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ADV NewsMSR Xplorer: Value-Focused ADV Suit Packed With Premium Features

MSR Xplorer: Value-Focused ADV Suit Packed With Premium Features

New ADV Jacket & Pants offer high-end features without the premium price.

Published on 03.06.2023
At the end of the day, we can have an adventure on any motorcycle. Weather, terrain and skills do a lot to make or break the experience, though all three are fluctuating commodities. But there is one element we control that can make a huge difference between an awesome ride and a miserable one, and that’s the gear we choose, with a helmet-to-boot riding suit the main player.

Certainly there are a lot of good-looking, comfortable, versatile and protective options on the market these days, but one problem is that most quality suits cost a small fortune. Enter this new ensemble from MSR (Malcolm Smith Racing), the Xplorer ADV Jacket and Pants, which have been designed to offer “premium construction, durability and protection, without the premium price tag.”

MSR Xplorer Adventure Suit

So what do you get? 

MSR has a long history as an off-road staple brand, and though the company was long ago sold by its legendary namesake, Malcom Smith, its current owner and exclusive distributor Rocky Mountain ATV/MC is still churning out a useful line of off-road related products under the MSR banner. 


The Xplorer Jacket and Pants are loaded with important features, including removable state of the art CE Level 1 rated D30 molecular armor for elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and back. As we know, CE rated armor is the gold standard for protection, so seeing it in this mid-priced suit is a definite plus. Another bonus, the elbow and knee pockets are adjustable to sit higher or lower, something anyone who has struggled with ill-placed armor will appreciate.   

MSR Xplorer Adventure Suit
High-tech Superfabric reinforcement in the shoulders, elbows and knees offer greater wear protection and abrasion resistance in a fall.

The suit incorporates advanced SuperFabric in shoulder, elbow and knee/shin areas, another component typically seen only in higher-priced suits. SuperFabric is basically nylon overlayed with tiny, rigid plates gridded in a way so that the fabric remains flexible. Originally designed for the medical field as a glove fabric that could resist punctures from needles and surgical knives, SuperFabric is now a benchmark material used in military, industrial and, yup, motorcycle gear. 

MSR Xplorer Adventure Suit
D3O molecular armor in the elbows, shoulders, knees, hips and back remains soft and pliable until impact when the molecules lock together to absorb and dissipate the energy.

The Xplorer suit incorporates a 3-layer waterproof eVent fabric that’s built right into the mesh-lined shell, so there is no extra liner to snap or zip in and out of when the weather changes. Like its Gore-Tex counterpart, eVent is designed to be highly waterproof and breathable, and is used by a number of different outdoor gear brands like Sea to Summit, New Balance and Mosko Moto. Additionally, and in keeping with the current trend in high-end suits , there is no integrated thermal liner, though the 2023 MSR line does include a new, affordable Mid Layer Jacket ($45) and Pants ($35) which can be worn underneath for added warmth. 

MSR Xplorer Jacket and Pants
The Xplorer jacket and pants use a fabric called eVent that is highly abrasion-resistant, breathable and waterproof up to 100 feet of water pressure.

Vents and pockets on the Xplorer jacket are plentiful, with four large zippered intake vents on the bicep and chest area that work in tandem with two large zippered exhaust vents on the back of the jacket. The chest vents are wisely positioned toward the center of the jacket so as not to be covered by backpack straps. 

 A two-way zippered vent is also found on each forearm and we like that you can open it fully or partially while keeping the structural integrity of the sleeve, as opposed to having wrist vents that open from the cuffs. Another smart feature, the velcro straps that cinch the wrist areas don’t cross the forearm zippers, so you can take the  jacket on and off without having to redo the Velcro strap tension each time.

MSR Xplorer Jacket and Pants
MSR Xplorer Jacket and Pants

The Xplorer jacket’s array of pockets include two hand pockets with snap closures, two waterproof cargo-style pockets mid torso, a single chest pocket with Velcro closure, an ID pocket on the left forearm and two zippered interior pockets at chest level. In addition, there is a large pocket on the back of the jacket with hose outlet and routing straps to accommodate an integrated water bladder (not included).

The matching pants offer two zippered intake vents and two zippered exhaust vents in the thigh area. There are two standard, zippered hand warmer pockets as well as two waterproof cargo-style thigh pockets. Embossed leather lines the inner knee areas to provide increased grip on the tank for control during off-road maneuvers, as well as protection from the exhaust in case of accidental contact.  

MSR Xplorer Jacket and Pants
MSR Xplorer Jacket and Pants

The pants are step-in style and feature zippered gussets at the cuff easy on/off over motocross boots. The cuffs batten down using adjustable snaps while armor can be cinched tight via straps. The jacket can also be tailored using waist, forearm and collar straps. A handy cinch cord around the bottom of the jacket helps keep weather out and incorporates a unique quick-release button to release tension.

MSR Xplorer Jacket and Pants
MSR Xplorer Adventure Suit

The fit of this suit is touted as “American,” which just means a more relaxed fit than tighter European styles. As for colors, there are the expected black and gray/black offerings, but also a sweet blue with vibrant orange zippers.

Coming in at $399.99 for the jacket and $359.99 for the pants, the Xplorer offers great value. Anyone who’s shopped premium adventure suits lately knows that’s far less than the majority of high-end offerings touting similar features. An added bonus? The Xplorer suit comes with free shipping and a fit guarantee with free round-trip return shipping on first exchange. There’s also a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects.

WATCH: MSR Xplorer jacket and pants walkaround.

And if you visit Rocky Mountain ATV/MC to see the new Xplorer suit, you might want to check out the other ADV-minded MSR goodies released for 2023. There are the mid layers we linked above, as well as a Performance Base Layer Shirt ($30) and Performance Base Layer Pants ($30). New gloves options include ADV Air Gloves ($30), ADV Wind Block Gloves ($35), both of which feature D3O molecular armor, as well as an ADV Cold Weather Glove ($50). 

Top Features

  • eVent DV Expedition 3-layer waterproof fabric integrated into shell.
  • Superfabric overlays in the shoulders, elbows, knees, shins.
  • 630 Denier twisted nylon fabric overlays in high wear areas.
  • Removable D3O CE Level-1 armor in the shoulders, elbows, knees, hips and back.
  • Water-resistant YKK zippers throughout.
  • Pants come in standard and ‘Tall’ sizes.
  • 8 zippered vents on the jacket and 4 on the pants.
  • 10 pockets on the jacket and 4 on the pants.
  • Includes rear hydration pocket with hose outlet and forearm ID pocket.
  • Adjustment straps at the waist, forearm calves
  • Adjustable cinch cord around jacket bottom with quick-release button.
MSR Xplorer Adventure Suit

Shopping Options

Xplorer JacketXplorer Pants

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge

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March 6, 2023 3:00 pm

Ooh looks nice!


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