The Defender GTX, as most folks know is new for Fall 2010 and features some upgrades as well as a GORE-TEX liner. In this post we are going to take a deep dive on functionality and material similarities and differences between them.
If you would rather watch the HD videos of both outfits, they are on the product pages as well as video detailing liner breakdown and fit. Click to see the REV'IT! Cayenne Pro or REV'IT! Defender GTX Jacket to watch the video.
On to the comparison.....
Styling: Slightly Different. Both jackets are close to waist length, but the color blocking on both is different. The Defender GTX is more inline with the updated style of the Sand Jacket and Pants. The Cayenne Pro comes in 5 jacket colors and 3 pant colors, Defender GTX comes in 4 jacket colors and 2 pants colors. In our opinion we like that they are different enough to stand out from one another.
Fit: Slightly Different. Both jackets have a more of a European cut. The Cayenne Pro is a dramatic athletic / sport cut while the Defender GTX is a more forgiving "Touring Fit" for a wider range of body types.
Armor: Same. Both The REV'IT! Defender and REV'IT! Cayenne Pro use the SAS-TEC molecular armor in shoulders, elbows and knees. The SAS-TEC armor is only getting better and is some of the best armor available on the planet. It becomes rigid upon impact and absorbs more joules of energy than anything currently available. It is also continually improving. They both come with a temperfoam back pad, but you can upgrade to a SAS-TEC. We find that most folks do.
Superfabric: Slightly different. Both the Cayenne Pro and the Defender GTX user Superfabric Panels to cover high-impact areas (elbows and knees). SuperFabric is tiny laser welded ceramic plates which are 14x more abrasion resistant than Kevlar. The ability to slide longer distance without transferring heat is huge upside in a get-off. For the Defender the Superfabric was cut into a cross-hatched pattern, which upon testing showed no diminishment in protection but increased ability to breath which is a plus in warmer / more active scenarios when you are potentially sweating.
SuperFabric Pattern: Cayenne Pro on left, Defender GTX on Right
Insulation Liner: Same. Both use REV'IT!'s removable Exkin Air Thermal Liner which is half the weight, half the thickness and and 4x the warmth of DuPont Thermalite. In a nutshell is is one of the warmest synthetics around which stretches both of these jacket deeper into the temp range than anything we carry. The only thing warmer at RevZilla is Gerbings Heated Gear. The Thermal liner is a removable drop liner.
Waterproof / Breathable Liner: Different. This feature is a huge difference between the jackets. The "GTX" in Defender GTX stands for GORE-TEX Performance Shell. The Cayenne Pro uses REV'IT!'s best proprietary Hydratex drop liner which is waterproof and breathable. The Defender's GORE-TEX liner is more waterproof over longer periods of extreme testing and it will breath better than the Hydratex. Tech specs: GTX is 9000ml/H20 24hrs - Hydratex is 5000ml/H20 24hrs. When you sweat in a jacket like this, the ease in which your perspiration can evaporate out of the jacket is key. The REV'IT! Hydratex liner is an 8/10. The GORE-TEX liner is a 10/10. GORE-TEX invented the technology and it remains the standard for waterproof and breathable membranes. The Defender also passes W.L. Gore's OnRoad test which is the most stringent waterproof test done in the industry. The inclusion of GORE-TEX in the Defender GTX is the biggest factor in the price increase over the Cayenne Pro. Both waterproof liners are removable in both outfits.
Outer Shell Construction: Different. The Cayenne Pro will always remain a bombproof jacket featuring DuPont Cordura® 500D, DuPont Cordura® 1000D. In its own right a very strong tag team of textiles. The Defender raises the bar slightly by using Cordura® 500D ripstop with Teflon® coating, PWR|shell 500D with Teflon® coating, Cordura® 1000D ripstop with Teflon® coating. The teflon coating on all the fabrics aid in its strength and durability. Ripstop is a tiny checkerboard pattern on the textile to keep a potential puncture or tear from running. This is a nice upgrade for a very adventure oriented jacket. Both upgraded features make the Defender GTX shell stronger and more durable in the long and short term. Also while neither outershell is waterproof (the inner liners are) they are both water resistant and have a DWR coating. REV'IT! continued the tradition of rugged exteriors which do not have a "crunchy" feel to them. We find most riders are happy with that approach. The upgrade from either of these jackets is something like the KLIM Adventure Rally suit using GORE-TEX Talisman and Armacore which are stronger but heavier, less comfortable fabrics.
Ventilation: Different. The Defender uses 3D Mesh panels for better airflow than the Cayenne Pro. Similar to the Sand Jacket, the 3D mesh creates a slight gap from the chest and the outershell to offer less restriction of airflow and aid in body cooling. The Cayenne Pro uses upgraded Dynax Mesh in its chest panels which flow slightly less air. The Defender also uses the Two-way cuff / sleeve zipper system which in the open position directs airflow up the sleeve vs the Cayenne Pro's basic sleeve vent. Neither of these jackets will vent as well as a mesh like the REV'IT! Sirocco, but If I give the Cayenne Pro Jacket an 7.5/10 in Venting, the Defender GTX Jacket gets a 9. Both Pants vent similarly. At highway speeds a rider would be fine in either aside from extreme conditions. At a stand still, like any jacket, a rider could become hot fast.
Reflective : Slightly Different. They both use 3M Scotchlight panels, but the design is slightly improved on the Defender GTX Jacket.
Price: The Cayenne Pro will set you back $579 for Jacket and $399 for the Pants. The Defender GTX comes in at $749 for the Jacket and $599 for the pants. It's reasonable increase in price built around mainly the GORE-TEX inclusion and R&D as well as some new features and upgraded shell materials.
Conclusion: For the hardcore adventurer, the Defender GTX is a big step up in functional performance with the inclusion of GORE-TEX, some newer generation ripstop elements and a better ventilaiton scheme than the already solid Cayenne Pro. Overall the features should contribute to a jacket / pants combo which will be more rugged, protective and further the active extreme temperature range but may very well be overkill for the average to above average touring rider. The Cayenne Pro was built with heavy duty extreme riding in mind and, while the Defender GTX pushes the envelope, the GTX level of cost may not be necessary for 95% of the 4-Season Riding population. Most folks can save the extra cash and go Cayenne Pro unless they know the extra functionality is valuable to them.The bottom line is that for their price points, both of these outfits are excellent.
We have already road and off-road tested our Defenders and have been quite impressed with the performance - I will admit that we are not surprised.
Find the Gear On RevZilla.com: $549.99
REV'IT! Defender GTX Jacket $749.99
REV'IT! Defender GTX Pants $599.99
REV'IT! Cayenne Pro Jacket $549.99
REV'IT! Cayenne Pro Pants $399.99
REV'IT! GORE-TEX Gear