ADV Spec Baltic Insulated Jacket and Core Base Layers on the Trans Euro Trail
Clive Barber puts Adventure Spec gear through its paces on a multi-day TET expedition

The ADV Spec Baltic Insulated Jacket

The Baltic Insulated Jacket is one of 2 mid-layer jackets in the Adventure-Spec range, along with Baltic Hybrid Jacket. It is “a mid-layer that provides warmth in cold to very cold riding environments.” The Insulated jacket has full thermal insulation coverage, whereas the Hybrid jacket has partial thermal coverage with stretch fleece in less exposed areas. It’s “Thermore® Thermal Booster Insulation actively adapts to conditions, increasing performance as the temperature drops”, or so they say.

The jacket is design to fit over body armour but retain a close fit. I have the Forcefield Adventure Harness which is quite bulky, and I am fairly, ahem… big boned, but the extra-large jacket fitted perfectly over the armour, and under my Klim Traverse waterproof.

I especially like the close fit of the sleeves to retain heat, and to limit wind entry when moving.

I wore the jacket on the first few days when riding when it was cold and wet. For the remainder of the trip when we were blessed with miraculous sunshine during the riding day the jacket was stuffed in a pannier. It comes with a built-in stuff sack, but it was easier just to shove it in a bag.

I must confess, I think the Baltic jacket is a brilliant bit of kit. It works for riding in the cold, but it also works as a standalone bit of clothing. I wear it regularly in everyday life, whether that be going to work, or standing on freezing touchline during the rugby season.

It comes with a detachable water-proof hood and it has water proof materials on the shoulders and upper body, though If it was tipping down, I would not be my first choice as the remainder of the material is only water resistant.

Where it excels however is on a bike trip. No surprise as that is what it was designed for.

The Baltic Insulated Jacket

The Baltic Insulated Jacket is an extra warm mid layer that packs down into a compact pocket sack. It features 130g Thermore thermal booster insulation that adapts to external temperatures. Water resistant shoulders and hood help deflect rain and the hood is removable providing a good fit when worn under a riding jacket. The Baltic Insulated Jacket is designed for riding into colder environments where you require warmer layers both on and off the bike. Weight - 641g.

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The ADV Spec Core Base Layers

Adventure-Spec describe their Core base layers as motorcycle specific base layers that work well in hot and cold environments. Apparently, they are constructed to help regulate body temperature as well as staying firmly tucked in during strenuous trail riding, which is great for tall people like me that usually end up with a cold lower back. They have flat seams and variable stitch thickness for greater comfort and are made of silver ion yarn, whatever that is, to reduce odour.

I was given the base layer range to try out over the 10 days we were riding the TET. I must admit I was doubtful. I am a big fan and exponent of merino wool base layers for their climate control capabilities and the fact that you can wear them for days, and they only smell slightly funky. I took a spare set of merino base layers, just in case. I ended up only wearing the merino stuff for one day whilst the Adventure-Spec stuff dried after I washed it at the half way point. To be fair after 5 days they didn’t smell, so the silver ion thing must do its job.

I have not come across any other motorcycle specific base layers, though I imagine there are ones from the cycling world that might work well on a motorbike.

I guess the most outstanding thing about the Core base-layers was that I hardly noticed I had them on. We rode through 2 cold and very wet days, followed by several days of astonishing sunshine. They worked very well, they did everything that merino does, but will undoubtedly be much harder wearing than wool.

I did not consider taking them off when it got hot, which is important when you are wearing body armour and knee pads, as you need your base-layer to protect you from chafing. They also work as compression wear, at least it did on me; they make your moobs look like proper pecs, bargain! They are now part of my regular riding kit.

The Core Long Sleeve

The Core Long Sleeve is a base layer designed for adventure motorcyclists. It features a longer body length that stays tucked into your trousers. Flatlocked seams create a comfortable fit and silver ion yarn prevents odour buildup even after many days of repeated use. The Core Long Sleeve works well as a base layer for colder environments. Weight - 242g

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ADV Spec Baltic Hybrid mid layer jacket in the Tunisian desert
TET Linesman Roman Bale takes his Adventure Spec Baltic Hybrid on a desert adventure