Held are probably best known for their gloves, but the German company also has impressive pedigree in clothing.
The Held Zorro jacket is towards the budget end of their range, but has the hallmarks of quality that come with a prestige name like Held.
By combining the three-quarter- length Zorro jacket with the Vader trousers you’re looking at around £300 for a textile suit with the versatility for summer or winter riding, thanks to removable thermal linings and zip-up vents.
The outer material is 500-denier material with 900-denier reinforcement in the main likely impact areas and it has a slight sheen from the water-resistant treatment. There are velcro adjusters to keep the elbow armour where it should be and a waist belt to get a snug fit whether the thermal lining is in place or stashed in a cupboard.
The outer also has lashings of light-reflective material to help the rider stand out in a car headlight’s beam, and a high neck to keep out windchill.
Thankfully, considering the sheen on the material, there are two panels of grippy material sewn to the seat section that stop undue sliding around on the bike.
Throughout spring and summer 2016 this suit didn’t let me down once. I took it on a trip to the Isle of Man TT, where it coped well with the warmest TT temperatures in recent memory as well as resisting the rain that started to fall on the day I left the Island.
It continued to perform well, holding torrents of rain at bay on one particularly wet evening ride. The price means it runs a Humax waterproof and breathable membrane rather than the Gore-Tex liner of more expensive Held suits, but it works well as a rain defence without causing undue moisture build-up on the inside.
Overall, the Held Zorro and Vader form a well-made textile combo with a good specification and high performance levels that defy the low price.
A back protector is an additional £29.99 and there’s no zip-on storm collar. Otherwise, it’s packing the full list of features.
Fit & Comfort
The fit is conventional, with no need to go up or down from my usual size, and it’s well-proportioned in terms of body and sleeve length. Fit adjusters on the sleeves stop excessive flapping in the breeze and the waist adjustment belt is a useful addition, particularly when swapping between use with and without the thermal liner.
I wore this through both high temperatures and in torrential rain and it held up well to both. The membrane is highly effective at keeping out water and it’s also decently breathable – not on par with the absolute best on the market, but good for this price.
Vents at the chest and the ability to easily remove the thermal lining make this a good option for multi-season use. The thermal liner isn’t the warmest and you will want a decent under-layer for winter riding.
The standard of construction is excellent with tough yet flexible 500-denier material bolstered by 900-denier reinforcements at the elbows. Stitching quality is good and the materials are impressive for the price, with comfy neoprene at the neck and plenty of light-reflective material to boost rider visibility at night. The waterproof liner is fixed, but the thermal lining can be removed.