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Ixon Montana jacket and pants | Riding Gear + Equipment | Tested

It was a baptism of ice for this adventure gear

Here at AMCN we are always looking at ways of multi-tasking (type copy with one hand, pick nose with the other), and our LAMS adventure extravaganza was the perfect opportunity to test the Ixon Montana jacket and pants. I faced temperatures between zero and 10º over two days riding, and some heavy showers.

Both of these garments have three layers: an outer textile layer, a waterproof lining and a winter lining. You can remove either or both linings easily by undoing the zips and press studs. Fabric loops also allow you to attach the jacket to the pants.

Storage is a big feature of the Montana garments. The jacket has five pockets on the front, plus a waterproof pocket inside the main front zip, and two in the winter lining. As this lining usually sits under the waterproof layer, these pockets are also effectively waterproof. The pants have two pockets at the sides and two on the thighs. Who needs panniers, eh?

The garments are adjustable at most points, with either Velcro straps or press studs, and vents can be zipped open for warmer weather riding.

In terms of safety features, there is removable CE approved armour at the elbows and shoulders, plus reinforcement on the knees and arms. The garment also has reflective patches on the back and knees.

We liked

Number one, these pants and jacket kept me warm and dry. As these are the main remits of the adventure suit, you’d have to class it as a winner. My fingers, toes and nose may have been numb with cold, but my core body temperature did not drop. Inside the Montana suit I also stayed dry, despite riding through a couple of heavy rain showers. Full marks here.

Another good feature are the Velcro straps and zips at the bottom of the legs. Open these up and putting on those big adventure boots becomes a lot easier.

Finally, the pockets. It’s great to have so many options, even if you don’t use them all.

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We didn’t like

Due to the extra layers, the suit is bulky. It’s not so noticeable around the torso, but you will find it a little harder to swing your leg over the bike, and when walking around you do feel like the Michelin man. It’s not a problem once you’re in the saddle though. Nor does it apply if you are using the suit in summer, without the lining.

One of my bugbears is the bandying around of ‘wonder’ materials. These garments contain Riplan, Noxilen and Spylex, which sound hi-tech, but read the fine print and you’ll find they are basically variations on polyester.

The Montana outfit did what it was supposed to, which was keep me warm and dry. For that it gets a big thumbs up. It will be a part of my winter wardrobe for many years to come.

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