Part 2: Rev'it Sand II Pants Review
The Rev'it Sand II jacket is an update to the original Rev'it Sand jacket (review) which, according to Rev'it, was their best-selling jacket ever.
The Rev'it Sand II jacket and pants are the current highest level of Rev'it clothing that does not include Gore-Tex.
Several features of the Sand II jacket have been updated, including improved front vents and different waist and arm adjusters.
But the jacket is also missing a couple of features, like zippers under the pocket flaps, a vertical placket pocket, a front zipper on the insulating liner and a snap to hold open the collar.
The Sand II jacket strikes an excellent balance between street and adventure-touring styling, making it a good all-around choice for just about every climate and condition other than perhaps the hottest days of summer.
The Off-Track jacket disappeared fairly quickly from the Rev'it lineup, but the Sand jacket was a winner that was, according to Rev'it, their best-selling jacket ever. I would have guessed that honor would have gone to the original Rev'it Cayenne jacket (review) or Rev'it Cayenne Pro (review), but heck -- what do I know?
Actually, it's no surprise that the Sand jacket was a hit, because it probably captures the adventure-touring spirit without either too much "adventure" for the touring types or too much "touring" for the adventure types. In other words, it's a targeted bull's eye that works nicely for anyone from street riders to long-distance tourers to dual-sport off-roaders.
There is always danger when you "improve" on an original, but Rev'it has settled into an evolutionary pattern since we first started reviewing the gear back in 2005. After experimenting with a different mix of products in the lineup, the Netherlands-based company has developed a nice variety of clothing at many different price points. And they're not afraid to try something new; for example, the 2014 Rev'it "Urban" lineup which, I think, will be a real hit with commuters and scooter jockeys.
We've had this Rev'it Sand II outfit here for quite some time -- it was released in January of 2013 -- but we're just getting around to posting the review. There's a lot of experience out in the real world with the product; probably more than I know about it. I'll cover some of the features and changes/updates from the original Sand jacket, but I'm sure I'll miss something, so feel free to chime in and send me your feedback.
When a company expands their product lineup, it can become difficult to understand the sometimes subtle differences between each item. This is especially true if the price spread between items is small.
In Rev'it World, the Gore-Tex or GTX outfits are their high-end products; the GTX designation includes waterproofing at the outer shell and other top-of-the-line features (at top-of-the-line price points). Last year, the Everest GTX (review) and Defender GTX (review) were the Rev'it flagship outfits.
This year, the new Poseidon GTX jacket and pants (preview) is top dog, with the Chronos GTS (preview) and Neptune GTX (preview) holding second and third spots in the GTX lineup. The Defender GTX is still there also and it's one of my all-time favorite outfits.
The Everest GTX will end its reign as el Supremo, but it can still be found on closeout at the webBikeWorld affiliates. It's styled more for touring than adventuring, but it's really nice in anyone's book.
By the way, one of the new Poseidon GTX outfits just arrived for a webBikeWorld review and although I have just cracked open the box, I can tell you that it's a pretty amazing piece of kit.
If you want ultimate water, wind and cold protection, this is it. The detailing, fit and sizing is far more sophisticated than the very expensive Klim Badlands Pro (review), which is much more of an off-road only outfit.
The Sand II outfit is also a King in its own way (or maybe Prince?). That's because it's the top-of-the-line Rev'it non-Gore-Tex product. The Sand II outfit includes a Hydratex removable waterproof liner instead of the more expensive Gore-Tex shell and it uses a polyester 500 and 600 denier shell instead of Cordura, which also helps keep the price low(er).
Now you can debate all you like whether a water-resistant liner is the way to go or not, but if you choose "not", then spread that wallet open just a bit wider. You'd have to kick in at least another $110 over the $489.99 list price of the Sand II to get the new Rev'it Neptune GTX (preview) with a Gore-Tex shell.
If you want the current top-end Rev'it GTX jacket with a waterproof shell, you're looking at the Rev'it Poseidon GTX at $899.99.
My feeling is that in fact, I'd rather pay less and have the ability and flexibility to remove the liner when I don't need the water resistance -- which is like 95% of the time. In the summer, you'll want to stow both the Hydratex and insulating liner from the Sand II anyway, which you can't always do with a jacket that has a non-removable Gore-Tex membrane.
