When I first started my search for a lady adventure suit I rapidly discovered there were limited reviews and kits available. It was odd… it seemed there was an abundance of ladies attire when it came to regular road riding but anything more than that, the manufacturers only coughed up a couple of half hearted attempts of suits but nothing of quality or requirements which the guys seem to get!
Frustrated in not finding the standard and quality I would require for such a hard wearing challenge, I convinced myself I would have to go for a fellas suit. This… proved to be a fitting nightmare. Opting for the smallest jackets possible, many ended up tight on the hips but remained loose round the waist, large on the shoulders, massive on the arms and with protectors loose. Trouser wise, I had slightly more success in length than with ladies as I have quite long legs… but they still didn’t consider my curves. If I wasn’t shoe horning my hips into them, I was waddling about with them falling off! All in all, despite being a million times better in quality/adaptability/durability than the lady equivalents, fitting wise I was concerned about my protection.. and what’s more I looked like a frumpy styled power ranger!
So… discovering the Rukka Armiina Suit was just a phenomenal relief! Being the female equivalent to the Rukka Armas suit, it meets all the requirements and quality needed to protect and adapt for our diverse year and a half trip whilst taking in to consideration the fitting needs for us ladies. Granted, there are a few features missing which the fellas have on the Armas but the fitting and design outshines all other suits I have encountered… it’s quite simply an amazing and stunning suit!
RUKKA ARMIINA FABRIC
As a three season adventure suit, the Armiina have been developed to withstand freezing temperatures, driving rain, sunnier and warmer climates as well as plenty of bumps and boshes. The fabric is a Gore-Tex Pro Shell three-layer laminate with the use of both Kevlar and Cordura. In layman’s terms this means it is pretty darn mega in the wear and tear sector, 100% waterproof, 100% windproof, flexible in all the right places whilst remaining breathable at the same time. Pretty impressive stuff if you ask me!
RUKKA ARMIINA JACKET FITTING
This Jacket is superb to adjust and wonderfully comfortable. Being the laaaady that I am, I am glad to say it has been designed beautifully to fit my curves, leaving me feeling better protected and less like a frump! With the jacket tailored in at the waist and having adjustable hips with velcro and zips, it is incredibly snug no matter how many layers I am donning underneath! The arm length is absolutely perfect for me which is saying something as all the ladies jackets I have tried on previously have finished way before my wrist leaving me looking like a lemon! This is by far the most flattering jacket I have tried on to date… and after a few months of travelling it’s nice to know I will still have some femininity about me!
RUKKA ARMIINA COLLAR
Speaking of materials, at the top of the neck collar Rukka have considerately used a neoprene fabric (the kind used to make wetsuits). This makes it very soft and flexible so when on those longer journeys you don’t have to worry about any abrasive materials rubbing and catching your neck.
They have also placed a more resistant patch at the back of the neck collar so to help prevent excessive wear from your helmet. The collar is fully adjustable by a Velcro tab and what is also nice is that if you do fancy wearing it open there’s an additional Velcro section on the inside of the jacket so you can fold the tab back to prevent it from flapping. It’s all in the details!
RUKKA ARMIINA WATERPROOF GORE LOCKOUT CLOSURE
Funny but fantastic feature this! Rukka have constructed a completely flat and waterproof closure for the main body zip. Consisting of two double-channelled polymer tracks, it interlocks when sliding the “zip” up and down. One of my concerns with this design was how tough it would be (would it split apart with excessive use or force) but I’ve witness it survive a various strong tugs and have read many reports stating it’s incredibly strong.
To release the lock there is an easy locking mechanism at the bottom which remains neatly protected and hidden by a poppered material tab when riding. Rukka provide a silicone pen for the maintenance of the closure too!
All in all, an incredibly innovative and stylish feature! I am intrigued as to how well it will hold up of a year and a half of constant wear in comparison to your standard toothed zip… watch here for reports!
