Review / New Thor Range ADV Riding Gear


Late last fall, just as the first snowfalls came and ice started forming in the puddles on the trail, a box of new ADV gear showed up at my door. I’ve been testing the Thor Range jacket, pants and gloves ever since, although opportunity has been limited. Here’s a report, but take note: Riding time with this gear has been much less than usual, thanks to the interference of winter.

The jacket comes in black or green. I prefer the green; I think it hides dirt and dust better and it just plain looks better. Photo: Thor

Thor Range jacket

This is your standard 3/4-length riding jacket, but it’s got a more modern cut. The tail of the jacket is longer than the front, which is superior to the old straight-cut hems on the bottoms of older jackets; it means the jacket is less likely to bunch up in front when you’re crouched in the saddle. You still get the advantages of a longer jacket in back, though.

My jacket came in a somewhat subdued green color, with orange accents. Styling is conservative, not loud and obnoxious. The front of the jacket has three pockets, with a map pocket on the back. The pockets have waterproof zippers.

Location: The middle of the Mojave Desert. My mid-winter ride in the Thor Range gear went very well, with no break-in time required. Photo: Zac Kurylyk

Vented D30 Level 1 LP1 armor provides protection in the shoulders and elbows, and unlike most jackets on the market, a D3O CE Level 1 LP1 vented Viper Pro back pad is included. The jacket itself is made of synthetic material, but none of the marketing material I’ve seen lists a denier rating—we’re only told of “Rip-stop, abrasion resistant paneling on sleeves and shoulders.” Presumably that means they’re reinforced, because the rest of the jacket’s material also looks like it should be very road rash-resistant.

To keep water at bay, the jacket’s fabric is bonded to a waterproof and breathable laminate, with seams double- or triple-stitched and taped. To keep cold at bay, a quilted liner is included. To keep heat at bay, there are vents in the shoulders, chest and armpits, with exhaust vents in back.

This is all good stuff, but not ground-breaking. How does Thor intend to grab market share with its new lineup? The answer is “comfort.” Thor’s PR says “Dura-motion paneling provides flexibility without compromising durability.” I can’t speak to the durability, but I will say that this jacket was very quick to break in. I recently did a tour across the southwest US wearing the Thor Range gear, and even though I’d had very little time to break it in before leaving, thanks to my Canadian winter at home, the jacket fit extremely well, without the usual stiffness and awkwardness you get in newish gear.

The longer-in-back cut means the Range jacket fits nicely in the saddle, with less bunching-up. Tabs along the sides and sleeves let you dial the rest of your fit in.

To further dial in the fit, there are cinches on the side of the jacket and also on the forearms. The cuffs have strong pull-tabs and a strong Velcro-type closure, which are highly underrated features that many makers of affordable gear will slack on. Once I set the cuffs, they stayed there, and that’s a small detail that I appreciated.

That’s the other feature that Thor will compete on: Affordability. The jacket has a $329.95 MSRP in the US, half (or less) of what you’d pay for a big-name competitor’s design with laminated waterproof single-layer design. Again, I wasn’t able to test the jacket long enough to assess durability, but if it holds up over the long haul, this could prove to be a real deal for the rider who wants high-quality kit with sensible styling, comfort and an affordable price tag.

Thor Range pants

These are pretty much the same thing as the jacket, but in pants form. Same fabric, same waterproof bonding, same dura-motion panels that give you plenty of flexibility without a long break-in time. They come with vents in the thigh and hip pockets, both with waterproof zippers, and with D3O CE Level 1 LP1 armor at hip and knee. There are side cinches to dial in the waist fit, and high/low leg cinches that do a pretty good job of dialing in the fit no matter what style of boots you’re wearing.

The pants are a bit of an odd color match to the jacket. They’re perfect for cold-weather riding; I’m not sure how well those vents work in hot temperatures, because I never had the chance to test them. But for walking around off the bike, I found them pretty comfortable.

Like the jacket, they break in very quickly, and they’re relatively affordable at $299.95 MSRP.

They also come with a thick thermal liner, just like the jacket. Note that I ditched these while riding SoCal, but was wearing them in late-season riding in Atlantic Canada, with no heated vest. I was very happy with how well they kept off the chill on shorter dual sport rides around the house. For an all-day ride near the freezing point, or below it, I still recommend heated gear, but these have made me re-think some of my opinions on thermal liners.

Not seen here: A set of matching gloves, and a riding jersey that Thor sells as part of the Range … range.

There are two points I’d like to make about the jacket and pants, in closing. I didn’t wear them in the rain in my early days of testing in Atlantic Canada; I expected to be smashed by a Pineapple Express when I was in the southwest US, but only caught the tail end of a storm as I rode into Las Vegas for AIMExpo. That means I’m unable to tell you just how waterproof they are.

Also available in black or green. Photo: Thor

I will say that there’s no waterproof fly zipper on the pants, and maybe it’s not needed, but it might have been a good addition. I will also tell you that the seat of the pants felt a bit clammy after riding through the rain, but I certainly didn’t experience any leakage.

Summary

I’m back in Canada now. There’s ice everywhere, and I won’t get much riding in now until spring. However, my short time in this gear was surprisingly comfortable, instead of the binding/chafing/stiffness/misery that I expected. I look forward to putting more miles down when possible, to see if Thor’s claims of longevity are as accurate as their claims of comfortability.



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