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REVIEW: Armadillo Parka - Updated

 
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Lostmycage
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:30 am    Post subject: REVIEW: Armadillo Parka - Updated Reply with quote

Original Review: Late Oct 08

A fellow MBer asked for my opinions on this jacket, so I sent the following "off the cuff" review to her. I thought some others might enjoy hearing a bit more about it as well. It's pretty much a cut/paste from my PM to her, so if there's any oddities that I missed, that's why.

To summarize: I highly recommend it. It's incredibly warm, windproof and waterproof. It's got lots of pockets and the zip-out liner is really comfy, I wear a T-shirt under it in 35ish weather and I'm fine. This is still with the pit vents open, if that tells you anything.

There are a few concerns that I have about the jacket, so in the spirit of full disclosure:
Arrow No reflective piping. This is something Iíll probably fix at a later date.
Arrow No Back or chest armor: Iím not sure that those do too much in the first place, and comparatively speaking, the amount of padding should be close enough in density with the multiple layers to disperse a blow. This is partially based on a recent accident wearing my Alpinestars jacket with chest armor, back armor and hauling a passenger. The chest armor doesn't go down far enough to catch the handlebars on a scooter in a head-on collision. I didn't fall off the scooter, so I can't attest to the back armor other than speculation that it'd be better than nothing.
Arrow The armor is a newer technology, but it seemed to work really well when demoed
Arrow The hood portion is a little odd, it doesnít detach and can act as a sail, I usually pull the drawstrings tight and tuck them in the neck to avoid them smacking the helmet in the wind. This stops the sail action for the most part.
Arrow The buttons are tight, which makes fastening and unfastening difficult with gloves on, ultimately this is a good thing as over time they will stretch and end up perfect.
Arrow If I donít button the front flap, a little bit of wind seeps in through the zipper, so thereís no room for laziness when gearing up in the morning.
Arrow Exclamation And the big concern: Itís designed for scooter use. I donít know how this translates to higher speeds. The material is abrasion resistant but to what degree, hopefully Iíll never know.

Now that the negatives are out of the way, here are the positives:
Arrow Itís warm! I still use the pit vents in 35 degree ďspiritedĒ riding. I normally glance at the speedo and see 55+ (people speed here as the norm, I just keep abreast of them.
Arrow The collar goes up High. It blocks a LOT of the wind that would seep into other jacket designs. Thereís also 2 buttons there to really close it up good and tight.
Arrow There are lots of pockets and they all zip up.
Arrow The armor is incredibly unobtrusive. I did a few tests, which consisted of me elbowing a wall and it does dissipate blows really well while still retaining flexibility. Itís really neat stuff.
Arrow Iíve been in a little rain with it and it beads up and rolls off. Itís kind of amazing. I havenít ridden it in the rain; I was just wearing it out one day.
Arrow Exclamation It doesnít look all crotch-rockety and can actually be worn out in public and pass as a semi-dress coat.
Arrow For a Parka, and for its warmth, itís relatively light, as in, not puffy. It allows a good amount of movement.
Arrow Itís got storm cuffs that tuck conveniently under my leather gauntlets and block a lot of wind from going up the sleeves.
Arrow Itís got an MP3 player pocket and some considerations for running ear buds up into your helmet, but I havenít tried it out, I like the solitude of my exhaust and my thoughts.
Arrow It covers my butt and keeps it from coming in contact with a wet and/or cold seat.
Arrow Exclamation When I take the liner out, I can ride comfortably in 75ish degree weather, with the vents open and it unzipped a little.

Exclamation Exclamation And finally, it comes with a sample of the armor material that feels like silly putty (until you hit it with a hammer or some sort of sudden blow, where it solidifies instantly); itís really neat stuff. And yes, it will copy the comics silly-putty style.

All in all, I love it. It keeps me warm, it looks good and itís got a 2 year warranty. Who knows, pretty soon Iíll probably have to zip up the pit vents.

