With an adventure class machine permanently in the garage, we needed to make sure our gear was ready to hit the road less travelled too.
After strolling into Auckland’s Motomail store and perusing the racks, we came out with our own set of gear that we were keen to put to the test aboard our CRF250L Rally. Enter the Scott 350 ADV gear set.
The 350 ADV is the entry model of Adventure gear for Scott, with the more feature-packed DualRaid and Turn DP sitting above it. But we were parting with our own cash so we went for the basic 350 ADV because it fell into our budget by a good margin and offered some cool features we were keen to try out. Namely the removable sleeves.
If there is one thing you must know about the Scott 350 ADV set, it is that armour is an option extra at the point of purchase. This gear has been designed for use with hardcore protective equipment such as knee braces and full chest protector systems. As we owned neither we forked out the extra cash for the optional CE Approved armour inserts, with the back protector being a very beefy unit while the elbow and knee pads are what we’ve come to expect from the cheaper end of the market and don’t tend to hold position as well as the strap on armour the gear is designed for use with.
The outer shell is made from Oxford HD Polyester and is water-resistant. Again this is because the 350 ADV is designed for use with other Scott gear like the Ergonomic DP waterproofs. It's watertight enough for most rides, with a downpour the only real reason you'll be getting wet.
The 350 ADV kit has been my general go-to gear for the past year and as such has seen some decent action, including trips overseas to Thailand for the launch of the Moto Guzzi V85 TT and more recently to Australia for the launch of the Yamaha Tenere 700.
It was on the Tenere launch that we put the gear to its most thorough test over five days of varied adventure riding.
On the fourth day, I managed to come off in the wildly varying (yet utterly incredible) riding conditions with the 350 ADV gear doing its job to keep me sans broken bones.
I did find a couple of complaints in this part of the testing process however.
Firstly, with all the arm vents open the elbow armour tends to move around a lot, meaning if you come off it might not be in the best place to take the impact - as I found after falling over in a rut.
Secondly the Oxford HD Polyester has its limits, with fall mid-corner into gravel leaving a tear in the 350 ADV trousers. Thankfully the armour took the brunt of the impact, but it was a little disappointing to put a whole in my favourite riding trou'.
Overall the 350 ADV kit is good value for money, especially if you already have off-road armour lying around and a waterproof over-jacket. That said, if you're starting out from scratch you might be better off with one of the already fully setup options from Scott.
The main strength of the 350 ADV is it gives you plenty of options on how to utilise it in varying disciplines, with the ability to unzip the sleeves giving you the added use of an Enduro vest adding value for your money.
While the armour is an optional extra it is definitely worth looking at your riding needs and deciding whether the Scott armour or a full chest protector is better suited for your needs. I definitely think if I was to do more riding like the T7 launch I'd go for the full chest protector underneath.
Sure, the 350 ADV isn't particularly weather-tight, but for the majority of riders who enjoy riding when the weather is at its best, this won't be a big issue. The savings are definitely worth it considering the $269 entry point and, if you add the Ergonomic DP rain jacket on top of this ($139) you're still saving compared to the more expensive options from Scott.
Chances are I'll be replacing my damaged trou' with another set of 350 ADVs as the value is undeniable. I only wish the set came in a colour that matched my bike a bit better.