brief review on my riding gear. Aether, Dainese, Held, Gaerne, Sena


I've got a few thousand miles on the bike and gear now, so I figured I could give a little review.

I got the multistrada in the fall of last year and have been enjoying riding in California. When I went to look at gear, I wanted lots of technical functionality, good fit and finish, and (in vanity) good appearance and a premium brand.

I looked at pants/jacket combos from Dainese, Rev'It, and Klim. Klim is obviously the "gold standard" among ADV touring type riders, and for a reason. Their stuff is very well made and brings alot of functionality. Dainese and Rev It, likewise, do the same and even have thermal and windproof liners in their gear included, which was a big selling point. As I was shopping, I stumbled across Aether Apparel and went to the shop in San Francisco. The thing that appealed to me the most about Aether was the very clean appearance and look of all their gear, with all the right specs nicely hidden from obvious view.....its almost like Armani met with Klim and gave you Aether.

I ended up going with the Canyon jacket and Compass Pant.

The jacket fits well, and is made out of Schoeller Dyna-tech fabric. Dynatech is a "super fabric" that has more slide on the drop test than cordura and some have claimed performance as good as leather. In addition to fantastic slide protection, the 3 layer construction mirrors GorTex properties for weather protection. I've had the jacket out in the rain, and the stuff works. The stitching is very subtle, but reflective. The jacket has 8 vents: 2 at the chest, 2 rear kidney vents, vents around the back protector, and 2 massive under arm pit zips. The rear vents are flapped and covered, the front chest vents have zipper garages, and the pit zips are entirely waterproof/seam sealed zippers. None of the zippers leak while riding in rain.

The jacket beefs up protection by adding D3O armor on the shoulders, elbows, and back protector. I am a huge fan of this armor, as it stays flexible until impact. It is quickly becoming the premium standard in motorcycle armor, and for a good reason.

I also opted for Aether's Compass pants. First off, they look flat out great. They are made of a heavy abrasion tested (and passed) canvas, of all things. Had them out in a rain ride and didnt get wet after 2 hours, which also surprised me. The pockets are easily accessed, and the leg vent zippers are fully seam sealed with zipper garages. The knees are articulated perfectly for zero bind on the bike or while walking. You can do a full ***-to-grass squat with zero pinching, binding, or pulling. Armor is once again D3O in the knees and hips. As an added benefit, the bottom cuffs are abled to be bloused. You can wear these pants in the boot or out of the boot, your choice. I generally blouse them when i want to keep the draft out. The knee articulation panels stop just above full size moto boots, so even when you blouse, you still do not get any bind or loss of motion in the pants.


Next up is gloves. I started out with the Dainese 4-Stroke Evo gloves. They are basically a track gauntlet with a short cuff for the street. For my every day riding gloves, I wanted the absolute most protection I could get in a short cuff glove. I get hot really really easily, so things that vent well and allow air flow are things that I look for. A short cuff lets air come up my jacket sleeve.....the 4 stroke evo fit the bill exactly. The "Rossi Tickler" on the palm of the glove interacts with the controls. At first, I thought it was just a gimmick. But as I log long hours in the saddle, I find I can just let my hand hang on the grip and the tickler grips the throttle for ho-bo throttle lock. Movement and articulation in the glove is superb. No hot spots, no felt seems inside, nothing to cause any discomfort. The metal knuckles just look bad ***. For the event of a low-side, there is distortion control at the pinky/hand joint, and the each digit of the pinky has a puc slider to help the hand slide rather than roll and break your finger.

Even though I do get warm very easily, I still needed a set of gloves for cold morning rides that start off wet in the bay area. Criteria was a full gauntlet glove that would keep the cold air and moisture out. I stumbled across the Held "air and dry" glove and it seemed like the perfect solution. The glove has 2 "chambers" one "breezy" and one fleece lined "GoreTex". They work great! Put your hand in the "Breezy" pocket and your hand goes right to the kangaroo palm, and it feels just like a perforated race glove. Move over to the fleece lined GoreTex pocket and you have a warmer wet weather glove. These things are legitimate 3 season gloves. In California, with heated grips, they are 4 season. I am really really impressed that Held was able to do this without creating any hot spots or felt binding seams on the inside of the glove. Their design just flat out works, and works really really well. The visor wiper on the left index finger works great to clear fog, mist, and rain off the visor


For boots, I wanted something that went well with the compass pants, had the necessary protection, and were waterproof. I opted for the Gaerne Balance Oiled. Don't have as much to say about the boots. They get a little hot for me, but what waterproof boot doesnt? They are well made, well stitched, and have lots of adjustment. Comfortable to walk around in when you get off the bike. Just be advised they run half a size to a size small.

Sena 20S.

Its the new fangled blue tooth device that allows blue tooth layering. I have to say it took me a a few tries to get the hang of it, but now that I do, I really like it. It layers and prioritizes your devices, so I can roll down the road with music coming from my iphone, have the music stop when a phone call comes in, and it will also cut music to take directions from my GPS. It's a nice gadget to stay on track and have your music.

Pinlock now makes a photocromic/transition insert for Arai and other helmets. Its $80, but having your visor adjust tint for lighting conditions is a really nice more lense changes.

That's pretty much it! cheers!
Last edited:


New member
Hi, nice write up of your gear! So about the pants, do they work as overpants, over regular jeans or shorts? or do you wear them alone?

I ride a Yamaha Super Tenere. I'm not using any overpants now, looking at the Firstgear Kilimanjaro pants. I do want to be able to wear jeans or hiking pants under them.


I dont think they are cut big enough to be overpants. They have some lining. I have worn a base layer with them for temperature but it was tights.

If you are looking for over pants style id try them on at a shop before deciding.


Recommended books for Overlanding