By June 29, 2006

Wickers Lightweight Comfortrel Wicking Bottoms

No, that’s not a tongue twister (on purpose, anyway), that’s the name of the long underwear I wear underneath my leather riding pants. I bought a pair of these from Sierra Trading Outpost in an attempt to keep cooler during the summer temperatures, and also to act as a barrier between myself and my leather pants. If you sweat for too long in riding leather, it takes on a very undesirable odor.

Someone on my favorite FZ6 forum suggested silk bottoms, but all of the silk garmets I found were $25 and up. I didn’t want to spend that much money on an experiment. I started digging around for an UnderArmor or CoolMax-type alternative. The Wickers were $9.95 before shipping — I figured if they didn’t work for summer riding, I might be able to wear them at the beginning of fall. I ordered a medium, based on the suggested waist sizing chart (I am a 32 right now), but was worried about length (I’m 6′ 0″).

My order arrived about five days later from Sierra Trading Post. I pulled them on, and the first thing I noticed was that they were a little short. If I kept the leggings at about ankle-length, the crotch wasn’t up high enough. This made the fabric bunch oddly once I was on my bike, and it was distracting. After my maiden voyage, I pulled them up halfway between my ankle and my calf — this felt much better and is how I wear them now. If I had bought a large, the length wouldn’t have been a problem, but they would have been more loose than I wanted.

The bottoms are soft, very similar to the wicking long sleeved shirts I bought from Old Navy (of all places) last fall. There’s the typical barn-door in the front for wizzage, and other than that the bottoms are non-descript. The stitching seems adequate, and the dye and coloring of the garmet was uniform, despite being listed as seconds from Sierra Trading Post.

The first real test was when I went downtown to visit Lady Jaye at work, and the temperature was 92F. I was hot, for sure, but I didn’t feel like I was sweating profusely. And believe me, I am one to sweat profusely. I was pretty comfortable, except for sitting still at stoplights. The biggest advantage that wearing these types of undergarments is that they don’t retain sweat like a cotton or cotton-blend garment would. I arrived at my destination, took off my leather jacket, and was cool and completely dry in less than a minute. I really felt this effect once I got home and took off my riding pants. I was chilled for about 5 seconds and then felt totally dry.

Last Thursday the temperature was 99F with the humidity — not a problem. I rode about 70 miles on my “extended” route. I cooled right off once I took off my jacket in Starbucks, and then had a burny-hot grande Americano 🙂

The Wickers Comfortrel bottoms are perfectly serviceable, for about one-fourth the cost of the equivalent UnderArmor garment. I now own six pair (just in case I can’t get them at $10 each again), and I’d recommend them to any motorcyclist. I wish they were just a little bit longer, but it doesn’t make much of a difference anyway, since I have socks on underneath.

Wickers Lightweight Comfortrel Wicking Bottoms, I sweat out:
Four and a half out of five STFU mugs!

full STFU mug full STFU mug full STFU mug full STFU mug half-full STFU mug

Posted in: motorcycling, review

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