by Gus Breiland
My love affair with the Aerostich Darien jacket was quickly developed and has been growing stronger with every passing riding season. It was my first real motorcycle related purchase and one that I have benefited from every since.
Within a few months of the purchase of my first real bike I was off in a far away land (Iowa) searching for towns that may or may not exist with fellow I’ve Been Everywhere Grand Tour riders. My Aerostich Darien jacket was about to take its first test. We experienced damn near every type of summer weather on this ride and by the end of the summer I had the frost and snow feather in my cap too. Dirt roads, random rain storms and gusting wind. But nothing would compare to what was coming. We had decided it was time to head home. After a good meal and some ‘BS’ing we were on the road. Destination, Des Moines. Turn north and blast home.
About an hour south of the Minnesota border we ran into a wall of water. Not just a rain storm, a wall of water. Now being a new rider, I figured we would find the next exit and wait it out or at least let it die down a bit. We didn’t even slow down. I think we hit the wall at 70 to 75 mph. I looked down and saw 65 to 70 mph as we trudged through the rain storm in the dark of night. As we passed the first exit (I think it was an exit, damn fogged up visor) I thought to myself “Huh, must have missed that one, we’ll get the next one.” After we passed the second I began to appreciate my Aerostich Darien jacket while I also began to appreciate a motorcycle in the rain. No longer will I have to listen to the weather channel. Grab my Darien and go.
That night my suit performed wonderfully. A little water around the neck and wrists but my core was warm and dry. My Darien had kept me dry and protected as it would countless times in the coming years. I have used my Aerostich Darien jacket to snowmobile, ride motorcycles, ski, or just thump around town. It is as versatile as any other jacket in my closet but with crash and weather protection.
Over the next few years I began to understand what a fine garment the Aerostich Darien jacket is. The Darien is constructed of Cordura Nylon and Gortex that is seam taped and waterproofed. Pockets galore line and cover the jacket and Velcro waiting for map sleeves and auxiliary pockets on the outside add to the Darien becoming a riding system rather than just a jacket. Shoulder and elbow armor come with the suit with an optional spine pad available. Senior Editor Victor Wanchena went to great lengths for MMM readers testing his Darien Jacket and Pants last summer, hurling himself onto the pavement at 70 mph while wearing a full Darien suit. He literally walked away without a scratch. He also chose the Darien suit to keep him warm during his winter riding lunacy. He says, “I am amazed that I can use the same suit, with the addtion of a couple layers, from -20ûF to 100ûF”
Added to the Darien jacket, Aerostich makes fleeced and electric fleece zip-in liners. As well as riding pants of the same caliber. All their riding suits can be tailored to fit a wide range of sizes. Just ask Senior Editor Chewbacca My favorite thing about the Aerostich products is that they are simple. There are no extra embroideries to leak, no extra pieces of fabric for seams to become worn and leak. It is a wearable tent and with a little upkeep it will keep comfortable for hundreds of thousands of miles.
What can I say? I have one suit that I keep going back to. The Aerostich Darien is essential riding gear and I don’t leave home without it. I feel like a postman. Through rain, sleet or snow, I will ride and the Aerostich Darien jacket will be covering my hide.
Darien Jacket with Standard or Lightweight Liner: $497.00 Darien Pants: $297.00
You can find Aerostich online or take a ride to Duluth, MN. You will find them Eight South 18th Avenue West. (800) 222-1994 For you techies out there, you can find them at N46° 46.190″ – W92° 07.175″ Get up there this spring so you can be riding in comfort and protection this summer. See you up there as suits aren’t the only thing they sell and once you go to Aerostich, you will be going back quite a bit.