The Racken and Rinn constitute a new-for-2022, waterproof, leather, two-piece suit. It replaces a suit that was in the Halvarssons’ range for many years; a suit that comprised the Celtic jacket and the C-pant.
The new outfit is, in terms of philosophy, exactly the same as the old one; it is upgraded in a number of respects. That is to say that it is still a leather suit aimed at those people who want to go touring in leather. Now, the truth is that if you spend long enough on the road you are going to find yourself riding in all sorts of conditions. The searing heat. The blistering cold. The teeming rain. And in any of those scenarios, a case could be made for not wearing leather, but rather some kind of textile outfit.
A textile outfit will be better when it’s hot because it will breathe better. A textile outfit will be better when it rains because it will not wet out so easily. And a textile outfit will be better when it’s cold for reasons that are perhaps a bit too complex to go into here.
But there are some people who simply prefer to ride in leather. And we understand this. Leather is very abrasion resistant. Over time, leather becomes amazingly comfortable. Leather also, let’s face it, looks pretty bad ass. There are all kinds of reasons why somebody might choose to ride in leather. But the truth is that there aren’t many leather suits out there that you’d be happy to go touring in. The old Celtic combination was one such suit. The new Racken and Rinn is another.
The jacket is made from a soft, nappa leather. The Celtic was also made from a soft leather, but the leather on the new jacket is perhaps a little lighter, and perhaps even a little more supple. The jacket has concertina panels behind the shoulders and neck, and this will add to the comfort factor.
What marks the Racken out from most leather jackets, of course, is that it comes equipped with a waterproof membrane. Now the truth is that, in heavy prolonged rain you don’t want to be wearing anything made from leather, even if it does have a membrane. And that’s because any leather garment will be prone to wetting out.
But as we have said, some people just like to ride leather, and if you do want to wear a leather jacket in the rain, the Racken is going to serve you better than almost any other leather jacket out there. Of course, there is always the Rukka Coriace. With its laminated membrane, that jacket (and matching pant) is undoubtedly more waterproof, but it’s so uncomfortable that you probably wouldn’t want to ride in it!
For an hour or so in the rain, you should keep dry in the Racken, but after two or three hours the leather, which of course is hydrophilic, will start to absorb the rain. The jacket will start to ‘wet out’. It will get heavy. And you will start to feel cold. But there’s a work-around for such conditions. You simply put on over it something like Scott’s waterproof jacket. Some people will think that they shouldn’t need to put on a waterproof over a waterproof jacket, and this we understand. But there’s no such thing as the perfect jacket. And if you want to go touring in the Racken, you would be well advised to take a waterproof with you; just in case!
In both hot and cold conditions, the fixed Outlast lining in the Racken will help you regulate your body temperature. If it gets hot, a TFL Cool coating will serve to reduce the effects of the sun’s UV rays. In such conditions, zipped vents on the arms and behind the shoulders will also improve airflow into the jacket. But there is a little issue here. The air will have to pass not only through the membrane, but also through the Outlast liner. And what this means is that the vents are not going to be especially effective.
The Racken is, though, particularly protective. It is rated AAA under EN17092. It doesn’t really get better than that, but in one specific respect to do with protection the Racken is so much better than its predecessor. And that is in the armour that Halvarssons has fitted into the jacket.
Now one thing we have been critical of, in recent years, is the armour with which Halvarssons has equipped its garments. As armour has become ever softer and more pliable, Halvarssons has stuck with its shaped, heavy and rather inflexible protectors. Well, the good news is that Halvarssons’ new-for-2022 armour is bang up to date. It’s commendably large, which is good. But it is soft, flexible and really well vented. We like it a lot. And, of course, it’s Level 2. The jacket doesn’t come with a back protector, although it is equipped with a pocket. Halvarssons does offer a back protector but, honestly, we wouldn’t go near it. We’d elect for one from D3O instead. The T8 fits perfectly.
In terms of other detail, the jacket has three zip pockets on the outside, and one on the inside. At the ends of the sleeves you get zips. You also get poppered straps at the hem to enable you to cinch the waist a little. There’s also a full-length zip at the waist to allow you to connect the jacket to the matching Rinn pant, or indeed any Halvarssons, or Rukka, pant. Or, via the Waist Zip, to any jean or chino.
The bottom line is that this is a beautifully soft leather jacket. You could wear it on its own, but it was designed to be worn with Halvarssons’ Rinn pant. Leather may not be the obvious, or even the best, choice when it comes to touring, but if it’s got to be leather, then the Racken certainly deserves your consideration.
The Rinn is the matching lower half designed to go with the Racken jacket. Its construction is pretty identical to that of the jacket. The same leather. The same membrane. The same Outlast lining. The same vents. The same, super-comfortable, Level 2 armour. The same TFL Cool treatment. The same connecting zip. The same AAA rating, and so on.
The other stuff is also what you might expect. You get concertina stretch above the knees and in the back. There are two zip pockets. And zips at the end of the legs to enable them to go over just about any touring boot.
We really like the Rinn pant, as indeed we do the Racken jacket. Those reservations about the hot, the cold and the wet remain, but this is a really protective pant that is going to be comfortable to walk around in and comfortable to ride in.
Obviously, it has been designed to work with the Racken jacket, but we think it will work really well as a standalone leather jean, of the type that is not easy to find these days. Such pants used to be all the rage, but are now somewhat out of fashion. If you look for a pair of leather pants these days, you will find that nearly all of them come with knee sliders. And on the road, these pants often look just a little bit silly!
But there is one thing that disappoints us with the Rinn pant. It is only available in one leg length, meaning that tall people and short people need not apply. And the shame is that that counts out between 30% and 40% of the biking population. Now here in the shop we can probably shorten the pants a little, although there’ll be a cost attached to this. We can’t, though, do anything for those for whom the pants are not long enough. The old C-pants came with an extra, unfinished three inch leather flap beneath the end of the zip, which meant they did sometimes work for those longer in the leg. But with the Rinn we’ve got nothing. Overall we think this is a shame, because there must be shorter and taller people out there who might have liked a leather touring suit!
This is not a suit for everybody, for all the reasons we have outlined. But for some, particularly those between five foot eight and maybe six foot, this might be exactly the suit they’ve been looking for.
The jacket is priced at £599; the pant at £499. That’s £1,100, plus perhaps thirty five quid for a back protector. Plus another £150 for a set of Scotts. £1300 is not cheap, but that’s way less than the price of the Coriace, and the Halvarssons will be so much nicer to wear.
The jacket goes from a 48, which is a 38” chest, up to a 64, which is a 54” chest. The pants go from a 48, which is a 30” waist, up to a 62, which is a 44” waist. But there’s only one leg length, obviously. Did we mention that?
The suit is in stock here at Motolegends in all sizes. If you want to get it right, it may be worth the price of a bus ticket to Guildford!
For more information and to buy online, click Halvarssons Racken jacket and Rinn pant.
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