To many riders, the Aerostich name has been synonymous with premium motorcycle riding gear for over three decades. Starting with the original Roadcrafter suit, Aerostich set out to create a garment that would provide protection, comfort, and convenience in one package.
Since the first Roadcrafter was released, Aerostich expanded its offerings as well as providing updates and variations to the original Roadcrafter. For a long time, the apparel was constructed from textile materials such as Cordura ® or Nylon and often included GORE-TEX® for waterproofing.
In 2008 the company broke out of its textile shell and introduced the Transit Two Piece Suit. This was a leather suit designed after the same overall goals of the original Roadcrafter but in a form and cut that was definitely different from previous Aerostich apparel.
For me, the Transit suit was something I considered aspirational. Back in 2008, I could only dream about dropping the funds for a piece of gear like this. Even having never seen one in person much less trying one on, I just knew I wanted it.
Five years later I was sure I had missed my chance at ever getting a Transit suit at all. Aerostich was no longer able to source the GORE-TEX® laminated Pro Shell Leather used in the original (and the 2.0 version) Transit suit. Unable to find another leather material that could provide the same characteristics, the company dropped the Transit suit from their lineup.
The Transit 3.0 Two Piece Suit
It turns out that the Transit suit had not been forgotten by Aerostitch and in the latter half of 2019, Aerostich announced a new version of the suit. The Transit 3 has all the features of the previous versions and now has a new supplier for the waterproof and perforated leather shell.
The new material is a product called Corium+. Like Pro Shell Leather, Corium+ is a combination of leather and a waterproof, breathable membrane. In addition to the membrane, the leather itself is treated in a way to reduce water absorption which prevents the suit from getting saturated and subsequently heavy in the rain.
I’ll be going into more detail about Corium+® in my full review but if you’re interested in learning more, you can go to the Mat Group website and learn more about Corium+ ®. The Mat Group also has some other technologies of interest to motorcyclists so check it out when you have a few minutes.
Now back to the Transit 3 suit.
The new shell material isn’t the only update to be found on the Transit 3. The underarm vents have been updated with waterproof zippers. When open, these vents pass air through the exterior shell with only the polyester mesh between the exterior and the interior of the jacket.
The large, reflective rear vent cover now has hook and loop bits to keep it folded when open to increase airflow. Folding it still allows half of it to be visible so there is an effective amount of reflectivity still available.
Another change is the jacket to zipper attachment which is now 270° versus the shorter zip on the previous iterations of the Transit suit. Some readers might be wondering if the zippers between the Transit and two-piece Roadcrafter garments are compatible to facilitate a mix & match. I tried this with my Cousin Jeremy suit which uses the same zipper setup as the Roadcrafter and the zippers do not mate.
I only bring up the topic as Aerostich offers a Transit to Roadcrafter Ellipse for the older Transit pants or jacket to be connected to Roadcrafter pants or jacket. However, the one currently on the site only works with the older Transit suits with the shorter connection zippers. Perhaps there will be a new version down the road.
There are some other small changes as well, such as an increase in size of the right forearm pocket, but mostly the Transit 3 is very close to the previous version. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
A First Look
This article will be the first of three parts in a complete review of the Transit 3.0 suit. For Part One, I’m covering the overall construction and details of the suit as well as go over the protective features. I also cover my initial impression of the fit and comfort as I was lucky to have a warm Christmas day here in Nashville 68°F (20°C) and I got to spend a couple of hours in the Transit 3.
I plan to provide a detailed look at the comfort and fit in the Spring once I’ve had more seat time. I also plan on finding out how well the waterproofing works at that time too. Once we get into Summer I plan on providing a final update which will include observations about how well the suit does on hotter days.
So with all that out of the way, let’s get to it!
The Transit 3.0 comes in all the same colors as the previous version with the choices of black, black, or black. I was lucky enough to get my preference which happens to be black so this worked out well. In all seriousness, black is the only color in which this suit is offered.
The shell is made up of eighty percent leather and twenty percent elastane, the latter used in the low potential impact areas. In the case of the pants, it is used behind the knees and through the crotch. On the jacket, the elastane is used on the inside facing portions of the arms.
Both the pants and jacket are lined with a polyester/polyamide mesh material to create a comfortable interior as well as providing spaces for the included armor.
