E-Type suit

The new two-section zipper on the left side also requires some patience to finish. First, you need to start the leg zipper near your waist, then ensure that the outer flap is sealed correctly along its length. You then need to start the torso zipper at the bottom and zip it up, then close the snap-fastened waist flap. The flap sealing the rider's neck area is a bit overly complicated in our opinion; there are interlocking inside/outside hook-and-loop-fastened portions of the flap that are difficult to see, requiring some practice to do by feel. The final neck cuff is adjustable with a sliding snap, which also requires some practice to snap in by feel.

We really like Spidi's original Admiral oversuit that we tested way back in July '05 (and unfortunately crashed tested in June '06), so when we were shown the new Admiral E-Type H2OUT suit at last year's Indianapolis dealer show, we couldn't wait to give the latest version a tryout.Granted, once you are done, the suit is indeed waterproof and windproof, as proven by several days of commuting to work in torrential winter downpours. Even the vent and hip pocket zipperswhich are sealed only by rubberized flapsdidn't leak, despite Mother Nature's best efforts. Speaking of pockets, that brings up another gripe we had with the Admiral E-Type suit: the lack thereof. There are no inner pockets to speak of, meaning that your wallet and other papers must be stuffed into one of the two small outer pockets, or stored elsewhere. It wouldn't be that much of an issue if you had access to your pants pockets, but you pay a price for that waterproofing—there are no hip access zippers either.

The biggest difference between the regular Admiral and new E-Type suit is the new "dual direction" two-section zipper on the left side that replaces the somewhat cumbersome and trouble-prone rubberized full-length zipper of the old version. As with the standard Admiral suit, the E-Type is constructed from heavy duty Cordura textile fabric, with Cordura 1600 used in the shoulders, elbows/forearms, knees, and seat area. A three-layer garment system utilizing Spidi's H2OUT breathable membrane seals out water and wind, while CE-certified hard impact armor is found in the shoulder, hip, knee, and elbow/forearm guards (Spidi's own Warrior back protector is also used). Flex panels in the lower back and rear portion of the knees allow flexibility, and adjustable straps in the chest, waist, arms, and legs ensure snug fit and reduction of garment flapping at speed. Four zippered vents (two in the back, one underneath each arm) permit airflow for hotter climates, and reflective areas on the back, shoulders, and arms ensure nighttime visibility. There are also two exterior hip pockets, and a gasket-sealed opening for an electric heated clothing power cord.

First thing you notice is that the Admiral E-Type suit is lighter than other oversuits; ours weighed in at 6.1 pounds, while many others come in at nine pounds or more. Entry is similar to the established Aerostich style, with a leg zipper on the right leg allowing that leg to be started first, followed by the arms. Both leg and torso zippers are sealed from water intrusion by a dual fold flap system that is finally closed with an aggressive hook and loop fastened flap; we say "aggressive" because while it holds the flaps down well, it requires some work to get the length of the flap fully settled, and also tends to grip any cloth fabric within reach. The impact armor is comfortable, yet feels stout enough and doesn't float around excessively (causing it to roll in a crash).

The Spidi Admiral E-Type suit retails for $799.95, available in black only, in sizes S-3XL. Unfortunately, Motonation has ceased distributing Spidi products, so you will have to find a dealer near you who can order it direct from Italy.Overall, we were kind of disappointed in the Admiral E-Type suit. While we like the quality of construction and impact protection, the amount of fiddling necessary to zip and button everything up could get annoying if you weren't practiced at it. And the lack of additional pockets is a definite misstep in our view.

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