If youíre OK with the concerns I listed first, then itís a great jacket. Probably even better if trafficís not nutso-crazy like it is here or if you tend to stick to 35 mph riding.

One last thing to note: It's sized large. I normally wear an Xlarge (my summer jacket is an XL Alpine stars and it's just barely tight around the shoulders, almost perfect) and the Armadillo is a roomy Large, with similar fit in the chest and shoulders, the armor ends up in the right places.

I'll try to snap some picks of particular points of interest (both negative and positive) and edit them into this post a little later on.

My wife's still eying the "Macintosh" women's parka and she doesn't even want to ride lately!

One other thing to note. When I was checking out the full lineup of Armadillo jackets, the "City-Rider" seemed to be more adjustable and had a removable hood. But it didn't cover as much of the body and the wind/water resistance was lower according to their own standards (still not sure the measurements that they use, it just works). The Parka was also only $10-$15 more, so I just went with the Parka. I don't regret it at all.

I'm more than willing to answer any questions on this gear as I'm a huge supporter of new and innovative ideas, especially when it comes to safety. Their armor material is just flat out neat! I am a gambler on new technology and inventions, so I'm willing to take that risk (I don't perceive it to be a huge risk, compared to more conventional foam armor, but it's still not as proven - time will tell). I don't want to mislead anyone. Their site shows it being tested and I don't think that they're misleading, but do understand that this is not conventional armor. It's tested, but it's still new. I'm fascinated by it and I'm comfortable with that decision, but any purchase in gear ultimately comes down to the rider's level of comfort with it. Just add that into your evaluation if you've considered trying or buying this gear. But do keep in mind this: It's warm. Very warm! I still haven't closed the pit vents or added any other layers between the liner and my T-shirt and it's gotten down to freezing in the mornings here.

Hope this helps. Stay warm, keep the rubber side down and enjoy your ride!


Update: Late Feb 09
Hey folks.

So, I've given the Parka a good cold run here (still anxiously waiting for spring) and I thought I'd update my original review.

Before I get to that, I wanted to just reiterate a point. I bought this jacket because I like innovation and I knowingly took a risk on a relatively untested product (at least as far as we're concerned here in the US).

OK, that aside...

So, after doing a little riding this winter I can say this above all else: This jacket is WARM. I've ridden to work in 19 degree weather with just a short sleeve shirt on underneath and no part of my body that is covered by this jacket got cold. Ever. In fact, the only thing that's kept me from riding to work all winter was my gloves. That's been remedied now, so I plan on scooting around straight on through till I need to start wearing my Alpinestars Mesh jacket again.

The main reason I bought this jacket was to stay warm and it did this in spades. I'm not a Sunday rider here... I ride fast and hard... not that I'm particularly bad-ass or anything. Around here, you kinda have to. When I'm driving my car, I'm that jerk that's doing the speed limit and obeying red lights and stop signs. The nerve, right? When I'm on my scooter, it's go fast or get hit. Sum of the story: my daily commute is about 60 (55 actual) mph for about 15-20 minutes. Plenty of time to get cold. This jacket does not let that happen. I've even ridden with the pit vents open around 45 degrees just to keep from over-heating. With that said, I should also point out that I've ridden in 70 degree weather with the liner still in and not felt too hot. The hottest was around 80, but I had the liner removed and the vents open and was actually really comfortable.

OK. That out of the way, onto the BAD!

The stitching on this thing is nothing short of pathetic. Actually, to clarify: The interior stitching sucks, sucks, sucks! When I turned it in for a warranty replacement (more on that later) 3 of the 4 pockets on the main shell had lost their stitching and were making me nervous of loosing stuff. Some of the stitching on the interior of the hood section was completely undone. A Button had popped off on the pocket flap. Threads were coming loose around a number of the interior portions of the jacket.

