Perhaps the standard in HEMA right now, SPES have always been fast at offering new products, but a bit slow on updating or upgrading their classics. Now we have a surprise – two of their most popular jackets, in 800N versions.
These are the AP Light 800N and standard AP 800N.
But the penetration resistance is not the only new thing – the standard SPES AP now has the same wicking fabric that the AP Light and the Hussar 800N, which means much (much!) faster drying.
The AP Light also has the front foam pockets modified, covering more of the torso. The 350N model had some unpleasant gaps.
There are also some small design changes.
These new jackets are now part of the “New Generation” with other 800N products, like the Cadet and Officer jackets, the 800N padded skirt and plastron, and the only heavy gloves with built-in penetration resistance – the Red Lobster gloves.
Do we really need 800N?
For hands, with the number of ugly penetrations I’ve seen, we need and should take any resistant glove that comes out.
With jackets, it’s a more complicated issue. Few tourneys require 800N, however, some argue that broken rapiers and other narrower swords might be able to penetrate 350N in extreme circumstances. For some years, the only option we had in SPES’ catalogue was the overbuilt Hussar, but for a while now a Cadet and and Officer jacket in 800N have also been available.
It’s never bad to add a bit more to safety, but remember – penetration resistance doesn’t mean more blunt force protection.
How is the price?
Good news – at the launch we get 10% off for the standard AP, from a base price of 277 EUR to 249 EUR. The AP 350N is 199 EUR.
The AP Light 800N is the better deal – just 25 EUR above the 350N, at 239 EUR.