Rukka Nivala Gore-Tex jacket and trousers review

Rukka Nivala Gore-Tex jacket and trousers review

First impressions: bring it on, winter. I’m ready.

WINTER'S coming and I’m fed up with second-best – I spend too much of my life on a bike.

So I’ve got this.  It’s a Gore-Tex suit from Rukka, with separate down thermal liners.

I’ve only had it a week, using it on my 60-mile motorway/town commute into London, so this is a first-impression review. And what I can tell you is that it has made a good one.

I’ve got an old suit with a Gore-Tex removable liner, which comes with disadvantages. Although it keeps me dry, the outer layer gets soaked through, which isn’t good for staying warm. It also means it takes ages to dry.

With this Rukka suit, the outer shell is a three-layer Gore-Tex Pro laminate, so all the water should just run off. It’s also somehow stretchy, so comfortable and easy to wear.

But it’s got abrasion-resistant panels in the right places and flexible CE-approved armour inserts, which are large enough to curve right around shoulder, elbow and knee joints.

As well as a back protector, it comes with a removable chest protector, which is held in place by a zip at either side.

It’s got a YKK waterproof main zip and seems well designed everywhere, with outer cuffs that easily go over the gauntlets of your gloves, to prevent water ingress, and soft inner ones that hug your wrist.

The trousers have braces, which help keeps draughts out (my old ones don’t and I was forever pulling them up) and of course they zip to the jacket.

One of the best features is the thermal lining, a down jacket and trousers. Neither attach to the outer – you just put them on separately. I think I prefer it that way. With my last suit I was always undoing buttons and zips to take the thermal liner out when it warmed up a bit.

You can wear the upper part on its own as down jacket. I suppose you could wear the trouser liner separately too, but you’d look daft, as per my picture.

Don't worry: the TMAX goes in a garage at night.

I like

With both liners in place, I think it’s definitely the warmest motorcycle suit I’ve owned. With the weather starting to turn chilly, I’d normally have the heated vest out by now. It’s still in a cupboard.

When not in use both parts of the thermal lining compact neatly into stowaway bags.

I don’t like

I suppose one thing it lacks over my previous suit is the ability to remove the Gore-Tex lining altogether to stay cool on really warm days. I think it’s probably more suited to northern Europe than southern. But northern Europe is where I live, so that’s okay.


It seems by quite a margin the best riding gear I’ve owned. The price is high – the jacket is £1,199 and the trousers another £7,99 – but so is the quality. A longer-term review will follow.