HOWEVER!! Every single stitch on the outside remained perfect. Not a single flaw (with the exception of a button coming off). The concern here is how it would handle in a slide. I think it would do just fine. Actually, of the people that bought the Armadillo Parkas from my local shop, 3 of them now were involved in accidents. All three were inspected by the shop afterwards and they looked brand new. I can't confirm this personally, but I trust the owner of my local shop very much. She takes care of her people. At least one of them was a healthy slide (10-20+ foot slide). That tells me that the outer shell was assembled in a different factory than the interior... there's a definitive difference from the outer shell and the interior of the jacket.

One of the other selling points of this jacket was the warranty. I knew that this was a new company (to the US) and that I was taking my chances, to a point. But, Scoot Richmond said they'd take care of me. Well, the reason I'm updating this today is that I just turned in my original jacket for a brand new one. It turns out that she (owner of Scoot Richmond) was able to get ahold of the Armadillo distributor for the US at the Indy Dealer Expo last weekend. She had some words for the fellow. It turns out that the first run of the US jackets had many of the same complaints: Interior stitching and zippers were not durable at all. He told her that she'd have a number of replacements this week (mine was one of them) and that this run had addressed a number of the issues that were the weak points of the first batch.

So, here we go with round 2. Brand new jacket; not a repair of the original one like they were first trying to tell her.

I'm going to keep on riding with it and I'll report back any major differences between this one and the original as well as how the "new" production run measures against the short comings of the first one.

On a final note, I want to just restate that I originally bought this jacket as a cold weather solution. It's got the muted looks that I'm favorable to and it's WARM. It's a heavy duty cold weather jacket that has added considerations (armor) for riding. I don't regret that decision at all (at least since they're honoring their warranty, hehe), as it's kept me plenty warm in crappy weather (water beads up on it!). They're holding their end of the bargain by delivering a satisfactory warranty replacement.

I'll make another post after I've got more time with it. Hopefully this one will be everything I thought the first one would be and more. On just a precursory inspection of the new jacket, it does look like they paid attention to the details a little better. No loose threads, tighter stitches, etc. I think they got it right... but time will tell. I guess I'll tell too once I've figured out if it's improved or just new.

Stay warm! Just a few more months till mesh!

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Last edited by Lostmycage on Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:31 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the review!

I'm very interested in this jacket because, well, I want an armored parka. (I got a Spiewak parka off eBay for $10 that I'm adding Aerostitch armor to. Might work. More on this later if it ever gets cold here.)

Then I started reading some not so positive reviews. There have been a couple threads on ModernVespa about Armadillo, most recently this one, that raised my concerns. There is also a lot of criticism of the armor in this thread, including some pics from some tests. (Full disclosure: a lot of the criticism is from Bradford of Corazzo, an Armadillo competitor and an advertiser on this site. They've also got a parka in the works.)

The exterior is Nylon Taslon, but I don't know what the weight/density is.

But I'm not trying to bash the product you just gave a positive review; I'm just giving some reasons why my interest in the Armadillo as gone up and down and is now somewhere in the middle maybe.

With a relatively new company and product just introduced to the US market, I'm definitely not much of an early adopter. Unfortunately, one of the things that will sway me will be reading crash reports from owners. I'm not wishing such a thing on anyone, of course. Maybe I should check out some UK forums.

If anyone else has one, I'm definitely interested in your take. My local dealer now carries them, but I haven't had time to check them out. I will be there on Sunday, so maybe I'll give them a look.

At the very least, their stuff looks good in the pictures!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the review. I am also interested in Armadillo so I appreciate hearing your take on the parka.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey ericalm...if you do go this weekend and try them on, can you let me know the difference in medium/large sizing. There seems to be a big difference in the measurements on their site so I can't decide which size would fit best (I'm going from your pics that you may be a similar size to the person who would be wearing it). Thank you so much!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That link the MV with the points listed by the Corazzo guy are dead on with my hang-ups about this jacket. I'm curious to see how it holds up.

