Much of today’s textile motorcycle touring apparel has some type of waterproof or water-resistant barrier built into it. Either the outer shell has been treated and/or has a water-resistant membrane sealed to the backside of the fabric, or a removable liner is zipped inside. Both strategies work to keep the rider dry, as long as the seams are properly sealed and rain doesn’t leak in through zippers, vents or other openings. If the outer shell keeps water at bay, then everything inside will stay dry. If the only barrier to water is a zip-in liner, then everything outside of the liner, such as the contents of the outer shell’s various pockets (cell phone, camera, etc.) could be vulnerable to moisture. Furthermore, if the outer shell is allowed to get soaked through, it will become heavy, and the soaked-in moisture could make the rider colder than he has to be at highway speeds.
Like the old FedEx ads used to tout, when you absolutely, positively have to stay dry, there’s no substitute for a separate rain suit, like the Sentinel from Tour Master. The jacket and pants, which are sold separately, are made of waterproof, breathable rip stop nylon (rated MVM 5000 for maximum breathability) with sealed seams and mesh linings for improved air circulation. The jacket, which folds into a self-contained storage pouch, also has an Aqua-Barrier under-the-helmet hood to prevent water leaking down your neck, which easily stows in a hidden collar pocket. Instead of being just a barrier to water and wind, the Sentinel jacket has many of the same features as riding apparel, such as pockets, vents, reflective piping, waist adjustment and Velcro closures. A zipper connects the jacket to the pants, and there’s a handy loop in the collar for hanging the jacket to dry after the ride.
The Sentinel pants have a high-density nylon seat for added strength and minimal slipping on wet motorcycle seats. Stretch panels above the knees and an ergonomic, four-panel knee design improve comfort in various riding positions, from sportbikes to cruisers. The pants also have pockets, reflective panels, an elastic waistband, a pants-to-jacket zipper, and long, gusseted leg cuffs with Velcro closures for each of putting them on over boots. Sentinel pants come with a small zippered pouch for storage.
The Tour Master Sentinel Rain Suit is sized to go on over riding apparel. When heavy rain has been imminent, I’ve quickly put the Sentinel jacket and pants on over my Olympia Moto Sports gear and Aerostich Roadcrafter suit, even though both are already waterproof. I appreciate the added barrier against wind and the ability to keep my riding apparel clean and dry, which takes much longer to dry out than a rain suit. Furthermore, I have the added reassurance that everything in my pockets will stay dry. And when it’s not raining, the jacket and pants rolled up in their storage pockets make great pillows for quick roadside naps! My girlfriend Carrie also has a Sentinel rainsuit, and she not only wears the jacket and pants on rides but she also wears them when weather takes a turn for the worse when hiking in the mountains.
The Tour Master Sentinel Rainsuit Jacket is available in men’s sizes XXS-XXXXL for $94.99, in black (shown), red, yellow or blue; and in women’s sizes XS-XL for $92.99, in black, pink, light blue or yellow. Sentinel Rainsuit Pants are available in men’s and women’s sizes XS-XXXXL for $64.99, in black only. For an extra $30, you can get pants with fire-resistant Nomex panels on the inner legs.
For more information, see your dealer or visit tourmaster.com