Friday, 1 February 2008

Gear Update - Halvarssons

Well I have travelled a few hundred KM's in my new Halvarssons Korax Jacket & Cobra Pants and thought I would give a brief update. For the purposes of of this I will be comparing against my previous few months and 3000+ KM's in my Olympia Motosports gear.

First, the Korax Jacket. I got it in Black/Offwhite, as I was told the Black/Offwhite/Red was no longer available, from Megabikes in Dublin, Ireland (my local Halvarssons dealer). The jacket is of very high quality and the fit is very snug. Not tight, but for a textile it does not feel bulky or cumbersome. All the features are very practical. Handy zips and I have yet to suffer a leak of any kind, also bear in mind that this has been the wettest Irish January in 20 years! My only complaint with the jacket is with it's thermal properties. The 'Outlast' liner does not meet behind the zipper like most thermal layers, so while riding you can really feel the cold getting through. In fact I have resorted to wearing my Olympia thermal lining underneath with the Outlast. This was disappointing as Halvarssons slogan is 'If it works in Scandinavia', maybe the wind blows differently there?

The Cobra Pants are also of the same high quality as the Korax Jacket. Their fit is also very similar, no bulkiness whatsoever. I have not noticed the cold so much in these except in the area where the ventilation zip is located, you do feel a bit there. Also, the pockets do not have waterproof zips, they are open all the time and in the rain can let water drip down inside the pant. This seems to be a major oversight. Maybe it is due to the design but I have not experienced this problem before. As an 'all-weather' rider I also spend all day in the gear so it can annoy. Other then that, the pants do everything as expected. They come in a selection of leg lengths so I got a perfect size for me requiring no adjustment. The braces are a very useful feature. Also the way they slip over the boot and fasten is quick and effective.

Taken as a suit it is very nice. As noted the fit is impressive, feeling more like a heavy jacket and a good pair of pants then a bulky textile suit. The armour is of CE specification and I had the optional 'Back Converter' (CE, EN 1621-2) which is very substantial without being noticeable. I forget it is there until I sit down or take of the jacket. Most of the zips have tabs on them to allow you to open with gloved hands, though getting in and finding your change is another matter. They also zip together with a full length zip which adds to the overall safety and comfort of the package.

As noted though, the weather protection is the suits only failings. The cold in the jacket and the rain with the pants. Other then that I would happily recommend this. If the fit of this suit and the weather protection of my Olympia suit could be combined then we may have found a near perfect suit. But right now we are just not there yet. So this suit is recommended but with some reservations if you are a all-year, all-weather rider. Those who can pick when to ride or use other transport would find little to fault.

Keep the rubber side down