Leatt may be known mostly for their groundbreaking neck brace invention that changed the way most people think about rider/neck safety, but in the past couple years their off-road riding gear has been making a name of its own. We recently received a box full of Leatt protection pieces, including knee brace pants, knee braces, a helmet and some gear. Stay tuned for reviews on the other Leatt products, but for now let’s talk gear. Leatt sent us a 4.5 pant, 4.5 lite jersey and the 2.5 X-Flow glove to test, so we obliged and put it through some wear and tear. Being that California hasn't experienced winter yet this year I was just fine with testing a more lightweight, vented gear set in mid-January. Don't be jealous Minnesota peeps!
When it comes to jerseys, I feel as though they can be over priced at times, but the GPX 4.5 Lite jersey comes in at only $39.99, which doesn’t hit the wallet too hard. Don’t let the fact that the 4.5 gear is Leatt’s price point (AKA less money) gear scare you away, the jersey is nicer than some other companies high end jerseys that we have tried in the past. The Leatt 4.5 jersey is made from Moisturecool 3D stretch material and isn’t just a baggy one size fits no one fit. In fact the fit is what I normally like in a jersey. It has a precise athletic fit, but not so tight that it looks like I’m in a skin suit skiing down a mountain. The cuffs have a slightly stretchy material, so they don't ride up too high on your arm, but at the same time won’t cut off your circulation. Being that it’s a “Lite” jersey, it has excellent ventilation. That being said, it has such great airflow, that on chillier mornings, I found myself wearing a vest (yes I’m an off-road guy) until the temperature came up, so be forewarned. The overall stitching has held up well, but the material of the jersey tends to fray after being snagged on a few bushes (think creosote bushes). Other than the little fray points, I feel like the 4.5 Lite jersey is high quality for a fair price.
The GPX 4.5 pant, like the jersey, is Leatt’s price point pant at $119.99, but again don’t let the term “price point” fool you. The knee area of the 4.5 pant, which tends to be most riders weak point on pants, uses an Amara material. This material is soft and semi-stretchy, but still durable and so far has held up excellent to my knee braces, especially with how much I squeeze the bike with my knees. The 4.5 pant is somewhat like the jersey in that it’s a fairly lightweight construction and has quite a bit of venting, which results in a very breathable pant. The pant has held up to bushes and the occasional tree branch, with no rips. The zipper is smooth, hasn’t gotten stuck and also comes with a hook and loop strap, which keeps the pants closed at the top of the zipper (this comes in handy after lunch time). The main closure on the pants is the ratchet style system Leatt incorporates, which has worked flawlessly. There is also elastic inside the waistband that helps keep the pants snug along with silicone (like on the backs of goggle straps) on the inside of the waist band. The fit of the pant is true to size, is very comfortable to wear and for the price is a great product.
When it comes to gloves a lot of riders are like Goldilocks “these are too soft, these are too hard, these are too bulky, these are too thin", but in my opinion the $29.99 Leatt GPX 2.5 X-Flow glove is like wearing heaven on your hand (if you can imagine what heaven would feel like). Although some people would complain about it being too minimal, I LOVE the 2.5! Yes it’s thin and its intended purpose is not to protect you from branches or roost (I use handguards so I don’t care). It contours to my hand perfectly in all the right places, doesn’t bunch and oh man is the palm material great. The material in the palm is called MicronGrip and it feels like a very soft, smooth, slightly stretchy leather. My ONLY complaint about the glove is that the stitching can be weak when putting the glove on that is typical of minimalistic gloves. Almost every minimalistic glove does the same thing. These gloves are meant for performance and comfort, not durability. You can choose between Leatt's other model gloves if you want a little more durability, but if you want comfort look no further. If you have a bad habit (like I do) of pulling hard on the glove where the wrist elastic meets the palm material you might go through these faster than the riders that do not do that. After more than several riding days the stitching gave out and the elastic separated from the palm, but just to show you how much I like the gloves, I kept wearing them even with the tear because it didn’t really bother me when I was riding. If Leatt can beef up their stitching in this area a little and maybe put a little pull tab on the end of the palm, it would be a flawless minimalistic glove.
After many days on the track and trail, I have to say I’m very pleased with the quality of the Leatt “price point” gear. Other than some bushwhacking that I have done and the glove separation, I feel like this is a set of gear I would love to purchase for myself to ride on long warmer days. Although I will say that for riders who strictly ride off-road, this gear my not be for you because the more you go through shrubbery the more frays and snags you might begin to see. For the guy that motos 70 percent of the time, rides off-road 30 percent of the time, the Leatt 4.5 pant/jersey and 2.5 X-Flow gloves are something seriously to consider. -Michael Allen
If you have any questions about the Leatt 4.5 pant, 4.5 Lite jersey or the 2.5 X-Flow gloves, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org