For general riding, it's comfortable, which was the main reason I wanted it. I don't want to mislead anyone on that point.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Armadillo posted a response on MV:

armadillo scooterwear wrote:
I'm the founder of Armadillo Scootwear and I just thought I'd drop in to answer some questions on our products and clear up a couple of points.

First thing's first: our products designed with scooter riders in mind. The d30 body armour exceeds all CE approvals, processes and pass rates and enables us to create macs, hoodies and fitted jackets for women, which was previously unachieveable in this market.

Armadillo Scooterwear products are designed for people that ordinarily ride relatively unprotected, wearing a gore-tex jacket or similar. Our products offer a great deal more protection, but also satisfy the desire for style. Sure, we do not provide the most abrasive bulletproof jacket on the market - there are other products on the market better placed for this.

All our products come with a 2 year fair wear and tear guarantee and if you aren't happy with the quality on a particular product you can return it and we will repair or replace the jacket or glove/trouser within 14 days in the UK and in Europe. In the USA this is being co-ordinated through Benchmark Helmets.

Apart from that, if you have any questions, why not ask people who have bought the products, or feel free to email me directly via our website with any specific questions.

http://armadilloscooterwear.com/webpages/view/contact/


I think this makes sense. Does it provide the ultimate in protection? Probably not. But it keeps you warm (which is very important) and provides more protection than a regular parka or jacket. Riding cold is an even bigger distraction for me than riding hot and it really affects my response time and skills in general, especially if I'm shivering or it my hands are very cold. That's why my best winter jacket in the past was my Belstaff which is very warm and has good abrasion protection but no armor.

I'm hoping my DIY parka this year will be a bit like the Armadillo: a slight sacrifice in abrasion protection (though it is very heavy nylon, probably 350D-500D equivalent) but with elbow and shoulder armor.

siobhan wrote:
Hey ericalm...if you do go this weekend and try them on, can you let me know the difference in medium/large sizing. There seems to be a big difference in the measurements on their site so I can't decide which size would fit best (I'm going from your pics that you may be a similar size to the person who would be wearing it). Thank you so much!


Wow, my pics much look better than I think they do. I usually wear a L or XL. My Corazzo is an XL. My jacket size is 44 (recently down from a 46). I may not be the best one to try. I'll see if anyone else can stand in. What's the jacket size of the person who'd be wearing it? I think I know the right person to model!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ericalm wrote:
...
I think this makes sense. Does it provide the ultimate in protection? Probably not. But it keeps you warm (which is very important) and provides more protection than a regular parka or jacket. Riding cold is an even bigger distraction for me than riding hot and it really affects my response time and skills in general, especially if I'm shivering or it my hands are very cold. That's why my best winter jacket in the past was my Belstaff which is very warm and has good abrasion protection but no armor.

I'm hoping my DIY parka this year will be a bit like the Armadillo: a slight sacrifice in abrasion protection (though it is very heavy nylon, probably 350D-500D equivalent) but with elbow and shoulder armor.

siobhan wrote:
Hey ericalm...if you do go this weekend and try them on, can you let me know the difference in medium/large sizing. There seems to be a big difference in the measurements on their site so I can't decide which size would fit best (I'm going from your pics that you may be a similar size to the person who would be wearing it). Thank you so much!


Wow, my pics much look better than I think they do. I usually wear a L or XL. My Corazzo is an XL. My jacket size is 44 (recently down from a 46). I may not be the best one to try. I'll see if anyone else can stand in. What's the jacket size of the person who'd be wearing it? I think I know the right person to model!

Two things:

Why'd you get rid of the Belstaff? That's what he really wants...a vintage Belstaff Trialmaster but good luck finding/affording one.

He wears a 42/44 jacket size so I think you may be a good model! And congrats on the size drop. Thanks so much for your help.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

siobhan wrote:
Why'd you get rid of the Belstaff? That's what he really wants...a vintage Belstaff Trialmaster but good luck finding/affording one.

