Klim Dakar pants + jersey review: ready for adventure and dual sport
There’s nothing quite like driving over 1,700 miles on off-road equipment to get a feel for how it works. The Klim Dakar collection is a competitively priced jacket / jersey / gloves / pants set designed for off-road riding. I grabbed the Dakar pants and jersey before setting off on an epic 2022 Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure trip, and here’s what I found out.
Klim Dakar pants
Designed for the dual sport enthusiast, adventure rider and general off-roader, the best part of the Klim Dakar pants is that they go over the boots. In the 1980s, the only thing that kept debris from getting into your all-terrain boots were the gaiters.
It took the anti-establishment bad boys of freestyle motocross to bring the design to its current popularity. The LBZ Freeride pants led the style revolution. Designed for motocross and freeride in the 1990s, the LBZ pants lacked pockets and other features for real-world off-road use.
Take a leap forward into the 2020s and the Klim Dakar Overshirt offers the practical features of storage, protection and ventilation. The latest version of the Dakar pants are stronger, more stretchy and circulate more air than previous editions.
After eight days and nearly 1,800 miles of testing, the Klim Dakar pants have proven to be both functional in the hot summer temperatures of the southwest with its ventilation, and in the damp monsoon soaks. Although not designed to be waterproof, the Dakar pants kept me dry and comfortable.
The frame of the Dakar pants is constructed with 630D Cordura twisted yarn, with abrasion resistant 840D Cordura at the knees and seat. Goatskin leather is used on the inside of the knees for added grip and protection. The inside of the knee is made of 600D material to resist the wear and tear of the knee pads. There is also a moisture wicking liner.
Stretch and breathable woven panels are present on the back of the waist, above the knees, on the back of the legs and in the crotch. This makes the Klim Dakar pants flexible enough to handle different body movements and the demands of off-road riding. The silicone belt and adjustable waist straps are ideal for the perfect fit needed for walking.
Giving the Dakar pants the ability to adapt to various weather conditions, the front of the thighs have large zipped vents that you can open with gloves. Although they are not waterproof as mentioned before, they keep me dry thanks to Klim’s durable water repellency treatment which causes the pants to lose water.
Zippered storage pockets are located next to the long ventilation zippers on each leg and wrap around the sides of the hips. They are about the perfect size for a wallet and not so big that the contents bounce around.
The highly flexible Klim D3O armor is designed for pocket areas in the hips and knees, and sold separately. I prefer my own knee protection which I wear over my shins and keep in my boot. They can puff the boots up to the knees, but the wide cuff of the Klim Dakar pants slips in with the necessary movement. The knees are adjustable with velcro and buttons. I prefer the latter.
Klim Dakar jersey
The Dakar jersey is designed for hot weather with an open mesh on the sides, from the armpits to the waist. This is beneficial for demanding cyclists who use a chest protector, hydration backpack. You will need all the airflow you can get.
Most of the durable construction of the Dakar jersey is a lightweight mesh of various weaves. The mesh keeps you cool and the materials stretch for the rider’s necessary mobility.
The elbows feature a low profile foam that I would prefer to keep under hard plastic pads, or that you can wear over them.
There is also a silicone print on the back of the tail to help keep it in your pants. The stretch cuff keeps it in place on your wrist. The neck has a light, comfortable V-shaped opening with a narrow border to prevent chafing.
A zippered pocket on the left shoulder is there for carrying small, lightweight items.
I usually wear jackets, even in hot weather, without a bib. The Klim Dakar jersey will go well with the Dakar jacket and its removable sleeves. I wore the Klim Traverse jacket while testing in the hot states of New Mexico and Arizona during the summer, but it was monsoon season. The hot temperatures quickly dried wet clothes between the passing rain cells.
Pants and jersey Klim Dakar
With vents in the pants and mesh in the jersey, the Dakar clothing is ready to face the heat of the Sahara desert, which the Paris-Dakar rally riders passed through every year. The deserts of the southwestern United States are able to compete with the Sahara for summer inhospitality. The Klim Dakar pants and jersey allowed me to comfortably cross a journey that would have been brutal without the right equipment.
Highlights on the Klim Dakar pants
Klim Dakar pants Price: $ 230 MSRP
Fast facts on the Klim jersey
SM – 3X
Price of the Klim jersey: $ 80 MSRP
Klim Dakar pants and jerseys review Photo gallery