by Alice Dryden for webBikeWorld.com
Maxi-scooters are so comfortable that riding one can feel almost like being in bed, so why not dress appropriately?
This one-piece suit from Footie Factory is soft, comfortable, and features a striking and elegant pattern of little scooters -- perfect!
First impressions were favourable.
The suit is a nice bright blue, and the large, bold scooter images in red and white stand out nicely.
The fleece material is thick and soft to the touch, yet this suit weighs little over half a kilo and folds easily into a compact bundle.
All the seams seem sturdy and well-stitched
The labeling is also clear and simple, unlike most bike togs, which come bristling with so many labels they look like a cardboard-quilled porcupine.
A tag stitched into the neck area gives the name of the manufacturer, "Footie Factory", and the legend "100% polyester".
A detachable cardboard tag has a helpful list of inappropriate uses for footed pyjamas.
These include warnings about using a onesie on a first date, guarding Buckingham Palace and armed robbery (not enough pockets).
Fortunately, motorcycling is not among the banned applications, although race driving is. A touring and leisure suit, rather than a track outfit then.
Pyjama City's range of suits comes in a wide range of sizes, with a chart to help you find the one that's right for you.
Size 1 is recommended for riders 4'5" to 4'8", while size 10 will fit anyone up to 7 feet tall. There are also extra wide sizes to accommodate larger waists, or extra layers on those cold mornings.
The Scooter onesie is available in sizes 3 to 7; at "5'2-and-a-half", I plumped for 3. This was described as suitable up to 5'3".
I found the sleeve length and waist size ideal, and the suit is perfect for standing up and walking around, but is slightly too short in the riding position. To be fair, I didn't actually measure my height before ordering.
Maybe I'm getting my long-awaited growth spurt at last?
Construction of the suit reflects the focus on simplicity.
And that's about all it does reflect; unusually, there isn't a single strip or dot of reflective material to add visibility. In daylight the suit itself is eye-catching enough, but I'd suggest adding a safety vest or Sam Browne after dark.
I was also impressed by the innovative integral boots. The thin soles, made of a Lycra-type stretch material, give good feel, and feature a pattern of small red rubber dots to aid grip. Ankle protection is next to non-existent, however.
Which brings me to the subject of armour. I know opinions vary on how much armour is necessary, but I personally prefer to have soft armour in the elbow and back areas as a minimum.
The Pajama City one-piece not only ships without armour, but doesn't even feature internal pockets to add your own.
Factor in the minimal abrasion resistance of fleece fabric, and it's clear this is a garment designed for comfort not speed. A pity, as the low weight should be good for a few extra MPH. Think of it as increasing MPG instead...
The Italian Scooter one-piece fastens with a single neck to crotch, colour-matched zipper. This is unbranded but has a smooth action, and the large tab is easy to grasp.
The sleeve cuffs make use of the fabric's natural stretch to stay in place, while elastic round the ankles keeps the footies correctly positioned. There's more elastic at the waist, for a figure-flattering drape.
The two kangaroo-style pockets are roomy but have no means of closure, so are better used for warming your hands than for storing wallet and keys during the ride.
This is also the place to mention the unique "drop seat" feature.
Essentially a flap in the buttock area of the suit, held closed by four hook-and-loop strips, this design innovation will come as a welcome relief to any biker who has struggled to release themselves, perhaps with cold or gloved fingers, from a one-piece suit or overtrousers when speed is of the essence.
I've found, however, that my "trap door" tends to come unfastened when I assume a crouching position.
This may be due to the sizing issue mentioned above, but I thought it worth mentioning as a potential difficulty for sports bike riders.
Although fleece is a warm and cosy material when the wearer is stationary, its limited wind resistance makes it less than optimal protection on the move.
The all-in-one design of the onesie means there are no gaps at waist or ankle for the wind to get through, but that's of little matter because the entire suit has perforated leather beat in the matter of airflow.
The suit's fabric has not been treated with any sort of waterproofing, and there is no internal membrane of Gore-Tex or similar. In layman's terms: if it rains, you're gonna get soaked.
he good news is that fleece has very low water retention, so, unlike most bike textiles, it won't drip all over your house then smell like a wet dog for the next week.
The bad news is that it still retains some water, whereas human skin does not. So, when the heavens open, you would be drier riding naked than wearing this.
Like certain other examples of Italian motorcycle engineering, these scooter PJs have sacrificed performance for appearance. They are slightly too delicate to withstand the elements when riding, and appear to offer little to no crash protection.
It might be possible to employ them as an undersuit, providing extra warmth while riding and allowing you to hop straight into bed as soon as you've settled your bike for the night.
But I have another suggestion: The one-piece is a stylish, comfortable and highly functional item of nightwear, and folds conveniently small for travelling, meaning that you can be the best-dressed power napper on your next Iron Butt.
|wBW Product Review: Footie Factory Italian Scooter Onesie|
|Manufacturer: Footie Factory||List Price: $39.95|
|Colours: Blue with scooter print.||Made In: China|
|Sizes: 1-10.||Review Date: April 1, 2013|
From "T.L." (April 2013): "I can attest to the crash worthiness (lack of) of the Italian Scooter "Onesie" Suit.
Just this morning my son and I were racing around Brunch Nook Raceway on our race bikes. He rides one of the new electric motorcycles and in my old age am relegated to a trike.
As I was rounding "table top corner" at too high rate of speed, the rear plastic tires lost adhesion with the wooden track causing me to slide into the divider and resulting in a high-side.
It sent me skittering into the well groomed cut pile infield of the living room.
Luckily, the well engineered trap door stayed up since it was going with the slide, but both elbows and a shoulder blew through the seams leaving first degree rug rash. The team doctor says I'll recover but has put my trike up for sale.
She truly believed that the "Onesie" did absolutely nothing to protect in the fall, but felt it was the most stylish crash she'd ever witnessed."
From "D.H." (April 2013): "My wife is a talented seamstress, so I cannibalized an old toaster for its heating elements, added an SAE connector to mate with my Battery Tender pigtail, and viola! Heated Footies! Looking at possibly adding some CE armor next..."
From "D.B." (April 2013): "Who in their right mind...would ride in one of these...without gloves?! >:-| Greets from Croatia. :-) -- "
From "P.S." (April 2013): "My wife and I have matching high-viz versions and we usually get a "thumbs up" and sometimes other forms of hand signals from car drivers as we're splitting lanes."
From "H.T." (April 2013): "The trap door is very useful, I can attest to that. I wish they had a Kevlar option though because I love curry but it doesn't always agree with me."