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It’s that time of year again when we see all the questions about which jacket provides maximum airflow, or how to stay cool in hot weather. Please note these ae two entirely different questions!!

If your question is “What is the maximum air-flow mesh jacket?” I can’t help because I gave away my mesh jackets years ago. If your question is “What jacket will help me beat the heat?” then I’ll beat this dead horse one more time. I live in hot and humid Southeast Texas and don’t want to let the thermometer get in my way of riding. I ride year round and have learned to dress for success in hot weather.

We used to have a forum member (Ken Hatch from Arizona) called Bubba1 who eventually became the evangelist of textile gear and wicking underwear. Ken told us that if the air was hotter than our skin temperature of about 93º F that the heat was going INTO our bodies, not out. He reminded us about the principles of evaporative body cooling and why we need to have just enough air flow to allow our perspiration to cool us.

I was wearing mesh jackets, tighty whities, and Levis at the time. I tried several mesh jackets, phase-change jackets, and Baker wings for more air flow. I’d hydrate till it hurt. I still got hot! I eventually decided to give Bubba1’s ideas a try, for deep down inside I knew he was right. I had made a decent living back in the early days understanding the principles of thermodynamics on my job, and what he was saying made sense once I realized that the laws of thermodynamics apply to motorcycles as well as refineries.

In order to protect yourself from the hot air blast you should wear a full textile jacket that blocks most of the air flow. Your body has its’ own perspiration and evaporative cooling mechanism which will protect you if you will let it work. Block off almost all the air flow, but let just a little in at the sleeves and open the back vents a little to allow the air to exit. As your body gets hot and starts to sweat the air will evaporate the drops of moisture on your skin and cool you. If you have too much air flow, the wind will blow the drops of water right off, not evaporate them, and there will be no evaporative cooling! Keep just a little, not too much air flow! Basically the only time that mesh jackets are comfortable are in a narrow range of about 70º F to about 85º when one doesn't need a jacket at all except for protection against road rash.

Bubba1 was a proponent of the LD Comfort t-shirts and underwear. I too wear LD Comfort when I want to wet the sleeves or even the whole shirt under my textile jacket for real cooling. However, I’ll go against the grain and say that unless I plan to wet the shirt, the LD Comfort is hotter than my Underarmour t-shirts. Most of the time even in 95º F weather I just wear dry Underarmour, and am mostly comfortable.

Cotton jeans, t-shirts, and underwear are a rider’s worst enemy. Look at the gear worn by the IBA riders who ride 11,000 miles in 11 days all over the country in July. The IBA published a very good article that gave a scientific explanation of why one should cover up to stay cool. This article gets tossed around here pretty often, and is required reading for the warm-weather traveler.

Bubba1, where are you? I’m gonna need help here!

Disclaimer- all the above is IMHO! This is what works for me in the humid oven of Southeast Texas, and YMMV!

Glen
 

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I don't disagree with what you wrote except the words that a mesh jacket is only good in a narrow range of temps from about 70F to about 85 F. I wear a mesh jacket year round, even up here in the northeast where we often get hot and humid weather. When it does that get hot, I can get comfortable with LD Comfort sleeves or shirt that I wet down. The only difference is the need to stop and re-wet the sleeves or shirt a bit more frequently, about every hour and half. A textile jacket would probably be better under those particular conditions. However, when the temps begin to drop below 60 F I wear a Carhartt windproof/waterproof jacket over the mesh jacket. The Carhartt jacket traps the air in the mesh jacket effectively making a layer of insulation. Most insulation materials work by trapping air. When temps drop even lower, at approx 50 F and below, I add an additional layer, a heated jacket liner, under the mesh jacket. I'm now good to go until the roads become covered with ice and road salt. For me a mesh jacket has a very wide temperature range of comfort. I also highly recommend Hi-Viz outer clothing. Hi-Viz works by reflecting light, hence it also reflects heat.
 
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It’s that time of year again when we see all the questions about which jacket provides maximum airflow, or how to stay cool in hot weather. Please note these ae two entirely different questions!!