Both perforated and solid sections of leather are used in the Transit 3.0 suit with potential impact areas getting the solid sections. The perforated areas are 1.2mm thick while the solid sections use a 1.4mm thick leather. This puts the Transit leather in the same thickness range as “designed for track” leathers.
The heft when picking up the pants and jacket demonstrates how robust this apparel is with them weighing in at 4lbs 9oz (2.01kg) and 6lbs 5oz (2.9kg) respectively. Lightweight gear, this is not, and for me, that’s great as I appreciate the heavy-duty design.
It should be noted that these weight measurements include having all the armor installed so lighter armor, especially in the back, can lighten the load if desired. These figures will also vary depending on garment size which in this case is a 42 regular jacket and 36 short pants.
The Transit 3 suit employs YKK zippers throughout the suit with most being waterproof except for the left inside jacket pocket and the pants/jacket connection. Waterproof zippers usually take a bit more effort to pull and while that is true here, they all operate smoothly.
The only place that I have had an issue with a zipper is with the pants/jacket connection zipper. For some reason, just a few inches into zipping the pants and jacket together it gets a bit tough in a few spots. I’m hoping that as the zipper gets used this will work itself out. It has only been used a few times at this point so I’ll follow up in the next review in the Spring.
The overall construction quality appears to be excellent and it looks like it will hold up well. Of course, this observation is after only a short time with the Transit 3.0 suit. In my follow up review I’ll see if it continues to impress after more seat time.
Transit suits aren’t designed to be “cargo haulers” like the Roadcrafter suits which are festooned with pockets. The pockets in place on the Transit 3 are smaller than those found on ‘Stich’s textile suits and they don’t have expansion gussets. Still, with a total of eight pockets between the jacket and pants, there are some storage options.
The jacket for the Transit 3.0 has two handwarmer pockets on the front lined with a soft lining that should be friendly to smartphone screens. These pockets have generous eight-inch (20cm) openings that close with zippers and should hold most phones, wallets and similar items.
The interior of the jacket has a side opening, zippered pocket on the left, and a hook and loop fastened pocket on the right which opens to the top. These pockets use the mesh liner for all or at least part of the pocket wall. This means that while the contents are protected from the outside I wouldn’t consider them waterproof storage.
There are two additional pockets on the jacket with one on the exterior of the left front and a pocket on the right forearm. Neither pocket is that roomy with the forearm pocket measuring in at 3.5 X 5 inches (8.9 X 12.7cm) and the chest pocket coming in at 4.5 X 3.5 inches (8.9 X 11.4cm). These compact spaces are best suited to small items like ID cards and/or keys.
The pants bring just two pockets to the party with both being on the front and use top-loading zippered closures. These 7 inch square (17.8cm) pockets are lined with the same soft material used on the two large pockets on the jacket making these suitable for items that could get scratched like mobile phones.
The Transit 3 suit should offer very good abrasion resistance overall thanks to the 1.2 or 1.4mm thick leather used for the majority of the shell of the jacket and pants. As I mentioned earlier, this thickness of the leather is in the range of most quality racing leathers. That amount of cowhide should protect well in the event of a crash.
Included with the suit is a complete set of Aerostich’s TF5 armor. This includes inserts for the shoulders, elbows, and back of the jacket while the pants come with armor for the knees and hips.
All of these pieces are rated CE level 2 except for the hip pads which are level 1. This is indicated on the armor pieces by way of the CE pictogram embossed on them. If you go looking for this info on the Aerostich site you’ll likely not find it. While they have a page that talks about the performance of their armor, they don’t specifically call out the CE level there.
Another safety feature is the large reflective panels in place on the back of the jacket and behind the calf/ankle spaces on the pants. The jacket back reflector is 15 inches wide and 3 inches (38 X 7.6 cm) and the pants panels are 8 by 3 inches (20 X 7.6 cm).
The type of reflective material used isn’t called out that I can find but these reflective areas are very bright and the large size makes the suit really “pop” in the path of headlights. This is important since the otherwise all-black Transit 3 would just disappear into the inky shadows at night.
Fit & Comfort Initial Impressions
The Transit 3 suit sizing is close to indicated size but leans to the “generous” side in the case of the pants. The pants are labeled 36 but are closer to 37 inches. They also have a bit of stretch enough to likely max out around 38 inches.
I’m right at 36 so the pants do tend to slide down if not zipped to the jacket. Luckily the pants have belt loops which is something one doesn’t always see on leather pants. Depending on one’s preferred fit, it might be worth a call to Aerostich to discuss the best size to meet expectations.