Don't like a waterproof liner? You don't have to snap it in every time. If you're in a hurry, slip it on, throw on the jacket shell and you're set. In any case, I usually carry something like the Tourmaster Sentinel rain jacket (review) stuffed somewhere on the bike, and if it rains, I slip that on over the top of whatever I'm wearing. It's a sensible solution.
Now let me back up a sec -- that polyester shell on the Sand II jacket and pants is another big difference between the Sand II and the GTX line of Rev'it clothing, which use a version of Cordura. Whether or not one type of fabric or the other has better abrasion resistance is open to interpretation, but keep the fabric type differences -- and the prices -- in mind when comparing these garments.
The Sand II uses the same type of fabric, according to the Rev'it specifications -- as the Rev'it Horizon jacket (review), which doesn't have the adventure-touring styling of the Sand II but does have the very nice Rev'it VCS front vent system...and it can still be had on closeout for $312.00 with free shipping.
And one more significant difference is that the Sand II has the Prolife protectors, where the more expensive GTX-series jackets use the SAS-Tech brand.
Confused yet? Yep -- it can happen with so many choices!
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The polyester shell fabric of the Sand II has a nice, soft feel and a tight weave. That weave does indeed give the jacket some water resistance. In light or even medium strength rain, it takes some time for the water to seep through, where it's stopped by the Hydratex removable liner.
The never-ending debate about water resistance will probably never be concluded, but my feeling is that if you really are riding in a day-long deluge (or anything other than light or intermittent showers), then you should have a waterproof outer rain suit on hand, or go for one of the Rev'it GTX outfits.
You simply can't have it all, at least in this price range. Buy a cheap waterproof over-suit and stuff it in the back pocket of the jacket. When it starts to pour, throw on the suit and go for it.
For the rest of us, the combination of the Sand II shell and the Hydratex liner works just fine in the vast majority of changeable weather riding conditions. The insulating and Hydratex liners can be mixed-and-matched as conditions warrant, or removed completely in warm weather. And regarding the latter, make sure you get a Sand II that fits snugly with the liners in, because it will gain around one size or so when you take them out.
In fact, the model shown in the photos usually takes an XL, but you can see that this size XL Sand II jacket is a touch big and it is shown with both liners installed. We probably should have ordered a large; Rev'it altered their sizing last year so an L is truly and L now.
The Sand II has all of the detailing that Rev'it products are known for, including the extra bar tacked reinforcements (now with red thread) in the flex/stress areas and quality stitching and panel layout and construction that are designed for motorcycle riding and not just thrown together by amateurs.
There are some extra reinforcements by way of thicker fabric panels over the elbows and around the neck, but no SuperFabric on this one.
The Sand II jacket has the new "Americanized" sizing scheme employed by Rev'it. I like to call it "normalized" instead. Actually, we're not used to the new Rev'it sizes yet, which is why we ordered the XL rather than what I think would be a correct size L. In the future, the size L should fit, which is correct and basically brings the Rev'it garment sizing into reality.
This size XL Sand II jacket should fit a 44 inch chest. Some of the retailers list a 41 to 44 inch range for the XL but we think that's way off on the low end; anyone with a 41 inch chest will be absolutely swimming in a size XL Sand II jacket.
The signature style point of the original Sand jacket that was also highly functional was the dual was adjustment system, which itself was an evolution on the waist adjusters on the Rev'it Off-Track jacket.
The dual adjusters are still there but have now been streamlined, with the ends of the adjustment straps sewn with reinforced stitching directly into the shell panels rather to the additional poly/rubber triangles between the ends of the adjustment straps and the shell of the original Sand jacket, which weren't really necessary and gave the jacket a slightly more bulky look.
The adjusters are somewhat easy to use, although when the jacket is new, they don't slide very easily. The idea of this design is that there are no loose strap ends, because the system is a continuous loop. Slide the red square "D" rings back and forth (photo above) to tighten or loosen the adjustment. Very clever but easier to do before you put on the jacket rather than after.
The arms have the same type of system at the forearm and there's a two-position snap at the bicep for more adjustment. What appears to be a secondary three-snap adjuster on the outsides of the upper chest is actually a system to hold open the front vents, forming scoops on either side.
