Here at Motolegends we love the Halvarssons brand. They produce high-end gear at mid-market prices. We often talk about them delivering 90% Rukka quality at 50% Rukka money. They’re not the sexiest brand on the market. They’re not Dainese. But their gear works. Think of them as the Volvo of the motorcycle apparel business, and you won’t go far wrong. Like Volvo their gear is thoughtfully designed, and it’s put together with longevity in mind. Halvarssons also, it has to be said, backs its gear with the best quality, although not necessarily the longest, warranty service in the business.
Now, for 2020, Halvarsssons is not introducing many new pieces, but almost certainly our favourite piece for this season is a jacket called the Zagreb. It kind of replaces the old Zoya, and we’d say it’s pretty much the perfect throw-on, casual, motorcycle jacket for when you don’t want to compromise on protection from the elements, but don’t necessarily want to zip into a full riding outfit.
It’s a shortish, blouson-style jacket, albeit with a subtly lowered back that’s going to work really well on the bike. The outer material is an abrasion-resistant Nylon of some description but, as ever, Halvarssons backs the fabric with a material called Hi-Art. It’s placed in all the most vulnerable areas, and increases the strength of the outer fabric by 500%; ie: x6.
Elsewhere, in terms of protection, you get Level 1 armour in both the shoulders and elbows. You don’t get a back protector, but it will take a standard D3O T8 protector, Level 2 protector, which we vastly prefer to Halvarssons’ own back protector. It’s nicer to wear, achieves the same level of protection and costs less! Overall the Zagreb is rated as AA under the latest EN 17092 regulations which, of course, is currently the highest level achievable by a textile garment.
For waterproofing, the Zagreb comes with Halvarssons’ Dryway Plus drop-liner waterproof membrane. That’s going to keep you dry in just about any conditions in which you’re going to go out in a jacket like this. Okay, in five hours or more of rain, it will wet out, but you’re very rarely going to be out in five hours of rain in a Zagreb.
This is the kind of jacket you’re probably going to wear over a pair of jeans or chinos. If you’re worried about your pants getting wet, take a pair of waterproofs with you! Talking about jeans, the Zagreb comes with a 360° zip, that technically allows it to be connected to any Halvarssons pant. But more probably you’re going to use the company’s Waist Zip to enable the jacket to be attached to any pant with belt loops.
For hotter conditions, you get two large zippable vents up the flanks and a large, permanently-open rear, exhaust vent. All the zips throughout, by the way, are by YKK. No less than we would expect! You also get rather subtle, black, reflective stripes that nonetheless show up really well at night when light hits them.
Pocket-wise, you get three external zip pockets, and two internal ones, one of which is guaranteed waterproof. In terms of adjusters, all you get is a popper system for the waist, but frankly with a jacket like this that’s all you need.
Which brings us finally to the thermal liner. It’s a lightweight soft shell that is one of the nicest soft shells we’ve come across. It’s got stretch panels down the insides of the sleeves, which make it super comfy to wear. It’s what we call a destination jacket, so you don’t have to zip it into the outer jacket; in fact we recommend that you always wear it separately.
But we do have an issue. And it’s the fact that the inner soft shell comes with a hood. Really, Halvarssons what were you thinking? Nobody’s ever going to look at this jacket and say: “I would have bought a Zagreb if only it came with a hoody”, yet unfortunately quite a lot of people will look at the Zagreb, and will say that if the inner jacket didn’t have a hood they’d have taken one. It’s a shame.
Now honestly, Halvarssons, you do really need to understand your market. Hoodies are designed for kids who want to shop lift at corner shops and escape the security cameras at football matches. The kind of people who buy your gear simply don’t wear hoodies.
But don’t let that put the rest of you off. This is, in some ways, the perfect, does-everything, go-anywhere motorcycle jacket. We love it and, at just £299, it’s a simply unbeatable proposition.
It comes in black or a very fetching green colourway. It also comes as a more-fitted, ladies’ jacket. Realistically, we expect to see it before the end of March. We can’t wait.
For more information and to order online, click Halvarssons Zagreb jacket.
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