7 Vented, Budget-Friendly Gear Combos Just In Time For Summer
The summer is a glorious time to moto addict. The Nationals in full swing, sunny days, open tracks, and enough hours of sunlight to sneak in an after-work moto. But, with all that goodness comes a little bit of bad. Sweltering heat can not only make your day at the track miserable, it can sap your energy, make you lose more electrolytes through sweat, and thereby impair your body’s and mind’s performance, negatively affecting your riding overall.
Technology to the rescue! Thank heavens the days of cotton jerseys and full leather riding pants are long behind us. Now, there are plethora of options for super vented, lightweight gear that is solely focused on keeping you cool. Evaporative cooling (aka sweating) can only have its maximum effect if as much evaporation as possible is taking place. So, aside from pulling a Ryan-Dungey-in-ESPN’s-body-issue impression (riding naked), having vented gear really helps.
But just slicing holes your jersey, while it surely increases airflow, isn’t necessarily the best option. The durability of said garment would be drastically reduced and sand, mud, dirt, and debris can infiltrate your personal space and at a minimum, wreak havoc on your nips. Modern vented jerseys employ a polyester mesh layout that typically has a netting of larger holes that are still feature an extremely fine layer of material to try to keep your body dirt-free.
The only real cons to vented gear are; riding in cool weather wouldn’t be comfortable (obviously), some vented material does let in small particles of sand and dirt, some of the older vented gear can be rough/coarse feeling on the skin, and manufacturers have to balance the lightness of the material with durability.
Among the gear sets here are some we’ve worn, some we haven’t but are excited about; and there are also some premium, NON budget- friendly sets, for the those with a deeper summer gear budget.
Thor - Pulse Air - $24.95 jersey, $82.95 pant = $107.90
Tech From Thor:
- Fully vented mesh panels maximizes airflow throughout and keeps you cool
- Set-in style sleeves tailor to the body’s shape and form while accenting all riding styles
- 100% polyester jersey material wicks away sweat and helps keep you cool
- 4-way stretch panels in the cuffs and collar provide an excellent feel and minimal chafing
- The pre-curved chassis shape provides maximum comfort while in the rider attack or sitting positions
- Adjustable hip side cinches and ratchet-style closure tailors to the unique build of every rider
- Polyester and nylon are combined with double and triple stitching for a pant that is made to last
- Abrasion-tolerant materials, durable construction, and full grain leather knee panels provide coverage in crucial areas
Klinger’s Take: I haven’t worn this gear myself, but have worn plenty of Thor gear (the Prime Fit is my fav, but definitely not super vented). The features that stand out to me are, for one, the jersey is very seam-free - just at the shoulders and down the sides. The pants seem to have a good amount of perforated material, connected by stretch panels at the knees, crotch, and rear yoke. And it’s good to see full grain leather in the knees at this pricepoint. Style wise, it is hit or miss - if you dig a minimalistic look, you're dialed, if not, well, sort of boring. The main takeaway is the price, but to be fair, 2019 gear is right around the corner. Plus if you want to dish out a little more dough, Thor also has a vented version of its Fuse kit called Fuse Air.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the Thor Pulse Air gear , and see what other real riders have to say.
Answer Racing - A18 Syncron Air - $29.95 jersey, $89.95 pant = $119.90
Tech from Answer:
- Tiny-hole perforated mesh-fabric increases airflow
- Sublimated interlock polyfabric construction
- Comfortable self-fabric V-Neck collar design
- Oversize raglan sleeve pattern
- Stretch polyester cuffs and extra long tail
- Mesh fabric panels offer increased airflow and cooling
- Durable poly-oxford fabric construction throughout
- Flexible knee, fly, yoke and leg patches
- Padded knee area creates ideal knee pocket
- Secure ratchet-buckle
Klinger’s Take: Again not a set of gear that I’ve worn personally, yet the Syncron gear line has been a staple of Answer’s line up for many years. The mesh of the jersey is fairly large and should offer ample ventilation throughout. The raglan sleeves are nice touch so there is no upper sleeve seam rubbing on your shoulder. The sleeve and neck cuffs are nothing special, and some riders are definitely opposed to a V-neck cuff since it can let in dirt. The pants seem to be fairly basic without very many stretch panels or any extra waist closures, just the ratchet at the front. It is nice to see lighter colors available since those run cooler than all black.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the Answer Syncron Air gear, and see what other real riders have to say.
