Held Matera touring jacket, £699.99 & Fontino trousers, £499.99
Time tested: 3000 miles/six months
What’s good? Where do I start? It’s probably easiest to break it down into sections. No.1, comfort: I hate motorcycle equipment that restricts movement the moment you put it on, but from the first time I put this jacket and trousers on there was none of that - comfortable collars and cuffs, easily adjusted fit and no interference from the body armour. Plenty of room to bend my knees whether I’m riding a big trailie or a sports bike. No2, technical: It is always nice to see the comforting words ‘Gore-Tex’ on a garment. It is used in this suit as a laminate as part of the ProShell outer layer, which basically means the water runs straight off as opposed to soaking into the jacket and trousers to make it harder to dry out. Tough Armacor fabric protects areas that may come under attack in the case of an accident, and there’s additional CE knee, elbow and shoulder armour. No 3, ventilation: The jacket is equipped with a clever system called ‘Boa’; inside a flap on the chest are two dials for adjusting vents to let in air in a controlled fashion. On top of this it has reflective panels and a five-year guarantee, and if for some reason you do have to send your jacket or trousers back, a replacement will be sent out for the duration of the repair, you can’t say fairer than that! It’s an outstanding jacket and trousers, especially when it’s raining
What’s not? One of the very fine waterproof zips on the bottom of the left leg kept jamming up. I have spoken to Held and they have rectified this problem on later versions of the suit by replacing the leg zips with a heavier version. Also there were some rather flimsy buttons inside to retain the softshell inner, they came off, but again this has been rectified by Held with stronger tabs with press-stud poppers. Failures like this would all be covered by the guarantee.
Quality rating: 5/5
Value rating: 4/5