If your question is “What is the maximum air-flow mesh jacket?” I can’t help because I gave away my mesh jackets years ago. If your question is “What jacket will help me beat the heat?” then I’ll beat this dead horse one more time. I live in hot and humid Southeast Texas and don’t want to let the thermometer get in my way of riding. I ride year round and have learned to dress for success in hot weather.

We used to have a forum member (Ken Hatch from Arizona) called Bubba1 who eventually became the evangelist of textile gear and wicking underwear. Ken told us that if the air was hotter than our skin temperature of about 93º F that the heat was going INTO our bodies, not out. He reminded us about the principles of evaporative body cooling and why we need to have just enough air flow to allow our perspiration to cool us.

I was wearing mesh jackets, tighty whities, and Levis at the time. I tried several mesh jackets, phase-change jackets, and Baker wings for more air flow. I’d hydrate till it hurt. I still got hot! I eventually decided to give Bubba1’s ideas a try, for deep down inside I knew he was right. I had made a decent living back in the early days understanding the principles of thermodynamics on my job, and what he was saying made sense once I realized that the laws of thermodynamics apply to motorcycles as well as refineries.

In order to protect yourself from the hot air blast you should wear a full textile jacket that blocks most of the air flow. Your body has its’ own perspiration and evaporative cooling mechanism which will protect you if you will let it work. Block off almost all the air flow, but let just a little in at the sleeves and open the back vents a little to allow the air to exit. As your body gets hot and starts to sweat the air will evaporate the drops of moisture on your skin and cool you. If you have too much air flow, the wind will blow the drops of water right off, not evaporate them, and there will be no evaporative cooling! Keep just a little, not too much air flow! Basically the only time that mesh jackets are comfortable are in a narrow range of about 70º F to about 85º when one doesn't need a jacket at all except for protection against road rash.

Bubba1 was a proponent of the LD Comfort t-shirts and underwear. I too wear LD Comfort when I want to wet the sleeves or even the whole shirt under my textile jacket for real cooling. However, I’ll go against the grain and say that unless I plan to wet the shirt, the LD Comfort is hotter than my Underarmour t-shirts. Most of the time even in 95º F weather I just wear dry Underarmour, and am mostly comfortable.

Cotton jeans, t-shirts, and underwear are a rider’s worst enemy. Look at the gear worn by the IBA riders who ride 11,000 miles in 11 days all over the country in July. The IBA published a very good article that gave a scientific explanation of why one should cover up to stay cool. This article gets tossed around here pretty often, and is required reading for the warm-weather traveler.

Bubba1, where are you? I’m gonna need help here!

Disclaimer- all the above is IMHO! This is what works for me in the humid oven of Southeast Texas, and YMMV!

Glen
YA I REPLIED TO OTHER POST ON THIS. I "NEED TOO" TRY N GET INTO TEXTILE GEAR. USE THE LD AND LONG AS YOUR MOVING WORKS OK . EX SEAL (OR THE LIKE ) POSTED YRS AGO HOW YOU NEED TO KEEP "CORE" COOL. AS YOU GET TO. SAID HOTTER IT GETS OVER 98 YOU NEED TO ADD CLOTHES . WHEN I WAS IN 116 IN DESERT IN AZ I CLOSED NMY FULL FACE HELMET AND GOT COOLER ! :surprise: MY BREATH WAS COOLER THAN EXTERIOR AIR ! WHEN YOU OVERHEAT YOUR CORE YOUR BODY ACTS JUST LIKE ITS TO COLD = HYPOTHERMIA - STUFF STARTS SHUTTING DOWN AND YA MAKE BAD DECISIONS . GLEN GOOD READ ! HAVE TO CHANGE MY "STUBBORN " WAYS AND TRY THE TEXTILE GEAR.
 
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100% what Glen said. I have found goretex stuff seems to work best for me because it breathes the best. I wear the LD shirt and pants all temps under goretex pants and jacket. Another advantage is I don’t have to bring rain gear, just close zippers if it rains.

When it gets above 95, I close all my zippers because too much air flow reduces evaporative cooling.
 

