Elemental Protection

With some of the best trail rides in the country taking place in some of the remotest and inhospitable locations, it pays to be prepared. Heading into the back blocks of the Waioru desert in a t-shirt or heading up the Dansys Pass in your finest moto gear isn’t gonna do you much good when your bike conks out or a dumb crash leaves you stranded at the side of the track waiting to be rescued. Being prepared can be the difference between the incident being a slight bummer of a day or a real serious problem. It might be warm and sunny when you’re leaving the paddock, but in these areas the weather can change faster than you can say brass monkeys, meaning a decent jacket that can be adapted to differing environments is an essential piece of kit.

We got a selection of the most popular enduro jackets on the market and took them to Desert Storm, which this year was an excellent example of a time when a jacket was a must-have when riding. Persistent rain, cold temperatures and plenty of mud meant you needed a garment which protected you from the elements but also helped keep you cool when the going got tough. Removable sleeves and a breathable membrane help here, as does a collar that can be clipped open. Some models feature padding to help with protection, and if you’re a neck brace wearer then a couple of the models are designed with removable panels to accommodate these.

If you don’t own an enduro jacket yet love to go on trail rides, then carry on reading and find a jacket that suits your needs. With all the different features, they really can make your ride much more comfortable as well as keep you warm and dry should things go pear-shaped. Wearing a moto jersey and pants is all well and good at a motocross track where your vehicle is no further than a few hundred metres from the track, but with some trail rides taking you many kilometres away from base, it’s worth being prepared…