Is this the perfect all-terrain, all-weather riding suit: The Touratech Compañero?
During our 14-years on the road we have ridden in some of the most extreme temperatures on Earth, ranging from 61°C (142°F), to freezing at -15°C (5°F) and rainfall that led to the roads of Colombia turning into raging rivers whilst we were navigating them!
The Companero is the most hard wearing and best fiting ridingsuit I’ve ever worn”. Lisa Thomas, 2Ride The World
When it comes to riding suits, we’re hard to please. We need a suit that will allow us to cope with all of the extreme weathers that our planet can throw at us. The word here to take note of ‘A’ suit: Not a choice of suits but just the one. This suit has to offer supreme comfort; we ride, sit and stand in it for between 5 to 8 hours a day on average and often many, many more hours! Even when the days ride is done, we’ll keep the suit on during camp set up, more often than not we’ll just stay in it until it’s time to slide into our sleeping bags.
The 3 parts are:
The Compañero is a 3-in-1 concept (summer, all-weather, casual).
- Summer suit, offering maximum ventilation at high temperatures
- Winter suit, offering maximum protection in poor/wet/cold weather situations
- Casual use suit. The outer suit can also be worn, without the summer suit when off the bike
If desired, the jacket and pants can be zipped together into a one-piece suit for great protection.
Here’s a little bit of info if you need to know more about the technology of the suit but you can read up in detail about the material it uses Cordura, online. However personally all I need to know is that the Cordura Air Flow Technology fabric allows a massive amount of airflow through the suit. Plus Cordura fabrics are known for their durability and resistance to abrasions, tears and scuffs and the suit is fully equipped with CE-Level 2 pads. That all sounds good to me!
The Compañero is (according to the sales material) suitable for year-round riding conditions and is available in both male and female sizing. Ahhh ...now that’s what I wanted to hear! Over the years my (Lisa) suits have been smaller sized men’s suits, which NEVER fit well. Its fantastic to now have genuine ‘Adventure’ suits made for the female shape and size.
We have now ridden in this suit for 4 years (same suit but it has been washed!) and I’m pleased to say that all of the above points have been proven. We have covered over 80,000 miles wearing them and have experienced every type of weather the world can throw at us and still they ‘do what is says on the label’!
With the summer suit the “Air Flow Technology” fabric is on the front and back of the jacket, as well as the legs of the trousers. This makes for much more pleasant riding in those hot summer days and a ‘life-saver’ in the extreme heat. Where our friends have been suffering due to lack of good ventilation in their suits, Simon and I have kept cool and are never in a mad rush to strip off gasping for breath and water! The CE-Level 2 pads always stay put in the summer suit so we have been able to stay ventilated and comfortable without compromising our safety. The last thing you want to do is to risk riding without your suit because you are just too dam hot. We try to keep to the ‘full kit all the time’ rule.
There are a good selection of pockets on the front and space for a mobile phone on the upper arm plus inner pockets. A detachable back pocket is there to “provide room for the outer jacket” but in our 4 years we have not used the back pocket for this purpose.
When wearing the over suit neither Simon or I have ever suffered that cold wet damp creep that settles around your ‘nether’ regions, making your ride turn into one of sheer and utter misery and discomfort!
If its chucking it down with rain but still warm and humid (I hate those conditions) large zippers under the arms can be opened to provide some ventilation. It has kept us completely dry even during torrential rain lasting 5 hours!
Simon and I have used the over jacket of the all-weather suit as a casual coat whilst off the motorcycle. The outer jacket looks like a regular shell-style jacket as all of the protection pads stay in the summer suit. This means we have been able to wander around towns and cities without feeling like The Hulk.
SIMON: “We wore our new Compañero suits for the first time in Thailand. They felt fantastic right from the word go, seemed well-designed, and fitted like a good suit should. Since then they have rendered valuable services – all the way through Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Borneo, where the Compañero saved my skin, quite literally and (wearing that same suit) we have carried on through Indonesia, the Timors, Australia with its wonderful outback, chilly, wet and mountainous New Zealand, the USA and now Mexico in the heat of their summer”. They are still going strong.
LISA: “The Compañero is the first suit I have ever had which is designed both as a hard-wearing off-road protection system, as well as being specially tailored to fit female contours. I wear it in all imaginable weather and riding conditions week in, week out, and comfort is very important to me.
At high temperatures, the Compañero always gives a well-ventilated, airy feeling and even in torrential thunderstorms the outer suit keeps us dry. One important fact, that I’m sure people don’t think of is, as a woman, taking off your riding suit on the side of the road (problematic in some areas of the world) in order to put on a Gortex under layer. You hop around on one foot after taking your boots off with your shorts on flaunting bits that are not supposed to be flaunted in some parts of the world! The Compañero outer suit is easy to take on and off and takes about three minutes, you don’t even have to remove your boots! ”
SIMON: “It’s all too easy to talk about the look and feel of a new suit. Let’s be honest, no one really wants to know the answer to the most important question. Does it hold up and protect the rider in a serious accident? Well, I can testify to a very resounding ‘YES”!
The island of Borneo was to be the Compañero’s real proving ground, where I asked it to stand up to a major hit, a long grating asphalt slide ending in a bone jarring impact as I and my GS slid into and under a 4×4. Every rider’s nightmare!
Heading south I crested a small rise, mindful of the rain-soaked and now slick asphalt. It took me a few seconds to realise that the dark Hilux in the middle of the road was in fact stationary and bizarrely parked in the centre of the road with its engine and lights off. To make matters worse, it was parked parallel, opposite to a broken down northbound truck.
The back wheel of my GS had locked up for three long slides before I realized that my options had disappeared as fast as the distance separating me and the 4×4. I needed to lay the bike down, and fast! The impact of my body on the tarmac jolted me violently; sparks flew up as the BMW metal of my bike gouged the road surface. Seconds later I hit the stationary vehicle hard, my head and bike coming to rest under the rear of the 4×4.
With the adrenalin wearing off, I began to inspect my suspected injuries. Wearily, I also inspected my Compañero. Look as I might, the only visible damage to the entire suit is a patch of mild abrasion wear on the pants and friction/heat damage to the zip in the rear panel pocket of the jacket.
At the hospital the x-rays show two cracked ribs and a swollen right shin. No cuts, no other bruises and unbelievably, the suit is still perfectly wearable, not a fabric tear in sight. The armour had done a great job of minimizing the multiple impacts; the Compañero armour pockets had made sure that it had stayed in place. The suit had simply performed flawlessly: I couldn’t have asked for more.
Not a test I’d recommend, but take it from someone who knows, this is one tough suit, and I’ll be clocking up many more kilometres knowing that I am well protected from whatever the world decides to throw our way”!
|▲ Looks great||▼ The suit is at the higher end of the price market|
|▲ Fits better than anything we’ve worn before||▼ The winter suits needs to be carried seperately
|▲ Body armour is where it should be and stays in place|
|▲ Fantastic air flow for warm weather riding conditions|
|▲ Washes easily|
|▲ Armour easily removed|
|▲ Designed by riders for riders|
|▲ Trousers can be worn under or over MX boots|
|▲ Removable fleece collar for winter suit|
|▲ Built tough and crash tested by yours truly!|
|▲ One suit does it all|