I haven't gotten rid of it. I managed to get a zipper stuck and tore it along a seam while trying to remove it over my head and haven't had it repaired yet. (This was just the seam for the windflap, which is weaker than those for the protective parts.) But I also want something with armor in it.

Mine isn't that old; it's one of the newer nylon models (Tourmaster 500, similar to this one but with a toasty quilted zip-out liner). I was very lucky, I got it fairly cheap on eBay from a guy in Germany before the current Belstaff craze. It's still my favorite jacket to wear, though not the most protective. I also have a red Trialmaster XL500 that I've hardly worn. It doesn't have a removable liner and the nylon is still very stiff.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ericalm wrote:

I think this makes sense. Does it provide the ultimate in protection? Probably not. But it keeps you warm (which is very important) and provides more protection than a regular parka or jacket. Riding cold is an even bigger distraction for me than riding hot and it really affects my response time and skills in general, especially if I'm shivering or it my hands are very cold. That's why my best winter jacket in the past was my Belstaff which is very warm and has good abrasion protection but no armor.


That's pretty much my thoughts dead on when I evaluated this purchase. I tried to preface the review to reflect my doubts to this being an impenetrable super jacket. I love it none the less. Sure my Alpinestars jacket would do better in a crash, but this thing is warm! That was my main requirement. I also haven't bought a winter jacket in...ever. I usually just layer. I wanted a new winter jacket, and this is one that has the added bonus of being a viable riding jacket. I tend to ride less aggressively in the colder weather. I knew that this is a compromise in impact (still untested in my mind) and abrasion resistance (again, I have my doubts, but it's better than nothing). I wanted to express my concerns over this point very clearly. It's a great jacket for keeping warm, which I think is safer over something that would allow me to freeze and not be as responsive (huge safety hit in my equations).

Again, gear is a matter of personal taste. Research your gear investments and buy according to your comfort level. I'm comfortable in this jacket. I wanted one layer that would do it all: cut wind, be water-proof, hold my junk and keep me warm. This one does a good job at it. As I said at first, if you're OK with the possible negatives of the jacket (and I'm pretty sure I laid them out straight-forward) then this is a great cold weather jacket.

Ride safe!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

siobhan wrote:
Hey ericalm...if you do go this weekend and try them on, can you let me know the difference in medium/large sizing. There seems to be a big difference in the measurements on their site so I can't decide which size would fit best (I'm going from your pics that you may be a similar size to the person who would be wearing it). Thank you so much!

I went today, but unfortunately, they didn't have a parka in stock (we are in SoCal after all). They had the City Rider, but only in a Med.

The City Rider is a very nice looking jacket, but the shell and armor were much too light for me. It has lighter materials than the parka, though.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'd love to see pics.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK a new question. In the parka being that it does not have spinal armor, is there a pocket for it? Could it be easily altered to install back armor?

Has anyone tried the Macintosh? I am a 44R in jackets & curious about both jackets.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried on the macintosh, and women's parka. I am a big fan of these jackets in my limited exposure to them so far. If I am not mistaken, they are more waterproof than corazzo...would this have ANY correlation with their abrasion resistance? i could be way off base, but if it has to do with the thickness of materials at all...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

betsy q. bramble wrote:
I've tried on the macintosh, and women's parka. I am a big fan of these jackets in my limited exposure to them so far. If I am not mistaken, they are more waterproof than corazzo...would this have ANY correlation with their abrasion resistance? i could be way off base, but if it has to do with the thickness of materials at all...

The Corazzos definitely have thicker materialsóa heavier and more dense weaveóthat are more abrasion-resistant. I don't know how this affects waterproofing, which I think may be as much to do with composition and coatings/additives. They can be made more waterproof by using a wash-in product like NikWax.

