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Some nice features, great rain protection, but expensive and hot
In early summer 2012, I purchased the Held Amarillo jacket and matching Pezzo pants in size SMALL, and since then, I've completed many 1000s of miles summer touring while wearing this suit.
I had to order the suit from Germany because Held USA (and therefore Revzilla) does not stock anything smaller than a Size M for this jacket/pant combo. (As of my last visit to the doctor's office, I weighed 142 lbs, and I'm 5' 9.5'' tall.)
The Gore-Tex "liner" is more like its own rainsuit. You can wear it separately, or *over* anything else. I've ridden with the Gore-Tex suit over the main suit during torrential rainstorms (and even a hailstorm last summer) and stayed dry (except for my own sweat, of course). Donning the Gore-Tex suit *over* the main suit is much faster than trying to attach it inside. (The internal attachment points, by the way, are color-coded -- a thoughtful touch -- if you do want to put the liner inside the main suit.) I've also worn the Gore-Tex jacket *over* the main suit to keep me warm in temps below 70 deg F.
If you do get the main suit wet, it dries quickly. I usually soak the suit in my tub with soap when I get home from (or when I'm in the middle of) a hot-and-sweaty tour, then hang it up over the tub to drip. The suit goes from soaking-wet to bone-dry overnight, without any wringing or wrapping with a towel.
The jacket has an internal cummerbund so that the back protectors will stay in place during a crash. Note that I pluralized "protectors." The Amarillo has three separate compartments for three different pieces of back armor -- behind your neck, main back/spine, and lower-back right above your plumber's butt. Lots of protection without losing flexibility!
Unfortunately, the ventilation panel on the rear of the jacket is 100% blocked by the back protectors. Therefore, to get any real venting through the jacket, you need to wear a totally separate back protector instead of inserting protector pads in the jacket's pockets. The recommended Held SaS-Tec back protector inserts (which cost extra) aren't "holey" enough, so I repurposed the Held armor for a leather jacket, and cut a Klim D3O Viper to fit into the separate compartments of the Amarillo. I also enlarged the holes in the Klim.
I like how the jacket has Velcro arm straps to prevent the sleeves from flapping and to keep the elbow armor in place.
The fit of the size S is *very* beer-gut friendly. Although the suit fits me well elsewhere, I could probably carry 3 or 4 softballs in front of my stomach. A woman 6 months into pregnancy would probably fit into this suit.
Unlike competing suits, this suit does NOT have a rear pocket for the Gore-Tex liner. Therefore, you will have to pack the liner in a bag or case.
The jacket's internal cellphone pocket is for a cellphone circa 2000 -- a small flip-phone, for example. It will NOT fit any modern smartphone in it. But then again, do you really want to keep your phone against your chest? Even though the pocket is made of neoprene, I'd be wary of having a phone against my ribs during a crash.
The perforations of the suit *do* let air pass through (but again, only if your back protector is vented), but nowhere near as much air as my Alpinestars mesh jacket. In anything above 85 degrees, I sweat in the Held suit, even at speed.
July 18, 2013
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