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ADV ProductsLong-Term Test: Rukka Roughroad Adventure Riding Suit

Long-Term Test: Rukka Roughroad Adventure Riding Suit

 We put the Roughroad to the test see if it can handle all roads and weather.

Published on 10.04.2019

We’re still enjoying great riding weather this time of year but if you look closely at the leaves, they are starting to change color. The crisp cool air of fall is here and with it comes unpredictable weather swings that can spoil even the best-planned rides. Unless of course you have good riding gear that can manage a variety of weather conditions – exactly what Rukka claims their Roughroad adventure touring suit does. 

The gear designers at the Finnish company Rukka ought to know a thing or two about cold, wet weather riding too with their headquarters just 386 miles from the arctic circle. That could also explain some of the interesting features on this suit. For example, it has a detachable Gore-Tex stretch storm collar that completely covers your neck, and a snap-in Gore-Tex inner liner that incorporates Outlast technology – a material that regulates body temperature by absorbing and releasing body heat with thermocules.
Rukka Roughroad Adventure Suit inner liners with Outlast technology
Detachable inner liners incorporate Outlast thermal regulating technology to help the suit handle a wider range of temperatures.
The jacket features a large removable storm collar that completely covers your neck.
Other premium features include a durable 500D Cordura shell with double safety stitched seams; An AirCushion in the seating area that is said to reduce moisture build up and help regulate temperature; CE Level-1 D3O armor in the shoulders, knees, elbows and hips; a CE Level-2 D3O back protector; leather along the inner legs so you don’t melt your pants on a hot exhaust; and 13 pockets total, including a few waterproof pockets and a rabbit pocket to store your storm collar. 
Rukka Roughroad Adventure Suit D3O knee pads
Large D3O pads cover your elbows, forearms, knees and shins.

There are a range of adjustments to improve fit as well, like a Velcro/elastic jacket waistband, suspenders for the pants, and tension snaps to hold elbow pads in place. In addition, the suit features a prodigious amount of stretch panels along the inner thighs, back of the knee, lower back, shoulders, and arms to give the suit freedom of movement without extra bulk. The Roughroad also incorporates vents on the shoulders, chest, thighs, and along the sides of the jacket.

Rukka Roughroad Adventure Suit stretch panels
Stretch panels around the joints allow the suit to have a contoured fit without limiting range of movement.

After putting the Rukka Roughroad to the test for the last 2 riding seasons in a variety of conditions ranging from blazing hot to chilly downpours, it has held up admirably while at the same time revealing some of its weaknesses. Read on for a full rundown.

How It Performed

Rukka Roughroad Adventure Motorcycle suit

Sliding into the Rukka Roughroad for the first time, the suit felt roomy without having a baggy fit. Stretch panels around the joints made it easy to move around in without constraint. Although, without the suspenders, the pants sagged more than I’d like, even with the Velcro belt adjustments at max. With suspenders on, the pants were comfortable at the waistline and the standard length pants fit well with my 33.5-inch inseam. 

Rukka Roughroad pants
Included suspenders provided a comfortable fit around the waist without sagging. Without them, the pants sagged more than I’d like.

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Another feature immediately noticed was one of the most-comfortable collars I’ve tried before. The Neoprene material offers an airtight fit that doesn’t catch on a scruffy neck, and with the Storm Collar attached, you can avoid getting water down your neck or any wind chafing. A simple Velcro collar strap is also easy to close or open with a gloved hand.

The suit has 13 pockets total, including a few waterproof pockets and a rabbit pocket to store your storm collar. 

Riding in warmer temperatures did show some limitations though.The smallish vents on the shoulders and thighs provide limited airflow. There are also pockets on the chest that provide a small amount of venting but seem to be designed primarily as pockets. No back vents are included in the jacket nor any thigh exhaust vents, which would help circulate the air through the suit. Even so, I did like the long boot zippers on the gaiter-less pant legs that allow you to unzip them to knee height for more airflow, while keeping the bottoms closed with a Velcro strap. The leg openings also didn’t have any problem accommodating tall off-road boots.

Rukka Roughroad Adventure Suit collar
A simple Velcro collar makes attaching it easy with a gloved hand.

