The Dainese Atmo-lite 3L Jacket and Pants are designed to perform in treacherous weather. They utilise a fully seam-sealed three-layer laminate featuring a special nylon yarn exterior with a natural cotton-like feel. The D-DRY® membrane offers excellent water resistance and breathability, keeping the rider completely dry throughout the ride.
Normally my main focus lies on racing gear and apparel, so it was very refreshing to try different territories. Dainese’s gear portfolio entails predominately downhill, enduro, all mountain and trail biking.
The Atmo-lite 3L is designed to perform in treacherous weather. I was nicely surprised how snug its cut is. To endure the nasty weather the jacket features a completely seam-sealed three-layer laminate. I was confronted with very unwelcoming weather at the beginning of the test, so the embedded D-DRY® membrane had to prove its water resistance. A couple of showers were followed by steady rain lasting 3 plus hours. The jacket sealed bravely, and only on the upper part did I experience a few drops getting through.
The workout intensity was moderate, hence the jacket’s ability to deal with heat and sweat build-up wasn’t challenged. Then we got the opportunity to test it in two gravel races where breathability was definitely one of the highest priorities. The created steam was channeled away pretty well, only at constant high intensities I had to unzip it a bit. I wore it mostly just with one base layer. However, the built-in woven mesh helped to lessen friction.
The hood is designed to be worn under a helmet, which means it’s also a good size for wearing without a helmet if you so choose to, and equally useful off the bike. On late evening training rides the reflective inserts placed on the back came in handy too. That feature was all the more appreciated during my commuter rides.
Now, where the Atmo-lite 3L really excelled were in muddy conditions, like some enduro-like ride sessions in early autumn. The used material is remarkable durable. It was enough to hose it down occasionally with jet-washer and hand-wash it thereafter at home thoroughly. Dainese suggest that washing with Nikwax or something similar will renew the waterproofing and help retain breathability.
The complimenting Atmo-lite Pants 3L are waterproof too, and a similar breathability can be attested. Combining both gave me decent protection in challenging weather conditions.
The right hand leg is where the chain is, so it made sense for Dainese to add reinforced fabric and a drawstring to help keep the pants away from the chain, and to provide extra protection in that area. There’s also zip vents at the thigh to give you a chance of a cooling breeze if you get too warm and you don’t have time to stop and remove the pants.
I opted for a very snug size, but that didn’t constrain my movement. On one occasion in harsh weather, cold rain it didn’t make any sense whatsoever to carry on in tight Lycra bibshorts combined with leg warmers. I pulled the Atmo-lite pants over my shorts. It’s no exaggeration to claim that these pants truly saved my race. I was still hypothermic and felt awfully uncomfortable, but the Atmo-lite Pants served me well. Since this nasty experience it is part of my race gear bag.
As for the time being, the temperatures are rising to more welcoming levels. It will be interesting to experience how they fare at higher temps and blazing hot sunshine.
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