I did notice quite a bit of difference on the thickness of the armor between different styles of Armadillo. Some of my issues may be perceptual: it feels light and flexible, so it doesn't feel as solid and protective.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right - the armor is definitely a different animal. The Armadillo line wants you to be able to comfortably and stylishly wear your "riding jacket" as an every day jacket. It is flexible so you feel it less when you wear the jacket.

I'm no scientist, but the demo I saw of the Armadillo armor was pretty convincing. I take all sales demos with a grain of salt, but the rep laid some samples of the armor over his knuckles and wailed on his hand with a mallet, unfazed.

I love Corazzo, so I hope they come out with some different styles before I fold and go for the Armadillo parka, but right now, Armadillo is just offering some more range. I must say I am tempted. Plus, my 5.0 is NOT waterproof.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try to snap a few pics when I get home from the shop. I've got to figure out which Blur parts need to be replaced and get them on order so I can get it on the road again.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ericalm , lostmycage and others for all your feedback. I'm still on the fence about getting the parka (to give as a Christmas gift). The yankee in me is having a difficult time paying for a coat what I would spend on a scoot. Mind you, if it was a pair of shoes (for me), there'd be no caution Laughing

I'll report back on December 26th!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have the armadillo hoodie and it's plenty enough for riding in the sf weather as long as you layer properly below it. i actually bought the parka initially but i could only find it in M and i wear S normally. after seeing myself int he mirror with it at home I returned it. looked like it was eating me rather than me wearing it. the waterproofing on it is great. from my experience with the hoodie, i am sure the parka performs great. it was WARM i do remember that.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still no pictures yet, but I've been riding in mid to low 30 degree weather with just a polo shirt underneath. Still nice and comfy. I guess I could put another layer on when it gets down to 20... guess we'll see.

My gloves (I've upgraded to the Corazzo winter gauntlets from the Redline leather gauntlets) are still the weak point. My fingertips start to hurt after 20 minutes. I guess I'll keep looking for a better pair of gloves, nothing like trial and error. The Parka is amazingly warm, but not stifling; I can wear it when not riding with it unzipped and feel perfectly comfortable inside, for a short while at least.

I'm really glad I made that lap blanket, though. I would have wimped out much sooner if I didn't have that for the mornings. Now, if I can just get my Blur back on the road so I have a proper leg shield again... and leg room, hehe.

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Lostmycage
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject: Updated Review Reply with quote

Nothing to see here. Keep moving...

I copied this verbatim to the first post in the thread, so you'd only be reading it twice... so I shrunk it. Yeah, that's right.


Hey folks.

So, I've given the Parka a good cold run here (still anxiously waiting for spring) and I thought I'd update my original review.

Before I get to that, I wanted to just reiterate a point. I bought this jacket because I like innovation and I knowingly took a risk on a relatively untested product (at least as far as we're concerned here in the US).

OK, that aside...

So, after doing a little riding this winter I can say this above all else: This jacket is WARM. I've ridden to work in 19 degree weather with just a short sleeve shirt on underneath and no part of my body that is covered by this jacket got cold. Ever. In fact, the only thing that's kept me from riding to work all winter was my gloves. That's been remedied now, so I plan on scooting around straight on through till I need to start wearing my Alpinestars Mesh jacket again.

The main reason I bought this jacket was to stay warm and it did this in spades. I'm not a Sunday rider here... I ride fast and hard... not that I'm particularly bad-ass or anything. Around here, you kinda have to. When I'm driving my car, I'm that jerk that's doing the speed limit and obeying red lights and stop signs. The nerve, right? When I'm on my scooter, it's go fast or get hit. Sum of the story: my daily commute is about 60 (55 actual) mph for about 15-20 minutes. Plenty of time to get cold. This jacket does not let that happen. I've even ridden with the pit vents open around 45 degrees just to keep from over-heating. With that said, I should also point out that I've ridden in 70 degree weather with the liner still in and not felt too hot. The hottest was around 80, but I had the liner removed and the vents open and was actually really comfortable.

OK. That out of the way, onto the BAD!

