German brand dirtlej has combined a waterproof jacket and shorts to create a onesie designed for riding in the muckiest of conditions, and, despite the polarising looks, it’s one that works well.
The one-piece design means there are no mud-covered shorts to fall down and no jacket hem to flap around, so your baselayer remains clean and dry.
A stretchy panel between the upper and lower sections aids fit and movement on the bike, although those with longer torsos may find the Dirtsuit is cut a little short and will need to size up.
I found the size Large a little tight over the shoulders when stood up, but on the bike it was less of an issue. Dirtlej says that sizing has been slightly revised since this item was sent for review, however.
There are loads of zipped and mesh-protected vents for tuning body temperature, and they work relatively effectively — obviously it’s an opening that will let water in on the wettest of days, but for sloppy rides it’s good to have the option to add ventilation
The long zip at the front makes getting it on and off super-easy. The main zip got a little stiff after a winter of use and did fail towards the bottom right at the end of the season. It just requires a little more thought to pulling it up now.
The hood is generous enough to fit over a helmet and can be strapped down for riding without adding too much bulk around the neck.
Thus far, the material has proved hardwearing. It’s neither super-waterproof nor super-breathable but the aforementioned vents keep you cool and the splash protection does a good job of keeping you dry.
While it’s good in the rain, it really excels on those splashy, muddy rides on trails that are still sopping wet.
The Dirtsuit Classic has been a game-changer for me this winter — and the full-length Core version, made from a fabric that’s more waterproof and more breathable, could be even better.
Since I received this Dirtsuit on test the ‘Classic’ edition has moved to a more subtle grey colour. There’s also a Pro version with a higher rating for waterproofing and breathability, and a SFD edition that's more gravity-orientated.