MSR Max Air Gear Set (discontinued)

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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Tested: MSR Max Air Gear Set

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Andre Barbosa // Photos by Arthur Barbosa

I typically avoid vented gear, as in the past I've had some issues with their durability. However, gear manufacturing and design have evolved significantly and I thought it was time to give another set a try. My gear of choice was the spring release of the Max Air line from MSR, a company started by the legendary Malcolm Smith in 1971.

MSR Max Air Features:

Two color options: White/Blue and Yellow/Red.


  • Ventilated poly mesh fabric with printed graphics.
  • Dual adjustable waist straps.
  • Ratchet style belt closure.
  • Comfortable mesh liner.
  • Rubber thigh & knee logos.
  • Burn-resistant embossed leather inner knees.
  • MSRP $109.95


  • Lightweight micromesh poly construction for high velocity airflow.
  • Stretch collar with Lycra™ dam and sublimated logo.
  • Comfortable Lycra™ micro cuffs.
  • MSRP $34.95


  • “Slip-on," embossed, airprene cuff for stability and comfort.
  • Lighweight sublimated poly twill fabrics for back hand.
  • Synthetic palm and reinforced thumb panel for wear resistance and comfort.
  • Silicone graphic on finger tips for positive lever feel.
  • Rubber pull tab on palm side cuff for easy donning.
  • MSRP $29.95

First Impressions:

As I held the gear in my hands for the first time, I noticed the Air Max gear felt lighter than anything else in my gear bag. It seems that most of the weigh savings came from the pants, while the jersey and gloves are more similar to some of other sets of gear I've used. The good news is that even with the much lighter feel, it didn't feel like they had skimped on the quality of the materials and the construction of the gear.

Since I wear knee braces and grip quite tightly with my legs, the knee areas are of particular concern for me. The Air Max pants have premium leather on the inside of the knees, as well as solid stitching throughout. The mesh materials on both the pants and the jersey felt quite breathable, while the gloves are similar to other offerings on the market.

On the Track:

The sizing of the jersey was spot on, while the pants seemed to run a little bit roomier than my other size 32 pants. In retrospect, I would've been interested in trying on a pair of 30s. Once in motion, the breathability of the materials in the jersey and pants becomes quickly apparent, especially in the hot days of Southern California. In fact, I rode with the MSR Air Max gear in temperatures well above 90° F, and the difference to my regular non-vented gear was quite noticeable.

The gloves are also a part of the Max Air line, but I didn't feel any real difference in terms of airflow compared to a standard pair. For fitment, they are quite snug but this resulted in a lack of bunching in the palm area.

Something I didn't expect, were all the compliments I got on the track about how good this gear looks. Including several riders that approached me about the gear to ask my thoughts on it and where to get it.

Long-Term Durability:

I've put the Air Max combo through a couple of months of serious abuse, while riding an average of three times per week. After all this riding and numerous wash cycles, the gear still looks as good as the day I received it. All the stitching has held up perfectly and the colors are still bright and vivid. As already mentioned, the knees are usually the first area I encounter durability problems. But I can attest that the leather inserts on this set are still in great shape. The jersey and the gloves are also in great shape, but I'm not nearly as hard on them as I am on the pants.

The Last Word:

This set of gear impressed me from the first day, but really won me over in the last couple of months. It looks great, fits well, and lasts a long time. All this included along with its very affordable combined MSRP of around $170. The MSR Air Max combo would be a great choice for riding in hot weather at any price point, but I see it as an incredible bargain at its current price. My recommendation is to go out and buy a set of this gear before summer is in full effect, it's that good.

Vital MX Rating:

Check out for more info on their gear sets or their other products.

About the Test Rider:

Andre Barbosa - is a part-time photographer / videographer, part-time film student, and full-time motocross enthusiast. He started as a mechanical engineer, because of his love for all things motorcycle related, but switched to the banking industry after getting his MBA. He currently lives in Irvine, and can be found riding the local SoCal tracks a couple of times a week. Although he regularly raced Districts 6 and 34 when he lived in NYC, currently his friends call him a professional practice rider.


Product MSR Max Air Gear Set
Miscellaneous Jersey, pants and gloves.
Price $172.95
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