That brings us to the new-ish Touratech Compañero Boreal. It’s in no way related to the original Compañero Worldwide, featuring an entirely new design that unlike the Worldwide, won’t be found in the Stadler catalogue. The Boreal, according to the Touratech spiel, is aimed far more at the Touring side of the market. Touratech UK’s Nick Plumb described the Boreal as “more of a suit for the everyday rider. If you ride to work, travel in Europe and generally spend life in lower temperatures then Boreal is the one for you.”
The full spec of the suit is rather high end; with brand names thrown around like a game of pass the parcel. The main material of the jacket is Gore-Tex’s Pro Shell 3 layer membrane, mated to Cordura. The type of Cordura isn’t alluded to anywhere in the PR material or the jacket. The zips throughout the suit are fully waterproof YKK aquaseal and all the high wear areas are Armacor for added protection. In the seat of the pants there is also a touch of SuperFabric. The armour is all produced by German brand SAS-TEC and the internal fleece is POLARTEC Wind Pro. For the full sales spec it’s worth a visit to the Touratech site. The list of touches and thoughts in the jacket make for in-depth reading.
The very first thing that struck me with the Boreal is its relatively minimalist approach to things. It’s refreshingly simple and instantly feels well thought out. From the first time you throw the jacket on, everything seems logical.
The fit is undoubtedly one of the highlights of this Stadler produced garment. It’s a fantastically well fitting and comfortable suit. All over the body it’s loose and flexible in the right places and fitted where I feel it should be. The jacket arms are uniform in diameter and, like it’s brother, fitted with adjustment in several places. This really helps with adjusting the fit to match you, especially when removing the inner jacket. A lot of suits feature this type of adjustment, on the Boreal the adjustments tightened up quite uniformly. Likewise the cuffs close up well for a jacket of this style. I’m often disappointed by many jackets inability to keep wind out around the cuffs unless wearing humongous gloves and Boreal still doesn’t solve this, it just does a better job than most.
The general fit of the jacket around the body is loose, even with the lining fitted. With all the options fitted, just like all fully armoured jackets, the Boreal feels a touch bulky. It’s far better fitted than a lot of jackets but I still don’t feel it’s ideal. It’s the nature of many layers that are not thin and close fitting.
With armour removed it is far freer moving. The armour is a little disappointing and probably the weakest part of the otherwise excellent design. I’m not a huge fan of in armour solutions because I feel they restrict movement and don’t sit exactly where I’d like. It’s not very flexible, I didn’t find it massively comfortable and I feel the back protector is too large. When sat on the bike it’d touch the back of the helmet when looking up, restricting the movement and that’s a counter productive piece of design. It should be noted at this point; like I said, I’m not a fan of built in armour and prefer to wear dedicated, more fitted items.
Any temperature over 15 degrees C renders the liners too hot. They do a great job of keeping you warm; even in sub-zero wind chills I’ve not yet been cold. I’m a big fan of the Polar Tec fleece that doubles as the jacket liner. It’s a great touch to include a jumper that can double as day-to-day garment and often I’ve found myself removing the jacket over the liner when stopped for periods of time. Likewise, the trouser liners are a soft quilted, zip-in that are extremely comfortable and add immensely to the warmth.
The venting on the jacket is extremely effective and well placed. The venting seems to work well and as of yet I have never been too hot with the liners removed. We haven’t tested it any extreme temperatures to comment on its real capability in the heat.
The overall finish on the jacket is extremely high. There are no snags or rough edges to irritate, zips are easy to operate and I’m yet to get wet. The only odd point is the internal phone ‘n’ wallet pocket is on the right side. It’s odd as a right-handed human, not a problem in any way, just odd.
The trousers are an entirely well designed garment. They fit very well, helped along by great flexibility in the hips and a built in belt. They feel fitted when coupled with the very soft, comfortable built in liner, yet this doesn’t restrict your movement and so doesn’t hinder getting on and off the motorcycle in any way. Like the jacket, I’m not a huge fan of the in-built knee armour or hip pads. I like knee armour to be more fixed than built-in options tend to be. That should be slated as a personal preference over fact.
Like many other items on this suit, the design of the zip between the trousers and the jacket is extremely easy to use. The zip is easy to get to because its start and end points come a long way around the waist, making zipping in a low stress exercise. The trousers sit high and the jacket runs long, which really helps to keep the wind off your lower back.
The lower leg is one of my favourite aspects of the suit. The bottom of the trousers opens extremely wide, allowing any size of boot to be worn with the trouser fitting over the top easily and comfortably. We used this trouser with a variety of boots including full size mx boots and it easily copes with the bigger sizing. It’s a simple thing that highlights the thought that has been put into the design.
The waterproofing, to this point had been damn fine. Not a single drop of liquid has seeped through, despite all the ventilation zips present. We’ve had the suit for three months, wearing it in a variety of different weather, from torrential British downpours to the odd April shower and it’s never really missed a beat.
There are a few things that we can’t quite comment on; performance in high temperatures and longevity. All the signs point to this suit being very good quality and it feels like it’ll last a good amount of time. A huge amount of thought has been placed into the design, from the use of material on the inside of the knees to protect your bikes’ paint, to the Armacor, the placement of the venting and much, much more.
And so that brings me to the biggest problem I see with the Touratech Boreal, the price. Everyone arrives at this point with a different perspective. Undoubtedly, for some people the UK RRP of £1600 isn’t a baulking point and if price isn’t an issue to you then you’ll find little about the Boreal with which to moan. That said, I don’t arrive from that standpoint and so I’ve spent weeks racking my brain attempting to justify the cost. The biggest rationalisation I can envisage is the amount of technology licensed into the clothing. With so much packed in from such heavy-hitting brands in the textile market, it’s conceivable that this pushes the cost up massively. There is also a lot of thought put into the placement and design of the various elements, to the point that nothing about this suit bothers me when I’m wearing it and that is a huge plus.
Is it worth the price? I still question that, despite how much I like it, but that is entirely on personal preferences. On the whole it’s a fantastic riding suit if you travel to work, travel around Europe or focus your ADV riding away from the hotter parts of the world. I think you’ll never miss a beat with the suit I just feel the same could be achieved for less money, however I may be wrong. Like I said, different viewpoints.
- Extremely Comfortable
- Bags of Technology
- Very Flexible
- Armour could be better