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Held Carese II Gore-Tex Jacket
Stacked and packed with adaptable features, the Held Carese II Jacket is a sport or ADV tourer's best friend. With 4-season functionality the Caresse II Jacket gives you direct venting when it's warm and a removable Gore-Tex liner when it's cold and/or rainy. Tons of pockets keep your gear easily accessible and secure while Held Cloverleaf SAS-TEC shoulder and elbow armor ensure top level protection. The Carese II is everything a multi-season rider needs to tackle the trail, where ever it may lead.
- Outer shell constructed from DuPont Cordura 500D
- CoolMax breathable mesh inner lining
- 3D air mesh panels in back to promote circulation
- Removable Gore-Tex waterproof inner jacket
- Waterproof external pockets
- 3 inner pockets
- Internal cell phone pocket
- Map/document pocket
- 1 back pocket
- Air-vent zippers in front, back, and arms
- Magnetic closure pockets double as air vents
- Stretch panels at shoulders
- Waist belt
- Dual arm adjustment
- Soft collar
- Full-length back protector can be integrated into jacket lining
- EN 1621-1 CE-approved Held cloverleaf SAS-TEC shoulder and elbow protectors
- Temperfoam back pad
- Connecting zipper
- 3M Scotchlite reflectors
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Reviews & Questions
I am using it 8 months / cca 3000 km (cca 1850 miles) so far and have driven in temperatures from 0 C till 26 C (32 F till 79 F). Around 40% of the time in light to moderate rain and temperatures below 11 C (52F). Jacket was excellent in all temperatures ranges (I wear thin Primaloft One 100 jacket beneath for warmth) and did not leaked. At 26 C temperature with sun shining, liner removed and vents open it was super comfortable. But vents really add value probably at much warmer temperatures then 26 C, which I did not tested yet. Great fitting jacket, very quality made, I feel very well protected in it.
I was looking for 4 season (adventure) touring jacket which I can wear from slightly below freezing to whatever heat temperature I may encounter. It had to well cover back and be waterproof (I live in central Germany where it rains weekly, if not daily (rain-sun-rain-sun), throughout the year). And it had to be well ventilated for the heat.
I did not bought jacket at Revzilla (since I live in Germany), but thought to give back to community as Revzilla has helped me a lot with great reviews from both Anthony and the readers.
Snug fitting jacket, no flapping in the wind at all. Can be cinched tight worn just over a baselayer without GTX liner, but can also accommodate (tightly) baselayer, midlayer and Primaloft jacket beneath GTX liner. I have long arms and sleeves are a bit on the short side, but a long gauntlet gloves are compensating for a sleeve length and there is no gap.
Among others I have tried Alpinestars Durban, Revit Defender, BMW Streetguard 3, Rukka Cosmic jackets. First two being jackets with removable GTX liner, BMW and Rukka having liners laminated to outer shell (BMW having Schoeller C-Change and Rukka GTX).
Streetguard 3 and Cosmic do not have the same amount of ventilation as the other 3 jackets so they went out of shortlist. Also price played a role and Streetguard 3 is tailored too short for what I want in jacket.
Well made details:
SAS-TEC SC-1/15 XL back protector (sold separately) covers back well. Elbow and shoulder protectors (also SAS-TEC) are at the right places, not moving at all. There is also small pocket for coccyx protector. It is worth to buy immediately both additional SAS-TEC protectors. You can buy both protectors also Held branded. I think Held protectors are the same SAS-TEC protectors (maybe just branded, am not 100% sure).
Mesh vents are much better made then on other jackets I have tried. They are very tightly woven and sturdy, kind of outer mesh jacket material, not just a flimsy inner net. They inspire confidence that even with vents opens jacket still have full protective functionality. Furthermore, it looks as if no bug (wasp, bee or whatever) could get tangled in mesh, neither make contact with a skin even if jacket is worn just over T shirt. Even mosquito could not pass through mesh vents. Arm mesh vents from wrist to shoulder are great and have 2 functions (vent + cuff opening for easy wearing). Also, wrist velcro is not covering the zipper, so once you cinch it the way it fits, you use only zipper for opening the cuff (no need to open and close velcro every time you wear a jacket).
Good double storm flap over main zipper. Velcros are sewn beneath outer material, not over it. Chances that velcros rip off from the jacket are minimal. Magnetic closures on main storm flap are nice touch, however at least bottom one at the hem would be better if it is proper snap.