The pants length for a 36 Short shows 31 inches on their sizing chart. A direct measurement showed this to be actually 31.5 inches so, like the waist, the inseam is a little generous. As expected, they look a little long to stand in but the coverage over the ankle is right where I like it when in the seat.
The leg openings are large enough to accommodate most boots with a leg opening of 17 inches (43cm). This opening can be reduced to about 14.5 inches (37cm) by the use of some hook and loop fastener on the back of the leg reflector and strips on the bottom of the legs.
I have to admit I didn’t even notice this option on my first ride. I think the smaller opening might work better for my boots to prevent wind from going up the leg. I plan on trying this the next it’s warm enough.
The size 42 jacket fits more true to size, feeling just right for me with a 41.5-inch chest. The sleeves are a little long until one reaches for the bars. As suggested above, a call to Aerostich before ordering is advised.
The sleeve cuff openings start at 9.5 inches (24cm) but can be reduced to less than 7 inches (17.7cm) if desired using a hook and loop strap. A zippered gusset is present at the cuff to make putting on/removing the jacket possible without readjusting the opening size.
A Note on Fitment
Aerostich is very concerned with getting you the right fit as they have demonstrated in the past. Keep in mind that unlike the Roadcrafter series, Aerostich can’t really alter the fit on the Transit 3 garments (at the time of this writing). This is likely due to two factors.
One: The Transit suit is made in Pakistan, not at the Aerostich factory in Duluth, MN. This would likely make custom orders more challenging and would likely add considerable time between order placement and delivery.
Two: I believe that the complexity of the construction involved using the Corium+ leather and the necessary seam sealing used to maintain waterproofness makes customizing after initial assembly a tricky proposition at best. Perhaps a custom order could be done (not that it is offered) but altering after initial build is likely a non-starter.
With only a couple of hours of riding time on the books it is too early to make much of a subjective analysis on comfort but here’s what I know so far.
The cut of the transit jacket is not as close-fitting as a sport riding jacket but the fit is close enough that I feel armor should stay in place in the event of a crash. There is also enough room for me to have a thin additional layer between a shirt and the jacket for colder weather riding.
The only issue I have right now is at the front of the collar is a bit scratchy against the skin. The majority of the collar has a small roll at the top edge that provides a relatively soft feel against the skin. However, when zipped up, the front 3.5 inches (8.9cm) of the collar doesn’t have the roll on top thereby leaving an exposed edge where the material is stitched together.
It’s not that uncomfortable but it is a bit annoying after about 30 minutes, at least to me. I remedied this with a neck gaiter that I had in my tank bag. Aerostich did provide one of their silk scarves in the package with my Transit 3 suit. This would also serve to mitigate this scratchy collar issue.
Note: I don’t know for certain if Aerostich is sending these scarves with all Transit purchases but I do know of another rider who received one with his Transit suit so I will find out if this is always included.
The last thing I’ll note in the initial impressions is that despite the perforations present on a large portion of the shell, riders shouldn’t expect air to breeze right through this material. The fact the suit is waterproof should make this clear but then what good are the perforations, right?
The perforations aren’t for letting air in but instead, they let water vapor (and some air with it) out. Riding at 60mph with my windscreen all the way down I feel no air making its way through the perforations on the front of the jacket.
At my legs, it’s a different story. On the top of the thighs, I could feel a cooling effect as the air passing over the perforations is coaxing air to be pulled out from the interior. In warmer weather, I’m guessing this effect will help keep one cool but I’ll have to wait for that warmer weather to arrive to test how well this works.
During my two hour ride on Christmas Day, the temperatures were right around 70°F (21°C) so I was neither warm nor cold during the ride. I will say that thanks to the wind-blocking effect of the shell, I can likely ride with it in cooler weather than I was expecting to with a perforated leather suit.
So far, the Transit 3 meets the expectations set by the previous version, at least in the quality of construction and design. The updated waterproof vent zippers are definitely a plus and the suit definitely maintains the look of version 2. This is good news for riders who are grateful for the opportunity to get a new Transit again.
It’s still too early to tell how well the Transit 3 will serve as a companion for longer rides but I feel pretty good about it after my short test. Of course, only more time in the seat will really tell the whole story.
Keep an eye on WebBikeWorld.com in the coming months for the next installment of this review where I will be able to provide more detailed insights on the Transit 3.