As a daily commuter, I love one-piece riding suits. Just grab it off the hanger, step into it and zip up. The challenge is finding a suit that is well-made, has all the features I want, fits comfortably and is reasonably priced. With the new-for-2010 Tour Master Centurion suit, a team of Santa’s elves must have been dispatched to because my wishes have been fulfilled.
Resembling an aircraft flight suit, the Centurion’s shell is made of light, durable 600-denier Carbolex, overlaid with heavyweight 1,680-denier ballistic polyester panels at the shoulders, forearms, knees and seat. Removable, CE-approved armor protects the elbows, shoulders and knees and an articulated triple-density foam pad protects the back. Phoslite dark reflective piping, stripes and rear Tour Master triangle increase nighttime visibility.
There are few things I dislike more than taking up limited luggage space with a rainsuit, having to pull over when drops start to fall, digging out the rainsuit, putting it on. And then taking it off. And so on. The Centurion has a waterproof, breathable Rainguard lining, with a large inner waist gaiter to prevent seepage when water pools in your lap; a stowable Aqua-Barrier under-the-helmet hood; dual overlapping flaps with rain gutters covering the main and leg entry zippers; and waterproof vent zippers. Our all-too-brief rainy season ended just before my test, but I wore the suit while twirling around in the shower for a thorough 10-minute soaking. Though the droplets weren’t hitting me at 60 mph, it passed the test. Moisture seeped into most of the exterior pockets, but the inner chest pocket and everything else inside the suit stayed bone dry.
For comfort and fit, the Centurion features accordion stretch material at the lower back, elbows and knees, adjustable waist straps, sleeve take-up straps and hook-and-loop closures at the wrists and ankles. Fleece-lined cuffs and collar are soft, and the collar has an anchor tab to prevent flapping. For warm weather generous airflow passes through shoulder, under-sleeve, chest, thigh and back vents, with Tour Master’s Pipeline Ventilation System connecting front to back vents. When it turns cool, insulation is provided by a removable, two-piece quilted liner—warm but bulky—and a removable neck gaiter. In really cold weather you can add sweaters or electrics, but as the Rainguard lining is sewn-in the suit will, of course, get warm inside in hot temperatures. Best to keep moving!
The main zipper goes from the neck to just below the left side of the groin, and two leg zippers go from the ankle all the way up to the hips. Each leg zipper has dual pulls, providing easy access to the pockets of your pants. Getting in and out of the Centurion takes a little practice, but it’s easy enough after a few attempts and overall the suit fit me well. The dual flaps secured by hook-and-loop that cover the big zippers require some fiddling to open and close, but this is a reasonable trade-off for the protection provided against cold air and rain.
The Centurion stumbles a bit in terms of pockets, which are numerous but not quite big enough. Though convenient and well placed, the right chest pocket and two front cargo pockets don’t hold much, and I could barely get my hands into the handwarmer hip pockets. The inner left chest pocket is the most spacious, whereas the right forearm pocket is sized perfectly for keys, ear plugs, cash and gas cards.
A few loose ends of thread and some inelegant stitching are acceptable for a waterproof suit chock full of features that retails for only $369.99. A fair price for the only piece of riding gear you may need. We’d like to see larger, fully waterproof pockets and some more conspicuous color options than just Gun Metal Silver and Black. Available in sizes XS-3XL.
For more information: See your Tour Master dealer or visit www.tourmaster.com