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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #1  
Old 16 Jul 2010
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d3o armor

First Gear and Klim are offering Adventure Gear for 2010 with a new thinner, more flexible armor called d3o. I've seen the uTube videos of people bashing one another with hammers, shovels and pans to demonstrate the effectiveness of the protection (google "d3o" to see them). Anyone have any "real world" experience with the product?
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  #2  
Old 2 Aug 2010
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First Gear Ranier jacket with d3o armor

Well, it seems no one has anything to say about the d3o armor - so I decided to check it out for myself. I ordered the Rainier jacket with d3o. Before I get to the armor I have to say the jacket is beautiful. It has so many pockets you'd need a spread sheet to keep track of where you put things. All of the exterior zippers are waterproof (the shell of this jacket is waterproof - no waterproof liner), good ventilation, thermal liner is a very nice jacket on it's own when removed from the shell and the workmanship is very nice throughout. Lot's of other nice and useful touches I haven't mentioned - obviously a lot of thought went into to jacket.

And the armor-
I didn't subject myself to assault by cooking pans and shovels as others have done on uTube to assess the effectiveness. I did bash my elbows against some solid objects wearing the Rainier with d3o and as a comparison, another jacket with Prolife® CE armor. In my very limited test the protection seemed comparable. The problem I have with the d3o was the fit. The armor is soft and flexible until it receives an impact. In it's "relaxed" state the armor seems to want to lie flat - not to mold itself to your body's shape. If you cup your hand over the armor at your elbow you can easily mold it to cup the joint, but as soon as you remove your hand it returns to it's flat state. Although the armor's position in the jacket is adjustable using Velcro patches to hold it in place I just wasn't confident the it would be in the right place when I needed it because of the lack of form fitting. So for me-

Jacket - Excellent - well thought out, well executed
Armor - Questionable - seems to protect well but the feel of the armor did not make me confident
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by createAbang View Post
Well, it seems no one has anything to say about the d3o armor - so I decided to check it out for myself. I ordered the Rainier jacket with d3o. Before I get to the armor I have to say the jacket is beautiful. It has so many pockets you'd need a spread sheet to keep track of where you put things. All of the exterior zippers are waterproof (the shell of this jacket is waterproof - no waterproof liner), good ventilation, thermal liner is a very nice jacket on it's own when removed from the shell and the workmanship is very nice throughout. Lot's of other nice and useful touches I haven't mentioned - obviously a lot of thought went into to jacket.

And the armor-
I didn't subject myself to assault by cooking pans and shovels as others have done on uTube to assess the effectiveness. I did bash my elbows against some solid objects wearing the Rainier with d3o and as a comparison, another jacket with Prolife® CE armor. In my very limited test the protection seemed comparable. The problem I have with the d3o was the fit. The armor is soft and flexible until it receives an impact. In it's "relaxed" state the armor seems to want to lie flat - not to mold itself to your body's shape. If you cup your hand over the armor at your elbow you can easily mold it to cup the joint, but as soon as you remove your hand it returns to it's flat state. Although the armor's position in the jacket is adjustable using Velcro patches to hold it in place I just wasn't confident the it would be in the right place when I needed it because of the lack of form fitting. So for me-

Jacket - Excellent - well thought out, well executed
Armor - Questionable - seems to protect well but the feel of the armor did not make me confident
Exactly which jacket did you buy, how much and where from? Any comments as to how it compares with other makes for useability and, in particular, waterproofing? Any other comments at all?
Thanks,
Geoff
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  #4  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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First Gear Rainier Jacket

The jacket is named in the headline of my post - First Gear Rainier.
I bought it online. It sells most places for $499 (there are some discounts available - seems to be mostly the less common sizes.)

My post was focused on the d3o armor. I included the additional comments about the jacket because I was impressed by the quality and thought it was worth mentioning. I compared the d3o armor to Prolife® CE armor (in a Rev'it jacket). I returned the Rainier without using it because of the armor fit problem I discussed, so I'm not able to address the jacket's qualities in use.
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by createAbang View Post
The jacket is named in the headline of my post - First Gear Rainier.
I bought it online. It sells most places for $499 (there are some discounts available - seems to be mostly the less common sizes.)

My post was focused on the d3o armor. I included the additional comments about the jacket because I was impressed by the quality and thought it was worth mentioning. I compared the d3o armor to Prolife® CE armor (in a Rev'it jacket). I returned the Rainier without using it because of the armor fit problem I discussed, so I'm not able to address the jacket's qualities in use.
Sorry, I didn't think to look at the headline but thanks for the other comments.
Sorry that I'm unable to pass any comment on the armour.

Geoff
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Old 4 Aug 2010
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I have the same 2010 Rainer jacket (Made in China) and came to nearly the exact same conclusions about the armor. It sucks. It does not stay in place nor form to your elbow or shoulder. The back armor is not D30. LIke you've said, FLAT. Not good.

I got the Rainer to product test ... I've tested many jackets. The First Gear jacket is one of the best but the BS with the "new" armor is just that .... BS.

And this is what I wrote in my review. It is water proof and is a pretty good Hot weather jacket with effective venting. As you've mentioned, the liner is a great jacket to wear off the bike and is really needed in cold weather as the Rainer fabric flows so much air that in cold weather you will freeze without the liner in. With my Gerbing and the liner I've ridden down to freezing. Not too bad ... but really there are better Winter jackets. The Rainer is a better Summer/Spring/Fall jacket. Especially Summer.

I also have the first Rainer jacket. (Made in Vietnam) This jacket is pretty good but has some problems too. The new Rainer is better with straps to secure armor in place but with the D30 stuff, it doesn't help much. The venting on the new Rainer is better, everything else in nearly identical.

I'm replacing ALL the armor on my Rainer with Aerostich foam armor. Much better IMHO. We get the First Gear Jaunt next.

I don't think First Gear are sold in the UK or EU. Too bad, very good stuff for the price. (wait for a sale!)
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Old 28 Oct 2010
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First Gear USA = Hein Gericke in the rest of the world.
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Old 28 Oct 2010
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For those who haven't played with d3o yet i'd note that, in form, it's a lot like a thin sheet of neoprene. Neoprene wants to lie flat, as does d3o. However, they're both perfectly happy to curve around you (witness the wetsuit). Where elbows and knees are concerned the issue is not d3o so much as how well the jacket or pants are designed to keep the armor against your joint. The same problem applies to traditional stiff armor. If the elbow is loose it doesn't matter how curved the armor is because it's likely to move out of the way when you get in an accident.

Regardless of what kind of armor the jacket or pants you're considering has, it must be designed so that with YOUR body in it it holds the armor close and in place.

When it's time for me to get a new jacket i'll happily switch to d3o. I've found it to be incredibly comfortable in the jackets i've tried on. It's like not wearing armor at all, and it would be great for when you are walking around in your gear too.
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