The main entry zipper of the Sand II jacket is a large-toothed YKK "Vislon" type, which operates smoothly. It has a metal zipper runner with the standard Rev'it metal loop for the pull, which I'm not all that fond of but the loop metal seems thicker on this one, so it should last.
It is a locking zipper pull with a single runner, but ours locks only intermittently, due, I think, to the use of a metal runner on the Vislon (plastic) teeth.
Also, I would have liked to see a dual zipper runner with the locking feature on this jacket at this price point; even the Pilot Trans-Urban jacket (preview) at $225.00 has a dual runner YKK Vislon main entry zipper.
In fact, it's very surprising that the Sand II doesn't have a two-way zipper, because the wind/rain flap just behind the main entry zipper can be folded back and snapped to the inside of the shell, presumably to allow more ventilation in hot weather. If the jacket had a two-way zipper, it would exploit this feature for even better air flow.
The rest of the zippers on the Sand II appear to be YKK Vislon also, although not all of them are brand marked.
The sleeves have a nice 40 cm long zipper towards the front that work as a two-way vent system. The zippers can be opened at any position and they're not blocked by the forearm sleeve adjuster.
All of the remaining zippers on the Sand II either appear to be or are marked as YKK. The liner zippers are of the coil type, while the front vent zippers use the big Vislon teeth also.
The Sand II has the standard Rev'it adjustable snap system for the collar; the adjuster is attached to the right-hand side of the collar. Surprisingly, there is no snap to hold the collar open on the left to allow the neck to remain open, which is pretty much a mandatory feature on a modern adventure-touring jacket.
The collar is lined with a new type of micro-fleece material, which makes it very comfortable although the fleecies can catch on beard stubble, depending on type, thickness and the individual. The Hydratex liner has a short stand-up collar that also has a micro-fleece liner.
The Sand Ii jacket has two large patch pockets located at the lower front and these seem to have been standardized on most Rev'it jackets. The pocket flaps fold over and use a two-piece length of hook-and-loop fastener to hold them closed.
There are no zippers on the pockets underneath the flaps, unlike the less expensive Rev'it Horizon jacket we reviewed recently. The inside of the Sand II pockets do appear to have the same type of waterproof lining, however.
There's a full-width storage pocket in the rear of the Sand II, but this also doesn't have a zipper underneath the flap. In reality, the zipper probably isn't necessary as long as the flap(s) secure correctly and firmly.
The removable insulating liner has an internal pocket with a zipper in the left-hand side and the jacket shell has a horizontal pocket on each inner side. But the Sand II is missing one of my favorite and most-used pockets: the vertical pocket just on the inside of the left placket, which I like to use to stow my wallet when riding. This pocket is missing from the Rev'it Horizon jacket also and we hope it isn't a trend, because this is one of the most useful pockets as far as I'm concerned.
Thus, the Sand II jacket seems to have fewer pockets and less storage than other jackets at both lower and higher price points.
The Sand II jacket uses the ProLife CE-rated shoulder and arm/elbow protectors, which are the mid-range type installed in Rev'it jackets. The Sand II comes with a reasonable back pad that's at least a step up from the foam type included on the Horizon jacket.
Rev'it has a line of Seesoft brand Level 2 back protectors that now fit in Rev'it jackets. The Seesoft back protectors are available as an option but we still think that better back protectors should be fitted to Rev'it jackets or perhaps a significant discount should be offered to anyone purchasing a Rev'it jacket that can be fitted with a SeeSoft protector.
The Seesoft back protector was first described in the 2013 Rev'it Spring and Summer Clothing Report. The Seesoft protector has multiple soft layers that bend and move with each other for comfort in a motorcycle jacket.
The Sand II jacket is also compatible with the Leatt brace (review) and Moveo neck brace systems and the Rev'it Challenger cooling vest.
The jacket does not have the square Rev'it VCS 3D vents found on other new Rev'it jackets, such as the Horizon. Instead, it has 20 cm long vertical zippers on either side of the chest, which can be opened and then secured with the three-position snaps on the outside to form a scoop.
If the Hydratex liner is installed in the jacket, you're not going to feel any air flow directly on your chest, but the circulating air does help to improve the efficiency of the moisture exchange through the Hydratex liner. Remove both the Hydratex and insulating liners and the front vents are actually rather efficient, especially when the two back vent zippers are opened to exhaust the air.
