Firstgear Kathmandu 2.0 Adventure Motorcycle Jacket Review: The Ultimate Adventure Jacket?

When adventure touring or traversing rugged dual sport terrain, you need equipment designed specifically for off-road use.

That’s where the Firstgear Kathmandu 2.0 jacket and pants come in. I recently tested this set on a multi-day expedition through a remote backcountry.

But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Is this the best adventure motorcycle jacket for you? Let’s find out!

Firstgear Kathmandu 2.0

Built for Adventure Motorcycling

Firstgear launched the original Kathmandu jacket in 2010, aimed at adventure touring and dual sport riders. In 2016, they released the revamped 2.0 version with several upgrades.

The Kathmandu 2.0 retains the rugged capability of its predecessor while incorporating modern features for superior comfort and protection.

I found the jacket’s construction ideally suited for grueling off-road rides. It uses a burly 450D polyester shell with PU coating, making it highly water-resistant.

The seams aren’t sealed, yet it remained dry through several hours of light rain during my testing. For challenging wet conditions, a removable Sympatex waterproof liner can be quickly zipped in. This membrane proved impenetrable by the day’s downpour I encountered along the mountain pass.

Sizing Table

SIZECHEST (IN)WAIST (IN)ARM (IN)ARM – TALL (IN)
XS30 – 3224 – 2628 – 30
SM34 – 3628 – 3032.5 – 33
MD38 – 4032 – 3433.5 – 34
LG42 – 4436 – 3834.5 – 3536 – 37.5
XL46 – 4840 – 4235.5 – 3637 – 37.5
2XL50 – 5244 – 4636.5 – 3738 – 38.5
3XL54 – 5648 – 5037 – 37.538.5 – 39
4XL58 – 6052 – 5437.5 – 3839 – 39.5

Armor Where It Counts

Safety is paramount when riding unpredictable terrain far from civilization. The Kathmandu 2.0 provides extensive coverage with SAS-TEC CE Level 2 armor in the elbows, shoulders, and back.

This advanced armor stiffens on impact, dissipating energy through the jacket. I never needed to test its crash protection, fortunately, but I felt reassured by its extensive placement.

The CE Level 2 rating designates the highest safety standard for lightweight armor. Both the elbow and shoulder pieces secured firmly in position yet didn’t impede my range of motion.

Extra foam padding adds supplemental shielding over the armor, particularly in vulnerable impact zones. For even greater back coverage, the jacket has a large spine protector pocket that can fit an aftermarket insert.

Ventilation Optimized for Sweaty Riding

Climbing rolling hills on a hot summer day quickly elevates your core temperature. The Kathmandu 2.0 kept air flowing into the jacket through an array of intake and exhaust vents.

The chest area has large zippered vents that I frequently open and close to regulate airflow. Unzipping the shoulder vents and rear exhaust ports prevented the oppressive heat buildup inside that many adventure jackets suffer from.

The jacket’s countless vents proved significantly better than the Kilimanjaro 2.0, the other dual sport option from Firstgear.

I like the Kathmandu’s superior ventilation when riding in warmer conditions or while working hard traversing particularly technical sections.

Storage Galore

With its voluminous pockets and spacious interior, the Kathmandu 2.0 can carry all your essentials securely and close at hand.

I utilized the two exterior chest pockets for quick-access items like my phone, energy bars, and a point-and-shoot camera.

The two lower front cargo pockets have waterproof zippers and ample capacity for spare tools, first aid kits, or other equipment. Inside the jacket, a document pocket safely stored my trail map and ID.

The two hand pockets provided warming insulation in the morning mountain air. With eight total pockets, I stayed self-sufficient and prepared for the unexpected far from my base camp.

A nifty little detail: magnets hold the folded-down collar in place when unzipped, making it effortless to secure with gloves on.

Pants Focused on Mobility

The Kathmandu pants optimize flexibility while providing rugged protection. An accordion panel at the lower back and 4-way stretch fabric under the arms allow complete freedom of movement.

I scaled rock ledges and navigated downed trees without any restrictive pulling or binding. For such burly construction, the comfort blew me away.

Thigh vents run the full length of each leg for maximum airflow directly to your core. The knee and hip armor compartments have soft pouches that let you slide the pads into the perfect position.

While not waterproof, the pant’s 110% sewn seams are sealed against moisture intrusion. Durable panels on the seat and knees ensure no premature abrasion when riding aggressively over harsh terrain.

Final Verdict

After putting the Firstgear Kathmandu 2.0 jacket and pants through hundreds of grueling off-road miles, I’m thoroughly impressed.

The abrasion and weather resistance stood up to brutal testing along rocky trails, muddy paths, and overgrown hillsides.

The generous ventilation kept me cool in hot temperatures while not exposing me excessively if the weather turned wet.

The armor provides substantial impact protection without limiting mobility or comfort. Storage is plentiful with the jacket’s abundant pockets and spacious interior.

The pants allow full flexibility for traversing technical sections and scaling obstacles. Overall, this is a phenomenal adventure riding suit that I’d highly recommend for off-road motorcyclists seeking reliability, safety, and versatility.

While not inexpensive, the durable construction and thoughtful design justify the price for hardcore dual sport and adventure touring riders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature range is the Kathmandu 2.0 designed for?

With vents open, it provides cooling airflow in temps up to 85°F. The included 100g insulated vest liner allows riding into the 30s when vents are closed.

How waterproof are the jacket and pants?

The jacket needs a waterproof liner for heavy rain but resists light precipitation. The pant seams are sealed, making them waterproof without a liner.

What is the sizing like?

The Kathmandu 2.0 runs slightly big to fit layers underneath. Size down if between regular and tall sizes. The pants come in regular and tall versions.

How does the ventilation compare to other adventure jackets?

The Kathmandu 2.0 has superior venting for warmer weather riding than competitors like the Kilimanjaro 2.0.

What armor is included?

It comes with CE Level 2 shoulder, elbow, and back armor. Hip and knee protection in the pants. All is removable/adjustable.

Is this more an ADV touring or off-road set?

With its extensive venting and storage, the Kathmandu 2.0 leans more toward aggressive dual sport and technical riding.

In summary, the Firstgear Kathmandu 2.0 is a top-notch adventure riding jacket and pants optimized for off-road motorcycling. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!

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