Alpinestar Andes Pro Drystar Jacket and V2 Drystar trousers Review.
Alpinestar Andes Pro Drystar Jacket and V2 Drystar trousers Review.
Sooner or later you are going to treat yourself to some decent waterproof riding kit. You’ve been relying on a cobbled together collection of old jackets, second-hand trousers and ex-army Goretex for years and you know that none of it actually keeps out the water on a long ride. So if you are finally ready to spend the cash and commit to getting serious about your kit, then the Alpinestar Pro Drystar Jacket and V2 Drystar trousers could be exactly what you are looking for.
Here’s our review – and spoiler alert – we’re pretty damn impressed ..
QUALITY AND HISTORY
OK so let’s lay our cards on the table – we’re big fans of Alpinestar kit. Whether it’s a subliminal thing from seeing Roger De Coster in their iconic riding jersey and boots back in the day, or from our own experience in owning our first pair of Tech 10s, we love the design and quality of the AStar clothing. Our kit bag is filled with jackets, base layers, boots and trousers that we’ve owned for years and that still wash up and look as good as new every time.
Deciding to go for their top end adventure kit was not a difficult decision …
ANDES PRO DRYSTAR JACKET
First off – let’s look at the jacket in this combo and it’s packed to the gunwhales with clever design features and useful features. The jacket is textile construction that is abrasion resistant and 100% waterproof thanks to the DRYSTAR waterproof breathable construction, so still has great levels of air flow options for hot conditions.
There’s a big tooth YKK zip down the front that has two zip fasteners so can be opened from the bottom or top. The zip goes nice and high on the neck and on the outside of the soft edge collar there is an additional neck closure flap, but this can be hooked out of the way if you are not using it. There are two large pockets for all your possessions on the front of the jacket, and a fully waterproof internal pocket for phones and wallets on the inside left. There’s also a massive pocket at the rear of the jacket which works well for water bottles.
On cold days, there is a removable long sleeved liner that can be zipped in to keep you toasty, and the sleeves popper into place to stop them inverting when you take the jacket off. The sleeves themselves are pre-curved with accordion stretch panels at your elbows to ensure a correct fit, as are the two adjustment straps to stop your sleeves billowing at speed.
There’s also adjustment at the waist from an integral belt with velcro strips, and the jacket has an internal zip that allows you to attach the trousers to be joined to the jacket to create a sort of giant motorcycling onesie if you like that kind of thing!
When it comes to keeping you cool on the trail or road there are plenty of options on the Alpinestar Andres Pro Drystar Jacket. ON the sleeves there are lomg zips that can be opened from the top of bottom to allow air in. At the rear of the jacket there are also two ventilation zips and these can be used in conjunction with the two large zipped flaps on the front that can either be just zipped down or totally unzipped and poppered half-open or fully open to allow a massive amount of air to circulate through the jacket .
In common with most decent biking jackets, the Alpinestar Andes Pro Drystar jacket has integral protection as standard and options for additional padding and protection.
At the shoulders and elbows there are removable CE rated pads, and there are additional polymer layers on the elbows and lower arms for increased abrasion protection in a slide. Although the jacket does not come with chest and back protectors as standard, there are pockets already sewn in place to take the CE certified Nucleon chest and back protectors that you can buy as an accessory
BLOW UP DOLL
But what if you want even more protection? Well you are in luck as the Alpinestar Andres Pro Drystar jacket is compatible with the Alpinestar Tech-Air Street Airbag system, so that’s an air bag for you jacket!
The Tech-Air system clips into the jacket without modification, and in the event of a crash will instantly inflate and protect your back, shoulders, kidney and chest.The airbag vest connects into the jacket with a small electrical connector at the rear of the lining and an LED display on the sleeve shows the system’s status, and the electronics for the Tech-Air system is protected within the integral CE certified back protector.
