Hardwear Jersey And Pant
O’Neal’s Hardwear apparel line is its top offering. As such, my expectations were high. MSRP for the pant is $149.99, and the jersey is advertised at $49.99. These prices are right in line with those of other manufacturers, but if I am laying down 200-plus bones on some new riding gear, I feel I should be getting the best. And in many ways O’Neal met my expectations.There are six well-styled colors to chose from, ranging from the traditional-red, black, blue and yellow-to the more exotic-lime and the as-tested chocolate. I found the look appealing. The colors are bold and vibrant with just enough tasteful styling. Appearance is half the battle, but more important are fit, function and durability. While testing at the 24 Hours of Glen Helen race, I literally wore my gear the entire time, even during nap time.The pant fit well, with my only complaint being that the foam hip pads are uncomfortable ( I took them out after my first riding session). The knees and legs offer enough room for knee guards or braces without being sloppy. Fit around the waist was just right with enough adjustability in the belt to be snug and comfortable. Flex panels in the front and sides facilitated transitions from sitting to standing. Construction is top-notch with reinforced stitching in the right places. I liked the look, feel and comfort of the real leather knee panel, which proved its worth in four-stroke headpipe protection. Vented panels in the front as well as a vented inner liner helped keep things cool.The cut of the jersey creates a fit that permits the use of an underprotector without being too loose if one is not used. The arm cuffs are narrow to keep the sleeves in place but not too tight to induce the fear of arm-pump. Material is very light and comfortable, with ventilation in the arms and front. Reinforced stitching on the bottom, collar and seams added to the durability.After washing, the colors remained vibrant, and I noticed no frayed edges or loose strings, which I attribute to quality craftsmanship.Overall, I was very pleased with the gear. I find the styling and color options (even the UPS-inspired chocolate) appealing to my taste. But most important, everything fit well and was comfortable even after the 24-plus hours of time we spent getting to know each other. I would hand over my hard-earned dollars without reservation for this gear.