Reader Question: Is Gore-Tex the Best Summer Waterproof Option?

Reader Amara needs help figuring out which summer waterproof textile jacket she should get. To Gore-Tex or Not To Gore-Tex, that is the question!

Hi there, I would love some advice on gear.

I am also looking at a new textile jacket and I am choosing between the dainese tempest d dry and the gore tex zima jacket. Do you think the goretex is worth the extra cash? Are these jackets going to work with a sportsbike riding position? What pants would you recommend? I am looking for some textile pants that are well waterproofed but also have enough ventilation for hot days. 

I am 5'7, small build but have largish hips. I wear a 40 in dainese jackets and need a 44 in dainese pants to get the over my butt.

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated! I am riding an Aprilia Tuono.

Many thanks, Amara.

Hi Amara!

So when it comes to waterproof Gore-Tex gear with Great ventilation, the best option is really the Altitude jacket in Small. The reason is because they laminate the Cordura Shell with the Gore-Tex so it becomes one layer. Then the vents provide direct ventilation. In a perfect world, I'd recommend this as well. But unfortunately it’ll be too big on you, given the size you need in Dainese, they just don’t make their jackets that small yet. And the overall fitment isn't quite perfect for your bike riding style, since it's designed for dual sport / adventure style riding.

The fit is also wonderful, tailored and perfect when you're petite on top. It won't bunch up and it's super comfortable. I tried on one a few years ago and I LOVED it. Here's a terrible pic of me wearing one in 40. It was really tight on me back then, I probably would've ridden in a 42 not 40. Since it has a removable thermal liner, it runs a tad loose. I love how the material is forgiving and stretchy. I've always thought Dainese was the best when it comes to sport touring gear, simply because of the way they tailor their gear.

Dainese Zima GTX Jacket Dainese Zima GTX Jacket

As far as Gore-Tex, I think it’s absolutely worth the extra money. It’s such a versatile membrane. I only trust my older Revit Legacy suit, where the Gore-Tex membrane is attached permanently and I can’t remove it. When I open the vents I can only feel it a little bit. So the Dainese Zima jacket you mentioned is going to be very similar. This is the only downside to this suit.

I’ve worn my Legacy in 95-100F with humidity, and I can honestly say I’d gladly take that over a non GoreTex membrane. It has so much versatility in terms of temperature. You can go from 100F and drop down to the 40s. My last trip was to Deals Gap in September and it was HOT. I wrote a brief review in my ride report.

I have worn other waterproof membranes as well, but the one thing they haven’t been able to provide is the Windstopping that Gore-Tex does. I noticed a big difference when I wear my heated jacket liner with both types of jackets as far as how well the outer shell does with wind. The other thing you are getting for the extra money is a lifetime guarantee from Gore-Tex that the membrane will not fail and keep you dry! So in 3-5 years (well after the 1 year warranty from Dainese) you can call Gore-Tex and tell them your jacket is leaking, and they will work with you to figure out what’s wrong and warranty it if necessary. At some point, the membrane might fail so it’s great to have this to fall back on. With other membranes you are stuck with a leaking jacket after that first year without any recourse. The membrane also breathes so well, it literally pulls the sweat away from your body. I highly recommend reading this description of how it all works, I can’t give you a better explanation than they can!

It also means you need killer baselayers, so whether its 40F or 100F make sure you’ve also invested in proper layers like Icebreakers or Dainese  for the Summer and Schampa for the Winter. And of course, baselayers are important under all motorcycle gear to maximize comfort as well!

I think the Dainese Zima is an amazing option for your beautiful Tuono in terms of fitment. It has a fantastic sporty cut, and if I absolutely needed another Gore-Tex suit it would be high on my list, simply because it’s more fitted and I like my gear really snug and tailored. Actually I recommend Dainese for sporty rides since the pants are tapered at the bottoms (unlike other brands which have touring / bootcut leg fitments). I also think the Tempest isn’t going to be small enough for you, even in 40. The cut on that jacket is a bit looser from what I’ve seen of it in person.


The matching pants would be the Travelguards, and you’ll be the same size as your other Dainese. Unfortunately they’re just not very hip friendly :)  I don't know what Dainese pants you currently own, but the Travelguards will be a little looser in the legs than say the New Drake Airs or Sherman D-Drys. The only downsides to all these Dainese pants is the venting is not direct, to your body like I mentioned above with the Klim Altitude.


However, another option would be the Revit Neptune, if you want a cooler option. You would wear a size 36 in the jacket (if you have broad shoulders) or 34 if you are narrower and don't need extra room in the bust. The thing about this jacket is that the Gore-Tex liner is removable, so you have to put it in to stay dry. That means when you take the liner(s) out, it's a much cooler, vented jacket! Far more versatile, in my opinion. The matching pants would be great as well, and you would probably wear a 38 or 40 since it's a different cut. I think this suit would fit well on the Tuono too. I love Revit fitments, but they aren't as sporty cut as Dainese. If you really want a tighter, more fitted outfit then you'll love them. But this Revit suit is definitely worth checking out as well.

