It wouldn’t be appropriate motorcycling equipment without armor and structure, and Aether appears well-equipped to take care of wrecks. (I didn’t test which firsthand) The men jacket ships with a pile of rubbery pads of CE-certified D3O polyurethane armor which fit to the torso, elbow, shoulder and back, while pants get the cushioning in the hips and knees; all of it is secured in place with sturdy Velcro tabs.
According to Aether, the substance is rate-sensitive, meaning viscosity changes depending on the pressure exerted upon it. Translation: whack your knee hard against asphalt, and that soft orange padding will stiffen absorbing a greater amount of energy. The good thing is that the padding does not create pressure points and is pliable enough to not feel obtrusive, but provides impact protection that is great in the case of an dismount.
Verdict: There is no lack of established apparel makers offering hardcore bike touring and adventure traveling gear, and those heart manufacturers have done an admirable job blending layering, crash protection and ventilation. Aether, a newcomer in the space, brings a welcome breath of fresh air to the match by focusing on clean, elegant designs which retain a part of comfort and usability and ditching the dorky images. The fashion jacket and trousers do exactly what they are supposed to do all without aesthetic uncoolness’ societal liability though focused on weatherproof construction than all-around versatility.
While not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, the outfit actually becomes a value when compared to some of the offerings on the market. Hardcore long distance riders considering multi-week travel aren’t likely to choose Aether over stalwarts such as Aerostich or even Klim, but for urban adventurists who may dabble in the occasional state-hopping escape, the Divide jacket and pants deliver dapper looks with only enough performance to warrant their premium price