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Glen, thanks for taking the time to post this information.

When you say most of the time you just wear dry Underarmor, could you be more specific?

Is it some kind of wicking fabric? Also, is it long sleeve?

Thanks, Greg
 

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I can only attest to the fact that adding an extra large frozen margarita to the menu (on an empty stomach)after an extremely hot day in the saddle, no matter how delicious they look when delivered to the restaurant table next to yours, is not necessarily the best way to cool down, especially if you are not all the way back to ground zero yet.
 

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100% what Glen said. I have found goretex stuff seems to work best for me because it breathes the best. I wear the LD shirt and pants all temps under goretex pants and jacket. Another advantage is I don’t have to bring rain gear, just close zippers if it rains.

When it gets above 95, I close all my zippers because too much air flow reduces evaporative cooling.
Yeah, I’m gradually trending towards this route as well. Last year I bought my first goretex boots ever and I love them to death. A friend of mine rides with an expensive goretex jacket but he wears it pretty much in all seasons. Cold, hot, sunny, rainy, his jacket has vents he can close and is waterproof and it breathes excellently, he doesn’t even pack rain gear anymore because his riding gear does the job. That appeals to me greatly, and honestly it just makes sense.

I think some goretex gloves and a new goretex jacket are in my near future, along with some all season riding pants to replace the jeans I always wear.
 

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Back in the day when the farmers in the Deep South followed mules all day plowing in the blazing heat, they had a saying: “It takes the same amount of protection to stay cool in the heat as it does to stay warm in the cold.”
For a long time it was hard for me to buy into that train of thought, and even now that I believe it I still have a hard time making myself dress properly for the heat when I always looked forward to riding in the summer without so many clothes. The years have caught up with me so I’m going to have to be more careful about dressing properly because the body won’t stand abuse as well as it did when I was younger.
A few years ago, I was riding in Arizona and was leaving the mountainous area that morning. It was a bit chilly as I left out, so I wore my insulated ski suit. I kept wearing it as I rode and was staying quite comfortable, so saw no need to stop and take it off. Later in the day as I rode through Tucson I was still quite comfortable. I checked the temperature and it was 108 degrees. Had someone told me that I could be comfortable at 108 degrees wearing a ski suit, I wouldn’t have believed them. That’s when I began to understand what the farmers meant.
 

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I usually wear full leathers (jacket and pants) and the undergarments I wear are either Dainese D-Core Aero shirt and pant or Cool’R shirt and pant. Took a 300 mile ride Saturday in about 85 degree temps and I stayed nice and comfortable all day. I find the D-Core to be just a bit better (subjective) but the D-Core is over double the price. I do have a full Gore-Tex suit (Dainese Gran Turismo) that I purchased for my upcoming trip to Wyoming so I don’t need to carry extra gear but I plan on wearing the same undergarments.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Glen, thanks for taking the time to post this information.

When you say most of the time you just wear dry Underarmor, could you be more specific?

Is it some kind of wicking fabric? Also, is it long sleeve?

Thanks, Greg

Underarmor is a trademarked brand and you can find their details on-line, but yes, it is a wicking fabric. LD Comfort is also a wicking fabric but is a has another layer to help in the evaporation process apparently. They are both very good, and are tons better than my normal underwear. The LD Comfort is a little more expensive, but I've not seen anything better when I want to wet it for maximum cooling. Underarmor is available locally at Academy and even Walmart, IIRC. They may have long sleeve styles, but mine are all short sleeve.

Mr K's comments about the Goretex are another advantage of the proper gear. I wear MotoPort stretch Kevlar jacket and pants, and with either LD Comfort or Underarmor beneath it there is no need for any rain gear. None of it absorbs water so it doesn't matter if it gets wet. It dries immediately. The only reason for rain gear is in case of COLD rain! If I were to replace my MotoPort I might look at Goretex gear like Klim.

Glen
 

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I used the LD Comfort on my cross-country tour last year and it was fantastic. There was no chafing like there can be with traditional cotton briefs.

