The Inside Scoop on Klim’s Traverse Jacket & Pants

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Motorcycle, Snowmobile, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Klim Traverse Jacket, Dual Sport/Enduro Gore-Tex waterproof design

Klim has released their newest jacket/pant set for the dual sport and enduro markets.  The Traverse jacket and pants are designed to be rugged, waterproof and versatile for the demands of dual sport and enduro riders.  Five years in the design and testing process, the Traverse has finally hit the market and is the premier riding suit of this style. 

Inside the Development of KLIM’s Newest Gear
The story of the KLIM Traverse Jacket and Pant is intense. It spans years of conceptualization, testing, crashing, revisions, a few more crashes, laboratory certifications and plenty of trips through nasty, nasty weather.  

The story of the KLIM Traverse Jacket and Pant is intense. It spans years of conceptualization, testing, crashing, revisions, a few more crashes, laboratory certifications and plenty of trips through nasty, nasty weather.  It’s no wonder the world’s only durably waterproof GORE-TEX® enduro and dual-sport worthy Jacket and Pant is poised to build upon the ground-breaking tradition the KLIM Adventure Rally Suit created. 

 The Traverse story begins with the demand for a durable, waterproof enduro set; encompasses ground-breaking product technology and never-before used materials, and ends with the best fully functional GORE-TEX® enduro gear set suitable for off-road adventures and dual sport trips in-between. 

 In the end, the Traverse is the realization of immense technology, great performance and the only GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® PROMISE in off-road. But how did it get here?

Traverse Pant

The idea for the Traverse began simply. KLIM’s top off-road racers were demanding high-performance; waterproof, breathable and tough jackets that work great in all conditions for their international rally races and enduro rides through the foulest terrain. Basically, KLIM’s top off-road riders demanded a completely waterproof and tough enduro jacket that simply didn’t exist. 

 At the same time, KLIM dealers and customers wanted a real technical piece of enduro gear, one strong enough to handle the worst weather and most demanding conditions possible but comfortable for everyday riding. They wanted the best do-all piece of riding gear—not another cheap, light-duty jacket. 

 And that’s how a product idea begins. 

 Before and during the development of the Traverse set, KLIM riders and racers—such as Rally Ace Jonah Street—were using other KLIM Products to fit this need; primarily the snow-specific GORE-TEX® Valdez Parka. And the Valdez worked very well. After all, the Valdez was the most rugged, non-insulated jacket in KLIM’s outerwear line and because it worked so well in a wide range of temperatures and conditions, it was a very good choice out of what KLIM had in production. Heck, a lot of KLIM customers still use it year round from sled to bike and everything in between.

As KLIM’s racers and hardcore riders used the Valdez more, they began to run into features not necessary for motorcycle use. KLIM designers went to work on the Valdez, custom fitting it to the unique demands of their off-road athletes. Soon, the core, sleeves and hardware of the Valdez were intact but the snow-specific parts (like hand gaiters and snow skirt) were cut out. Then they started adding pockets, looking to pump up the cargo capacity for African desert jaunts and trail-riding needs. 

 The KLIM research and development team started from the Valdez to create today’s Traverse. They made some in-house alterations and rode in a version of the jacket for a year, no matter what the temperature or environment.  They rode in KLIM’s backyard Idaho testing grounds; tackling the St. Anthony Sand Dunes and miles of local trails through Kelly Canyon, The Big Holes and the surrounding National Forests in hot, cold, wet and dry weather. Then, they went to Moab where the jacket met the slick rock more than once.

 The result was a Frankenstein-esque Valdez, custom modified to fit the demands of the motorcycle crowd. But modifying the world’s best performing snowmobile parka to work in the dirt is not what KLIM is about? So designers set out to build the best dirt-specific jacket in the Traverse with features the real riders need. 

 The Traverse was immediately associated with certain requirements: 

–          It needed to be lighter than an Adventure jacket, but extremely durable in the highest wear areas 

–          It needed to be waterproof for the lifetime of the garment to the strict, unmatched standards KLIM has set in the snowmobile world with GORE-TEX® and their GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY®PROMISE. 

–          It must be windproof for the lifetime of the garment to the same strict standards. 

–          It must be highly breathable for the lifetime of the garment to the same strict standards. 

–          It must be patterned to fit for high-mobility/flexibility while riding. 

–          It must have intelligent controlled ventilation for maximum versatility. 

–          Pants must incorporate real leather for heat and abrasion resistance. 

–          The whole kit must have adequate storage capacity, but not focus on being a wearable backpack-type of garment. 

–          It must be built with tangible substance, high-quality materials and engineered specifically for the type of riding KLIM employees like to do: technical off-road riding.

According to Mueller, the Valdez/Traverse combination was made out of “SPL600” GORE-TEX® Laminate—an extremely tough outer material. The final version of the Traverse Jacket and Pant released in the summer of 2010 is actually constructed with a KLIM-specific 840D Cordura® overlay in the high-wear areas to make it even tougher! 

This 840D Cordura® fabric is a story on its own but here’s the quick version: KLIM wanted the most abrasion resistant, colorfast and breathable material in motorcycling. So, KLIM engineers became dedicated to build it. The result, after over three years of filament and fiber construction development, is the KLIM-specific 840D Cordura®–the same proven fabric used in the Dakar, Mojave, Chinook and Baja off-road pants. 

 What the KLIM R&D team quickly discovered is that the Traverse jacket and pant must be built to take serious abuse.

 “I personally witnessed that version of the Traverse go through a 5th gear get-off coming down a rock trail in Moab,” Brandon Mueller, KLIM’s Senior Product Line Manager, said.

“The jacket and rider bounced off the flat rock while the bike went off a cliff, landing upside-down. To my surprise the rider was just shaken up and had come away completely unscathed. The jacket’s exterior fabrics did a good job of guarding his skin and had no tears, just some scuffing.”

“By the way after we pulled the bike up 20ft from the ledge where it was sitting up-side-down, it only had a minor crack in the water pump cover which we patched up and went on our way,” Mueller said. 

Fast forward a few months and the Traverse Jacket and Pant project took a rapidly drastic change in direction. After a year of testing and fine tuning, the KLIM R&D department went full steam ahead into the world-renowned KLIM Adventure Rally set of gear. Traverse development continued alongside the Adventure Rally set and the original cargo-carrying, do-all properties of the first Traverse concepts molded into the Adventure Rally philosophy perfectly. Essentially, a lot of preliminary Traverse engineering, field work and design concepts made the Adventure Rally suit even better than its original design. 

When the Traverse project got full attention again in early 2009 after the release of the Adventure Rally set, the style and design slate was wiped clean and the Traverse was reborn into the high-performance, enduro-specific, durably waterproof, extremely tough Jacket and Pant off-road and hardcore dual-sport riders demand. 

Drawings became testing samples. Testing samples were ridden in, revised, put into GORE’s® Rain Room testing facility, revised again, tested again and finally, after nearly five years in development, the Traverse is available at KLIM dealers across the country. 

And that’s how the Traverse set was born, perfected and made into the world’s first enduro-specific, dual-sport worthy GORE-TEX® set of gear with a GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® PROMISE. 

It’s not easy. But your next ride is worth it. 

Order your Traverse Jacket & Pants here:  http://petrie.wss-pro.com/pages/customcatalogs/viewcategories/1090/klim-riding-gear.aspx

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