This is top-end racing tech bought to the street – it might cost a lot but the crash protection will be beyond anything a conventional jacket will allow. But don’t expect change from a thousand pounds …
ANDES V2 DRYSTAR TROUSERS
So if you’ve invested in a great jacket, then matching it up with an equally good pair of riding pants is a smart move. So that’s why we like the V2 Drystar trousers.
They are not anything like as feature packed as the jacket, but that’s no bad thing. These are trousers that you can wear every day on the trail or the road and they will keep you dry, warm or cool and protected every time. What more are you looking for?
The trousers are manufactured from an advanvced reinforced poly-fabric textile with the exclusive DRYSTAR construction for 100% waterproof all weather protection.
Thee are insert pockets on the hips with poly foam inserts as standard, but these can be uprated to CE certified Nucleon inserts as an accessory upgrade. On the knees there are also knee removable protectors as standard, and these are Alpinstars CE-certified Bio- Armour.
On the outside of the knees, the material has additional abrasion protection from a texture printed polymer layer, and the top of the knee has an accordion section to allow free movement in the pre-countoured legs.
FIT AND FEEL
The V2 are well thought out for everyday riding. There’s a pair of braces that keep them in the right place from dawn to duck, but if you don’t like them, they are removable. At the waist there’ a velcro adjustable waistband and a popper and clasp closure above the zip fly.
There are zippered pockets on both sides and cargo style pockets lower down the leg. As with the jacket there’s another zip that allows you to join the two togther,
HOT AND COLD
Like the jacket, the V2 Drystar trousers have options for both hot and cold days. When the sun’s out, the trousers have two large vents on the front of the thighs to let cool air in. When it becomes cold. you can zip in the padded liner which goes al the way to the bottom of the trousers.
The base of the legs are suitably wide to accommodate adventure or even motocross boots with ease, and close over with a velcro strap. There are some small reflective logos and details to help you get seen on the road. We tend to wear the trousers with base layer leggings to keep them fresh, and for these we choose Alpinestar too?
ROAD AND TRAIL
We’ve used the Alpinestar Andes Pro Drystar Jacket and trousers all over the world, form the heat of South Africa on adventure bikes to the wide open plains of Mongolia on trail bikes. They have kept us dry in torrential downpours, and cool in uncomfortably hot temperatures. On a practical level, we’ve used this combination for long road trips to Londons, across the Penines on the Trans Euro Trail and the more prosaic riding for training riders on their CBT.
In whatever circumstance or use, the Alpinestar kit ticks every box and offers both protection and comfort in equal levels. If there’s one downside to the design, the fact that he inner of the jacket is not removable is a bit of a bad design as it can get quite funky in there in hot conditions, and with no way of washing the jacket, you can only use fabric fresheners to improve matters.
Alpinestar kit always looks good and this is no exception. The Drystar range is well designed and looks great on or off the bike. The light colour will look great initially but will soon look tired if you get it muddy, so we go for black every time.
On the baasis of other AStars kit we’ve got, this Drustar kit will last extremely well if looked after, and opretty well if abused. We managed to burn the leg on the exhaust of a KTM 690 Enduri, but otherwise in normal use the jacket andtrousers will wear well on adventure bikes
No complaints as after hundreds of miles of use when riding on and off road in a variety of conditions the Alpinestar kit is all-day comfortable to wear. The liner keep you warm and the vents allow you to cool off – we just wish we could wash the inner liner.
OK so this is not cheap gear, so if that’s what you want look elsewhere. The jacket lists at $549 and the trousers at $229 on the official site, but we’ve found them on UK sites btween £375 and £469 for the jacket and between £179 and £145 for the trousers. Godd kit costs and this is good.
RIDE EXPEDITIONS VERDICT - ALPINESTAR ANDES PRO DRYSTAR JACKET AND TROUSERS
You are probably gathering by now that we like the Andes Pro Drystar jacket and V2 Drystar trousers and you’d be right. Whether you are trail riding or adventure riding, road riding or commuting this kit is going to work well and do it for years. It’s not cheap and thats not a criticism it’s just a fact, but when kit is this well made, then you have to shell out. Thoroughly recommended on every level.