Held, a 60-year-old German company best known in the U.S. for its high-quality gloves, also makes motorcycle apparel and luggage. One of Held’s most unique offerings is the Camaris jacket and Ravero pants, a touring suit that combines the abrasion resistance and style of leather with the versatility of textile and the weather protection of Gore-Tex.
The outer shell is made of cowhide in key wear and abrasion areas, such as the shoulders, outer arms, hips, seat and knees, and breathable Dyna Mesh fabric everywhere else. The jacket is lined with Coolmax mesh, and inside the back are 3D mesh panels that promote air circulation. I’ve worn this suit on very hot days and have been mightily impressed with how much air flows through the jacket and pants.
At the shoulders, elbows and knees is CE-approved SAS-TEC armor that’s light and flexible yet stiffens upon impact for maximum protection. Unfortunately, especially at this premium price point, back and hip protection is limited to Temperfoam pads. I upgraded to Held’s Sakari back/coccyx protector with built-in kidney belt ($150) and hip protectors ($30/pair), increasing protection with SAS-TEC armor in these impact-prone areas. To prevent the jacket from sliding up in a crash, a 24-inch, hip-to-hip zipper connects to the pants.
Designed for multi-season use, the suit has lightweight, removable Gore-Tex jacket and pant layers that are windproof, waterproof and breathable. They can be zipped inside as liners or worn over the top like a rainsuit, the latter being the best option for protecting the suit and its eight non-waterproof pockets from rain and road spray. These smartly designed layers pack away compactly and are suitable for wearing off the bike, though they have no pockets of their own. Since the Gore-Tex layers block wind but are not insulated, cold days may require thermal base layers or heated gear.
This Held suit is stylish, comfortable and versatile. From day one, the cowhide was soft and supple, and the cut of the jacket and pants (along with strategically placed stretch panels) allows plenty of movement on and off the bike. Attention to detail is first-rate, and fit adjusters, reflective accents and high-quality zippers make this practical, user-friendly gear.
The Camaris jacket ($930) is available in men’s sizes S-4XL and women’s sizes S-2XL, and the Ravero pants ($780) are available in men’s sizes S-4XL (plus stocky or slim sizes M-2XL) and women’s sizes S-2XL. Black only.
For more information: See your dealer or visit heldusa.com
(This Gearlab review was published in the January 2015 issue of Rider magazine.)