RUKKA ARMIINA ARMS & SHOULDERS
As said, having reasonably long arms, previous ladies jackets have often been stupendously short in length. For me though, the Rukka Armiina has the perfect length sitting comfortable around my wrist! Good times! On the upper and lower arms there are some handy adjustable poppers, so should you bulk out with additional clothing you have three different settings to choose from for the best fit. Protector wise, the shoulders and elbows sit closely yet comfortably, unlike many of the bloke jackets I tried which were easy to lift away from my body. On the sleeve you also have a Velcro strap to tighten or loosen when sorting out your gloves.
RUKKA ARMIINA POCKETS & AIR VENTS
In total the Rukka Armiina Jacket has four pockets, two being fully waterproof whilst the trousers have an additional two. I have to admit, I was a little bit sad about the amount of pockets as the fellas Armas jacket has seven or eight!! I mean, come on, us ladies are renowned for carrying about loads of gumph!! I will have to off load my bits and bobs to Sam! That said, the pockets are decent sizes and what is nice is the exterior ones on the jacket have a flap held in place by a popper over the waterproof zip for protection.
Vent wise, there are two to the top sides of the chest to help direct air past the arm pits and around the body. With waterproof zips and protective flaps they are angled in a way that rain won’t sneak in should it be a bit drizzly.
All zips have extra long tabs on them too so you can open and close pockets/vents with ease should you be riding or have your gloves on.
RUKKA ARMIINA THERMAL LINING
Both the Jacket and Trousers have a fully removable thermal lining. They have paid beautiful attention to detail here as the linings have colour coordinating zips so when fitting them back in it’s simple to know which way round they go. With the lining removed both the jacket and trousers remain comfortable to wear.
RUKKA ARMIINA TROUSERS
Now these trousers are quite simply superb! They attach to the jacket by a rather nice and easy to grip zip so to prevent any exposure of those kidneys when riding! With Velcro tabs on either side and an elasticated waist, no matter your shape or how many layers you have on you are not restricted to a set size. Hoorah for hips!! With the trip in mind too… the ease of adjustment and stretchiness at the tops of the trousers is pretty mega if you’re in need of a quick wee! I will soon be a proud owner of a shewee (more on that to come!) and will be attempting the whole toilet visit standing alongside Sam (much to his horror)! I’m not entirely sure how easy it will be to use with the trousers but they’re the most flexible to date so here’s hoping!
What’s nice too, if you prefer your pants a bit looser you have the famous Rukka braces which, not only are incredibly comfortable, but can be easily adjusted with gloves on. If you don’t fancy braces though, that’s not a problem, as they are held in by a tough Velcro pocket so can be removed if desired.
On yer bum there’s a big old area made up of a non slip material too so to help prevent any sliding about on the seat! At the base you have Velcro adjustable tabs and a large zip to help on and off with boots. As with the collar, Rukka have nicely slipped in an additional Velcro tab so if you have the zip open you can stick the tab down so it doesn’t flail about whilst riding or wondering about! The protectors are easy to move about if they’re not sitting quite right as you have access to them via a small waterproof zip.
RUKKA ARMIINA PROTECTORS
Throughout the suit RUKKA have placed some rather unique RVP air protectors. These are highly flexible lattice shaped protectors and designed specifically to help the suit fabric breathe, distribute impact more efficiently and prevent the surrounding fabric from damaging. With the damping affect being hundreds times larger than a standard hard protector, they not only offer comfort, reduced weight and flexibility but better protection for those offs. It is incredibly noticeable when walking around in the suit how much more movement you have! A superb feature!
Overall, the Rukka Armiina is a phenomenal suit and perfect for this kind of adventure. There has been so much thought into the jacket and trousers, it’s almost beautiful and I cannot help throwing it on every time I get the chance! As said at the beginning, it’s an utter delight and relief to finally find something we feel will be of the quality and standard required… and that actually fits me perfectly! HOORAH! I am well and truly looking forward to going on a couple of long test rides with it so as soon as I do I will be back with more details on how well the suit holds up!
For a full video review, please take a look at the youtube video below:
Furthermore, if you fancy getting your mitts on these wonderful suits visit the Rukka or TranAm websites below… you won’t regret it!: