Halvarssons Safety Jacket - First Impressions (long, lots and lots of pics)

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by makinwaves, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. makinwaves

    makinwaves Long timer

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    I started some time ago searching for the safest motorcycle jacket on the market and and after months of research, ended up purchasing the Halvarssons Safety Jacket.

    There are a whole bunch of reasons of why I chose this jacket, but I won't go into them all. My priority was safety, something that would protect me in the event of a crash. I have a young family and want to ensure I have the best protection I can. After safety, I wanted versatility, a jacket that I could wear year round, followed by comfort and then decent design.

    I ruled out leather right away as I don't believe it would work well in the rainy winters of the pacific northwest. You can have the safest jacket in the world, but if you're not comfortable in it, it may just end up being the reason for a crash! So I narrowed down my search to the Motoport Ultra II Kevlar jacket and the Halvarssons. I already own the Ultra II Kevlar pants and absolutely love them! I feel extremely well protected in them, but for some reason I just couldn't warm up to the look of the jacket. It was a close decision, but I ended up deciding on the Halvarssons jacket.

    So, a little about this jacket. It's one of only a few that has passed the highest European safety standards. And not just the armour, but the jacket as a whole. Europe standards are based on EN CE 13595 "Protective Clothing for Professional Motorcycle Riders". The Halvarssons jacket passed the highest standard for abrasion resistance, seam burst strength and tear/cut resistance. From what I read, the jacket was originally designed for the UK police force and has since been purchased by several other European police forces.

    Jacket:
    Confusing when I first read it, but the entire "system", is actually 3 jackets called the "safety", "Airy" and "Folio". The "safety" layer is the heart of the system and the portion that provides all of the safety elements. The Airy and Folio are actually overjackets that can be switched depending on weather conditions. The Airy is a partial mesh jacket worn in summer, whereas the Folio is a wind-proof, water-proof jacket worn in winter. For current conditions (late winter) I'm using the Folio jacket. The "safety" layer zips into the Folio overjacket.

    Here are the stock photos from the manufacturer website (www.jofama.se):

    Safety layer:
    [​IMG]

    Airy jacket:
    [​IMG]

    Folio jacket:
    [​IMG]

    Safety layer:
    I was surprised at how heavy this layer was, but heavy in a good sense. It felt solid and protective. I haven't taken the armour out of yet, but was surprised at how thick it felt. The armour is also CE certified, and seems much more protective than what is currently in my Joe Rocket Meteor jacket. I need to take it out and compare to the Motoport jacket armour, but haven't had a chance yet.

    I was surprised to see that the safety layer is also quite breathable. When I held it up to the sun you could clearly see rays of light coming through. It doesn't show that well in the picture below, but there is definitely breathability built in.

    Remember when I said the whole system was made up of 3 jackets. I lied. There's a fourth. Inside the safety layer, and what ends up going next to your skin, is a layer of "Outlast". I didn't read up a lot on this, but what I can tell you is that it is some sort of phase change material developed by NASA. Supposedly, it keeps you warm when it's cold out, and keeps you cool when it's hot out. I don't know about it's cooling properties yet, but I was really impressed at how warm the jacket was when I went riding with it and the Folio overjacket. Temperature was about 7C (45F) and I went out for an hour at speeds averaging 70 to 120 km/hr (don't know what that is in miles. maybe 45 to 75 miles/hr???). Riding in similar weather in Joe Rocket I would be pretty cold. I'm now concerned that the heated vest I recently purchased won't be needed!! :lol3

    Here's a bunch of pics of the safety layer:

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    Airy Jacket:
    I haven't tested this on a ride yet, but I love the looks of it. I think it looks better than the Folio. Surprisingly, a good third of this jacket is mesh. The mesh parts run up the sides and through the shoulders.

    Some pics:

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    Folio Jacket:
    This is the winter, wind-proof, water-proof over jacket and I have to say, so far I'm impressed. Totally blocks the wind and has kept me super warm at temperatures down to 7C (45F). I don't ride much below 0C if I can help it so it will be interesting to see if I still need to keep my heated vest.

    There aren't a ton of pockets in this jacket, nor the Airy. Some of the instructions that come with the jacket warn about carrying blunt objects in the pocket that could end up injuring you in a get off. Perhaps that is the reason for the lack of pockets?? Nonetheless, I like the simple design of the pockets and as I generally only carry my wallet and spare ear plugs in them, don't mind the lack of 'em. That's what the GIVI rack is for, right?!

