First thing. What is the Latitude? Klim does a number of suits, so who is the Latitude aimed at? As we all know, Klim is renowned for its adventure gear, but in recent years the company has made inroads into the more mainstream, on-road commuting and touring sector.
The Latitude is very much a touring outfit. Having a much more fitted profile than suits like the Badlands and the Carlsbad, it sits alongside Klim’s other touring suit, the more expensive Kodiak, but in our view, on a number of scores, the Latitude is a better and easier to live with suit.
The Latitude is a laminated garment. This means that even in four or more hours of rain the outer chassis won’t ‘wet out’, by which we mean become sodden wet. And in this respect, obviously, a laminated motorcycle garment is superior to one that is equipped with a drop-liner membrane.
This isn’t the place to go into a detailed explanation of the differences between the various types of membrane, but we have done videos and blogs on the subject, so if you want to know more, click here.
Laminate garments are usually less pliable and less cosseting than drop-liner ones. They can be a little stiffer and crunchier to wear, but the Latitude is a two-layer laminate rather than a three-layer one, so is easier to live with than some laminated outfits. In the case of the Latitude, the bonded membrane comes courtesy of Gore-Tex; it has what is known as a Performance Shell construction. The bottom line is that the Latitude delivers the highest levels of waterproofing that money can buy.
But before we explain why we think the Latitude is better than the more expensive Kodiak, let us talk about the jacket and the pants in a little more detail.
Even though the Latitude is a touring/commuting outfit, it is still a Klim so the jacket comes with copious amounts of venting. There are two vents on the chest, two down the arms and two more on the back. The vents are covered with waterproof zips.
Rated AA under EN17092, the Latitude is as protective as pretty much any waterproof touring outfit on the market, and more waterproof than many, even those that cost much more. For added abrasion resistance, you get an extra layer of 840 denier Cordura in all the key high-abrasion zones. To the same end you also get leather overlays on the elbows and down the forearms. The armour in the shoulders and elbows is D3O’s vented XT armour. You get a D3O Viper protector as standard in the back. It is all Level 1, and in the elbows and shoulders the armour is adjustable.
Pockets. What is it with Klim and pockets? Frankly, like all of Klim’s jackets the Latitude has too many. Really, if you need to carry that much stuff, you should take the car! Anyway, the jacket has five external ones, and four more on the inside, including the secret, hidden one we’re not allowed to talk about.
In some ways, the rest is detail, but at this level it’s the detail that counts, so lets go through it. You get strap adjusters at the waist. These are important for fit, especially as you will need to add thermal layers in the cold because, in its raw state, the Latitude offers nothing to keep you warm.
You also get adjusters on the forearms; these help to keep the armour in place, but also serve to hold open the arm vents. At the neck there’s a drawstring arrangement to tighten the aperture in heavy rain. There’s another at the hem. You get loads of 3M Scotchlite reflective detailing, and one little detail that features on all Klim jackets; namely little hooks that allow the collar to be tabbed back. We cannot see why everybody doesn’t offer these. There’s a zip to allow you to connect the jacket to any Klim trouser, although here at Motolegends we can create a connector to enable you to zip into any pant.
The one thing that the Latitude jacket lacks is zips at the ends of the sleeves, although you do get Velcro straps to cinch the sleeves around your gloves. But one thing that it does have that you don’t often see is a short version of the jacket with a shorter front and arms.
On Klim’s website, they will fill a full three pages with the detail on this jacket, but what we’ve told you here is all you need to know. Not that this isn’t enough; this is as close as a jacket gets to being the only one you’ll ever need.
As you would expect, the Latitude pant mirrors the jacket in most key regards. The construction is a two-layer Gore-Tex Performance Shell fabric. There are, as with the jacket, extra layers of 840 denier Cordura in the high abrasion zones. You get D3O in the knees and hips, and leather reinforcement panels down the legs. Like the jacket the pant is AA rated under EN17092.
For breathability in hot weather, you get two vents at the front of the thighs and two at the back, to allow for a free flow of air. Again, more than enough pockets. Two high-up zip pockets, and one on the left thigh. There are long zips to allow the trousers to go over any adventure or touring boots, along with a set of poppers that can be used to cinch the bottom of the leg at the ankle. As with the jacket, there’s loads of 3M Scotchlite reflective, albeit in this case at the back, to make sure you don’t become invisible at night.
The pants don’t come with braces, although we would always recommend them, but there are Velcro adjusters to allow the waist to be tightened or loosened. Obviously, there’s also a zip that allows the pant to be zipped to the jacket. The trousers, as you would expect with a premium brand like Klim, come in three leg lengths.
Klim makes great gear. It’s better thought through and designed with greater care than pretty much any clothing brand out there. And it is tested more thoroughly too. They use only the very best components. And it is uncompromisingly put together. And although we wouldn’t take it totally at face value, Klim is prepared to back its clothing with the longest warranty of any manufacturer out there.
Earlier, we suggested that the Latitude comes close to being the suit that does everything; and we stick by that. Of course, here at Motolegends, we would often prefer a layering approach that takes something like the Klim Marrakesh or Baja S4, and then combines it with thermal inners and a waterproof over the top. But some people simply prefer the notion of a traditional suit so that there’s less time spent putting things on and taking things off.
And if it’s a suit you want, then the Latitude is worthy of serious consideration. As a laminted suit it is as waterproof as anything. It is lightweight and generously endowed with vents, so is going to be better in hot weather than anything from Rukka or Halvarssons. As an AA rated suit, it’s as protective as any laminated suit this side of the Badlands A3 Pro, which is simply too heavy and uncomfortable to be fun. This really is the suit that you could commute in through the winter, that you could tour around Europe in, and that you’d still be happy to wear on a trip down to coast for fish and chips on a Saturday night.
And at just £750 for the jacket and £580 for the pant at the time of going to press, the Latitude represents great value for money. At just over £1300, it costs not far off a grand less than the Rukka Nivala, the Rukka Kingsley, the Stadler Supervent or the Klim Kodiak. Yet we cannot see that it gives much away to any of these suits, except when it comes to thermal protection. And in warmer weather, the Latitude will be nicer to wear than any of them.
At the same kind of price, there’s the Halvarssons Vansbro, the Halvarssons Sunne or their new Naren and Laggan combination. From Rukka, there’s the Kalix. But, frankly, none of these comes close to matching the capabilities of the Latitude.
The Latitude is far from being the most expensive laminated motorcycle suit on the market, but conceivably, for some riders, it might just be one of the best!
For more information and to buy online, click Klim Latitude jacket and pant.
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