First Gear Hypertex Overpant – Trashed

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“Honey… do these make me look fat?”
How many times have you heard this and stopped in your tracks in fear of blurting out an unfortunate, honest answer…
“Yes”
“Damn!”

binnedSure they are 100% waterproof, and composed of 330-denier save-your-ass Hypertex with an extra panel over the rump, but lets get down to what really matters.  They will take a Jack Sprat and run an endomorphic body change on him; pity, since most of us are nowhere near as lean as the legendary nursery-rhyme character.

So I’ll give a pass on these pants, which means giving up a lot of good features.  The Sheltex membrane that keeps these pants breathable so perspiration doesn’t build up and trickle into your boots, for example.  Or the 2-way zipper that lets you imitate a risqué nightclub act in the parking lot – these are over pants after all so it is a family show provided you remember jeans.  Plus there are the safety aspects I’d be passing up like the Dynax on the knees for abrasion resistance, and the Temperfoam in the knees and hips to absorb impact.

All the important product specs out of the way you are still confronted with the fact these add 50 pounds to your bottom.  Sure you’re warmish at 8 degrees Celsius, but it’s at the price of feeling like a 3-yearold in a snowsuit; periodically you may find yourself skipping the jeans and just wearing long underwear in order to reduce the bulk.  All this is to say that the “Thin”sulate lining these pants, just isn’t.  Adding insult to oversized injury is the fact that in properly cool temps (8C and lower) these pants are no more thinsulated than long underwear and leathers.

fatpantsFear not; it’s not all bad.  They are water tight.  Tested in cold, torrential February rains that were decidedly not pineapple express, the pants kept me dry – though not warm.  The water did soak through after prolonged exposure (2 hours), but I’m pretty sure it would have managed to soak through billet aluminium as well.  But I’ve also had $48.00 rain suits that have done the same.

Fit-wise, if you’re tall, make sure you buy tall.  The regular fit is built for shorter people, gnomes perhaps.  Admittedly, the sizing was of my choice, but ensure that you take the time to sit on your bike lest the taller amongst you find the pant legs mid shin when astride your mount.  These are a short 34″, but wide, the belting system synched to the limit sees these barely staying put on my regularly 34-35 inch waist.  When it’s not letting go due to plastic fatigue in the clip.

It’s not all bad.  The pockets work well; the double flap entry does keep your possessions dry and accessible.  It’s an important point as other gear I’ve tested (strangely from the same company) had pockets that were not so easily operated.  Also the memory foam armour provides excellent range of motion, better than hard armours, with less bulk.

So they are waterproof and warmish, good traits in weather gear, and the pockets work.  But really, I think I can find other ways of looking fat.

At $179.95 USD, one could, for example, pick up a cheap rain suit from Canada Tire (a ubiquitous Canadian vehicle parts buying experience), and have money left over for a couple weeks worth of dessert buffets.  Sure the raingear wouldn’t be pretty or much warmer, but you have to burn those extra calories somehow.

First Gear
Sizes: Men’s 30-46, tall 34-42, Women’s 6-16
Colors: Black
1-year limited warranty
MSRP: $179.95

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