Finally, the waterproof enduro onesie you’ve been longing for

Dirtlej Dirtsuit saves your soggy bottom

We’re not gonna lie – the office is split on this one. Depending on who you speak to the Dirtsuit is either unadulterated genius or a fashion faux-pas that not even our own Jack Luke would be seen dead in it. And he wears some strange things.

This is the Dirtsuit, straight out of Germany, and if you hadn’t guessed, it’s a waterproof onesie for use when the weather gets really, really mucky.

The Dirtsuit looks odd, but we've got high hopes for its performance
The Dirtsuit looks odd, but we've got high hopes for its performance

So why might it be genius? It's because having your jacket and shorts connected means there’s no gaping hole above your backside to let the water in.

Waterproofs are handy in wet conditions, but the dynamic nature of mountain biking means that the bottom of your jacket often gets pulled up, either by your movements or those of the backpack you're carrying. This leaves the small of your back exposed to whatever's getting thrown up by your rear wheel.

Any mud and / or water that sprays into that exposed gap hits whatever jerseys, baselayers or bibs you’ve got on under your jacket and soaks through, leaving the rest of the garment, and you, damp and cold.

Combining the jacket and shorts into one means that gap never opens up. Genius (maybe).

It's an all-in-one waterproof, meaning no gap at the back when your pack rides up
It's an all-in-one waterproof, meaning no gap at the back when your pack rides up

The suit

The material has a reported 10,000mm waterproofing and breathability rating, which isn’t the highest out there. But however much moisture and heat it can deal with, it feels robust enough that it should come away pretty unscathed from any crashes on the trail.

As the seams aren’t fully taped, we suspect it won't completely hold out the heaviest rain, but few garments do so we see the Dirtsuit as a garment that's best suited to those dank, damp, splashy days that dominate the UK spring, summer, autumn and winter. If nothing else, it should at least be easier to spray down post ride.

Plenty of vents will hopefully reduce sweating - they're mesh backed too, to keep the outfit's shape
Plenty of vents will hopefully reduce sweating - they're mesh backed too, to keep the outfit's shape

While the breathability isn’t huge (it’s not uncommon to see clothing with figures double those that Dirtlej claim for the Dirtsuit) there are loads of zipped vents in the legs, chest and back. There’s also the huge zip down the front that you use to climb into the suit. The inner is lined, which in our experience helps reduce that clammy feel you get in waterproof clothing. 

Yet more vents...
Yet more vents...

There’s a hood, which just about fits over a helmet, but thankfully there’s also a Velcro flap inside that can be used to stow it away while riding. At the waist there’s a couple of tabs to cinch the whole thing in.

Neat touches

Dirtlej has clearly put a lot of thought into the suit's finishing touches. The pullers are all sturdy-looking and should be easy to grab with gloves on, and the all the zips are waterproof, including ones for the four pockets.

When it gets dark, the reflective trim and logos should stand out for the spin back to your home or car, and the sleeves are longer above the wrists to help keep water from getting into your gloves.

We like the cut over the wrists
We like the cut over the wrists

The details

We first saw the suit at Eurobike, and I was pretty excited to try it out. I'm also pretty excited to go riding in the mud, so I’ll be testing the suit fully over the next couple of months.

It costs €199 from dirtlej.com.

Dirtlej's full range of Dirtsuits includes a harder wearing and a more waterproof Black Edition (€238), a more packable Light Edition (€128) and the Core Edition (€296), which has full length legs and more waterproofing/breathability. The company also has a number of shorts, luggage and bike-protection products.

So, whose side are you on? Is this the future of wet-weather gear or something you wouldn't be seen dead in? Let us know in the comments...

Tom Marvin

Technical Editor, Tech Hub, UK
Tom's been riding for 15 years, and has always chopped and changed bikes as soon as his budget allowed. He's most at home in the big mountains, having spent nigh on 30 weeks riding the Alps, as well as having lived a stone's throw from the Scottish Highlands for four years. Tom also enjoys racing events like the Strathpuffer and the Trans Nepal.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep and super tech or fast and flowy
  • Current Bikes: Canyon Spectral, Pivot Mach 429SL, Mondraker Vantage R +
  • Dream Bike: Transition Scout
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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