Originally Posted by Hammam
I have read that the Comfort shell is a summer jacket, because it has no liner for cold weather. Tell me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't just adding a few layers (or an electric liner like I'm talking about in my post about Gerbing) amount to the same? Take one size larger, and add warm clothes underneath. Or am I missing something?
I bought the Comfortshell suits for my wife and I in the Fall for a trip from Virginia to Arizona. We were looking primarily for exterior waterproofing, so we wouldn't have to stop and put on rain suits if we ran into some. We looked at several other types of suits and narrowed it down to the Comfortshell, Streetguard and the Olympia AST. We started to hear about the AST leaking, so ruled that one out, which was a disappointment as we have their perforated jacket and pants for summer riding and are impressed with that.
The Streetguard was quite bulky and stiff. I'm sure it would break in well over time, but it just seemed to be more than we really needed, and I didn't think it would work well into warmer weather, like the Comfortshell. I came to question my decision.
We found the Comfortshell very well made, easy to wear for the most part and completely waterproof, although we didn't get any real heavy rain. It took some doing to convince myself to put out almost $3K for both suits, but I did it. While I do love having my wife ride with me, on her own motorcycle, it doubles the cost of everything.
We wore it as you are thinking, with Gerbings electric liners underneath. A couple of comments on that. I bought the Comfortshell pants to fit me without any pants under them, with just long (or short) underwear. That may have been a mistake, at least in the case of the electric liner. Wife did the same and found the same issue. We found that the suit actually wore a sore on our knees, mine less than hers. It was much more pronounced with the liner underneath, to the point that she was getting ready to remove the armor from the knee area. I don't know if it was the stiffness of the armor or having the heated liner underneath, but it was a real distraction. It was ~3K miles, done over 4 days. The first day was an Iron Butt SS (1K miles), second day was ~600 miles (BB), then we slowed down for the last 2 days.
To give the suit it's due, when we left VA was the first time we wore them riding, other than to bring them home from our dealer, so they were not broken in. Haven't had them on since early November, as we left our motorcycles in AZ for the winter. We'll be out there in early March for a week and will use them then, then again when we ride them back to VA in early May.
In short, love the Comfortshell suit so far. Also, love the Gerbings electric liners. If you get the Gerbings stuff, go for the new micro wire. I had those for the pants and an older jacket liner. The pants heated up much faster, although they do develop "hot spots", which I think is just because they are liners and fitted under something else. It was cold enough on that trip that we used the liners all but the last day, and really wished I had put them on for part of that day as well. I also questioned my decision not to get the Streetguard, but that was just the weather we happened to run into. I think over time the Comfortshell suit will prove to be a wise decision.