Moose - Sahara Gear -$30.95 jersey, $99.95 pant = $130.90
Tech From Moose:
- Highly ventilated polyester mesh chassis
- High-quality non-fading, breathable sublimated graphics
- Lightweight, ventilated design provides maximum airflow and performance
- Custom Spandex V-neck and stretch neck taping for maximum comfort
- Athletic fit and new pattern for full range of movement
- Oversized knee area with full grain genuine leather inner panels
- Reinforced high denier polyester in high wear areas
- Pre-bent ergonomic pant design
- 3-point waist adjustment system allows you to fine tune fit
Klinger’s Take: I’ve worn an older set of the Moose Sahara gear and while it isn’t very “cool” to moto in Moose, I rocked it for nearly a year, on and off the track (off-road, not out to dinner). While the jersey I had (2015 I believe) was nearly all open mesh and had great air flow, the newer jerseys look to have a smaller mesh as the front panel and wide open mesh for the back and sleeves. The jersey I wore wasn’t the softest on my skin but the pants were awesome. The pants were very soft and comfortable, yet strong, with a good mix of non-stretchy mesh with stretch panels. The only thing that was a problem was the fit was overall pretty baggy, yet the ‘18 looks to have a slimmer build. Durability was excellent - only one small hole and a little pilling with tons of off-road riding.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the Moose Sahara gear, and see what other real riders have to say.
Fly Racing - Kinetic Mesh Era - $38.95 jersey, $114.95 pant = $153.90
Tech From Fly:
Tagless printed collar
- Shorty elastic cuffs help prevent arm pump
- Integrated Mesh-tech panel design allows massive airflow
- Multi-panel construction for maximum performance and comfortable fit
- Comfort-Stretch collar constructed of thermoplastic rubber, Lycra® and stretch-rib materials
- Standard fit – not too loose, not too tight
- Low profile stretch leg cuffs with removable elastic band
- Multi-Directional stretch-rib panels for flexibility
- Internal pocket located inside the waistband
- Ultra-durable Multi-panel 900D Nylon construction with lightweight Mesh-tech construction to keep you cool
- Leather heat shield panels with DuPont™ Kevlar® stitching
- Ergonomically pre-shaped knee generously contoured to accommodate most types of knee braces and guards
- Full-Floating seat surrounded by stretch-rib material moves naturally with your body
- Exclusive zipper lock system keeps pants closed and secure
- Ratcheting Fly closure allows for adjustabilit
Klingers Take: When looking at our forum, there are a few vented gear threads and the Fly Kinetic Mesh is a crowd favorite. I would agree. A week of riding down in Costa Rica definitely provided the hottest, most humid rides of my life. The Kinetic Mesh saved my life! I wore it the first day, then wore a set of Thor Prime Fit for the second day to let the Fly gear dry. I figured it would be fine, but the Prime Fit is NOT dedicated vented gear and I was cooking in the humidity. The Kinetic mesh jersey has a very open mesh, but is still very durable. The pant’s fit is on the looser, baggier side and if you like your gear form fitting, you might want to go down a size. The ventilation on the pants is also fantastic and switching back to the Kinetic gear for the third day of riding in Costa Rica was so much better. As soon as we started moving, I was at least 15 degrees cooler than the day before. The only negative I can say is that the red clay of CR stuck around on the white parts of the gear, but I don’t think any gear set would have been any different.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the Fly Kinetic Mesh gear, and see what other real riders have to say.