Now, if you aren't convinced that Gore-Tex is worth it then I would recommend the Revit Sand Suit:

revit_sand_jacket_womens revit_sand_pants_womens


This is a MUCH lighter suit for Summer / Spring riding. If your main riding season is going to be summer and warmer weather, you'll love this option. The fitment on the jacket is similar to the Zima, very fitted and narrow in the shoulders/arms. I would also recommend a 36 for the top and 40 for the bottoms. These will definitely work well on the Tuono too! They both have 2 removable liners, one is waterproof and one is thermal so you can really change the layers to your liking. The material is really lightweight, perfect for ultra hot riding weather. If you'd rather be more comfortable in hotter weather then you'll really enjoy this suit.

Between all of these options however, I would personally choose the Dainese Combo Suit because I prefer having my waterproof membrane permanently attached so I don't have to take it on and off. And because I'm so devoted to the Gore-Tex membrane and how it performs. I'd also rather be too warm than too cold, I feel like smaller folks like us are able to take hotter temperatures a bit easier since we're *always* cold!

Hope this helps, Ride Safe.

How I took off my training wheels.

Daytona Ladystar womens motorcycle boots


6 years ago I discovered these amazing boots, said to add 2+ inches of height to your inseam! 

And that they did. At the time I was riding my Ninja 250 and I was at the balls of my feet while wearing Oxtars (discontinued but now known as TCX Auras). I heard these magical boots would add lift, extra comfort and a GORE-TEX (GT) membrane. 

2003 Kawasaki NInja 250 San Francisco motorcycles short beginner

If you read my full review, you'll see how much I relied upon and loved them. I still love them, they're one of the most comfortable boots I've ever worn and the GT liner is fantastic. I still long for a pair of boots with GT liners, so I will keep searching for something that will fit my tiny Euro 36-37, US 6.5-7 feet. There are a few men's boots that are offered in this size, so that may be my next option. 

Sidi Vertigo Womens Motorcycle Boots

Last year I reviewed Sidi's Vertigo Lei and started wearing them daily. I liked having the extra protection and I had never worn a sport boot with that kind of fit. They worked really well on my SV and I added an insole to make them even more comfortable. Unfortunately I lost all the height that I had gained with the Daytonas. I was now almost on my tiptoes and one flat left with a noticeable butt shift to the left off my seat. (vs. a slight lean left). I really had to be careful and more cautious about where I could put my feet down, the pavement grade and more interesting, parking with one foot (since the 2 tiptoes weren't helping). I had to acclimate to wear and review these boots. I knew I could manage, it just took a little time to get used to things. I admit, I didn't like losing all the height but I was also really happy that I didn't really Need the extra height to navigate on my bike. Yes, it was really nice to have it but it wasn't the end of the world!

I remember someone telling me last summer that they liked their Daytonas overall but didn't like how clunky they felt and wanted something lighter. That stuck with me so and I didn't notice until I started wearing the Vertigos how true that was. As a sport boot, they're super lightweight and really lean, making it easier to get your toes under the shifter. Fantastic. 

brammo enertia electric motorcycle san francisco

I definitely couldn't manage a taller, heavier bike with these just yet, but we'll see. I have ridden with these on the Brammo plenty of times since it's a taller but lighter bike (by about ~150 lbs and 2 inches). Sometimes it's all about weight, not height!

However, not long after I started riding the Brammo last summer, I started to break in a pair of Gaerne Black Rose Boots, which were sitting on my  shelf. I got them for the Yamaha Ride Review but never wore them after that. They were still stiff and not broken in so I just reverted to my Daytonas at that time. 

Gaerne Rose Womens Motorcycle Boots Gaerne Rose Womens Motorcycle Boots  

So a few months back I decided to wear these again and break them in. I hadn't worn them so why not break them in and do a review. I only wear them around town since I always try to wear my Vertigos for highway riding. (I did wear my Daytonas a couple times last summer for a couple of trips where I thought the GT would come in handy.)

They are now my every day boots around the city. They're much lighter than the Daytonas and less clunky. I also was surprised at how comfortable they were. I only lost an inch and it hasn't really mattered. I've ridden two even taller, heavier bikes since then with them and I managed just fine: 2012 Aprilia Shiver and 2013 KTM 690 Duke (YES!).


2013 KTM 690 Duke San Francisco Bay Area Scuderia West

Don't let the "2 flat feet rule" (which isn't a rule, more of a guideline) change your perceptions of what you can or can't ride. It may take you a little longer than you'd hoped but motorcycles aren't a 'quick and easy' thing to learn. If you think it is, you may not be ready to ride....

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