It's not enough to make the Sand II jacket a true all-arounder, because during hot weather riding the vents aren't enough during slower speed riding or when riding behind a fairing. But then again, no jacket is a true four-season type, at least when you have temperatures of 30 C and above (~90). You'll need full mesh for that, or the Rev'it Levante jacket (review).
One of the features that makes the Sand II jacket so versatile is the mix-and-match capability of the included liners. The insulating liner can be attached with short zippers and snaps to the inside of the Hydratex water- and wind-proof liner, or when the Hydratex liner is removed, the insulating liner can also be attached to the inside of the jacket shell.
Again, this is a reason to make sure you buy your Sand II jacket so that it fits snugly with both liners in. When they're removed -- which you'll want to do in summer -- the jacket will gain some size (and you'll probably be wearing less underneath) so it's important to judge that sizing difference or you may end up with a jacket that's too big for a portion of the riding year.
The insulating liner attaches via a short zipper on the inside of the Hydratex liner or to a second set of zippers inside the jacket shell. Rev'it lists it as only a "detachable thermal liner" so I'm not sure what it's made of, but so far it works in temperatures down to the 4 C (40 F) range.
One curiosity is that the thermal liner does not have a front main entry zipper. Instead, it has two extended flaps in front that can be sort of folded over each other (or meet in the middle, depending on your chest/stomach size). The Hydratex liner does have a main zipper and it also has two overlapping flaps with snaps, so it works very nicely to block any cold air.
Both liners are very efficient; during the time we've had the Sand II outfit, temperatures have ranged from very warm (30 C) to very cool (4 C). In cooler weather, the combination of the Hydratex liner and the insulating liner do an excellent job at keeping me warm and the outfit is more comfortable and flexible than my old Cayenne Pro jacket (review) in the coldest weather, when I'm wearing a set of motorcycle underwear (reviews) underneath.
The now-old Cayenne Pro seems pretty bulky and heavy now compared to the latest Rev'it gear, so it may be time to retire it.
The Sand II jacket has a nice array of laminated reflector strips placed at strategic locations. The reflective material isn't branded but it is highly visible when energized by light, as you can see in the photos below.
The sleeve cuffs have a snap to hold the end closed where the long sleeve vent zipper ends. It's a rubberized flap (hook-and-loop) but it's located along the bottom of the inside of the sleeve cuff, which makes it more difficult to tighten. I think sleeve cuff adjusters should be on top of the sleeve cuff for ease of use.
Also, the sleeves on the Sand II do not have a dart sewn in under the adjusters, which adds more bulk to the sleeve cuff when it's cinched tight. I have trouble fitting the Sand II sleeves under my Gerbing Hybrid heated gloves (review) and other heavy winter gloves.
The Sand II jacket also has both short and long pants attachment zippers on the inside.
As I mentioned, we had the Sand II outfit during what has to be the widest variation in temperature and weather patterns that can be expected. This ranged from too-hot summer to early cold fall weather.
I can say from this without doubt that if there's one word that sums up the Rev'it Sand II jacket, it's versatile. Remove the liners and open the big sleeve vents, front vents and the rear exhausts and -- as long as your moving -- the ventilation is very good to excellent and better than average for this type of 3/4-length jacket.
When temperatures reach past the 32 C (90+ F) mark though, you'll definitely want to move into some type of mesh or fully perforated jacket. That's simply a fact of life for motorcycling in four-season climates.
When the weather turns cold -- as it has recently -- insert the liners and the Sand II works right down to what will probably be the lowest temperatures most of us will be riding in anyway. The jacket is noticeably more comfortable, lighter in weight and the fabric of the shell has more flexibility than my old Cayenne Pro; I confirmed this a couple of times in back-to-back test rides.
And the Sand II also fits a heated vest or thermal underwear better than the Cayenne Pro outfit. My favorite is the excellent EXO2 Storm Rider heated vest (review) that has served me well for many winters.
The Sand II jacket also looks sharp and stylish. It's available in the silver/red/black combination shown in our photos, or silver/black; silver/blue; silver/orange/black or black/silver as shown in the image above. It looks just as correct on the Suzuki DR650 (blog) budget adventure-tourer as it does on Burn's "vintage" BMW K1100LT tourer.