Leatt - GPX 4.5 X-Flow - $34.99 jersey, $119.99 pant = $154.98
- Lightweight MoistureCool X-Flow mesh
- Overlock stitched seams for comfort
- Collar design for use with or without a neck brace
- Tailored fit for riding with or without body armor
- Rear silicone pant grip
- Pre-curved performance fit
- New lighter and breathable construction
- Ripstop stretch and X-Flow mesh panels
- 3D molded, fully floating knee cap reinforcement
- 1200D nylon, heavy duty seat material and Amara inner leg
- YKK zipper and multi-row safety stitching
- Two-point knee ventilation
- Waist with micro adjuster and 180 ̊ silicone grip
- Anti-odor MoistureCool mesh lining
Klinger’s Take: Leatt is still relatively new to the gear game but has put the same precision and technical know-how they’re known for from their protective gear into their riding apparel. I’ve worn the GPX 4.5 Pant, which isn’t technically a specifically vented pant, but since Leatt only makes a vented jersey, it is the pant paired with it. I wouldn’t say that it was super vented like other dedicated vented pants, but it wasn’t overly hot either. The fit is on the slim/athletic side and but doesn’t have as much stretch as the more premium 5.5 pant so it feels a little restrictive. That being said, I’m not a slim dude and have cycling thighs. As for the jersey, I’ve only worn the 4.5 non-vented jersey so I cannot attest to its venting properties, but I can say that since the fit should be the same, it is one of my favorite fitting jerseys. It really minimizes the baggy, extra-material look and feel without being skin tight. There is minimal sleeve flappage.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the Leatt GPX 4.5 X-Flow gear, and see what other real riders have to say.
Shot - Aerolite Optica - $39.99 jersey, $119.99 pant = $159.98
Tech From Shot:
- Light weight jersey
- Performance fit for maximum flexibility
- Tailored raglan sleeves
- Comfortable hem cuff finish
- Strategic vented mesh panels for an optimum airflow
- Longer tail to keep the jersey in position
- 650 g Ultra light pant (size:32)
- Performance pre-curved fit for an intuitive racing position
- Chassis in dobby fabric, light and resistant
- Silicon waist to keep the jersey in position
- Adjustable micrometric buckle
- 4 ways crotch stretch spandex insert allowing ease of movement
- Laser cut vented panels for an optimum airflow
- Articulated stretch knee for a maximum flexibility
- Heat and abrasion resistant leather panels
- Rear yoke in stretch spandex for comfort and flexibility
- Reinforced rear saddle panel
- Shin vented panel
Klinger’s Take: If you are looking for a little Euro flare with your summer time riding threads, look no further than Shot’s Aerolite Optima gear. Shot’s claim to fame is that, according to them, have the lightest gear on the market, which is a feature that vented gear should have. I’ve worn their entry level, normally-vented gear and wasn’t a huge fan, just because it could have used a few more stretch panels here and there in the pants. But, the Aerolite Optima gear is Shot’s top level gear and has more features than the gear I tried.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the Shot Aerolite Optima gear, and see what other real riders have to say.
O’Neal - Mayhem-Lite Vented - $39.99 jersey, $119.99 pant = $159.98
Tech From O’Neal:
- Streamlined and lightweight design for the serious racer
- Jersey weight 8.5oz (size L)
- Multiple panel construction for an ergonomically correct cut and fit
- Clear silicone printing on lower back to help keep jersey tucked in
- Streamlined and lightweight design for the serious racer
- No rubber thigh patches for reduced weight and increased mobility
- Durable denier fabrics with triple stitching in critical areas
- Leather heat shield
- Reinforced and adjustable elastic waist system with hook-and-loop closure for a precise fit
- Double snaps at waist closure, reinforced with hook and loop to stay secure and keep the zipper in its place
- More durable, wear resistant panels on: seat, inside of legs, and knees
- Lighter weight, more breathable panels, positioned away from bike contact points
- Stretch panels in key points on: front, back, and knees for great freedom of movement
- Ergonomically correct, pre-bent and padded knee area
- Tapered lower leg to prevent bunching in boot
Klinger’s Take: O’Neal is a staple in the industry and has been a solid gear choice throughout the years. In my opinion, some of the graphic choices of late have been questionable, but I like this set of gear. Minimal and modern. But if you don’t like it, you are out of luck - this is the only vented colorway in the Mayhem-Lite line of gear. Features that stand out to me are, on the pant, they really want to make sure they don’t slide down because there is a ratchet closure, plus two snaps, plus two velcro adjusters on the sides. The jersey looks to have a more athletic, tapered cut and the V-neck has some extra material closing up the gap to keep dirt out.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the O’Neal Mayhem-Lite Vented gear, and see what other real riders have to say.