It's a bit pricey though, so I am trying the half-as-expensive Duluth Bullpen under garments this year. Still pricey in my book, but at least in the winter non-riding months well worth it.
 
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Back in the day when the farmers in the Deep South followed mules all day plowing in the blazing heat, they had a saying: “It takes the same amount of protection to stay cool in the heat as it does to stay warm in the cold.”
For a long time it was hard for me to buy into that train of thought, and even now that I believe it I still have a hard time making myself dress properly for the heat when I always looked forward to riding in the summer without so many clothes. The years have caught up with me so I’m going to have to be more careful about dressing properly because the body won’t stand abuse as well as it did when I was younger.
A few years ago, I was riding in Arizona and was leaving the mountainous area that morning. It was a bit chilly as I left out, so I wore my insulated ski suit. I kept wearing it as I rode and was staying quite comfortable, so saw no need to stop and take it off. Later in the day as I rode through Tucson I was still quite comfortable. I checked the temperature and it was 108 degrees. Had someone told me that I could be comfortable at 108 degrees wearing a ski suit, I wouldn’t have believed them. That’s when I began to understand what the farmers meant.
SO "OLD MULES" CAN LEARN NEW TRICKS ! :laugh:
 

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i used the ld comfort on my cross-country tour last year and it was fantastic. There was no chafing like there can be with traditional cotton briefs.

It's a bit pricey though, so i am trying the half-as-expensive duluth bullpen under garments this year. Still pricey in my book, but at least in the winter non-riding months well worth it.
ld not cheap but easy to wash out/dry at end of day. Dont need to p[ack so much either !
 

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I switched from cotton briefs to jockey micro fiber a few years ago and they work for me. Maybe not as good as LD comfort but have some of the same benefits.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
My main points are:

all that "cooling" 95º F wind blowing through your mesh is overwhelming your body's ability to cool itself. Protect yourself from the blast furnace. It doesn't have to be Moto Port or Aerostitch or Klim. For the purposes of this discussion it just needs to block most of the air flow while still allowing your body to "breathe".

Stay away from cotton underwear and t-shirts. Wear some kind of wicking underwear. Any of it is better than cotton to control moisture, perspiration, and jock itch. Again, there are other brands besides LD Comfort and Underarmor that are much better than tighty whities.

Another benefit of wearing dedicated riding pants and underwear is to get away from the seams that become a torture device a few hundred miles down the road. Also, they can be washed in a sink and be dry in a few minutes.

If you want to research, do a search for Bubba1 posts. There's a lot of knowledge out there.

On edit- I see that Kwthorn just posted a link to the IBA magazine article I mentioned. It's a great read and explains a lot.

Glen
 

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The first time I used LD comfort long sleeve shirt, I stopped, took my shirt off to get it wet in a river. Pulled it out of the water, the outer material was wet but the inner material was bone dry. Pretty amazing stuff!
 

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I used the LD Comfort on my cross-country tour last year and it was fantastic. There was no chafing like there can be with traditional cotton briefs.

It's a bit pricey though, so I am trying the half-as-expensive Duluth Bullpen under garments this year. Still pricey in my book, but at least in the winter non-riding months well worth it.
Pricey yes, but worth every penney!!
 

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I used my soaked LD Comfort long sleeve and LD shorts (dry) along with my Klim Lattitude once I tweaked the zippers and the ride was very pleasant-actually had to close the sleeve zippers almost fully closed got chilled in 88-degree temps traveling from Crawfordville to Palm Harbor. LD Comfort is great stuff and Goretex was made for each other JMHO. Ride Safe in this Heat!
 
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I agree with textile as well. Contrary to what seems common sense, you do not want air "cooling you" in hot weather. Makes you feel better while riding, but causing dehydration. I rode all over the USA mostly in a T-shirt because I was never terribly concerned with safety gear, and after a day of hot was really beat. Now with the Aerostich roadcrafter I may feel hotter while riding, but after a day am never beat. Much, much better in the long term. Riding short rides, 50 miles, across a few miles to the grocery store, sure, use your mesh if you want. Long roads, use textile.
 
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