Klim Badlands Pro Jacket Review: Worth the Investment?

Klim’s Badlands Pro jacket and pants are considered top-of-the-line gear for hardcore adventure riding. But with a price tag of over $1000 for just the jacket, is this investment really worth it for the average rider? And is this the best gore-tex motorcycle jacket for you?

As a long-time motorcycle journalist and riding enthusiast, I decided to put these premium pieces to the test.

Klim Badlands Pro Jacket Review

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Key Takeaways

An In-Depth Look at the Key Features

The Badlands Pro represents the third generation of Klim’s flagship adventure riding jacket and pants. For 2018, they’ve made some significant upgrades while keeping the core DNA intact. Here are some of the key features and technologies:

  • Constructed using three-layer Gore-Tex Pro laminate, this is about as good as it gets for guaranteed waterproofing and breathability. Leading the industry in motorcycle-specific waterproof fabrics.
  • Superfabric panels on the shoulders provide extreme abrasion resistance in key impact zones. Tiny ceramic plates create a slick surface for sliding in a crash.
  • D3O Viper Pro armor is now used in the shoulders, elbows, back, hips, and knees. This “soft armor” is flexible when moving but rigidens on impact to absorb energy. Market-leading impact protection.
  • Redesigned collar with soft fleece lining and no snaps for comfort. Shorter stand-up design with a lip to block air infiltration.
  • 12 vents, including 2 new back vents, provide tremendous airflow when opened up. Helpful for adapting to warm weather.
  • Overall, it reduced weight compared to the previous generation. Lighter-duty outer shell materials are used in non-impact zones.

These features show the meticulous design that goes into premium adventure gear like the Badlands Pro.

The goal is to maximize protection and comfort across a wide range of conditions and riding scenarios. Long-distance travel over varying terrain demands apparel with this degree of versatility.

Putting the Badlands Pro to the Test

To truly evaluate the Klim Badlands Pro Gor-Tex jacket and pants, I needed to use them in real-world riding over an extended period. My testing plan consisted of:

  • A multi-day trip through the Pacific Northwest covering 500 miles. Conditions included rain, wind, heat, and elevation changes.
  • Riding varied paved roads along with gravel, dirt, and rocky mountain trails.
  • Temperatures range from low 60s F (16C) to upper 80s F (31C).
  • Focus on comfort, ventilation, waterproofing, and protection. Documenting issues and standout features.

This diverse testing plan would reveal how the Badlands Pro handled the type of unpredictable situations adventure riders experience.

I compared my impressions to other premium adventure gear I’ve tested, like the Rukka Armaxion and the Rev’It Sand 3. Here’s how the Klim performed.

Ventilation and Comfort – Unrestricted Airflow

My biggest concern initially was ventilation since waterproof shells can run hot. However, the Badlands Pro impressed me with its airflow from the start.

Opening up the 12 vents creates unimpeded exhaust out the back and plenty of air circulation across the torso.

The redesigned sleeve vents efficiently direct airflow inside the jacket as well. I stayed comfortable in 80+ F (27C) temps as long as I was moving with the vents open. The removable thermal liner allows you to adjust for colder weather, too.

The shorter collar with fleece lining also proved very comfortable, even when fully zipped. There were no pressure points, and it sealed out wind effectively. Sizing is relaxed enough to layer base layers underneath without restriction.

Bombproof Waterproofing that Actually Breathes

The Pacific Northwest delivered plenty of rain during my test to verify the Klim Badlands Pro Gor-Tex jacket and pants are 100% waterproof.

Not a single leak through the outer shell, even when riding for hours through heavy downpours.

Just as importantly, the Gore-Tex fabric breathes exceptionally well to prevent an internal sauna. As advertised, sweat does escape while rain stays out. Going with the top-tier Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer laminate was the right choice.

I stayed dry inside and out thanks to sealed zippers and taped seams throughout. Standing water is quickly shed off the jacket with a shake.

However, the outer pockets no longer have waterproof zippers, which is a downgrade for storing sensitive items.

Protection You Can Count On

Although I was fortunate not to need to test the crash protection, the Badlands Pro sets the standard for adventure riding impact resistance.

The Superfabric shoulders provide an extra abrasion buffer in a vulnerable zone while remaining flexible and lightweight.

The extensive coverage of the D3O Viper Pro armor at the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and back gives me peace of mind against blunt impacts. Low profile and comfortable until you need it.

No matter the terrain, I feel reassured by the extensive safety features built into the Klim Badlands Pro Gor-Tex jacket and pants.

They offer complete coverage tailored specifically for motorcycle riding. I’m confident relying on this gear in the event of a motorcycle crash.

Versatility Across Riding Conditions

With its four-season design, the Badlands Pro offers incredible versatility to adapt to changing riding conditions.

One day, I was riding through rain and 50-degree temperatures. The next, I was hammering dirt trails in 80+ degree heat.

But the Klim jacket and pants kept me comfortable across the range. When cold, the insulation and Gore-Tex shell block wind and water.

Venting opens up to dump heat and let air circulate when temps rise. The pants allow layering thermals when needed, too.

The Badlands Pro truly excels in adventure motorcycle riding across varying terrain and