    Some pics:

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    OK, and here are some pics of the Folio jacket with the safety liner zipped in. Also a photo from the back with the Folio on and with my motoport pants:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]





    OK, Gripes:
    There's always some, right! :huh

    First off, I think anything called a safety jacket should include a decent amount of reflective material. Not the case here. All the white you see is just that, white material. There are some thin relective piping here are there, but not nearly enough.

    Gloves. I always wear them under the jacket so that rain rolls down the jacket, onto the gloves and off. This jacket has quite a tight fit and seems to want you to wear the gloves over the jacket. Fine in the sun, but when it rains the water is just going to roll down into the glove. I think I've figured out a system that gets the glove over the safety layer, but under the outer layer, however, it takes time and will probably be the biggest pain.

    Bulky. Ok, this isn't a gripe I have but I've read others in Europe comment about this. In fact, I actually find it a lot less bulky than my Joe Rocket jacket and can now see more out of my mirrors than previous (less of my elbows). So I'm not sure where this "gripe" comes from.

    But, that's about it for gripes. So far, I'm really impressed with the entire system and really believe I've found an all season versatile jacket that provides me with the high level of protection I wanted. It's comfortable while riding, nice and warm in cool weather, and you feel really protected while riding. I don't get this same feeling when I have my Joe Rocket on. I would equate this as similar to when I made the upgrade from wearing jeans to the Motoport pants.....wow, I still shake my head that I used to wear just jeans!! You just feel so much more confident and protected when wearing the Motoport pants; you get the same feeling when putting on the Halvarssons jacket. OK, gotta stop writing soon...I need to post a Joe Rocket jacket for sale.....

    Hope this is helpful to anyone wanting to take the chance buying a jacket that is so far only available in Europe. Note, as far as fit is concerned, for my size it seems to fit exactly what you are. For example, I'm a 42" chest. This equates to a size 52 in Europe and it fits perfect!




    Note, when it's pissing rain or night/dusk riding, I'm still going to throw on my high viz vest. Nice and bright, eh? :evil :eek1




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    #1
  2. Gary B.

    Gary B. Older than dirt...

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    Looks like some overkill to me. I looked at least 3 times. Am I missing the price?:deal
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  3. soloyosh

    soloyosh Dad and husband

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    :huh
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  4. emelgee

    emelgee Been here awhile

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    I've seen these at the bike show in the UK, but I've yet to see a dealer stocking them. I can't remember the exact pricing, but they are definately up there at the top end of the price range for textile kit - similar to Rukka/BMW kit. They make kit for the UK police bikers, so you know it's good quality gear, but I'm not sure I'd spend that sort of money on winter kit. Riding at this time of year in the UK means my kit ends up looking pretty secondhand in a short space of time, what with all the dirt and crap on the roads.
    You didn't mention what they use for the waterprrof layer - I'd expect Gore-Tex and nothing else at this sort of price.
    #4
  5. soloyosh

    soloyosh Dad and husband

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    Lets make this a long term review... keep the impressions coming...:clap
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  6. FlowBee

    FlowBee Just me.

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    So do I understand correctly that the safety layer is sort of a thick fleece layer without a windstop lining, but includes an Outlast lining on the inside? So how does it perform when sitting in traffic, with the Airy shell, in August? What makes the fleece layer safe?
    #6
  7. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Thanks for the write up an pics. This suit has always seemed a bit of a mystery, always hailed as a top end suit but information on it seems elusive.

    I'd be intrested in hearing more about pricing an ordering as well. what about follow up service should you need it?

    This is the sort of safety gear we should have the option of buying off the rack instead of the mighty hailed Joe Rocket junk (do I sound opinionated on that :lol3 )
    #7
  8. makinwaves

    makinwaves Long timer

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    Here's how they describe it at the jofama website:
    HI-ART (High Abrasian Resistant Textile) is, simply expressed, a terry-cloth type polyester. By turning the textile fibres outside in the form of small loops, friction will work against the small end of the fibres. It's like working a piece of wood, easier to sand down along the fibres than at the end of the stub.

    Seems pretty simple. But it must work as it's passed the euro standards. RIDE magazine tested a whole bunch of jackets for safety and weather proofing and the Halvarssons came out top scoring 54/55. It lost one point for having a bit of water on the collar. Here's the link (http://www.ridetriangles.com/nav?page=ridetriangles.contentspage&view_resource=5431134), click the "All Weather Suits".

