gear (armor?) for feb 22-mar20 vietnam trip

Discussion in 'Vietnam - General Discussion Forum' started by hikerobby, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Hi. I am planning my 30 day trip and am in Bangkok looking at motorcycle gear. It is not cheap, I am curious if there are good shops in Hanoi or HCMC to buy gear? I wonder if I should get it here because it is available?

    So I am curious what you veterans think about armour, and leather. There is a leather coat here for $300 that has tons of tiny holes in it, the store claims it will be breezy while biking, it also has a liner if you don't want the wind coming in. Regardless, I got hot in the store just wearing it, but it was a nice coat and looked nice, prob be $500 in the states. I also found nice full armour pants for $200usd. When I wear it in the store and think about the locals wearing flipflops and tank tops I feel like it is overkill.

    I hear it gets cold in the north?? When I am there (feb22-mar20) will it require a leather coat? Like I said it does have the tiny holes.

    The other option is a $100 mesh coat, very airy, with good armour--but it still would be hotter than a T shirt. And $120 kevlar jeans, not armour, just kevlar in key places. So yeah, what do you folks think about those options and the heat/cold? I will be biking in the north mostly, but I might go all the way to hcmc, I am fairly open.

    Maybe it would be better/cheaper to buy gear in Vietnam anyways???

    Thanks in advance!
  2. I had almost no luck finding gear in Hanoi when I started my 4 month VN motorbike trip. In my opinion it's probably best to buy before you arrive. I did buy a full face helmet but it was pretty flimsy. It looked 'ok' but put it between your two hands and you could squeeze it and it would change shape. I ride SE Asia nearly every year and I bring my own helmet now. I'd buy in BKK if I were you.

    Gear is all very much up to you. Some people don't wear gear at all. ...and on the other side of the spectrum there are people who will only wear leathers (although god help them in Vietnam!). Personally for me at an absolute minimum I always wore a helmet. On days that I intended on riding a distance (say, more than an hour on the road) I'd always gear up. I had mesh summer gloves, a mesh/armoured jacket, kevlar jeans and hiking boots that covered my ankles. You might feel more comfortable with less, or more.

    The mesh jacket I felt was perfect. It was always cool enough and the times I didn't wear it was because I felt it was inconvenient. I had one very small stack where I would have been traveling less than 10k's. The mesh jacket (under a jumper and rain jacket) had no visible signs of damage and protected me from what would have been a pretty sore shoulder. Don't think it would hold up in a high speed slide very well though... but in VN generally you aren't going too fast anyway.

    Only far north VN is cold (ie. Sapa). You can buy cheap jackets, jumpers etc up there. They sell a lot of NorthFace gear factory seconds there and it's super cheap. Just remember to negotiate and shop around.
    If you're going up that way I recommend the Mimosa Guesthouse/motel which is next to the market. It has amazing views of Fansipan and is pretty well priced.

    Ride safe, enjoy and be sure to share your trip here when you return.
  3. I heard you could get gear at Hanoi towers or 39 Hoa Ma street. Did you check there?

    i may actually fly into hcmc
  4. I can't say I checked all of Hanoi. Haha! I couldn't find any gear but that's not to say it doesn't exist. Check 39 Hoa Ma St and let us know how you go.
  5. Buy in Bangkok where you can be sure to get everything you need for your trip.

    Paddock is easy to get to. Has everything you would need.

    320 sp and dirt shop amongst a few.

    Unless you are doing full on off road trips. Just get a good touring jacket and pants with knee protection.

    Sidi adventure boots are strong and comfortable.
    Also at paddock. They have a huge selection of boots and gear.

    I woukd ride in all my safety gear. Pretty crazy driving there and pretty easy to come off.

  6. I was in north vietnam one month ago, stunning scenery and daytime temps are ok but it was bloody cold night during the nights as most hotels dont have heating, I slept 4 nights in a row with my clothes on but you can get warm clothes at the local markets. Suggest you buy gear in Bkk, never saw any locals having proper gear. Traffic out of town is ok but Hanoi required full- on attention...
  7. As a person who lives here take my words, if your bigger than normal vietnamese or want to have many options from were to choose buy from Bangkok, gear here can be cheaper but you need to find it first.

    Hanoi towers don't have anything, unless you want "fake" northface clothes.

    There is one "made in Vietnam" shop in 455 Kim Ma, they have another shop in Nguyen Trai street just before Royal mega mall /Vincom, but you need to call them first as on that location there is nobody normally.
    not much leathers big sizes!

    one shop is also on Duong lang called speedshop The Pha Daeng Mansion

    Bigbox shop went under, so it seems most of that shops products are in speedshop now.

    In HCM there are a lot more options than in Hanoi!

    And then there is Joker helmet shop near Kim Ma
    owner does speak english.
  8. I picked up second hand dryrider pants with inner pads and a pretty hard core second hand jacket from ADV Ride in Hanoi (Mr. Long +84 9 8459 9096 English speaking).
    For boots I just used my hiking boots I had with me.
    I picked up some pro-biker gloves from a shop selling Harley parts somewhere around Hòa Mã area of Hanoi, the place also had a pretty good selection of pads (the strap on kind), the same area also had quite a number of places selling reasonable quality helmets (none carrying an EC or US safety sticker though).

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