BONUS (Non-budget options)
FXR - Mission Air MX - $60 jersey, $140 pant = $200
Tech From FXR:
- Lightweight high-performance polyester knit
- Moisture-wicking yarns for enhanced comfort
- Side and under arm poly/span mesh inserts provide added ventilation
- Slim fit
- Full-mesh polyester offers superior breathability
- Durable 600D polyester fabric, perforated at upper front, thigh area and back yoke for enhanced airflow
- 900D polyester fabric at knee for maximum durability
- Reinforced leather panel at inner knee for heat and abrasion protection
- Soft stretchable span fabric at groin/inner thigh, and back leg areas for added flexibility and comfort
- Pre-curved knees allow room for all braces
- Triple topstitching in critical areas for extra strength and durability
- Hook and loop adjustable waist system
- Silicone printed inner elastic waist for extra grip and security
- Full-mesh polyester offers superior breathability
Klinger’s Take: FXR might not be known for its hot weather gear, especially since it is better known for its snowmobile gear. But the Mission Air jersey and pant check all the boxes when it comes to ventilated motocross gear. I’ve never worn any FXR gear, but it’s what the cool kids are getting into and I think the high-contrast, bright, multi-hue colorways have something to do with it. The color of the jersey is a modern squared-V and the raglan sleeves are a nice touch. I’m a little sceptical of the velcro closure on the front of the pant - if that comes undone it can be awkward at best, dangerous at worst.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the FXR Mission Air MX gear, and see what other real riders have to say.
Fox Racing - Airline - $54.95 jersey, $149.95 pant = $204.90
Tech From Fox:
- Lightweight moisture, wicking polyester main body fabric keep you cool and dry
- Vented side panels for enhanced airflow
- Athletic fit collar and minimal cuff design provide superior comfort
- Drop tail rear design keeps jersey tucked in pants
- Dyed fabric with premium heat transfer logo treatments
- Rider Attack Position construction for a precise fit on the bike
- Extensive laser perforation on main body fabric for enhanced airflow
- Dyed fabric with premium heat transfer logo treatments
- Double layer knee system for give enhanced durability
- Full grain leather outer knee layer
- Abrasion resistant inner knee layer projects against knee braces and guards
- Thin vented lower leg eliminate bulk in boot
- Triple needle stitching in critical seams for enhanced durability
Klinger’s Take: Technically, this Airline kit is 2019 gear (it’s still June, right?) but that hasn’t stopped Fox from getting ahead of the game. Most of the time, you see the top pros running the most expensive, premium gear from their gear sponsor, which, for Fox, would be the Flexair Kit (the 360 line of gear is also more expensive than the Airline). But, you can see team Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki riders running the Airline gear out in the hot, hot, summer heat. The jersey is super stretchy and super vented and the pants, while they look like the Flexair, have their own chassis. There is a lot of stretch and a lot of venting, and, according to Fox, they are the lightest pant they make at around 1 lbs. And for the non-baller’s out there Fox does have 180 Airline vented set of gear that is based on the 180 chassis and is easier on the wallet.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the Fox Airline gear, and see what other real riders have to say.
Troy Lee Designs - SE Air - $65 jersey, $185 pant = 250
Tech From TLD:
- Lightweight ventilated polyester mesh front and back
- Ventilated polyester mesh sleeves
- Breathable stretch polyester materials
- Sewn-in elbow padding
- Gel print on tail keeps jersey in place
- 4-way stretch collar and cuffs
- True to size racer fit
- New Articulated fit for performance
- Ratchet closure system for waist
- Soft 500 denier polyester mesh for ventilation
- 900 denier polyester for strength and durability
- Cowhide leather panels on inner knee areas
- 2-way stretch panels at rear knee, calf and crotch)
- Sliding rear yoke stretch system keeps pants in place
Klinger’s Take: In 2016 I had a set of the GP Air, which is the mid-level TLD vented gear. It vented great, but was like sandpaper on my skin. But then I had a set of 2017 SE Air gear that was fantastic. The jersey was soft, almost to the point of being luxurious, which is crazy for a super vented jersey. The pant is on the baggy side and the waist was generous. While this boosted the ego a bit, but I had to cinch it as tight as possible to keep the pants up. But according to TLD’s new product description, they make a point to say that the 2018 gear has a “True to size racer fit” so that might be different now. The SE Air kit I have is the most comfortable vented gear I’ve tried and I would wear it more if it wasn’t so bright - that’s not really my style and I feel like I burn my retinas a little every time I put it on.
Have this gear? Give us your opinion of the Troy Lee Designs SE Air gear, and see what other real riders have to say.