Dainese D-Explorer Gore-Tex Suit Review

Dainese’s D-Explorer Gore-Tex suit is designed for the demands of adventure/dual-sport riding, where negotiating challenging terrain may require standing on the pegs, counterbalancing, pushing, pulling and, on those unlucky days, picking up your heavy bike again and again. The “modular flap system” allows panels on the chest, back and thighs to be opened—incrementally from small to large openings—to expose mesh underneath, and a dual zipper on the inner arm from the wrist to the armpit reveals more mesh. With the flaps unzipped and tucked away (the back flap can be removed and stored in a pocket) and arm zips open, lots of air moves through the jacket and pants, much to my relief during several days in Death Valley and a weeklong tour in Italy.

When it rains, zip in the Gore-Tex liners; when it gets cold, zip in the insulated liners. This multi-layer approach is popular for one-garment-does-it-all apparel like the D-Explorer, but I dislike removing my jacket, pants and boots—on the roadside, in the rain—to install waterproof liners, and then having everything outside those liners get soaked. Riding in and out of storms in Italy, I packed a separate rain suit that I could easily slip on and off. But when riding through the high desert in winter, I zipped in both liners to keep out the wind and cold.

Having worn the D-Explorer day after day, I appreciate the suit’s comfort and versatility. Its outer materials are abrasion-resistant, lightweight and fast-drying, and elastic panels allow ease of movement. Thermoformed shoulders are made of semi-rigid D-stone fabric, and the shoulders, back, elbows/forearms and knees/shins are protected by removable, CE-approved composite armor (there are pockets for optional chest armor). There are numerous fit adjustments, 11 pockets (including two external waterproof pockets on the jacket), a 27-inch jacket-to-pants connecting zipper and reflective trim.

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As good as this suit is, there’s room for improvement. Without the Gore-Tex and insulated liners in, the suit is baggy. Though the jacket’s overlapping front pockets provide lots of easy-access storage they tend to pooch out, and sweat vapor steams up the small document pocket on the left sleeve, which ought to be waterproof. The pants need larger hip pads, and the flaps that cover the thighs, when unzipped and tucked up in their pockets, sometimes become untucked because nothing secures them in place.

The D-Explorer suit is available in men’s European sizes 44-64 for the jacket ($899.95) and pants ($529.95), in Black/Black/Dark Gull Gray, Castle Rock/Black/Dark Gull Gray or Peyote/Black/Taupe (shown).

For more information: See your dealer or visit dainese.com

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