One of the awesome things about writing product reviews and not having any obligations to a particular gear company is that I get to test all sorts of gear. Of course the downside is that it’s at my own expense, but I thoroughly enjoy this part of the sport as much as any and it’s a passion. On that note, I’m excited to be doing a test of Shift’s 2015 Faction gear combo. With two other sets of gear still fresh on my mind and my only motive being enthusiasm, this review is as straightforward as they come.
For those who might be unaware, Shift is essentially Fox Racing. They made the transition a few years ago and unlike Fox they are strictly motocross. As far as the gear itself, the Faction is based on the 360 gear set with only slight variations and is their premium line. They also offer lower priced and over-the-boot combo’s as well. Differences in the construction are slight, but noticeable, and it seems that you can also purchase the Shift gear for slightly less. One major difference is the simple, yet awesome styling.
While this is my first set of Shift gear, it is not my first set of Fox gear. Admittedly, I was hesitant to consider Shift an option as my 360 gear had been a major let down. Memories of the zipper falling apart on their break in ride and having to keep them together with duct tape were still vivid. The pants were also ridiculously heavy from the amount of plastic logos that were stitched on. Then I realized that was 2008, and seven years in motocross is a long time. The likelihood that Fox hadn’t made some major changes was pretty slim and that it would be foolish not to be open minded about it. I searched for reviews and came up empty handed, but the Faction Camo gear set had me hooked with it’s amazing styling and before I knew it my latest purchase was on it’s way.
The first thing you’ll notice is the vibrant colors of the gear. Sometimes the bright colors you see online don’t translate to real life. This is not the case with the Shift gear. I paid for bright red and I really got my money’s worth.
Shift’s Faction jersey has to be one of the sweetest available on the market. It weighs next to nothing and uses a material that is extremely comfortable. A lot of companies have chosen a thin, somewhat stretchy material that can really irritate your skin, and despite what they claim, it sticks to the moisture on your body and does not breath at all. I was extremely satisfied with the material of the jersey, and speaking of breathability, the entire back and area around the armpits are vented mesh. This is awesome for staying cool without going for a completely mesh jersey.
As you would hope, the jersey fits true to size and has enough length to comfortably tuck it in. This gear fits slimmer around the shoulders and through the arms, but is not tight by any means. Rather than simply make slim fitting gear for the heck of it, Shift cleverly did this to keep the sleeves from sliding up your arms. This is really nice when you’re out riding as it doesn’t bother you or feel restrictive. The lack of cuffs and the open collar help with that feel.
The Shift Faction pants are just as good and in many ways are similar in description. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and non-restrictive. Luckily the durability wasn’t sacrificed, the material is some of the toughest stuff out there. Thanks to lots of properly placed stretch panels, the heavy duty stuff can be used without making any compromises. Even the ankles have some stretch for the ease of putting on and removing the pants, and there’s lots of room for knee braces. There’s plenty of ventilation as well, which you’d hope for in a pant that goes for over $150.
With that being said, they’re built like the jersey in the sense that they’re slimmed down in certain places like around the thigh. One thing I was worried about was that there’s little to no stretch in the waist. After trying them on though, they’re definitely right on point with size and have enough give. The zipper and buckle are made in a way that is incredibly minimalistic. This aids in the overall fit of the pants. That being said, you’ll want to order them in your normal size or you’re not going to be happy with them.
While there is a glove that sort of goes along with this gear set, I opted for the Recon glove instead. Once again, Shift delivered on this product with quality and comfort. They materials all feel great and the large stretch panel over the knuckles is a perfect design. The main reason I chose the Recon however, is the additional padding in the palm and thumb. Many gloves used to offer this, but recently it’s been ditched to create thinner, minimalistic gloves. While they’re light and comfortable, you might as well just ride without gloves at all because they don’t do much at all. Normally the tradeoff for more padding is a lot of edges from stitching, but Shift has found a way to eliminate this problem and still offer protection. Overall, they’re amazing gloves and worth every penny.
Shift rightfully deserves to be considered one of the top contenders in motocross gear. With a competitive price tag, awesome design and color options, and high quality gear that was made with the rider in mind, you ought to consider them for your next gear set. You can expect great comfort, ventilation, and perfect fit when you buy the Faction gear set. If you want my opinion, this is the best gear I’ve ever worn and arguably the best gear on the market.
– Ventilation and comfortable material
– Fitment is on point
– Plenty of give in all the right places, and slim where necessary
– Awesome designs and colors
– As good as any premium gear at a lower cost than most
– Tag on bottom left side of jersey can be irritating
– Would like to see a velcro adjustment system for pants similar to Moose and Troy Lee Designs
There’s a whole lot of great things to say and not much you can really fault with this gear. The 360/Faction line has been around for a very long time and has been fine tuned to near perfection.