I was initially suspicions regarding 2 front main “cargo” waterproof pockets as they are just a flap over and do not have a zip. However, items are stored securely and pockets did not leaked in moderate rain so far. Take note pockets are not very spacious. Item of size or a bit larger then i.e. Garmin nuvi with 5” screen can fit in and not much more.
Passport pocket is convenient (not waterproof) and accessible from outside with closed jacket beneath the storm flap. Back pocket can fit several maps in it.
Liner is well attached with a zip throughout and zip in the sleeves. Liner breathability and size wise wearing comfort are excellent. I have tried Alpinestars Durban, Revit Defender and Held Carese liners at room temperature over midweight wool and polartec powerstrech baselayers, just wearing them for some time in house to check breathability and comfort. Durban is GTX Packlight (less breathable) and it started to feel clammy very soon. Defender and Carese liners were very comfortable. No discomfort at all. It proved also later in use.
Carese liner is completely open at cuffs and hem with no possibility to cinch it. Probably manufacturer designed it that way so that a jacket is more breathable. Liner is for my taste too short both in cuffs and in hem (it is shorter then outer jacket). Open cuffs are good design because it is easy to put gloves under, length is compensated with glove gauntlets and cinching done by outer jacket cuffs is sufficient. So cuffs are OK.
However, liner hem length and no possibility to tighten it, is a serious drawback of this jacket (other drawback is outer jacket hem design and tightening system, which allows drafts). I just feel sometimes cold creeping in and cooling lumbar area. When I wear Primaloft or windproof softshel beneath (both outdoor industry products) internal climate is great, as both jackets are long enough in the hem and hem tightening is excellent, preventing any drafts.
Also, liner is a bit too tight and too short in neck area. Held is advertizing new model Carese 2 that liner can be worn over outer jacket. Other then that, differences between Carese and Carese 2 seems minimal. I would advise anyone looking to buy Carese jacket to try Carese 2 model as it may have improved liner design.
During 1300 km (800 miles) tour where daily temperatures were from around 6 C till 26 C (42 F till 79 F) and I was changing from combinations of primaloft+liner+outer jacket to only outer jacket and back to primaloft+liner+outer jacket, I am more convinced that what I was thinking initially that 3 layer GTX (i.e. Pro Shell, where GTX membrane is laminated between outer shell and protective inner layer) is better design then removable liner. At least for tarmac and white road touring.
I am new to motorcycling, but have 17 years of mountaineering and outdoor experience. Rain and wind needs to be stopped at most outer layer. That way most body warmth can be trapped beneath.
I am mostly wearing GTX liner in Carese even in dry weather, mainly for better wind protection and warmth retention. However, there is layer of air between outer cordura jacket and liner, which does not contribute enough to warmth retention, and when outer jacket becomes wet probably does not add value at all. With time and use, once outer jacket will not be so water resistant as new, it will drench in rain, and all air trapped on outer side of liner is useless. Also having removable liner means less space for internal warm layers.
When one wears jacket with removable GTX liner, there is less space between GTX liner available for warm layers versus if the same jacket would have had outer shell water and windproof. Also one carries thick layer of clothes (outer jacket) of not much use for warmth retention, while on 3 layer GTX all space beneath very outer layer is utilized for warmth retention and layering. Not to mention main aspect that even if with time DWR (Durable Water Repellent) of 3 layer GTX jacket get worn out and outer layer drenched with water, that thin bit of material on outer side of GTX membrane is only part which is wet, but complete jacket stays dry, while on removable liner concept one is wearing heavy wet jacket. That is why in serious rain, I wear my 15 years old mountaineering GTX jacket over Carese and Carese stays dry. But that means 3 jackets for the rain (Outer GTX jacket+Carese outer+Carese liner) vs. only one jacket (3 layer GTX).
I am planning to go for 3 layer GTX jacket with good ventilation, i.e. Klim Badlands Pro. Time will tell if there will be a need to keep Carese. Although jacket is so nice that will probably be kept if there will be any aspect where it may complement 3 layer GTX jacket.
Carese is mostly 3 season jacket. You can survive winter and rain, but for that I think 3 layer GTX is the only proper solution. Saying that I think that 3layer GTX is anyhow better design for touring and therefore I do not give 5 stars to item with removable liner, regardless how good jacket is. Removable liners I find as a compromise which has a huge design flaw for riding in changing weather conditions. If you still want to buy a jacket with removable liner, for whatever reason, Carese is one very well made jacket. Recommended.
