Aerostich R-3 Light: Tested

One suite to rule them all...

You know the guy. He doesn’t showboat, stunt, or even ride above the speed limit often. He isn’t rocking the latest gear from all the most hip companies. His bike is more than a few years old, and is coated with the bugs and road grime of thousands and thousands of miles. This is the guy with a toolbox that can take on anything and fits in a saddlebag. The guy who has that nut you’re looking for in his backpack.The guy who doesn’t care how damn cool you look as you zoom past him, because he’s been doing this too long and would rather get safely to point B... and what is on his back nine times out of ten? You can bet it’s a well broken in Aerostich.

Aerostich R-3 Light
Editor Morgan Gales in his R-3 Light (Long) looking like a road-grimed astronautStaff

There’s a reason that just about every guy putting seriously high year-round miles on their bike wears an Aerostich suit. Actually, there’s a lot of reasons. It’s a pretty big investment to go out and get a suit that costs over a thousand dollars, but it really could be the last time you consider pants and a jacket for touring.

I ordered a custom R-3 Light ($1197) to test out the legendary suit in Southern California's surprisingly rainy winter, and this is what I've found:

Color
Hi-viz is cool and all, but I have never been a big fan. I tend to lean more towards understated color schemes, so Aerostich's option to remove the reflective strips and hi-viz details were perfect for me. I decided to go with tan throughout, aiming for somewhat of a Carhartt/ workwear feel and I love the way it came out. With 16 color combinations, you're sure to find something that will fit your style.

R-3 Light
Aerostich R-3 Light in grey with black ballisticsAerostich

Fit
I am an awkward size; too tall, arms too long for my torso, legs too long for anything, and too skinny to fill out most jackets. When placing the order, I gave my measurements and was contacted over the phone to make sure I was cool with the adjustments that were going to be made to fit me. This included longer pads, and longer arms/ legs, which now cover my knees and elbows very effectively. I have full range of motion on the bike, and like they say- the more I wear it, the better it gets. Aerostich keeps more than 60 sizes in stock, so even if your body is a little outside the normal fitment, they've got you covered. The suit is designed to fit over your casual clothes, but even then it doesn't really feel bulky like I was expecting.

Temperature Control
Being in Southern California, I opted for the lighter of the two suits (the other being the R-3). They're both intended for year-round use so they both have extensive venting, but the 'Light' version is more for urban riders and touring riders and the 'regular' is more appropriate if you…aahhh…ride a little more 'playfully' and are often at higher speeds. The actual weight difference is small, but the fabric strength difference is significant. The light fabric is a bit more flexible and comfortable, and nicer in hot weather, but it's not quite as abrasion resistant in a crash scenario. Vents on the back, armpits and sides of the legs air you out almost instantly when moving, and keep you nice and cool when it's hot out. When things start to cool down, don't fret that you're in the lighter suit- just add a layer or two underneath and you're sure to stay plenty warm, as the suit is very well sealed with everything zipped up.

Details
This section could be five pages long. From a heated gear power cord access point, to the little magnet in your collar to keep it from flapping around, this suit is exceptional. This comes back to the basis of Aerostich- the motorcyclist. Everything about this has been constructed and reconstructed to be absolutely perfect and the best bang for your buck- even if that buck is way up there. Adjustable wrists and ankles, waterproof phone pocket with headphone access, and pads that can be adjusted are a few of the moto-centric details you'll notice on the R-3 Light.

The company has really done as much as they can to take the pain out of the ordering process, and it seems like they really get that it’s a big investment for just about all of us. I have put just a little over a thousand miles on my suit now and it is starting to break in nicely. Honestly, I love wearing it a lot more than I was expecting to and it has been finding its way into more and more trips, which have ALL benefited from having it along.