First Gear TPG Rainer Jacket and Escape Pant

CR Tested

**First Gear TPG Rainer jacket and Escape Pant **


FirstGear's TPG brand is their all-weather touring lineup. From this bunch we selected the full-length Rainier Jacket and Escape Pant.

The TPG gear is extremely versatile. Good venting, waterproofing and breathability, combined with super-warm liners (for the pants and the jacket) mean that even in the hottest conditions, the jacket is still bearable (and the overpants can go in a bag), while down into the 40s (for those thick of hide) with liners in and warm clothes underneath it was still pretty bearable. The liners are intelligently designed to quickly and easily zip in and out. There are a ton of little elastic snaps that secure the jacket liner that are easy to miss and not the easiest things to work, but they're also pretty optional. The pant liner was straightforward with zippers on each side slit and one around the waist.

The Rainier Jacket is literally awash in pockets both on the liner and the shell itself, all of which are waterproof. Not something I ever thought I had to think about until I killed a small digital camera in another jacket by leaving it in a pocket outside the waterproof zone. There is a left chest wallet pocket, accessible without unzipping the liner, or even the jacket, as its just under the outer buttons. There are cell phone pockets on both the liner and jacket inside. I liked to put my iPod in the left outer pocket with just the cord coming out and up into my helmet. There is a credit card/ID-sized pocket at the right wrist for quick and easy fill-ups.

The Escape Pants, are made very similar to the jacket. There are two lined and zippered jeans-style pockets, and a very roomy outer storage pocket on the right thigh. Like the outer jacket pockets this one has a velco flap and a waterproofed zipper as well. The leg zippers come up almost to the knee, which, while better than many overpants, still will snag on boots with heels some. This is especially true with the liner in.

The Rainier Jacket has soft armor at the shoulders, back and elbows, while the Escape Pants have their soft armor at hips and knees. Both pieces have Velcro-adjustable waists which comes in especially handy when wearing varying amounts of other gear underneath them., making them fitted and snug (but not uncomfortably so) at all times.

If I have a small complaint about all the outerwear, it would just be that it's all pretty functional-looking nylon with not a lot of style thrown at it. That said, compared to all the stuff that's got way too much of the wrong sort of style thrown at it, it's perfectly acceptable: low-key and not flashy. It simply says, "I'm here to ride." The only defect I encountered was that the Velcro cuff adjusters delaminated. They still worked, but the outer (FirstGear-branded) layer would flap in the wind. The left one came apart within a month, while the right one took over a year.

Rainier Jacket $399.95
4.5 stars out of 5
Escape Pants $249.95
4 stars out of 5