MO Tested: KLIM Baja S4 Review
I’m a gear nerd. Have been, and hope to always be. I nerd out on unique materials, armor, and the latest and greatest of motorcycle gear. That makes me a sucker for KLIM’s heavily researched and developed garments. Toward the end of 2019, I had the chance to join the folks at KLIM for a 2020 product launch and an inside look at some of the materials technology that was being developed and tested at the Gore Labs in Maryland. It was akin to touring Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
The Baja S4 gear was originally released at EICMA 2019 last November, but during my time in Maryland I actually had a chance to try on, and have a closer look at this new gear. I’ve been excited about this jacket and pant combo since that trip to Maryland. Now that I’ve been able to put the Baja S4 kit through its paces in all sorts of weather and riding conditions, I’m thrilled to report that I’m still just as stoked on the KLIM Baja S4 jacket and pants.
The chassis of both are made of Schoeller-Dynatec nylon mesh and KLIM’s own Karbonite Micromesh 1000-denier stretch-woven nylon panels. These combine to deliver a ton of stretch which makes the Baja S4 jacket and pants incredibly comfortable. When working hard on the trail, they also allow for maximum breathability. This jacket and pant combo breathes substantially better than any other adventure gear that I’ve tested. Down to the placement of the pockets and liner, KLIM has optimized airflow in the Baja S4. Of course, that also means there is no closing the vents. So, if you’re looking for four-season functionality, KLIM has other options for that. The waterproof Enduro S4 outer shell was made to compliment the Baja S4 in adverse weather conditions, but more on that later.
The aforementioned materials are also quite robust. I have yet to have any snags in the material despite trailside branches trying their best. For additional abrasion resistance, KLIM uses panels of ceramic-plated Superfabric in the shoulders, elbows, and knees. Impact protection is managed by D3O level 1 vented pads in the elbows, shoulders, knees, hips and back. The flexibility of the D3O armor adds to the overall comfort of the garment.
Keeping with KLIM’s trend of offering ample storage, the jacket has two outer pockets with zipper and Velcro closures as well as hand warmer pockets behind the zippered pockets which are secured with a snap. There is also a rear pocket for stuffing whatever types of layers you might want to shed. There are three inner pockets as well as a pocket behind the back protector for a two liter hydration pack. World travelers will appreciate the inclusion of KLIM’s signature hidden passport pocket as well. In total, the jacket has 10 pockets, which should be more than enough for you to lose your keys in.
The pants have diagonal pockets, which are easy to access while standing or seated and use zipper and Velcro flap closures. The pants also feature leather panels on the inside of the legs for additional grip and heat protection.
Fit is spot on with other KLIM gear, though it’s one of the few nitpicks I have with the brand as a whole. With garments that are so technical and expensive, it boggles my mind that sizing is only offered in S-3X. The Baja S4 pant is available in 30-44 with smaller runs having the option for short and tall inseams. With the Badlands Pro, such a beefy, heavy ADV jacket and pants, not being able to get the sizing perfect is a big issue, and it’s one that causes me to not use them as much as I might otherwise. With the Baja S4, the amount of stretch that it gives you makes up for some areas that might not fit as well. Still, I’d like to see KLIM gear available in Euro sizes (48, 50, 52, so on and so forth) to give riders a better opportunity for the right fit.
Additional details such as the 3M Scotchlite C790 Carbon Black reflective material, the hooks on the chest for holding the collar open, and the zipper connecting the jacket and pants go further to illustrate the thought that goes into KLIM gear. KLIM’s employees are hardcore riders and it shows in the development of its gear.
The jacket and pants come in Sage/Strike Orange, Monument Gray, and Black/Kinetic Blue and retail for $550 and $450, respectively.
The KLIM Baja S4 has become my go-to for adventure riding. It’s typically warm here in southern California, and I run hot. So, having the ventilated gear that can withstand the rigors of use off-road is a necessity. If you’re a loyal MO reader, you’ll notice I’ve used the Baja S4 in every adventure test in 2020 so far, and you’ll likely keep seeing it.
Bonus! KLIM Enduro S4 Review
The Enduro S4 waterproof layer is meant to complement the Baja S4 should you find yourself in soggy and/or cool riding conditions. The Enduro S4 jacket and pants are made of a Schoeller waterproof four-way stretch material that is both durable and breathable.
While the Enduro S4 doesn’t offer as much stretch as the Baja S4, it is much more comfortable than your standard PVC outer layer, not to mention it actually breathes. For ease of entry, the pants have zippers all the way up both legs which makes donning them easy, even in moto boots.
The Enduro S4 jacket has two zippered handwarmer pockets as well as a back vent and pit vents. The same Scotchlite black reflective material from the Baja S4 is also used on the Enduro S4 jacket and pants.
My only complaint is that, for an additional layer, the Enduro S4 doesn’t pack down very small. It’s fairly substantial on its own. If I have the room though, I’d much prefer bringing the Enduro S4 to a cheap pack jacket. I’ve only used the Enduro S4 in heavy mist and cold temps, but it does a great job of blocking wind, I’m sure it will do just as good with water.
The Enduro S4 is available in Burnt Olive/Strike Orange and Black. Retail price is $300 for the jacket and $280 for the pants.
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