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ADV NewsREV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Jacket And Pants Review

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Jacket And Pants Review

We take a thorough look at REV’IT!’s top-shelf Adventure Suit after receiving updates.

Published on 04.11.2023

For eight years it sat at the top of the food chain in REV’IT!’s adventure touring suit lineup and with a name like ‘The Dominator’ you know the Dutch brand is mighty proud of their creation. The Dominator 3 GTX was designed to be prepared for anything mother nature, the road or trails might throw at you. In the past, this do-it-all design made for a bulkier, stiffer, heavier jacket and pants. As part of a complete revamp in 2021, REV’IT! set out to streamline and improve upon their feature-packed Adventure Suit in an effort to make it even more… dominating?

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review
Both jacket and pants now meet the coveted CE ‘AA’ safety rating.

We’ve been putting the new Dominator through its paces since the Fall of 2021 on a number of different adventures over thousands of miles, and even through a few spills. Having reviewed the previous Dominator GTX in 2018, we were also curious to see if the new changes made a significant improvement in what was already a pretty solid suit. So let’s get into it, starting with what you get and what’s new.

Dominator 3 GTX Tech

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review
The Dominator 3 GTX uses a 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro shell for the highest waterproofing and breathability performance. Gone is the 600D Nylon layer used in the previous iteration now replaced with a 400D Nylon fabric for a more comfortable and lighter feel.

The Dominator 3 GTX features a laminated 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro shell for the highest waterproofing and breathability performance. This is bonded to a layer of 400D Nylon that provides abrasion and tear resistance, instead of the 600D Nylon used in the previous iteration, which gave it a heavier, hotter, stiffer feel. And for the high-impact areas around the joints, they now use higher-density 500D stretch Nylon for even more protection and additional comfort. For extra abrasion resistance in the high-impact zones, REV’IT! uses a new style of Armacor fabric technology that is laser printed in a grid pattern on the elbows, shoulders, shins and knees. The previous suit used a layer of tiny ceramic beads, which were a little heavier and less flexible.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review
High-impact areas around the joints now use higher-density 500D stretch Nylon for even more protection. For extra abrasion resistance the suit features high-tech Armacor fabric that is laser printed in a new grid pattern on the elbows, shoulders, shins and knees.

As for the armor, you’re getting CE Level 2 in the back, elbows, shoulders, and knees, plus CE Level 1 armor in the hips. The jacket also features a 3D protector pocket to accommodate a chest protector. Both jacket and pants use REV’IT!’s proprietary molecular armor that hardens on impact and a honeycomb pattern keeps the air flowing. Plus pads are asymmetric to better contour to each joint. For this latest version, REV’IT! also reduced the height of the knee pads while still maintaining the same CE Layer 2 protection rating. The shell features an array of reflective panels for nighttime visibility as well, and utilizes ‘safety seams’ in its construction to help ensure everything stays together in a fall. Furthermore, both jacket and pants now meet the coveted CE ‘AA’ safety rating.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review
Both jacket and pants use REV’IT!’s proprietary molecular armor that hardens on impact while its flexible honeycomb pattern keeps the air flowing. For this latest version, the height of the knee pads has been reduced while still maintaining the same CE Layer 2 protection rating.

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As before, the new Dominator has a total of 10 vents on the jacket located on the chest, stomach, upper and lower arms, and back. The two VCS Aquadefence chest vents use zippered covers that peel back and hold in place with a magnetic snap. The surface area of each vent is now larger than previously, offering even more airflow. There’s also a new design for the forearm vents that give them more of a ram air induction effect, forcing the air in while moving. The pants get four vents including the larger VCS Aquadefence vents on the front thighs, and there is now an even longer exhaust vent on the back of each leg to further improve flowthrough.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review
The new Dominator jacket has a total of 10 vents including two larger VCS Aquadefence chest panels for more airflow. A new design for the forearm vents give them more of a ram air induction effect, forcing the air in while moving.

There’s plenty of storage in the Dominator jacket too, packed with six front pockets, two internal pockets, a hidden stash pocket on the removable kidney belt, an I.D. pocket on the left forearm, and an expandable rabbit pouch on the back. Two of the front pockets are fleece lined to better warm the hands, and now have an angled opening rather than directly from the sides. The pants are well-appointed with pockets too featuring two front hand pockets, along with two newly-added cargo pockets.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Test
The pants get four vents including the larger VCS Aquadefence panels on the front thighs, and there is now an even longer exhaust vent on the back of each leg to further improve flowthrough.

