Joe Rocket Dry Tech Nano Riding Suit Review
[This Joe Rocket Dry Tech Nano Riding Suit Review was originally published in the September 2010 issue of Rider]
The Joe Rocket Dry Tech Nano Suit is intended to be pretty much a year-round riding suit, focused on impermeability—that means waterproof—as well as cold-weather warmth and hot-weather ventilation. The Nano concept begins with an outer shell that should keep the rider dry in an all-day rain with “traditional breathable fabric” it claims is better than others (e.g. Gore-Tex) in preventing water from getting in, while allowing perspiration to escape through the 600-denier fabric to which it is bonded.
The first thing a rider will notice when he or she puts the jacket on is that there are three sets of zippers on the front, with the middle one being silver so he or she won’t get confused as to which zip goes where. The main zip shuts the jacket. The middle silver zip is for ventilation, allowing one to keep the jacket open, the air rushing through and out through long venting zips in the back, very pleasant on a hot day. Joe calls this the Big Air Ventilation System. The innermost zip is for maximum wind protection; even though the outer zip is one of these water-resistant jobs, zipping this one up will conserve even more body heat.
The cuffs on the sleeves open up to more than 6 inches, allowing midweight gauntleted waterproof gloves to fit underneath—essential, as any wet-weather rider can say. An adjustable collar closing would be preferable to the Nano’s single snap, as the rider might be wearing a heavy turtleneck.
This jacket is intended to be waist-length, not the three-quarter style which has a double-ended zipper, but I found the body of my 2XL to be almost three-quarter length, with the one-way zip causing it to bunch up when sitting on a motorcycle. A pair of tightening straps are at the waist, and they snugged the jacket down just right—but then there are another pair 4 inches below that, on my upper hip.
The jacket has three outside waterproof pockets, using YKK waterproof zippers, one cleverly marked for a cell phone, another marked for money. A fourth inside pocket has a little spectacle illustration. In the jacket’s nylon lining is a pocket for a spare face shield just above the waist, an interesting detail. At the back, on the tail, is a big hunter’s pocket, good for carrying maps and such. Around the bottom of the jacket an elasticized band snaps together at the front, making sure no cold air sneaks in that way. The jacket comes with a warm zip-in liner.
CE-approved armor, called Turtle Protection, is at the shoulders and elbows. A lightweight back protector is also included, which can be exchanged for an optional CE-approved piece. A small amount of reflective material is on the jacket, most noticeable in the ROCKET on the back; it does light up when a car is coming up behind.
The Nano pants have removable suspenders, which I always appreciate, and the waist is adjusted with hook-and-loop fasteners and secured by two snaps above the protected fly. A 7-inch zipper at the back attaches pants to jacket. Each leg unzips most of the way to waist, and the waterproof zip is covered by a flap which uses five pairs of hook and loops to keep it in place. CE-approved armor is at the knees, with two positions available. Hip pads are included as well.
Both thighs have tightening straps, to keep the flap down, and waterproof pockets, roughly 6 x 7 inches, which can hold a Lonely Planet guide. The pants come with a liner that zips in at the waist, and also has long zips on each leg. My tendency in cold weather is to wear a pair of jeans under the riding pants, rather than the liner.
The Nano is a good suit, costing a middling-pricey $500 for the jacket, $300 for the pants. The trick is to make sure it fits properly, and that you are comfortable wearing it.
For more information see your dealer or visit Joe Rocket