Thursday, October 21, 2010

Great Armadillo Review in New Zealand

I have been eagerly anticipating testing some Armadillo Scooter Wear, I have long been intrigued by its combination of urban style and protective properties... Finally, just the other day a package arrived on the doorstep of TSR HQ containing a City Rider Jacket and the Armadillo Hoodie, as much as I wanted to run away with both of them I decide to delegate some responsibility so Ant will be trying out the Hoodie and I have the City Rider. The timing couldn't have been better as the weather was complete and utter... well let's just say it wasn't much good to keep it G rated. And when a jacket is marketed as Water Proof and Windproof it would be wrong not to abuse it until these claims are proved or disproved. When the forecast says "Weather Bomb" I normally crawl under the covers and set the alarm for a week from now, but for YOU, our faithful reader I waited till the middle of the night (colder that way) and ventured out into the pouring rain for a 40 minute round trip wearing just the City Rider with a grey cotton tee underneath. Yes I wore pants too but that isn't really relevant to the story?

I am very happy to report that the City Rider more than exceeded my expectation I remained warm, dry and very happy. I can say that I did not trial the impact absorption properties of the d3o™ armour or the abrasion resistance of Taslon outer because fortunately I didn't crash however from everything I have seen both should be spectacular

The d3o™ armour is one of the coolest materials on earth, it has incredible properties including impact absorption and flexibility, the raw material, which the jacket came with a pot of to play with is absolutely unbelievable, it flows and is malleable and soft yet retains its shape perfectly transferring the force when hit... INCREDIBLE! Armadillo describe it thus:

"Under slow rates of movement, the d3o™ CE certified (EN1621-1) pads provides maximum comfort through softness and flexibility, but when impacted at high speeds d3o™ displays excellent shock absorption as the Intelligent Molecules inside lock together, spreading the force over the whole pad.d3o™ completely conforms to your body and remains almost invisible within your garment, but provides excellent shock absorption when you need it."

Essentially an armoured jacket that doesn't look like an armoured jacket, you can even straighten your So overall the City Rider is EXCELLENT very warm, with a removable fleece liner (for summer), water and windproof providing comfort and an overall good design for functionality and unlike most protective clothing it looks GREAT, you can easily jump off the bike and wander into the local cafe or movie theatre and not look like a doofus, and you don't have the "where do I put my stupid leather jacket" problem while still having ample protection, at least for urban riding... paired with a kevlar jean or similar you are pretty much set for urban two wheeled life.

There are a couple of minor niggles that I would love to see fixed however, one is the zip, it is big and chunky and easy to grip with or without gloves, which is super... not so super is that it is incredibly finicky needing to be lined up absolutely perfectly to do up... or undo... a minor thing but pissing about with a zip every time you wear something gets annoying... In saying that this may be an issue with the test unit rather than an inherent design flaw, it sure looks like it should be sturdy and functional... The other issue is a design problem, the neck of the City Rider has a beautiful fuzzy, warm liner however it does not have any sort of adjustment or cinch at the neck and I found that this caused freezing cold air to blow down my chest... even with my Buff wind proof "Typhoon" neck warmer thing on... all it needs is a cinch like the one on the hood to snug the neck in a bit tighter. Speaking of the hood that is another minor beef, there should be a way to secure it when riding... Imagine this... ride, in rain... take off helmet, put up hood, hood full of rain... cold wet head! These are minor things but need to be though about for the next updates of this piece of kit.

Overall though I have a hard time faulting the Armadillo City Rider jacket, It really does do what it is supposed to, it keeps the wind and water off, even over reasonably extended periods, the comfort and fit are exemplary, the price is very reasonable (cheaper than an outdoor wet weather jacket!) and it supplies stylish (ever noticed how many items of motorcycle gear look like they were designed by a blind, concussed stoat in a tumble dryer?) protection for everyday use. If you are in the market for an everyday crossover jacket that provides a comfort, style and protection in a you can't really beat the City Rider, go try one on!

Armadillo City Rider:

Combines technical performance fabrics with simple styling and a detachable hood for the perfect city commute

Shell:100% Nylon Taslon, Lining 100% Polyester and Inner fleece 100% Polyester

1. Removable d3o impact protection elbow and shoulder
2. Underarm vents
3. velcro® adjustable cuffs
4. MP3 Pocket with Headphone loops
5. Waterproof outer comms pocket
6. Internal change, wallet and goggle pocket
7. Ergonomic detachable hood
8. Brush chinguard lining
9. 2 year guarantee

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