What's Good? First of all, it's very comfortable. About 6 lbs lighter than the Rallye, the jacket was remarkably from the moment I first put it on. Second, lots of vents. Frankly, I find this a (much) better jacket on a very hot day than the RevIt! Cayenne Pro I bought for hot weather riding. The pockets are great - roomy enough to get all sorts of items tucked away, still have space for more stuff, and the outer pockets are waterproof.
I find the included SAS-TEC shoulder and elbow armor to be well placed and very comfortable. Hopefully, I will never have to attest to their quality in an accident, but SAS-TEC gets excellent reviews on that score. The removable Goretex waterproof inner jacket can be worn over the outer shell, which is a really nice feature. It makes it convenient in a storm, gives you a decent windbreaker to wear off road as well. (But it's just a waterproof windbreaker - don't expect much warmth.)
For me, the fit is excellent. Lots of adjustability and quite sleek, even with those few extra pounds. I like the color (which is more grey than white) and I wanted a change from the black and yellow bumblebee look.
What's Not So Good? Actually, I have no complaints with this excellent piece of gear, except that the jacket comes with a totally inadequate temperfoam back protector. Revzilla sells the integrated Held SAS-TEC full-length back protector for an additional $50, but Held really should have included it as standard in such a high end/high price item. I would recommend ordering the back protector at the same time you order the jacket, since it is valuable protection and adds a small amount of bulk which you may want to try on for size. (They say you can integrate the Held Sakari back protector into the jacket, but I went with the simpler and less expensive Quattrotempi Back Protector.)
At just over 5'11 and 200 lbs I found the XL to be the right fit. I might have been able to get into the Large, but with the amount of adjustability, I found the XL to be right - particularly after I added the SAS-TEC back protector.
I am very pleased with this purchase and frankly, I just wish I hadn't waited so long to buy it.
Among the other jackets I considered were the Rev'it Defender (this was my closest choice and is a great price right now on Revzilla), Poseidon, Dainese D-Explorer, Klim Latitude Misano
I am 37 years old, I ride a Honda VFR and am into sport touring. My gear choices have evolved a bit, and I was tired of low/mid budget Joe Rocket gear that fell apart after little use (I won't touch their products again after my experiences on 2 sets of gear that came apart early but outside warranty).
I wanted something a little more secure / protected than the Alter Ego (mostly mesh) and the ability to tune the ventilation as I ride. This jacket does not disappoint.
I am 5'10" and a bit broader in the shoulders / neck / arms, but I carry about 10lbs extra around the belly. I used the Held sizing charts, and found myself on the upper end of the large fitment. Since there is a fair amount of adjustment in this jacket, I decided to go with the XL size. I am glad I did this, as the jacket fits very well with the adjusters moved in a bit at the waist and arms, while the shoulders give me the perfect amount of room.
Some of the features I most like about the jacket: the zip fastening of the cuffs on the sleeves, the never-ending array of pockets and vents, the ability to put the GoreTex inner layer OVER the jacket if required (I have not tested this yet, but it looks like it should work when I removed the liner), and the great fit. This jacket leaves me feeling very well protected without being overly bulky.
I opted for the upgraded SasTec armor, and bought the recommended Held SAKARI, Rückenprotektor 11026868-001 (back protector) which I then removed the parts and installed into the jacket. Seemed like a waste to buy the strap-on back protector just for the armor plates, but the price was virtually same as buying separate and I was unsure what the individual items are since Held literature does not specify. The back protector did require slight trimming on the top and sides (I used kitchen shears and they worked great) to fit the jacket pocket perfectly. The armor upgrade does add a little more thickness and bulk compared to the foam, but not too bad.
I have not had a chance to do a lot of riding with the new gear and have not rain tested it yet, but I expect it shall work well. I will post some updates once I have had more time to really put this gear through its paces, but initial impressions are that this was a great choice. Do shop around for the Held stuff, as there are considerable differences in prices from one retailer to another, which I discovered while searching for the armor upgrades.
over 2 years ago
I am 6 feet tall and about 180 lbs. The jacket does fit a little snug, but I would call it appropriately snug, as I would rather not have a jacket flapping in the wind or have my armor shifting around in a crash.
This jacket replaced my First Gear Kilimanjaro for winter riding and my old Marsee Ultra Ballistics jacket for summer.
The only negative I can say is that the sleeves run a bit long. I wear 35" sleeved shirts. I have Held Air N Dry gloves. I have a difficult time getting the sleeves inside the gauntlet of the glove.
Other than this, this is a great jacket and worth the money.
