The waterproof onesie
We review the Dirtlej Dirtsuit, the original bright green waterproof onesie that’s perfect for protecting you from the elements when out on the bike.
If there was ever a piece of ride kit that created more conversation then it’s the Dirtlej Dirtsuit. This bright green onesie has divided opinion but as anyone that has tried one knows, it just works. The premise is simple, take a fully waterproof jacket and a pair of waterproof shorts and sew them together. Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that but you get the gist.
Why Dirtlej Dirtsuit?
Dirtlej’s reasoning behind creating the Dirtsuit is to eliminate all the little ways water and mud can sneak inside your outer layers. Effectively creating a fully protective layer. It’s available in a full leg Core version but we’ve tested the jacket/short Classic design. At it’s heart is a durable, waterproof and breathable fabric that makes up almost it’s entirety, the only exception is a panel of stretchy material across the lower back to increase articulation. All seams are sealed and taped to increase the water/wind resistance of the Dirtsuit. To increase breathability when working hard on the bike there are six cavernous ‘air intakes’. These are located on the legs, chest and arms and can be zipped shut to keep you snug. Additionally a helmet compatible, roll-away hood helps seal you from the elements. All zips are of the waterproof variety and the main zip has a nice big pull-ring.
Does it work?
Being a one piece, sizing is crucial and this is where the Dirtsuit could just do with a little more generosity. It’s the length that’s the issue, I’m 183cm (6’1″) and when in a riding position the medium size I wear just pulls the back and crotch a touch tighter than is properly comfortable. It’s not an issue when uplifting but all day pedalling can get a little uncomfortable. I could go up to a large but the fit will be too loose in all other measurements. Get the fit right and the Dirtsuit performs impeccably. The heavier duty material shrugs off scrapes and crashes and despite the garish green washes well at 30ºC. In terms of it’s original remit the Dirtsuit works exceptionally well, it certainly protects from the filth and leaves you dry and clean inside.
Living with the Dirtsuit
Living with the Dirtsuit does raise a few questions over it’s practicality though. Firstly, if you are in a habit of stopping for a mid-ride bite or aprés beer you need to strip down to the waist and have a mucky jacket dragging around behind you, which does get a bit tedious. If you try to roll it up and tuck it in you end up covered in the muck you were trying to avoid. Also I can’t help think that a separate jacket and short combo would give you a bit more versatility. The Classic version is also a pretty chunky bit of kit heavy, fortunately Dirtlej do make a lighter Dirtsuit and I think this would probably increase the concept’s versatility through a wider set of weather conditions.
The price might seem a touch steep on first glance but if you factor in the cost of separate jacket and shorts it actually looks pretty reasonable for what you get.
Overall the Dirtsuit is going to remain in my wardrobe as the go to bit of kit for uplifting or messing about in the woods when it's absolutely hammering down.