Richa Atlantic 2 GTX textile review - do top-spec options need to cost £2k?

Richa Atlantic jacket - zipping up

We’ve been testing the Richa Atlantic 2 GTX laminated all-weather textiles, and for the price, there’s a lot to like

Great value considering the quality and with a nice close fit
Adjustable neck fastener is fiddly, no full roll down back vent

Key features

  • Full laminated Gore-Tex outer
  • D3O armour
  • Braces and 360 closure zip

Motorcycle textiles are, when looking at the prices, a bit like motorbikes. The cost can run from a hundred quid right up to well over a thousand pounds for some of the top-spec kit on the market.

But does paying more really mean better quality and more protection? I’ve been testing the top-of-the-range Richa Atlantic 2 GTX (meaning laminated Gore-Tex) textile jacket and trousers to find out. So far, I’ve used these on two prominent adventure bike launches, the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Triumph Tiger 900 launched last month. 

I primarily chose the suit for the Royal Enfield Himalayan launch, as it was taking place in - quite neatly - the Himalayan mountain range. We’d been warned that the temperature could quickly go from around ten degrees to below zero in a matter of miles, and with that in mind, I needed textiles that had a decent thermal lining that I could whip out quickly when it got warmer. The Atlantic 2 suit also hit my radar as it seemed to have an abundance of vents, meaning if the going got hot I could get some air inside the suit to keep me cool.

I’ve also covered lots of wet miles in the UK in the suit, and have covered around 1,500 miles of testing in that time. 

Price and colour options

The complete suit is sold separately as a jacket and trouser set. The Jacket comes in at £849.99 and the trousers are £589.99. So, the total for the complete set I’m wearing comes in at £1,439.98. There’s no getting around the fact that is a fair chunk of change (in fact more than I paid for my first 125cc bike!) but we are looking at motorcycle kit that’s at the top of the tree here. 

Compared to a similarly specced Rukka suit, where you could be paying £1,200 to £1,500 for a jacket and £700 to £900 for the trousers, the Richa Atlantic 2 does look decent value. If you like the style and the Richa name but have less to spend, we’ll soon have review of the cheaper, non-Gore Tex Infinity 2 textiles live soon. 

There isn’t a massive swatch of colours to choose from, with either the white and grey/black, just black, or black with fluro yellow highlights. I am riding in a white jacket and black trousers.

Key features

The Atlantic 2s are both full-laminated Gore-Tex suits, meaning the waterproof membrane is bonded into the outer layers of the jacket. There are no fiddly drop-liners to deal with on the inside of the jacket, and when it gets soaked on a ride, you just give it a good shake and hang it up somewhere airy and it’ll be dry in next to no time. I’ve always been a big fan of laminated kit for just this reason, the turn-around time from wet to dry is about as long as it takes to eat a sit-down lunch mid-ride.

There’s a mixture of two-layer and three-layer Gore-Tex in the outer of each item, with the more resistant three-layer fabric covering the areas that get the most punishment. The stretch fabric is also Gore-Tex which I think is great, it means you don’t get any of those annoying leaks or drips in places that you shouldn’t. There are also Gore-Tex Armacor sections on the high abrasion on the elbows, shoulders, and knees.

Protection is provided by D3O, with Level 1 armour as standard in the shoulders, elbows, knees, and a back protector. There’s also the option to upgrade it to Level 3 ‘Ghost’ armour if you prefer, and a D3O chest protector can be installed for frontal impact protection.

With the jacket, you get the thermal liner that makes a great standalone item when not on the bike, and the Atlantic 2 is compatible with Richa’s Weather Collar to keep the chill off your neck. For the trousers, you get the thermal liner, built-in braces and a full-length zip around the waist for when the winter weather really bites. There are ‘accordion’ stretch panels in the vital areas, a zip at the ankle and a hook and loop flap to help keep things looking tidy.

Richa Atlantic 2 GTX review

My first time slipping into the suit was on the launch of the new Himalayan 450 and I was happy (relieved!) to find that I’d nailed the sizing. I hate flappy textiles, and the cut of both the jacket and trousers (small for both the jacket and trousers) is perfect, whether the thermal liner is in or out.

That launch was an interesting one for this, as we were up over 10,000 metres above sea level at points, and while on one side of the mountains, we could be in blazing sunshine, a few miles later we could be in total shade and the temperature would plummet. 

On that front, the Atlantic 2 did well because you can whip out the thermal liner in a minute or two and have it stuffed in a bag or pannier. You have a vent on each side of the chest, one on each cuff/sleeve, and two large exhaust vents on the back of the jacket. The trousers have vents on the front and rear of the thigh too. All of the vents on the front of the jacket and trousers can be opened (carefully) as you ride along. Should the weather get really warm, and you want to get the full throughflow of air going, you’ll need to pull over and open the exhaust vents on the rear - or a helpful pillion could assist you!

Once the vents are open (and without the thermal liner installed) they work well. You can get enough airflow into the jacket from the two chest inlets to cool you down, and I can even feel a bit going into the leg vents too. The back of the jacket doesn’t unzip and roll down completely, which is ideal in really hot conditions, but unless you’re adventuring through the Amazon (rainforest, not online store!) you should be fine in the Atlantic 2 all year round.

So far there’s been little to dislike. All the zips are nice and easy to use even in gloves, and none of the linings or the storm flap get fouled up in them - a pet hate of mine.

A full-size zip-down back vent would be a bonus but it’s not a deal breaker, and all the other vents work well. The quality feels top-class and I like the look of the white jacket matched to the black trousers - weirdly!

Does it keep you dry?

I’ve been caught in some fairly hefty downpours in the Atlantic 2 and never had an issue with water getting in the seams or zips. There’s a handy neoprene cuff on each sleeve that has a thumb loop at the end to ensure the neoprene cuff always fits under your glove, regardless of which type you are using. While it’s not quite as bulletproof a system as the large storm cuffs found on some other textiles, I’ve never had any issues with water coming up my sleeves.

With Gore-Tex making up the majority of the outer of the jacket you can already rely on its waterproof ability, and with the quality of the trousers and jacket being very high, I wouldn’t expect you to run into any troubles even after many years of use - if proper textile care is followed, of course.

The collar has an adjustable button closure system, which means you can tighten up the fit in wet and cold conditions and slacken it off when it's warmer. It’s a neat little system although can be fiddle to adjust in riding gloves.

Should you buy Richa Atlantic 2 GTX textiles?

I know that paying just over £1,400 is a lot of money for riding kit, but in the world of premium textiles, you could easily be paying another £500 on top of that (or more) from some other brands on the market. 

Compared to these more pricey competitors, the Richa suit is very much in the running, and the comfort, thermal quality, and protection are a match for the very best you can buy. The best thing I have found though is the cut and fitment of this set of textiles is, for my size and shape, the best I have experienced. As mentioned, I hate flappy textiles, and the fit of these is as close as I can get to having a custom-built textile suit made just for me.

For more information on the textile suit tested above head the Nevis UK website.