Over the last few years, more and more apparel manufacturers have begun offering one-piece textile riding suits. We’ve tested moto-onesies made by Aerostich, Olympia, Spidi, Rev’It and Tour Master, with combat-ready names like Admiral, Centurion, Infinity, Roadcrafter and Stealth. Joe Rocket’s contribution to this apparel niche is called the Survivor.
To underscore its utilitarian nature, the Survivor is available only in a charcoal/light gray color scheme. The outer shell is made of Rock Tex 600, a brand of 600-denier nylon material similar to Cordura (a different brand), with double layers at the shoulders, elbows and knees. Joe Rocket claims the Survivor is 100 percent waterproof. During weeks of testing, I couldn’t find anything but light misting rain within hundreds of miles of Ventura. Though imperfect, I tried the shower test and…it didn’t pass. Within less than 10 minutes I felt wetness at my right hip (near the bottom of the “waterproof” main zipper), on my right thigh (near another zipper) and inside my left knee.
As a water-resistant suit, it can get muggy inside the Survivor. Joe Rocket’s Big Air ventilation system provides relief. It consists of a secondary zipper that runs down the middle of your torso. By undoing the main zipper and snaps and unzipping the two vertical back vents, the secondary zipper holds the front of the suit open several inches and allows a heapin’ helpin’ of air through a mesh panel. If nongauntleted gloves are worn, more air will flow up through the sleeves, especially with the cuff zippers undone. And throughout the inside of the suit is stretchy athletic mesh.
The Survivor has typical protective and fit-adjustment features. There’s CE-approved armor at the shoulders, elbows and knees and a thick foam back pad. Hook-and-loop tabs at the waist, chest, upper legs and ankles as well as accordion stretch material at the lower back and elastic sleeve adjusters keep the Survivor securely in place on your body. It even has melt-resistant material on the lower leg and reflective striping on the back and upper arms. There are three waterproof outer cargo pockets (they passed the test) and an inner map pocket. A bonus feature of the Survivor, especially in this price range, is a removable insulated liner.
With a diagonal zipper from the neck to the right hip and two ankle-to-upper-thigh zippers, getting in and out of the Survivor takes some practice, and the process is much easier without boots on. Once donned, the suit looks and feels good. Beyond the leakage issue, I have two other niggles. One is the snap collar. It’s lined with soft material, but the top edge dug into my neck when leaned over on sporty machines. And when the Big Air vent is used, the right side of the collar can be snapped down but the left side flapped around and smacked my neck. Two, there is no easy way to access the pockets of pants worn under the suit, so you’ll need to transfer your wallet, keys and mobile phone to the cargo pockets.
Still, for $399.99-$414.99 depending on size, the Joe Rocket Survivor suit is a great deal for a versatile commuting and touring suit. It’s available in S-2XL and short sizes M-2XL (3.5-inch shorter inseam).
For more information: See your Joe Rocket dealer