Held Carese II Jacket & Torno II Pants Review
Advances in textile materials and apparel engineering, it seems, are just as high-tech as the latest motorcycles, and Held has not been lax in the creation of these feature-rich garments, including the Short Race gloves.
In fact, Held is probably best known for its gloves, having begun manufacturing them in 1946, yet the Bavarian company offers an extensive range of motorcycle clothing, boots, and soft luggage for bike or travel.
When wearing and reviewing this outfit, I found that I needed to carefully check minute details in order to discover the many features that are incorporated within. Even under this detailed scrutiny I found the workmanship is second-to-none, fabric cut precise and stitching flawless. These garments are part of Held’s Quattrotempi range, aimed and named for the four-seasons rider and buyer.
Held Carese II Jacket Review
The Carese II jacket is slim cut, with a waist belt, and constructed of 100-percent Cordura 500D polyester fabric throughout—although they incorporate several different blends in various parts of the construction. There is Coolmax in the lining, and 3D air mesh panels to add some ventilation space between the garment and the rider. The design follows the recent trend by manufacturers to increase venting and cooling efficiency for summer, as prior designs often were more like three-seasons because they were just too hot in summer.
To aid venting, the Carese II is built with square breast pocket vents that are zip-opening, and utilize strong magnets to hold the flap open; gone are the days of ripping Velcro and finding the snap. Add to that zipped six-inch vents across the rib cage and 15-inch vents along the leading edge of the sleeves that unzip from either end or both. There are two vertical nine- inch zippered vents along the back ribs and another between the shoulders across the top.
Of great interest are the storm flaps along the main zipper. They seal tightly with both hook-and-loop and magnets; when they are open, they fold back against the front of the jacket and are held in place by another set of magnets. Once open, vents are exposed on either side of the heavy-duty zipper and they strongly channel air through the jacket, even though the zipper is fully closed. This helps preserve the integrity of the jacket in case of a spill. On a hot day, you will know why I like this feature so much.
Included is a removable three-layer wind- proof and waterproof Gore-Tex liner that either zips—no loops and snaps—inside the jacket, or may be worn over the jacket (as is my choice) for rainy day riding. Base and insulating layers are not provided, so bring your own; the same goes for the liner that is supplied with the Torno trousers.
Exterior pockets are plentiful. On the front there are two small mid-rib pockets with water- proof zippers, as well as two large waterproof pockets sealed with hook-and-loop and magnets. On the rear is a large duck hunter pocket with another, smaller pocket, piggybacking on top of it. Inside are two Napoleon pockets—one all the way in, and the other inside the storm flap for easy access—as well as a cargo pocket and an interior neoprene-insulated pocket for a cell phone.
For protection, Held incorporates CE rated shoulder and elbow protection from SAS-TEC of Germany. This high-tech soft memory foam, not unlike D3O, is reactive; it hardens upon impact to aid in absorbing shock, and to distribute impact forces over a greater area. A comfortable back pad is included, with a robust CE Level-2 protector available as an option. A stingray-like fabric, with metal inserts, protects the tops of the shoulders.
To help seal out drafts, the Carese II has a slightly long cut at the bottom rear, along with bungees on the skirt. The collar has a soft lining and a hold-open hook, and there are dual arm adjusters on each sleeve.
The jacket is very comfortable to wear on the bike, as the cut allows easy reach to the bars and pegs without the garment shifting on my body. On cold days there is wind leakage through the zipper that extends fully down the arm to the cuff. That zipper faces directly into the wind at speed and has no storm flap. This is good in the summer, yet one feels the chill through that area if not wearing a thermal base layer or heated jacket liner.
Held Torno II Pants Review
These matching pants are constructed as technically as the jacket. They start with a similar 500D Cordura and Coolmax chassis, to which is added Pittard’s brand of leather anti-slip seat patch and covering in the area between the knees. It is soft and thin, with an attractive mottled patina. The crotch has a generous gusset made of a Keprotech-like fabric that has some stretch for added comfort.
There are two regular zippered hand pockets, with innovative cargo pockets. First, there are full height vertical vents on both sides of the pockets. Then the pocket itself—with magnet and hook-and-loop flap—has another zippered pocket piggybacked on top of the cargo pocket beneath the flap. Lastly, there is a zipper on the leading edge of the pocket that allows it to be opened to the breeze as a third vent. I enjoyed the flexibility of this inventive and functional design.
The waist has hook-and-loop adjusters, as well as belt loops if you need them. There is a zipper that mates to the Carese II jacket.
Held Short Race Gloves Review
While the name implies racing, I found the Short Race good for touring and general riding. Its makeup of double-layer kangaroo hide on the palm, and cowhide on the back, makes for a supple glove, especially with the at seam construction. The Short Race gloves are unlined, and have Superfabric reinforcement on the fingers and edge of the hand, with Kevlar on the back. Also, there is a visor-wipe on the left fore finger. As is typical of Held, the makers are able to cut and sew a superb product out of many materials and they end up feeling great on my hand.
Truly a four-season set of premium riding apparel, this Held gear is well suited for stalwart tourers, as well as adventure riders who demand the latest in technology and style.
For additional information, visit Held Motorcycle Gear.