After using the Lindstrands Oman suit for almost a year, I have decided to write a review of what I like and dislike about it.
When I decided to replace my tired RST Adventure suit, which had performed faultlessly for the 4 years I owned it, one suit in particular caught my eye at the ABR Festival, and that was the Lindstrands Oman. There was something about the way it looked, the small details and design features, that made it far more appealing than anything else out there.
The jacket has been designed by someone who rides regularly, and who rides in all weathers. It is cut shorter at the front than at the rear, which stops the jacket bunching up at the front when riding. The rear vent panel doesn’t have a zip because if air can’t enter the jacket from the front, it can’t exit the jacket at the rear, and there is enough material to prevent water from entering the rear vents whilst also allowing enough airflow when the chest vents are open. There are various pockets, 4 external, one internal, some with a velcro flap, some with a waterproof zip. The zip-in waterproof and breathable layer also has its own waterproof chest pocket seperate to the inner chest pocket in the jacket itself. The jacket also has a removable dayglow yellow storm collar. When attached, this collar wraps around your neck and is secured with velcro, and it is cut so that the top of it just pushed up between your face and your helmet lining. This prevents and rain from being blown up into your helmet, or any drips from your helmet going inside the jacket.
The trousers have similar levels of detail. The connecting zip which runs around the top of the trousers has more fabric at the start of the zip, making the start stand away from the waistband, which makes it easier to connect the two halves together. There are two large pockets on the thighs which have velcro flap closure, and above those, there are two smaller pockets with waterproof zips. The trousers also have mesh drain holes at the bottom of each leg to allow water which has managed to penetrate through the outer layer (which has a DWR treatment applied) to run down the outside of the zip-in waterproof membrane and drain out of the bottom of each leg.
What is an adventure suit?
The Lindstrands Oman suit is a true adventure suit. So what makes it a true adventure suit? A true adventure suit is one which will do it all. Adventure suits are not convenient. A lot of waterproof and breathable motorcycle suits are laminated. This means the outer layer and waterproof/breathable layers are laminated together to form one layer which is incredibly waterproof, but the material is quite stiff and doesn’t breathe, so laminated suits are ideally suited to those who only ride in cold and wet countries. Into the laminated suit, there is a quilted layer for extra warmth when required.
Adventure suits have 3 layers, and thats what makes them equally good and also inconvenient. The outer layer has a water repellent finish. So it will shed water from a light rain shower, won’t absorb water as you splash through puddles, but as soon as it starts to rain, the water will soak through the outer layer. But the fact it isn’t a laminated layer means that the fabric can breathe, even without opening the vents, which is what you want when you are exploring dry countries or mainly ride in dry weather. The vents simply allow more direct airflow inside the suit to cool you down more, perfect in places like Spain and Africa. To make the adventure suit waterproof, you have to zip in a waterproof and breathable layer. This is the inconvenience. You set off on a nice sunny day, just the outer layer with the vents open, and then a few hours later, it starts to rain. You either have to shelter from the rain, continue riding and get wet to the skin, or stop and remove the suit so you can zip in the waterproof layer. And you’ve guessed it, when the rain stops and the sun comes out, you will want to remove the waterproof layer to enjoy the cooler, more ventilated outer as the temperatures increase once again. Adventure suits also feature a third layer, a quilted lining which you can zip in when it is cold.
Why did I buy an adventure suit?
Most people think Spain is a hot country, but on my farm in Catalonia, I have recorded night temperatures as low as -7c and daytime temperatures of +46c in the shade! Its a land of extremes, particularly inland Spain. Near the coast, the temperatures are more reasonable, ranging from +10c to +37c. And Spain is quite a dry country, however when it rains, its generally torrential and for a few days at a time. So I wanted a suit which was very well ventilated most of the time, but woud also be 100% waterproof when it needed to be, and also have the option of keeping me warm when riding in the Pyrenees in January. A laminated suit would simply be too hot and sticky in the heat. I needed a true adventure suit, and for me, the best one I could find that I liked (looks are important too) was the Lindstrands Oman suit.
One year on, what do I like and dislike about the suit
The best part about owning the Lindstrands Oman suit is that it does everything really well. It looks purposeful. It may not be the most eye-catching to some people, it may not look ‘cool’ to others, but technically it is everything an adventure rider wants. Its comfortable. Very comfortable. I can wear this suit for 11 hours a day, 6 days a week, and I often do. I have walked for hours around towns and cities wearing this suit. I’ve ridden in storms where the rain is coming down so hard that car drivers are pulling to the side of the road due to the amount of water falling from above, and I’ve remained completely dry. As subtle as it looks in the daytime, at night, the suit almost glows when car headlights shine upon it.
The downsides aren’t really worth mentioning, but I will. There is noticeable wear on the cuffs. Now unlike a lot of motorbike riders, I spend about 50 hours each week wearing this suit, which is about 2400 hours since I bought it, and the cuffs have rubbed on the velcro wrist closure on my Lindstrands gloves and a small hole has appeared. This doesn’t affect the suits performance in any way. The other negative is that the rain collar is difficult to secure without having a mirror to help you to locate the various pieces of velcro and secure them together.
What would I change about the suit?
Not a lot. There are times I miss the rear ‘enduro’ pocket that were on my RST Advneture suit. And I liked the larger leg vents on the RST suit. But the Lindstrands suit is simply a far superior adventure suit. It isn’t a variation of anything else, it has clearly been designed to meet a specific brief, and it does it. It keeps you cool, keeps you dry, keeps you warm, keeps you comfortable, and it does all of it no matter where you are riding on this tiny planet, and it does it exceptionally well.