As before, the suit features adjustment straps on the calves and elbows to ensure armor stays in place, although the bicep strap of the previous version has now been deleted. Other items like the side zippers on the jacket and adjustable waist straps (both jacket and pants) help you further customize the fit, while Velcro panels on the pant’s legs allow you to snug up the closure around either motocross or street boots.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Test
The jacket has plenty of storage including six front pockets, two internal pockets, a hidden pocket on the removable kidney belt, an I.D. pocket on the left forearm, and an expandable rabbit pouch on the back. Two of the front pockets are fleece lined to better warm the hands, and now have an angled opening.

Other new features include a detachable bib with suspenders that helps improve upper body warmth in colder climates, while also keeping your trousers in place. Plus a set of zippered-on stretch cuffs and a Velcro-attach storm collar help block cold air from trying to get in — both easily removed and stowed away when not in use. 

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Test

The collar opening also sees another change with the use of a snap-back holder rather than a hook and loop design. Yet the collar still features the convenient ‘Flexisnap’ slide-adjustment to customize the fit around your neck when closed. Another useful new feature is a strap on the back of the jacket that makes carrying or hanging it easier. And, the slide lock front pant closure from the Dominator 2 has now been replaced with a traditional snap design. 

How It Performed

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Test

Taking the Dominator for a spin for the first time, one thing I noticed right off the bat while adjusting the fit was a new set of adjustment strap pull tabs on the waist, calves and forearms. It’s a nice feature that works as a quick release mechanism when you want to loosen things up a bit after a ride. Re-tensioning the straps can usually be done with one hand now too. Despite the improvements, I did notice the waist adjustments can loosen up over time.

Overall, the cut of the Dominator is streamlined while maintaining a roomy feel — something I noticed on the previous version as well. But one notable difference is in how the V3 suit feels much lighter, less bulky and more pliable. Ample use of stretch material around the shoulders and knees keeps it form fitting, without impeding range of movement. Plus the asymmetric pads on the knees, elbows and shoulders fit like a glove. Now more than ever, it feels like an extension of your body rather than a garment hanging off of you.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Test

As before, the interior of the coat and pants feels comfortable on the skin with its Aero Cool 3D mesh inner lining that is smooth to the touch, while also providing moisture wicking when things get hot. There’s a nice velvet-lined collar as well, which features a soft neoprene edge to keep it water tight. Adjusting the tension on the closed collar is done easily with the slide-adjust mechanism. And while the new snap-back collar gets the job done with its simplicity, I do prefer the previous hook-n-loop design because it was easier to tie-back the collar with a gloved hand. Same goes with the new front closure snap on the pants. It’s simple and works, but I liked how the old slide-lock closure design had you fully locked in. 

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Test
The pants have a long zipper opening and are wide enough to easily accommodate enduro boots.

Another significant change in the design is in the knee pad protection. Going smaller usually isn’t a good thing but in this case, the new shorter knee pad design works better. Previously, the longish knee pads didn’t interact as well with taller boots. Being an over the boot design, the pads sit on top of the boot and could catch at the opening sometimes, causing the pad to move out of position. Now the shorter design of the pads allows them to slot into the upper boot perfectly and they are a lot easier to remove and reinstall for cleaning There’s also roughly an inch and a half of pad position adjustment, controlled by Velcro stoppers, that lets you get them placed where you need them for your particular femur length. And while I liked the new pad design, I wasn’t as thrilled about the inner lining material on the knees that isn’t as soft as before. After several days of continuous off-road riding, I did start to notice some mild chafing on the knees.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Test

Another noticeable change is felt in the form of improved breathability and temperature while riding. This is caused primarily by changing from a heavy 600D Nylon abrasion layer to a lighter 400D. Where before the suit handled mid 50’s F without needing to stop to put on a base layer, now that threshold comes on sooner in the high 50’s F. You can also give the suit an extra boost of warmth for those frigid days or evenings, by installing the storm collar, stretch cuffs and chest bib.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Test
The new Dominator includes a detachable bib with suspenders to help improve upper body warmth in colder climates while also keeping your trousers in place. You can also give the suit an extra boost of warmth by installing the storm collar and stretch cuffs.