Match it with the Rev'it Sand II pants or other Rev'it pants and you're ready to go.
|The wBW Opinionator: Rev'it Sand II Jacket|
The Rev'it Sand jacket was a revelation when it was first released in 2010 but the competition is fierce and in 2013 (nearly 2014), the Sand II jacket isn't quite as much of a standout.
Here's the problem: Rev'it now has several very nice jackets at incremental price points, making it difficult to choose.
The Rev'it Sand II jacket lists for $489.99. Should you spend a bit less and buy a (now discontinued but still available on closeout) the Rev'it Horizon jacket for $312.00 (here) at $120 less?
Or spring for the Super-DeLuxe, previous top-of-the-GTX-line Rev'it Everest GTX jacket ($539.99 here) with its water-repelling Gore-Tex shell?
Some of these questions will resolve themselves as the discontinued jackets disappear from stock.
My advice to Rev'it would be to consider making the Sand II jacket the company's premier, highly focused dual-sport, adventure-touring jacket and leave the touring specifications to the rest of the lineup. This could eliminate some of the adventure/touring compromises that make the decision on which Rev'it jacket to buy more difficult.
In the meantime, the Sand II has a lot going for it at this price range. It's skillfully made and it looks great, no doubt about it. It feels like it will last and it has better ventilation than many/most 3/4-length jackets I can think of.
The mix-and-match capability of the Hydratex and insulating liner makes the Sand II a highly functional, very versatile choice for anyone moving up from one of those "cheap" off-brand jackets. Indeed, first-time Rev'it owners moving up from a generic brand will surely notice the differences in construction and features. The problem is that once you try one of the Rev'it GTX jackets, you'll become spoiled.
wBW Product Review: REV'IT! Sand II Jacket
|Manufacturer: REV'IT!||List Price: $489.99 Jacket. $499.99 High-Visibility accents.|
|Colors: Black and silver with black, blue, red, orange. Also black with high-visibility EN-471 lime yellow accents.||Made In: Vietnam|
|Sizes: S to 4XL.||Star Rating (1-5):|
|Review Date: November 2013|
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.
Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld© Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!
From "B.C." (November 2013): "Here is my experience and review of the Sand II jacket. I had it for a few months and it was very versatile. I rode in everything from 100+ heat to a chilly mid 50ís and it handled the temperature well.
What I wanted when I bought this jacket was weatherproof 4 season. It is not. 4 season maybe but weatherproof definitely not. I rode in a pretty heavy rainstorm so I expected to get a little damp, the Sand II let water in the chest, the shoulders, the upper arms, not to mention the lower arms were simply overwhelmed with water and cold almost immediately in the rain.
It then took the better part of a full 24 hours to dry, the shell simply holds onto water and does not shed it at all. I no longer have the jacket and switched to a less expensive but better performing alternative.
So far the Olympia AST 2 Tour has handled everything I have thrown at it and stayed totally dry. To include the same kind of rain that overwhelmed the Sand II. I donít think the Olympia is as temperature capable but certainly more 4 season weatherproof. Material on the Olympia is stiff and requires some break in time, but it is real Cordura and that makes a difference."
REV'IT! Response (November 2013): "The jacket should stand up to heavy rain. Yes, it will take a while to dry as it is a three-layer and not a Proshell jacket, but the (Hydratex) membrane should be 100% waterproof. That it is leaking at the chest, shoulders and upper arms is really not what should be. The customer should claim it under warranty at the dealer where he bought it.
Rick's Reply: I contacted Rev'it about this issue and they also said that they have heard from European dealers and customers that quite a few riders don't use the storm flap (which is under the main entry zipper of the outer shell) when riding in heavy rain. They keep it folded and snapped inside which is actually not advised when riding in the rain.
As I mentioned in the review, the large double storm flap can be folded over and snapped to the inside of the placket, which then allows the main front zipper to act as a vent, allowing more air flow in warm weather. But if the storm flap isn't used when it's raining, the front zipper can allow water to enter under the shell, which can then move upwards and possibly enter under the zipper of the Hydratex liner.
Rev'it also said "Nonetheless, when a jacket that claims to be waterproof is not waterproof, the consumer should always claim it. We make a promise and we stick to it. If the promise is not fulfilled by the product, we'd like to have the opportunity to restore it!"