Corazzo, the Australian/Portland riding gear partnership is on a hot streak. Not only are they back to introducing more stylish gear, they are doing it with almost alarming (to my wallet) regularity. In the past year or so they’ve introduced the Caldo glove, the Corazzo Heated Vest and the Ventata, along with the Brezza and Advventura for the ladies and now the Viaggio (Italian for journey, trip or voyage) Jacket. The Viaggio represents the latest attempt at constructing the perfect riding jacket and they seem to have come close to reaching that goal. I spoke with Allen Drysdale of Corazzo Design North America about the Viaggio.
When I asked Allen to sum up the Viaggio for me, he paused for a moment, as if deep in thought. “It's a really nice jacket” he started, “It’s our most comprehensive jacket ever” he continued. “If I had to say one thing - I’d say ‘have jacket - will travel’ - we’ve created a protective jacket that can be used for three plus seasons, and it’s durable and easy to wear.” I asked him why the three seasons and he said that in really hot conditions, “say up in the 80s or higher” the jacket might get a little warm at stops. “It’s not a mesh jacket - or a dedicated summer jacket” he replied, “but this should do for everything else.” When I told him that I try to keep moving he said that I had the right approach, and that the Viaggio might be a year-round jacket for me.
I asked him what was his favorite feature about the jacket and he said that he “loves the venting - a real step up in that arena” but kept going. “I love the cuffs around the end of the sleeves - on the jacket and on the liner. And don’t forget the adjustable elbow armor - there’s an adjustment in the pocket at the end near your wrist,” he continued. As we wound up, he couldn’t resist adding one more favorite feature - “Did you notice the internal waist adjustment? Totally functional and will result in a custom fit for everyone.” After that introduction, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new Viaggio, and Allen was kind enough to send one for me to try.
Allen told me the the design of the Viaggio was done by Susan Walters and the Fontanarosa Design team in Portland. He said that they specialize in sport equipment design like shoes, glasses, clothing and other items. Allen said that the Viaggio design took inspiration from the snowboarding scene and he hopes that the move away from a more traditional “motorcycle-style" jacket opens up the possibilities for people to discover two-wheeled transport and recreation. Allen continued “It’s a nice, flexible design that’s really easy to wear.”
Here’s a list of features of Viaggio:
- Removable, high quality quilted liner, able to wear alone
- Extendable knit cuffs in liner including thumb holes
- Waterproof YKK zippers
- Four external pockets plus inner pockets
- Adjustable cuffs - internal wind cuffs on wrists
- Trick internal waist adjustment
- Zippered rear vents on lower back
- Two-way main zipper
- Back and underarm zippered vents
- Wind resistant/water resistant/waterproof
- Tall neck detail with soft lining
The Viaggio is a substantial jacket and is fully nylon lined, but it’s also very lightweight and flexible, even more than the Tempeste. The Viaggio exterior is built with a battleship gray 500 Denier abrasive resistant nylon. External ornamentation is limited to a pair of silk-screened logos, a single small Corrazo shield on the neck and reflective details. The two 3M reflective piping strips come across the back and down the rear of the arm and from the neck, across the shoulders and down the front of the arm. The Viaggio has a five-piece set of removable Knox armor in the shoulders, elbows and back, although it’s not quite as flexible as the Knox armor in the Tempeste. There is a tall collar finished with a low-pile fleece which interestingly continues down the zippers to the bottom of the jacket, under a grip-strip equipped storm flap. The main zipper is a chunky, plastic YKK that features a two-way design, so it can unzip to prevent contact with a fuel tank (not a problem on the scoot). There are two zippers on the inside of the front that will accept the very nicely finished, full sleeve liner or the Corazzo Heated Vest, if desired, so there is a lot of flexibility for the weather on the ride. There are double vent zippers in the back (for the seat area) and a great set of low, side pockets. All external pockets are the same waterproof zippers as found on Tempeste and I would trust them with my phone.
Riding with the Viaggio:
I got the chance to ride with the liner in and out and in temperatures ranging from the low 50s to over 80 degrees. It’s an easy jacket to wear, and fits very well. The version that I tried was an XL, and I snugged up the internal adjusters all the way for a nice close fit for my cool early morning ride. The liner is great - long cuffs with thumb holes, full sleeves and an assortment of pockets (the outer hand warmers are even zippered). The liner also has two internal pockets; a zippered left side chest pocket and a giant, open-topped pocket on the lower right that can hold a full-sized iPad, if desired.
The jacket blocked a lot of wind and was very comfortable at speed in those lower temperatures. Later the temperatures climbed past 70 and then over 80. Summer is very nearly here! I ditched the liner and opened up the vents - two in the under arm area, two high on the back and the seat vents as well. The collar is excellent and be left undone as well to allow a little more airflow at slow speeds or when the temperature creeps up. Only when I was sitting at lights in full sun did I notice that the same excellent wind blocking also kept the body heat in. Once moving, the vents did the job and the jacket cooled down nicely. Upon arrival at your destination the stylish cut and subdued color of the Viaggio blended right in where some other jackets would scream biker.
Introducing the ‘Yesbut”:
When I review a jacket I mentally tick off a list of jacket features. The list has basic jacket features that a scooter rider needs in order to be able to enjoy and get good use our of a piece of gear. It’s more than the usual “pockets - yes, five” type of thing. I look at a the features of a piece of gear and think about four seasons worth of riding. I look at the functionality and usefulness of the jacket through those seasons and I look at possible wear points or irksome details. As I was doing my initial inspection of the Viaggio, I began checking off the features in my head and an interesting thing happened. I would look at a feature, (interior pockets for instance) and say, “yes, but”, as in yes there is a small interior pocket on the left side of the jacket liner, but wouldn’t it be great if it had a large pocket somewhere. Then I would discover that there was indeed a large pocket on the lower right. Throughout my test, I kept finding myself saying “yes, but” until it became sort of a running joke. And yes, there are hand warmer pockets on the liner, but they usually don’t have zippers, but this one does, etc,. A delight, to say the least, especially when I have used a lot of “bargain” gear over the years. Bargain gear that while doing the job, doesn’t make you smile when you pick it up and put it on. This one does.
The Viaggio shed rain well in a light mist that I encountered, so I’d be comfortable in recommending it as an armored rain jacket. It sealed up very well, and kept the wind and cold out with the liner in, so there’s my recommendation for spring and fall. For the extreme cold of winter riding, I’d most likely rock a heated vest close to my shirt with the liner zipped into the jacket. Throw on a sweater (and a Corazzo Underhoody) and you would be good into the teens. The flip side is the Viaggio’s hot weather performance, and to be truthful, at anything approaching 85 to 90 and you’ll be unzipping at stoplights. Underway, it’s not so bad, but if there is one limitation to this jacket it would be in high temps. That said, and knowing that I’ll be mostly riding in Michigan, I would certainly consider the Viaggio as my sole piece of quality riding gear. It’s that good.
As Allen said to me as we finished up our interview, “But if all you wanted was one jacket this is it.” and I tend to agree. If you want something that will fit almost every riding season, and look and feel good while doing it, the Viaggio might be for you.
What's next: Riding the Michigan Potholes