Clearly, this suit wasn’t designed for the hot deserts or Southern Spain or California, but it was fairly comfortable riding in the mid-80s F with liners out. The material has good breathability and as a bonus, the joint areas are lined with a velvet like material that reduces any chafing. In addition, Rukka’s AirCushion system offered additional plushness in the seating area for those longer rides.

Rukka Roughroad motorcycle suit review

With liners in, the suit is too hot to wear on a hot day despite the Outlast thermo-regulating material. The liners also had a tendency to catch and pull on the snaps that hold them in place when taking the garments on and off. I would have preferred circumferential zippers for the leg and hand openings for a snag-free fit. Another small nuisance was the Velcro jacket collar closure. In the closed position it’s very comfortable, but if you want to open it up, the method for constraining the excess strap material isn’t well thought out and it continues to flap around in the wind. 

Rukka Roughroad Adventure Suit reviewing

For winter conditions, the Rukka Roughroad feels right at home and even feels a little like wearing ski gear, especially with the suspenders. It proved to be watertight and fairly warm, even without a thermal base layer thanks to the Outlast. In fact, I rode around in a cold downpour for about an hour or so on one occasion and the Gore-Tex/Outlast liner worked admirably to keep me warm and dry. Even better, the breathable Cordura shell resisted loading up with water. And yes, the Storm Collar was a blessing in the rain. 

As far as protection, the large D3O pads included have a lot of coverage for your elbows, forearms, knees and shins. I appreciated the included CE Level-2 back protector as well. And D3O is a molecular armor, so its protection increases at the very moment of impact. However, I was not able to set the knee pads to the right height with the two adjustment options available and the armor sat slightly low on the knees. In one big get off, I had the misfortune of banging my partially covered knee, right where the padding was missing, which left me swollen and bruised for several weeks. At least the suit didn’t look any worse for wear after the fall. Going down one size on the pants, or even going to the short length pants, might have provided a better knee pad placement, but a larger range of adjustment would be appreciated. 

Rukka Roughroad Adventure Suit knee pad
Convenient side panels make removing or adjusting pads a quick task, although a larger range of adjustment would have been appreciated.

Who’s It For

Adventure riders that cover a lot of street miles during their travels will appreciate the ability of the Roughroad to handle nasty weather. It’s also a decent suit for off-road use among those who ride in colder, wetter climates. With a thermal base liner added, riders can extend their riding season or venture into colder climates more confidently with the Outlast technology helping to regulate temps. But its lack of airflow does limit it somewhat in the hotter months in warmer climates, especially during aggressive rides in slow moving terrain.

Our Verdict

Anyone considering the Roughroad suit should first check the knee pad placement to make sure it covers your knees completely. Assuming you can get a good fit for your body type, the Roughroad is a tough suit with good armor and weather protection. It’s tuned more for colder climates or for use as a winter weather suit, but can still hack it in warmer weather if you ask it to (with liners out) on occasion. The fit is contoured and comfortable for an ADV suit, and it’s got one of the best feeling collars on the market. 

What We Liked

  • Top notch waterproofing and cold-weather protection.
  • Good protection with Inclusion of a CE Level-2 D3O back protector.
  • Neoprene collar keeps airtight seal and is soft on the neck.
  • Good freedom of movement with a contoured fit.

What Could Be Improved 

  • Improved range in height adjustment for the knee pads to fit a larger range of riders.
  • Back vents, lower arm vents and more-effective chest vents to improve airflow.
  • Circumferential inner liner zippers around the arm and leg openings to prevent catching.
  • Create a better snap-back open collar to prevent flapping in the wind.

Rukka Roughroad Specs

COLORS: Jacket & Pants (Black/Grey, Dark Grey/Hi Viz, Orange/Sand
SIZES: Jacket (46-66), Pant (48-66 short, 46-66 regular, 48-58 long)
PRICE: Jacket ($899), Pant ($699)

Shopping Options

Roughroad JacketRoughroad Pants

Photos by Stephen Gregory & Sean Klinger

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 Mexico, North Africa, Europe, 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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2 thoughts on “Long-Term Test: Rukka Roughroad Adventure Riding Suit

  1. You mention the pants are a bit too big with your 33.5 inch waist and the knee protector didn’t position well. What is your height and what pants size did you use? I am 6’2″, 200 lbs and a 35″ waist.