BMW StreetGuard 3 textile suit | Riding Gear + Equipment | Tested
I coveted BMW’s StreetGuard gear for a couple of years before I finally convinced BMW to fling me a suit way back in 2010.
Now, eight years on, I probably love this suit even more. There have been many pants and jackets before and since, but if cold and wet is around, I have never worn anything more reliably warm and dry than the BMW-branded StreetGuard 3 jacket and pants. Ever.
The garb is so great that it’s virtually unusable in summer. But it’s not for lack of trying or technology; this stuff uses what’s called a bionic climate membrane. Similar to the pores of your skin, it somehow senses that it’s hot and the fabric within relaxes for improved breathability. Likewise, when it’s cold, it clamps tight to better insulate you. Don’t ask me how, I’ve no idea. But I know it’s delightfully toasty in winter, and cooler than it ought to be when the mercury starts to rise. It runs another fancy fabric technology, too, called ColdBlack, which BMW says reflects the sun’s heat for longer, meaning you stay cooler longer.
The fabrics within the StreetGuard 3 range are all the work of Switzerland-based Schoeller Textiles, which has been around for more than 100 years and specialises in innovative and pioneering textile technologies. So, while it might be easy to roll your eyes at some of these claims, this stuff really, really is something else.
Despite the tens of thousands of kilometres I’ve ridden in this gear, there’s not one inkling of a rip or scuff save for one small wear mark on the soft leather neck cuff – mind you, there are oodles of marks that I can’t clean or wash off (despite desperately trying).
It came with a removable storm collar, which I’ve long since lost, and has really well thought out pockets; two big deep internal ones, a third radiation-proof one (yes, really) for your mobile phone, and two intuitively placed external ones.
Despite it feeling stiff and uncomfortable when you first don it, the top-quality armour soon warms and softens and moulds itself to your body, which it will protect without doubt.
The only thing I don’t love about this gear is that over a long day it tends to feel heavy, and the full-length back protector can sometimes touch the back of my helmet if I’m riding a bike that urges me to slouch.
But there is nothing in my riding-gear cupboard that I love more. And I’m stoked that there isn’t a single sign of it not serving me equally as well for the next decade as it has for the last.
Quality like this comes at a price – it was a suit that retailed for well over $2000 almost 10 years ago – but if it’s taught me anything it’s that high-quality gear is worth every cent.
Today’s equivalent StreetGuard suit
No number these days, it’s simply named StreetGuard. It’s just as clever and just as reliable but benefits from a decade of improved technologies and refinements.
There are now ventilation zippers on the pants (mine don’t have these) and also a tech-savvy multimedia pocket within the jacket.
Available in a large range of both men’s and women’s sizes in anthracite, anthracite/red or black colour options.
By Kel Buckley