Olympia Moto Sports AST Jacket and Ranger 2 Overpants Review
[This Olympia Moto Sports AST Jacket and Ranger 2 Overpants Review was originally published in the April 2010 issue of Rider magazine]
Olympia Moto Sports’ AST (All Season Touring) jacket is designed to handle it all—cold mountain passes, hot deserts and rain wherever it finds you. Match it to a pair of Olympia’s Ranger 2 pants and you’re ready to travel. Olympia starts with coated 500-denier Cordura nylon for both garments, finishing them with 1,500-denier ballistic nylon reinforcements at impact areas, waterproof/breathable membranes and slinky mesh linings. Impact protection comes from stout-but-comfortable CE-approved armor in the jacket’s shoulders, arms and back. Knee pads in the Rangers are CE, with comfortable EVA foam riding at the hips. Removable Thermolite-insulated liners add plenty of warmth. Full-length side zippers provide easy access to the pants liner, and the jacket liner doubles as a handsome coat off the bike.
The AST seals up for nasty weather with a two-way zipper and a button-down storm flap. A waist belt customizes the fit and cushy neoprene trims the top of the collar. The hook-and-loop collar adjustment strap could be longer for fatter necks, more clothing layers or a looser fit on warm days. Gloved hands can easily adjust cuffs and collar, thanks to handy rubber tabs. A system of chest, sleeve and back vents hidden beneath flaps that fold back to create air scoops is ready to handle warmer conditions. Waterproof zippers help keep things dry. The vents do a decent job of cooling, with the full-length sleeve vents creating the best airflow. But overall, the jacket feels biased toward cold weather—the heavy fabric and warm liner kept me warm better than the vents kept me cool. All-weather riders will be happy to know that the waterproofing works. I made several rain rides on my BMW F 800 GS and Suzuki DR-Z400S, neither of which have much weather protection, and stayed completely dry.
The Ranger 2 pants are the perfect companion for the AST in cooler weather (Olympia’s vented Airglide pants handle the hot stuff). From fit to function, they just plain work for me. Hook-and-loop flaps cover the full-length leg zippers and the zippered fly, which includes a gusseted rain flap. The Rangers’ relaxed fit is just right over pants or with the thermal liner, and the knee pads don’t flop to the side like they do with others I’ve worn. Riders with shorter inseams can easily hem up the legs, since the bottom several inches seal with just hook-and-loop.
There’s storage a-plenty in the AST/Ranger combo, with four waterproof pockets on the jacket, a back pouch, zippered handwarmer pockets and a handy vest pocket that’s accessible without opening the storm flap. The Rangers sport two wonderfully deep slash pockets up front, partially overlaid by large cargo pockets. The back pockets are too small for easy access. Need more space? Between them, the liners add eight more pockets.
The Ranger 2s come in basic black, but there’s a choice of neon yellow, sand (shown) or pewter—all with black trim—for the AST. Prices are $299 for the jacket (sizes S-4XL) and $199 for the pants (waist sizes 30-44). The size 32 pants fit me perfectly, while the medium jacket is a little larger than I expected. Both pieces are sewn with Olympia’s usual attention to quality and detail and were comfortable both on and off the bike. There was some initial binding in the elbows when I bent my arms, but that has loosened up with time. The AST/Ranger combo handles whatever you throw at it—or whatever Mother Nature throws at you—in a tough, comfortable package.
For more information: Olympia Moto Sports, 824 Locust Street, Suite 100, Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792; (866) 473-4327; www.olympiamotosports.com