2004 BMW R1100S
On and off road in Alberta, Canada I was fortunate to test, exert and comfortably sweat in the women’s suit in late summer at 85F, the slightest of autumnal windows where the temperatures and rain began to fall, and the onset of a long and unforgiving sub-zero winter. As far as sizing goes (XS to 4XL), I’m 5-feet 5 with a 27-inch waist; the women’s small jacket was true to size, giving a favored, slightly more European fit conscious to my curves.
Like all adventure touring ensembles wanting to reset the industry standard, the Carese II achieves its absolute weatherproofing from a 3-layer inner Gore-Tex liner. Alas, it’s a layered system so during heavy downpours, there’s still a need to stop and waterproof oneself while getting wet. Pleasingly though, the membrane liners are designed to be worn either under or over the suit, where opting for the respective latter shields the suit from the dust and dirt, and a damn good soaking too. A no-brainer when camping remotely in wet conditions with limited opportunity to dry out your gear in the tent.
Protection is everything
Speaking of protection, safety extends to CE-approved SAS-TEC cloverleaf shock-dispersing armor in all the usual suspects: elbows and forearms, aiding better temperature stability on top. A 360 degree zipper joins the upper and lower pieces, fostering further safety and sanctuary from the weather, and reflectors promote good visibility all round.
Unique selling points
For me, the unique selling point of the suit has to be the bounty of zippered and panel vents at one’s fingertips. On the upper, there’re 14 vents! Having ventured on two wheels through Death Valley’s 100+F hot spots and the dripping wet heat on the Baja California, Mexico in September, this ensemble would come into its own.
Coupled with an array of magnets and the use of COOLMAX sweat-wicking inner mesh lining, means the welcome rush of air keeps charging through the suit—underarm, front-to-back and laterally—in full flow. For sure, a lot of openings to close when the weather turns cooler but beyond worth it in searing heat.
Furthermore, at the back of the outer shell of the jacket, there’s an air mesh construction: a micro-climate enhancing layer, which traps heat on inclement days as well as managing moisture and good circulation on warmer ones. A soft fleece-lined high collar edged in neoprene offers daylong comfort; and a waist belt and dual arm adjustment really refines the fit, still a rarity on some women’s gear.
Storage still eludes some women’s gear
Brilliantly, there’s ample storage on the jacket, which is invaluable on a suit you practically live in. Eight pockets in total on the jacket including: two handy compartments on the lower back for your liners; concealed zippered security pockets; a map pocket; another internal neoprene accessory pocket for small electronic devices; and two lower cargo compartments that are waterproof but not zippered. Regardless, all the zips employed are YKK. Mayhap exclusively, the magnetic closure technology on the pockets, double as air vents to boot. How nifty.
Why I love this suit
Why I love this suit really comes down to the one thing. It’s capable in every season. It has been crafted with a mindfulness you don’t see on the majority of women’s motorcycle apparel, certainly in its pre-eminent venting configuration and clever use of magnets (those that wear pacemakers BEWARE). Where some severely lack in storage, fit and, or ventilation, this one definitely does not. I’d even argue it’s one of the most striking and tailored adventure touring suits I’ve seen to date, joyfully lightweight too.
The only real gripe I have for this higher end priced masterpiece is the use of waterproof liners over a fixed 3-layer laminate layer. Admittedly, the impressive ventilation solution may suffer with the inclined alternative.
Fundamentally, its top of the tree components meet if not surpass my needs as a long distance rider in all weathers ranging god-awful in the deep winter months and wettest of rainy seasons, to wonderful in the warmer ones. Fully featured is beautifully correlated to fully functional here. Women riders: there’s a lot going on for this genre of suit but when it all comes together, it’s a juggernaut.
• Unparalleled ventilation in a four-season, long distance adventure suit
• Good bang for your buck against the wealth of apex materials with specific applications
• Relatively lightweight for more active riding
• Extra protection from dirt and water saturation with multi-purpose liners
• Dynamic and adjustable fit with stylish lines and finish
• Lacks a full-length back protector as standard
• Manual waterproofing required
My only fit issue is that I'm a small guy in a large coat, so it's a little long in the body. Not bad, I just would have preferred it to be about 2" shorter. I'm sure I can't fit a medium, I'm too round and it would be tight where I don't want it to be.
I haven't spilled coffee on the grey fabric yet, I'm sure that will happen. It still looks so nice I don't want it to look broken in.
1 year ago
The reviews (only two admittedly) were good, and I was tired of looking.
Fingers crossed, this will be a good replacement for my BMW Rally 2.
How do I upgrade the armour though?