    Not sure how it works in the summer...I've only had it a few days and well, here in Canada, it ain't too hot just yet... :lol3 As soloyosh suggests, I'll provide updates as I get more miles with the gear, including when it gets hot.

    Price....it ain't cheap! I shopped around and found that the UK had the highest prices at 500GBP (about $1,000 US) just for the jacket, and could only find one dealer willing to negotiate dropping their price to 400 GBP. Exploring further most of Europe sells it for 600 euros ($790 US). I ended up finding a great deal from a company in Germany that sold it to me for just under 400 euros ($500 US).

    Desert Dave....their website offers repair/alteration services in case of a fall, tear, weight gain, etc. Doesn't say anything about cost for those services though.

    {Edit....checked my old emails and misquoted the most of europe price. changed it from 500 to 600 euros..}
    #8
  9. micio

    micio stress kitten

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    Great review, great pictures. Thanks!
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  10. micio

    micio stress kitten

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    $500 plus shipping doesn't seem all that bad for that jacket. Did they quote you a price for the drawers? (and I wonder if the pants have 2 different shells also?)

    I've been thinking about biting the bullet on a Motoport suit, expecting to spend $1100 or so, but the Halvorssons could be, dare I say it, CHEAPER?:huh
    #10
  11. makinwaves

    makinwaves Long timer

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    Yep, I didn't ask for it but they offered the pants as well for 350 euros ($460 US).

    Shipping for the jacket only was 50 euros ($65 US) to western Canada.

    Let me know if you want contact info. They speak pretty good english so you don't need to know german...all correspondence was via email.
    #11
  12. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    I was thinking the same thing. I was expecting closer to $800 for the jacket. It's much cheaper than motoport once you factor in liners etc.
    #12
  13. St_rydr

    St_rydr Strider

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    How is the length of the jacket do they offer a tall? 6'4" here sleves on normal jackets and length short for me however I have a Tripple connection parka that fits well but is way to warm for summer.
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  14. makinwaves

    makinwaves Long timer

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    I noticed as soon as I put it on that it was a "motorcycle jacket"....i.e., the sleeves were quite long while just standing there, but once seated on the bike they were perfect. I'm only 5'11" so can't say if it's the same for the bigger sizes. If you look at the one picture of me standing backwards, you can see how the sleeves easily come down to my knuckles and there still is some material looseness in the arms.

    As far as length goes, I have a long upper body and short legs, but you can see with the same picture that it fits quite well. I don't think length would be a problem for you. But of course....YMMV!
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  15. cat

    cat Long timer

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    :clap

    makinwaves, Thanks for the review, and all the photos. At last we get some real information about this jacket.

    The price - that you paid - that's interesting, too, because we all thought it was too expensive. What a "turn up for the books" that it can work out to less than the motoport. :deal Give us the details - do they have a website? I think they might get a few more sales after this. :D

    Please tell us more about the fabric the Folio jacket is made of. Is it Gore-Tex? ...It must be - or something similar - given that it doesn't depend on a waterproof liner.

    You decided you wanted something different to the motoport jacket. Did you consider Rukka - and perhaps you figured the protection of their Armacor jackets was not as proven as the Halvarssons...?

    Thanks!
    #15
  16. rallybug

    rallybug Local Yokel

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    From his other thread, he bought it from Biker-Land in Bad Kreuznach, Germany
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  17. cat

    cat Long timer

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    That's quite clever. Now I wonder if it wouldn't be even better - like more abrasion-resistant than leather - if it was made of an aramid blend instead of polyester. :wink:
    #17
  18. dirtypumpkin

    dirtypumpkin "Monster Truck Bike"

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    Is it a foam pad for a the back protector?
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  19. Skitch

    Skitch Riding the range

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    Thanks for the review. This sounds like a great jacket. I've long thought that the perfect jacket would be something like that: vented armor section with abrasion resistance that could be covered by a windproof/weatherproof overcoat. I like that "space age" interior liner and look forward to your review of it when the weather warms up. I share your sentiments: good gear should not only be protective, but it should be comfortable as well. Riding comfortable is certainly one piece of the accident avoidance equation. Also agree, it should have more reflective material on it.
    #19
  20. Gary B.

    Gary B. Older than dirt...

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    What I meant was I doubt most people need, what, four jackets? At that price it ain't bad, however...
    #20