At the other extreme, the suit’s lighter materials, plus the improvements to the ventilation scheme all around, means it handles the heat better than before. At slower speeds, the old suit hit its comfort limit at about 80°F with all the vents opened up. Now it can take you well into the mid-to-high 80s F. Once you work up a good sweat, you also get a nice evaporative cooling effect from the moisture wicking properties of the liner and Gore-Tex shell. As far as opening up the vents, it’s fairly quick and easy to do. The VCS chest and thigh vents are pretty slick with their magnetic clasps, and many of the front facing vents can be closed while you ride with a gloved hand.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review
REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review

While the Dominator excels at evaporating body moisture, it also keeps rain drops out. On one trip in the Lost Sierra, we got caught in a heavy rainstorm that we plowed through for several hours. With temps down in the mid-50s F and the added cooling effect of the rain, it was definitely starting to get chilly without a mid-layer but I didn’t have to pull over to put on another layer. Throughout the ride, all water was repelled and never loaded up in the layers. The Dominator did its job keeping my body completely dry, fending off what could have become a miserable day.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review
REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review
The Dominator showed only a few minor scratches after a fair amount of sliding on pavement due to the crash. Luckily, I walked away with just a sore back from the impact.

How is the crash protection? Typically, we don’t try to crash test our riding gear for obvious self-preservation reasons, but it does happen more often than we like. During one ‘test’ a riding buddy hit me from the rear as I was slowing down in front of him, which took both of us out going about 35 mph on asphalt. Luckily, I walked away with just a sore back from the impact. Even though there was a fair amount of sliding on pavement, the only sign of it on the dominator suit was a few minor scratch marks on the pants leg and nothing wore through.

Who’s It for

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review

Anyone going on a big adventure where they will be living in their riding suit for multiple days or weeks and expect to encounter significant variations in the climate. It’s also a good investment for any adventure rider who rides year round or clocks a lot of miles each year, especially those who encounter rain and cold frequently.

Our Verdict

One of the major complaints we hear about with high-end, waterproof, do-it-all riding suits is that they are too bulky, hot and heavy. REV’IT! has taken great strides to improve in this area with the Dominator 3 GTX. Previously I’d hesitate to use the Dominator 2 GTX on any off-road trips that might encounter temperatures in the 80s. Now it’s much less of a concern. And while the temperature range isn’t as good for the cold, you can always add warmth by adding a layer, the suspenders bib, storm collar, or cuffs. With heat, once you’ve reached the suit’s max comfortable temperature, there’s not much you can do after that, so moving that comfortable heat range higher opens up the Dominator to a much wider range of trips.

REV’IT! Dominator 3 GTX Review

What We Liked

  • New lighter, less-bulky feel.
  • Excellent protection in the rain.
  • Improved comfort in warmer climates.
  • Knee pads slot perfectly into the top of taller boots.

What Could Be Improved

  • Pant’s belt can loosen up over time.
  • Bring back the softer inner lining material on the knees please.

Dominator 3 GTX Specs

  • JACKET COLORS: Black, Silver-Blue, Silver-Anthracite
  • PANT COLORS: Black, Silver-Black
  • SIZES: Jacket (SM-4XL), Pant (S-4XL, MD-2XL Short, MD-2XL Tall)
  • PRICE: Jacket ($1499.99), Pant ($979.99)

Shopping Options

Jacket Pants

Photos by Ely Woody and Karla Robleto

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney
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mrdramafree
mrdramafree
April 11, 2023 12:44 pm

Great review. I think price is a con and belt shouldn’t loosen already for that price point.

Rob Dabney
Rob Dabney
April 11, 2023 5:49 pm
Reply to  mrdramafree

Unfortunately, gear with this much tech is going to be pricey. But I have seen REV’IT!’s cutting-edge tech eventually trickles down to their more-affordable suits overtime. But yeah, I agree with you that belt shouldn’t loosen up at this price. For a quick fix, I added a little tape to give it more bite. Thanks for the kind words!

Quin Marais
Quin Marais
April 11, 2023 2:05 pm

Imo Airbags are coming in a major way – hard armour is a thing of the past already. Next year Revit will make one, no doubt. And For some reason, I just don’t like the pinto goat colour designs in fashion for adv atm. Keep up the reviews Rob – very thorough!

Rob Dabney
Rob Dabney
April 11, 2023 5:53 pm
Reply to  Quin Marais

It will be interesting to see how airbags evolve the industry. It’s really changed competitive motorsports safety in a good way. Thanks for the encouragement. We’ll keep it up!

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