Tested: Held Cadora Touring Jacket

A Riding Jacket For Three Seasons

motorcycle jacket review, Held Cadora
Held Cadora Touring Jacket©Motorcyclist

If you're a little peeved at how difficult it is to create a true four-season jacket, take some solace in knowing that Held has built a stunningly good three-season hunk of handsome and effective riding apparel. Built with a Cordura/Gore-Tex "pro textile" outer layer and fitted with a Coolmax breathable inner liner, the Cadora is meant to be waterproof on its own—no need for over layers or a zip-in inner layer. In fact, the only layering this jacket includes is a quilted thermal liner. Ah, simplicity.

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Styling is elemental, not quite an outlandish sporty jacket or an overrun-with-features ADV shell. Reflective slashes break up what is an otherwise dour all-black scheme. (Yes, black is the only color.) There are straps at the hips, waist, and biceps to tailor fit. And while the SAS-TEC protection in the shoulders and elbows (plus an optional SAS-TEC back protector) is labeled “quatrotempi,” as though this is a four-season jacket, the garment is slightly too stuffy for really hot weather. Ventilation comes from a zippered opening across the upper back and an innovative mesh double-gusset in the main zipper. Zip the Cadora with the mesh showing and it flows a reasonable amount of air, but it’s no match for a fully perforated jacket.

Where the Cadora shines, though, is those other three seasons, especially if you live where it rains often or with little warning. I rode with the Cadora and the matching Manero pants last fall in Europe, where it rained hard for hours at a time to the north and then it was warm and dry to the south (your typical Germany-to-Italy kind of trip). The Cadora was fine in the low 80s and delightful in the low 50s and rain. What’s more, waterproof. Totally so. Tight-sealing neck and cuffs help keep water out, but the Gore-Tex membrane itself performed without a hitch (and has since, over probably a dozen days of serious rain). No need to stop and zip in your water barrier or don a raincoat; just keep riding.

Finally, there’s the finish of the jacket, which is utterly top-shelf. The seams are perfect and the build quality is exemplary. Despite more than a year of being my go-to, fall-to-spring touring jacket, the Cadora hardly looks used. Good thing, since it runs a heady $860. Sizes are S to 3XL, and women’s sizes are available as well. If you don’t like being wet and are ready to splurge, here’s your next touring jacket.

HELD CADORA TOURING JACKET

Price: $860
Contact: heldusa.com

MC GRADE: A-

Verdict: Terrifically well built and genuinely waterproof touring jacket best suited for cooler climes and thicker wallets.