The stitching on this thing is nothing short of pathetic. Actually, to clarify: The interior stitching sucks, sucks, sucks! When I turned it in for a warranty replacement (more on that later) 3 of the 4 pockets on the main shell had lost their stitching and were making me nervous of loosing stuff. Some of the stitching on the interior of the hood section was completely undone. A Button had popped off on the pocket flap. Threads were coming loose around a number of the interior portions of the jacket.

HOWEVER!! Every single stitch on the outside remained perfect. Not a single flaw (with the exception of a button coming off). The concern here is how it would handle in a slide. I think it would do just fine. Actually, of the people that bought the Armadillo Parkas from my local shop, 3 of them now were involved in accidents. All three were inspected by the shop afterwards and they looked brand new. I can't confirm this personally, but I trust the owner of my local shop very much. She takes care of her people. At least one of them was a healthy slide (10-20+ foot slide). That tells me that the outer shell was assembled in a different factory than the interior... there's a definitive difference from the outer shell and the interior of the jacket.

One of the other selling points of this jacket was the warranty. I knew that this was a new company (to the US) and that I was taking my chances, to a point. But, Scoot Richmond said they'd take care of me. Well, the reason I'm updating this today is that I just turned in my original jacket for a brand new one. It turns out that she (owner of Scoot Richmond) was able to get ahold of the Armadillo distributor for the US at the Indy Dealer Expo last weekend. She had some words for the fellow. It turns out that the first run of the US jackets had many of the same complaints: Interior stitching and zippers were not durable at all. He told her that she'd have a number of replacements this week (mine was one of them) and that this run had addressed a number of the issues that were the weak points of the first batch.

So, here we go with round 2. Brand new jacket; not a repair of the original one like they were first trying to tell her.

I'm going to keep on riding with it and I'll report back any major differences between this one and the original as well as how the "new" production run measures against the short comings of the first one.

On a final note, I want to just restate that I originally bought this jacket as a cold weather solution. It's got the muted looks that I'm favorable to and it's WARM. It's a heavy duty cold weather jacket that has added considerations (armor) for riding. I don't regret that decision at all (at least since they're honoring their warranty, hehe), as it's kept me plenty warm in crappy weather (water beads up on it!). They're holding their end of the bargain by delivering a satisfactory warranty replacement.

I'll make another post after I've got more time with it. Hopefully this one will be everything I thought the first one would be and more. On just a precursory inspection of the new jacket, it does look like they paid attention to the details a little better. No loose threads, tighter stitches, etc. I think they got it right... but time will tell. I guess I'll tell too once I've figured out if it's improved or just new.

Stay warm! Just a few more months till mesh!

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Last edited by Lostmycage on Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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ericalm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update!

As much as I want a parka similar to this that also has the protective features I need, I'm still skeptical of the Armadillo. Some of this may just be feelóthe outer shell just feels loose and light compared to other riding jackets.

This is exactly the kind of review that will helps, though.

That said, we didn't get enough cold weather here for me to bother installing armor in my Spiewak parka as I'd planned. I really wanted to take it out on the road!

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chloefpuff
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update. I've had high hopes for this company but have been put off by the disappointing reviews from experienced riders.

If, however, the company has listened to feedback (aka complaints) then there's a chance......

or Corazzo could step up.
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Lostmycage
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Scootypuff Sr.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that they are listening to feedback. The new jacket seems a lot better as far as finish, etc. I'll update this again once I've had a chance to run it through the ringers a little.
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k1dude
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric:

Is there any way to move Lostmycage's update to be part of the original review? That way you don't have to scroll way down the thread for the caveats that othewise might be missed.
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Lostmycage
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Scootypuff Sr.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe, I didn't even think of just adding to the original. I wanted a new post in it to bump it so that in case someone was thinking about this jacket, they'd notice the recent activity in the thread.

I copied and pasted my update to the original thread and I'll add in more there as I test this new jacket out. Thanks for the idea, K1dude.

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