Weve come a long way baby! This phase is no more apropos when talking about womens rain suits. I remember the days when rain suits were not gender specific. They were big and bulky and made from a non-breathable vinyl material.
Well, those days are over. Tour Master introduced a womens rain suit called the Sentinel a couple of years ago, and after wearing it for two seasons can attest this is all I ever need to keep me dry.
The jacket and pants are made from a waterproof and breathable rip-stop nylon shell with sealed seams. Unlike other rain suits, the Sentinel is very lightweight, not heavy like a vinyl or canvas suit.
While a rain suit is designed to be worn over riding leathers or outer garments, during summer rains when it was warm, I removed my lightweight leather coat and put on the Sentinel jacket. Unlike rain jackets of the past, I didnt roast inside the Sentinel when warm humid air mixes with rain because the nylon shell is breathable. When I was feeling super hot, I unzipped the small vents located in the “under arm” spot. You have to remember to unzip them before riding because you cant get at those vents while riding. There is also a small mesh vent in the back of the jacket that’s covered by a rain flap.
The size medium I have in the Sentinel fits more like a jacket than an overjacket. The few times I attempted to wear it over my leather jacket, I found it was a tight fit. If you intend to wear the Sentinel over your bulky leathers, you might want to order a size larger than you normally wear. If you intend to wear the rain jacket in place of your riding jacket and over, say, a fleece sweatshirt, the size is true.
Same sizing issue with the pants: I normally wear a size 4 (their XS), but these would not fit over my jeans. So, I returned them for a size 8-10 (their medium) and now they fit comfortably over my jeans, which is really what you want rain gear to do as you won’t be able to change out of your jeans and into rain pants quickly on the side of the road with a downpour approaching. Note that the sizing chart on the Tour Master site reflects sizing in inches not the sizes Ive noted. This must have changed since I ordered my suit.
Detailing to the Max
The Sentinel has many special features that make this a high quality rain suit. Lets start with the jacket. I really like the fleece-lined collar that is soft against my neck. No annoying seams. The pants and jacket zip together ensuring that the jacket covers the pants in the back so rain does not seep in there. A loop on the inside collar (and on the waist of the pants) allows you to hang the garment from a hook so it can dry after a ride. There is reflective piping on the front and back for nighttime visibility, and a small triangle Tour Master logo on each arm and on the back is also reflective. For those who care about the placement of logos, the Tour Master logo is also sewn onto the front left breast area of the jacket in grey thread stitching.
More details include a wind flap over the front zipper that secures with Velcro. You should expect a wind flap like that on all rain jackets. The cuffs are elastic and have a Velcro closure to ensure a snug fit there. The jacket always kept me dry. I never experienced any leakage. Finally, there are two zippered pockets on the outside of the jacket and a roomy zippered pocket on the inside.
The pants have many features you should expect in a good quality rain pant. I like the polyester mesh lining (that’s also in the jacket) that helps keep air moving inside so you dont roast. The elastic waist makes pulling these pants on easy. The rear panel of the waist extends up to your lower back to seal out wind and rain. The rear seat area is made from a high-density nylon (tougher than the rest of the garment) for added strength. You wont split your pants if you have to bend over or squat. The crotch area has a layer of thin stretchy rubber so you don’t slip on a wet motorcycle saddle.
The knees also feature this nylon / stretchy rubber combination so the garment “gives” when you bend your legs. Reflective panels are placed strategically on the side of your knees so you can be seen when riding at night. There are two zippered front hand pockets on the pants. Its nice to have the extra pockets although I didn’t use them because I have to lift up my jacket to get at them.
The Sentinel rain pants come in two versions. The higher priced ones feature DuPont Nomex, a heat resistant material, on the inner legs. This protects the pants should they come in contact with the exhaust pipes. My pair did not have the Nomex panels, but this is a feature I would opt for in the future because its easy for the baggy pant legs to accidentally touch the exhaust pipes.
The true test of any rain suit is how it protects from the rain, and how quickly you can change into it should you need to do so on the side the road. The Sentinel does protect from rain well. Regarding the second point, I have had some rain pants where I could put my leg, boot on and all, through the leg opening because there was a full-length leg zipper proving me with the extra room. I couldnt do that with the Sentinel. Even though there is a calf zipper widening a gusseted ankle area, I needed to remove my clunky riding boots before slipping my leg through the opening. This takes a little extra time when youre trying to do the quick-change operation on the side of the road, but this minor quirk is not enough for me not to like the Sentinel or find another rain suit.
The Sentinel has so many thoughtful features that make it easy to wear and easy to take along. Available colors for the jacket are: pink, light blue, yellow, and black. Tour Master is known for its wide sizing as follows: XS – XL, and Plus S – Plus L. The price: a very reasonable $69.99.
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10 thoughts on PRODUCT REVIEW: Tour Master Womans Rain Suit
This sounded like a sales pitch. This suit doesn’t look at all female-shaped. It could be cut a lot closer in the midsection. I’m not impressed.
I thought your review was very informative. I did notice that you reported that the suit kept you cool via the various features, but does it keep you warm on a ride that could turn from warm and sunny to cool and rainy?
Yes, I recall it keeps in a certain amount of heat, but since it’s very lightweight material — as opposed to the heavier rain suits out there — it’s not a pressure cooker in there.
I'm finally home! This article told and showed me everything I was wondering about this rain gear set. Specifically about the difference between the two types of pants. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
When I checked out the Tour Master Web site, it didn't give the PS – PL sizes in the size chart (at least not for the Sentinel rainsuit reviewed here). It did list larger sizes for some of the other rainsuits/jackets but wasn't clear if they were unisex sizes or men's sizes. Which takes us back to what 'Chatty Cathy' said about not finding larger sizes for those of us who like to ride but want to be comfortable and covered as well. I'm thankful for any company that will offer the larger sizes but they can be very hard to find.
Thanks for a terrific website, Genevieve! I've been with WRN since it was a 'paper' publication and still have all my old copies.
It's so nice to have feminine point of view. I work at a local bike shop and it's nice to see and hear peoples' point of views of different products. Being a woman myself I'm always looking for clever products and people with advanced product knowledge. This article along with others are very helpful.
No mention of petite sizes. I am only 5-feet-2 (with heels) and having a difficult time finding the right size/lengths for me. Cam anyone recommend an online store or any ideas. No, I do not hem 'em up. Sewing kits and I are not getting along.
These are great products coming out for the ladies but there are many women who are of the larger frame, if you know what I mean. I get tired going to the men's products because they have have the different parts. Harley has finally started carrying women sizes for the ladies. I would be willing to put my name on a list so you acquire the minimal number of requests needed to place an order in women sizes.
You seemed to have missed that Tour Master makes not only the regular sizes (XS-XL), but a line of plus sizes — Plus S through Plus L. In fact, most of Tour Master's women's products are sized this way.
I must tell you that many more companies are recognizing the larger sizes and now do include them. Take a look before you prejudge a line of clothing.