The iconic Aerostich Roadcrafter Classic one piece textile motorcycle riding suit provokes images of rugged, dirty, international adventure riders. Since 1983, the company (then Aero Design and Manufacturing) has been pumping out these innovative, coverall-inspired suits. The fact that we’ve seen them in use on every continent in every type of riding situation is a testament to their durability and popularity among diehard riders.
Roadcrafter one and two-piece riding suits have a huge following among men, but among the women who love this all-over motorcycle riding protection, they have been relegated to wearing the men’s cut all these years. Finally, we theresa women’s version.
I know many of you will skip right to the price tag of just over a grand and are probably blowing a raspberry while rolling your eyes toward the sky. But stay with me. When you break it down, there’s justifiable value in spending this kind of money on quality, made-in-America protective gear.
First, you’ll notice that the women’s Roadcrafter does not accentuate the female form very well. Aerostich’s founder, Andy Goldfine, admits, “The Roadcrafter is a boxy garment. It’s always been and always will be, regardless of patterning specifics for male and female fittings.” This suit is more about the durability, versatility, and features that will withstand many hours of riding in all kinds of conditions.
The Roadcrafter’s outer shell is 500 Denier Cordura Gore-Tex while the inside is fully lined with soft Supernyl lining fabric. The Ballistics, heavy duty abrasion resistant 1050 Denier Nylon fabric on the shoulders, forearms, and shins, are placed right where you’d need them most in an accident. The Ballistics are available in complementary colors to the suit’s main color. I chose black.
Safety is what Aerostich is all about. Ever hear of Ride To Work Day? Goldfine inspired the campaign that promotes motorcyclist awareness with his “Ride To Work, Work To Ride” materials back in 1989. Commuters who need to wear dress clothes to work certainly can appreciate the convenience factor of how quickly you can put this suit on over dressy clothes and, in fact was the original Roadcrafter’s purpose. No matter what you’re wearing as a base layer, with boots on or off, you put your right leg in, right arm in, zip the right leg down, and zip the torso zipper up or down and your suit is on in a matter of seconds.
A large tag in the Roadcrafter warns that the textile suit is “no substitution for competition grade leathers,” and goes on to state that the suit’s materials start to burn at about 450 degreses Fahrenheit, and a base layer of street clothing can act as a layer of insulation against possible burns.
I’m not quite sure how fast one needs to be flying down a stretch of pavement before reaching that temperature, but I do know that the suit’s ballistic armor will help me walk away from a crash.
The women’s Roadcrafter pattern differs from the men’s classic style mainly in the following areas:
•a slightly shorter torso with a curve at the waist
•more room at the bust and hips
• legs and arms are a little longer in comparison to the torso length.
Getting the right size is key. Aerostich customer service representatives are extremely helpful and knowledgeable when you’re ready to order online or by phone. Once received, try the suit on with all the armor in place and sitting on your motorcycle in the riding position. Also, if you plan to wear heated or thick liners under the suit, be sure to try the suit with them on.
My solution is to remove the shoulder armor when I ride sporty motorcycles that cause this issue but, of course this defeats the main purpose of the suit. Alterations are an added option with Aerostich suits, and one that separates the company from its competitors. While it’s best to provide alteration info at the time of the original order, you can, in most cases, send the suit back for alterations or crash repair. Altering the torso length is not an option, but changing the arms and legs is.
While the arm length is spot on, there’s an excessive amount of material in the Roadcrafter’s butt and triceps areas for me, which may be welcomed by women with larger hips and arms.
Customizing the suit by choosing from a wide range of colors is half the fun of ordering. While part of me wanted to match my motorcycle, the motorcycle safety instructor in me won out when I ordered the Hi-Viz Lime Yellow with black ballistics.
My main intent for wearing this suit is exactly what it was originally designed for: commuting. This includes a good portion of the year when it’s dark well before I leave the office.
Breaking in an Aerostich Roadcrafter takes a lot more time than your average gear. Because the material is so durable, it’s quite stiff for the first thousand miles or so. But once it’s broken in and has been washed a few times it will get softer and much more softer and much more comfortable.
