Words: Seiji Ishii Photos: Simon Cudby
Troy Lee Designs has been a staple in motocross but is a newcomer in the adventure riding market. They have recently introduced adventure riding apparel, and the Transfer Adventure Vest represents a foray into adventure oriented accessories.
Adventure riders have two choices of where to put gear: on the bike or on the body. Carrying gear on the body can be done either in a backpack or in a vest specifically designed for this purpose. Opinions differ on how to carry the gear necessary to repair the bike and comfortably survive the planned ride. Putting weight on the bike affects the suspension and handling, while putting weight on the body affects rider comfort and perception of work. If at least some of the load is to be carried on the body, the use of a vest can spread the load out for a more comfortable and efficient carry compared to a backpack.
The Troy Lee Designs Transfer Adventure Vest is constructed from a 500 denier fabric, ensuring a high level of abrasion resistance, and all zippers are YKK. The dual layer design sandwiches EVA foam with deep channels between the outer black layer and the inner optic orange layer. The channeling aids air circulation and the vest can be reversed for high visibility in emergency situations. There are plentiful pockets on both the front and rear of the vest. The front of the vest houses a wide array of pockets for organizing all the essentials, some specifically designed to secure a two-way radio, a Spot GPS messenger, flashlight and Leatherman. A pair of quick access Velcro pockets sits low and is adorned with molle straps. There is also a neoprene pouch for a phone, complete with earphone wire routing, and one pocket that utilizes a waterproof zipper. The rear of the vest has two large pockets suitable for high volume items, and there is an internal hydration bladder sleeve. Reflective accents add nighttime visibility to all sides of the vest, while a heat transfer label inside displays rider emergency information. The vest is available in S/M and L/XL sizes.
I used this vest exclusively during the three-day Pacific Northwest Rally School. The front pockets carried food, tools and spare parts deemed necessary for long stages in the sub alpine environment, while the rear pockets stowed layers of clothing to accommodate 50° shifts in temperature. A 3L hydration bladder was also stowed on board. I wore the vest over a neck brace and chest protector (recommended as crashing with tools on board would be horrendous), and with the adjustable girth of the vest, I never felt impeded nor did I feel the loaded vest shifting around. I normally use a backpack and found using the vest a much more efficient and comfortable way of riding in rough conditions. The same amount of weight in a backpack upsets my body position to a much greater degree. The Troy Lee designs Transfer Adventure Vest is shorter vertically than other similar vests I have seen, keeping the vest from hitting the legs or the rear of the seat during aggressive riding. My only concern would be how much the vest would impede airflow in extremely hot and humid conditions.
If you are looking to spread the load of the gear that you decide to carry on your body, the Troy Lee Designs Transfer Adventure Vest is a serious contender.
MSRP: 225.00Contact: www.troyleedesigns.com