. But what about the all-too-common storms during the spring and summer, where the ambient temperatures aren't that chilly? Despite the claims of breathability by the manufacturers, even some of the better waterproof gear can quickly and easily turn into your own private sauna if the temperatures rise anywhere above 75 degrees F.
That's where Joe Rocket's new Dry Tech Nano jacket and pants separate themselves from the pack. Utilizing a proprietary new "Nano Web" waterproof membrane material, Joe Rocket claims these products rival mesh jackets for airflow permeability and comfort, while still keeping rain moisture off of your skin. The Nano Web material was originally developed as an air filter medium, and is said to be able to filter out water droplets at the nano (just above molecular) level. These are all pretty bold claims, so we decided to grab a Dry Tech Nano jacket and pants to try during the recent unusually heavy California wet season.
The Dry Tech Nano jacket is constructed from 600-Denier Rocktex fabric with the Nano Web material bonded to the inner surface; a generous waist skirt (equipped with rear pouch) is tailored with the adventure-tour rider in mind. Adjustable CE-rated armor is located in the shoulders and elbows, with a removable spine pad that includes a pocket for an optional accessory spine protector. A removable windproof insulated inner liner provides warmth for colder climates, with the torso section featuring three adjustment points (and two elastic adjusters for the arms) to ensure a snug fit. A four-inch-wide mesh panel is incorporated into the front main zipper that allows major airflow in hotter environs, with an inner faceshield pocket and windproof internal waist gator adding to the convenient features.
The Dry Tech Nano pants utilize the same 600-Denier Rocktex textile shell construction and bonded inner Nano Web membrane, plus the removable windproof insulated inner liner. Height-adjustable CE-rated armor in the knees, along with removable high-density hip and tailbone padding, provides additional impact protection. A removable suspender/back panel helps keep the pants in place along with the usual adjustable waist feature. The legs feature full-length waterproof zippers for ease of entry, with "melt resistant" material on the lower portions to guard against hot exhausts.
Both the jacket and pants have an eight-inch zipper for attachment, plus large reflective panels for nighttime visibility.
We found the tailoring on both the Dry Tech Nano jacket and pants to be a bit on the large side, but the numerous adjustment belts and tabs kept most of the excess material from excessively flapping in the wind, as well as keeping the hard armor in the proper place for maximum protection. The pockets all have big zipper tabs for easy reach with gloved hands, and all have water-resistant zippers. The full-length leg zippers allowed easy entry and exit to the Nano pants, and the Velcro(r)-equipped sealing flap wasn't a hassle to deal with.
As far as waterproof capabilities, the Dry Tech Nano jacket and pants passed with flying colors. We wore them through one particularly cold and nasty storm, and there was zero leakage to be found anywhere, with the liners (plus some extra clothing) keeping us nice and warm. We would recommend that you wear high-top rain boots with the pants, as the lower portions don't have adjusters to snug them up against your leg/boot.
We also got the chance to wear them on a day that went from cool and cloudy to sunny and warm (temps hovering the low-mid 80s), which made for a perfect test of the Dry Tech Nano's breathability. Were they as cool and airy as mesh-type apparel? No. But we can say that they were a definite step up from other waterproof membranes in that type of weather. Instead of building up sweat that would get sticky after a while, we remained dry for the most part (only a slight dampness in the underarms/elbows/knees), which shows that the material was letting water vapor pass through. Using the built-in mesh panel in the main zipper allowed major cooling airflow, but that was cheating a bit in our minds.
****Dry Tech Nano Jacket: $499.99 - $514.99
Dry Tech Nano Pants: $299.99 - $319.99