The nine huge external pockets offer more storage than my motorcycle has, but I found some of them too awkward and bulky when filled. For example, when I put my iPhone in the hip pocket it would sometimes trigger Siri to ask me to repeat myself when the bend in my leg pushed the home button. This pocket, while most convenient, is the worst one to put things in because of the leg bend. Instead, there are huge, zippered chest pockets that are better suited for stiff items like wallets and phones. The coolest pocket though is the zippered one on the right forearm. It’s perfect for a gas card or cash, so you don’t have to go digging when you’re at the pump.
While the suit itself won’t keep you warm in winter, like I mentioned earlier, the ability to wear lots of layers and heated gear underneath is where the Roadcrafter excels.
In hot weather, the minimally vented suit may not be your first choice, but a zippered underarm and back vent help. I found myself unzipping the torso to let some air in on the most unbearable days.
You’d think that this bright yellow suit would be ideal in the rain. That’s what I thought, too, until I discovered the crotch seam was leaking. When I questioned customer service about this, they recommended washing the suit with Nikwax TX, which restores the textile’s waterproofing qualities.
Women’s sizes range from 2 to 20, with short, regular and long lengths. The sizing chart has all the measurement details. Available colors are black, blue, gray, hi-viz, red, and tan.
Riding with the best safety features available in an easy-to-don suit makes it my gear of choice for commuting. For riding trips however, unless I am going to ride every day and the climate won’t be too hot, I leave it at home. It requires a huge amount of space to stow away on the bike, and sometimes I just want to wear a jacket.
Overall, I am pleased with the Roadcrafter and get why it’s become such an iconic piece of gear for hard-core riders. And unless you crash and ruin it, the $1,127 suit should last a long long time. Visit Aerostich.com for more information and to order.
4 thoughts on Review: Aerostich Womens Roadcrafter Motorcycle Riding Suit
I got fitted for a two piece Roadcrafter back in 2008 (has it been THAT long?) when we attended the Aerostich Very Boring Rally II. I LOVE my Roadcrafter. Had I known back when I started riding that these suits existed, I would have bought one back then, instead of wasting almost $1,000 on the various Joe Rocket, FieldSheer, and Firstgear jackets and pants. Not to mention the leather gear I have.What really impressed me was not only are they (well, most of the suits) made here in the US, I got it sized just for me. And I could send it back for repairs or cleaning. Which I’ve done. I like how it fits over my work clothes. My co-workers are still amazed when i get to work, peel off the suit, and there I am, in a skirt. Hahaha!it keeps me dry during the downpours and occasional spring snowstorm and the vents, plus an evap vest, keep me cool in the warm temps. My Gerbings fit just fine underneath as well. And all the pockets! Who needs a purse? Right now I have the zip on suspenders attached to the pants. That way, i can leave the pants on without the jacket. Mine is the mens style. I have thought about buying one of the womens, but I really can’t justify it. I’m really happy with mine, but if it ever needed to be replaced, I’d get fitted for a new womens style.
I have worn a “Stich”–the same Stich–for 15+ years. I bought it slightly used — and there were no women’s models then. The article mentioned being hot in the summer – true – but wearing close to nothing but LD Comfort, a cool vest and neck wrap, you will arrive with your skin intact no matter what the road (or tarmac) temperature is.Riding with gals with five layers on is no more bulky than this outfit. You can also unzip wearing a party outfit. I love it but would trade it in a minute for brand new women’s sizing. Better start saving up!
Thank you for this well written and informative article. I have been curious about the women’s one piece. I wear the Darien pants and had bought a jacket that I ended up selling because I felt like a football player in it! I hope to make it to one of the fitment events they have this year and would definitely consider buying one.
I’m still considering their two-piece suits. I’d hate to have a one-piece on, and try to use a regular bathroom. I’d be sure to drop an arm or the top half in the john!I currently have a Firstgear jacket and a different brand of riding pants. Love wearing the LDComfort gear under them as it keeps my body comfy in cool or hot temps. I live in AZ and it’s riding season now, but when summer hits, I can be comfortable enough with this combination.