Choosing the clothing for the New Zealand trip has been more complicated than usual, because the summer beginning in the Kiwi Land is unstable, both in terms of temperatures and the weather conditions, that change quickly, also during the day.
The forecast’s been confirmed several times, the temperatures in the morning were about ten degrees, but in the afternoon the temperatures rose to twenty and over. Furthermore, it was predicted to ride many hours a day with many km to go, the obvious choice of a suit, which is not only all seasons, but a kind of touristic one
. I’ve always liked the OJ desert suit and I always liked it since the presentation some years ago, so I decided that this would have been the right occasion to get one and testing it. And like we always say 19 days no-stop, worn 8 hours a day, this is the equivalent of a full stress simulation definitely longer and harder than people usually do. Let’s start from the design, which we appreciate a lot, the brand new “mud” coloring reminds us adventure, deserts and dirt roads … amazing, but we wore it mainly on road, but I don’t think this is expressly forbidden by the user instruction, isn’t it?
But back to the look, both the jacket and the trousers have a very attractive design, full of unique details, the pockets and the ventilation zippers which emphasize the idea of a meant to travel suit. As I said before, an all seasons suit, feature made possible by the detachable thermal lining, as well as the rain membrane and the ventilation zippers to provide a cooling system during the hottest days. To be honest, we left in Italy the internal lining, thankfully, because the rain membrane helps to protect from cold, even when the temperatures are around 9 or 10 degrees, enough you have a light fleece under the jacket.
On the other hand, during the only two days, in which the temperatures have risen over 25 degrees, my advice is to remove the rain membrane and keep it in its pocket … otherwise, it makes me want to burn it down. But it cannot be different, it’s always the same with this type of water resistant layer. Leaving aside this little (and obvious) detail, I’ve especially appreciated both the versatility of the jacket and the comfort, mostly of the trousers, which never make me feel uncomfortable, neither on the bike and nor during the exploration walking.
In fact, many times we got through the day without the need to change our suites. The pockets are really comfy, at least one of them is water proof. Easy to open, even the zippers and the Velcro straps have been designed to have a good ventilation, so you can open it with one hand, while riding, even if, for reasons of security, this wouldn’t be a right operation. Anyway the handy elastic laces fixed to the plastic hooks which, besides enriching the design, provide ease of use and comfort of the ventilation zippers placed on the chest and on the thigh as well.
The large zippers corresponding to the calf/ankle makes it possible to put on every kind of boots, also the biggest one. The jacket is equipped with a wide range of buckles that provide the waist and the arms adjustment, in such a way that the jacket will fit so well. While I would prefer the classic back protector for this trip we opted for the embedded one, always made in OJ. In short, a suit that has nothing to fear, designed for extended voyage, but it may well be worn every day, according to OJ own philosophy about the “metropolitan atmosphere”. The only thing is that the jacket, with all its protections and /or three layers, isn’t so light, but I don’t mean when it’s worn, but rather when it’s carried by hand, so it’s better to choose a strong hanger.
Beware of the size, I use to wear L a for the jacket and M for the trousers, in this case I opted respectively M and S size.
Finally, a personal though about the OJ letters that run in big type on the jacket and trousers as well. This stylistic choice splits the opinion into two different views. It can be quite gaudy, or, conversely, it can reveal a strong and marked nature.
OJ DESERT … NEW ZEALAND APPROVED
For all the other technical information, we advise to have a look at the producer website