Dirtlej started its life making protective guards to cover their bikes, frustrated by scratching and scarring expensive steeds during transit to the trails, and then their catalog slowly expanded to sell luggage and riding clothing. The DirtSuit now headlines their range, and the German brand sent me a 'Core Editon' to try out.
The Core Editon is the most expensive choice in the range of suits for varying severity in conditions. At €296, it's not cheap, but also not much more than a set of designer leggings and jersey from fashion-based MTB apparel companies. But can you put a price on happiness when you complete a bog-bashing ride in the depths of winter, retaining some semblance of warmth and dryness?
Design DirtSuit Core Editon Details:
• Intended use: wet weather riding
• 15000 mvp breathability
• 15000mm water-resistant
• Reflective details
• Machine washable
• Five zipped pockets
• Ten zipped air inlets
• Dark blue and orange (featured) / dark blue and pink
• Sizes: S - XXL
• MSRP: €296
The DirtSuit has a number of features that can make the dark days brighter. Starting at the top, the hood is large enough to fit over a full-face helmet and has an elasticated drawstring to adjust the fit. The hood can also be folded down and stowed easily with the Velcro flap.
The wrists are tailored to cover the back of the hand and prevent skin being exposed to the elements when bending your arms or hanging off the back of the bike, they also have a Velcro adjustment to batten down the hatches and keep the cold out.
The long zipper at the front extends far enough to allow male or she-pee based toilet breaks. A large adjustable 'belt' around the waist helps with fit and holding things in place after being plastered with mud.
The lower legs are wide enough to take the suit off while still wearing your shoes and have Velcro adjustment to stop them tangling in the drivetrain. They can also be removed to leave shorts, and there is an extender piece to help the fit for long-legged riders.
The outer of the triple layer construction of the suit is tough and should make it through the hardest of crashes. The inside of the suit is lined with mesh for comfort and to stop skin sticking against the outer.
There are ten vents in total to regulate temperature, all using waterproof zippers. There are two large pockets on the chest, two smaller ones on the hips and one on the left, upper-arm suitable for a lift pass. All of these pockets use waterproof zippers to stash phones, money and lift passes.Performance
The first time I donned the suit, it seemed overly baggy for mountain biking. But on the trail, this was less apparent when in a riding position. However, the baggy legs won't be super kind to top-tube paintwork when covered in a layer of mud and grit.
I wore the suit for some rides combined only with underwear and kneepads and, thanks to the lining, it never felt like riding in a sweaty plastic bag. There is plenty of room to wear extra layers underneath and as much body amour as you please. Wet and muddy conditions around 15c were fine with no extra layers under the suit. For big climbs, things can start to warm up but the ten vents help to keep the air flowing where needed. The baggy fit and stretch panels on the back don't restrict pedaling action or riding movement.
The DirtSuit really does a great job of fending off the worst of conditions and keeping you warm and dry. Getting to the end of a muddy ride and whipping off the entire suit makes the cleanup operation easier. The DirtSuit is machine washable up to 30c, and it dries very quickly to be ready for the next day's ride.Pinkbike's Take: