I work outdoors (fitting saddles as it happens) and can be standing around, can be working up a sweat adjusting saddles etc, and currently have only a naff branded Regatta jacket that is about a breathable as a plastic bag, meaning when I put it back on after a drive in the van to the next appointment it is wet inside . It's not warm enough for winter and too warm for summer.
So I need good hardwearing stuff but with countryish styling ideally, and something versatile. Am looking at Jack Wolfskin which I hardly read about on here but the zip system appeals, as the jacket goes on and off a lot in and out of the van, so I don't want to have to remove layers in the winter, but equally don't want to waste money on many different outer layers. So I'm thinking a 3in1 for summer and autumn, and for dry cold winter days their long synthetic padded coat. Everything needs to be washable as after a month or so it all reeks of horse!
I'm also fairly tall with long arms, and do sweat a bit and sorry, but I want to be a bit more stylish than Paramo would allow.
They need to be black, possibly dark grey or brown, and more or less single colour.
Cioch - made to measure Paramo technology.
I live on a farm. In winter I wear a Barbour jacket (one of the breathable ones, not waxed cotton). In summer I wear my Paramo Tores gilet. Nothing comes close to the Barbour for getting covered in *hit, keeping you warm in freezing rain and surviving barbed wire and blackthorn hedges. It is heavy and gets heavier when wet, but it's perfect for its intended purpose. The Barbour is also machine washable.
Steph - as gkis says, you may be better off with something "country" by design. Any thoughts on a budget? The "country" brands do tend to be a bit more expensive, but several (Musto particularly) have very good outlet stores that do some pretty hefty discount. My home jacket (for knocking around the farm, particularly in winter) is a Musto Woodland, which is probably not what you are looking for (a bit hot I suspect!), but as an example I picked it up from the Musto outlet in gloucester for £120, which is something like 50% of the RRP.
If you're looking down the standard outdoors product line, then yes, Jack Wolfskin do some alright jackets in your wanted style. Don't feel obliged to go "3-in-1" from the same manufacturer, most of the YKK interactive zips will work happily with any manufacturer's jackets (inner and outer).
Might I suggest looking at a few shooting mags for ideas if style and colour are important.
Thanks for all the thoughts. Country stuff is tricky - very little in black, and I do think so much is overpriced, plus they don't always use the best materials. Musto annoy me because they seem to pad the sleevs of most of their jackets thinking you'll buy their gilet - well no I won't, and it makes my full length riding coat too hot for summer! I love the "cool" Barbour stuff but the practical stuff isn't in black - our logo is gold on black so it would be best for "corporatising".
Cioch to me looks just as ugly as Paramo, sorry! Great if you're outsize or very petite, but expensive for me who's a standard size.
The info on zips is very useful, though I do shop mainly online to get the best prices so hard to compare zip lengths.
Budget - I had been about to stump up £94 in the sale which I thought was a total bargain for a Jack Wolfskin Iceland, but realised I don't want a fixed hood as I wear a wide brimmed rain hat (need to see and hear well when working!) and don't want a hood filling with rain, or in the way at all. Then I thought £110 for a long Iceguard for cold and dry. Both (well, the non-system zip Highland version of the Iceland) seem to be well reviewed. Still tempted to go this kinda route but thanks for the options.
Cioch will make to measure - so will do whatever you want in terms of size/shape/colour/zips etc. Not cheap maybe, but actually not hugely more expensive than standard Paramo so you have a decision to make regarding budget (and you wont, I think, get anywhere close to £100 with any Paramo system stuff).
TBH, I would look at some of the industrial workwear suppliers for this - technically might not be up there, cost should be much much less and black not unusual for corpoertising with a logo.
But surely then I'm no better off than with my Regatta?
Some industrial workwear is surprisingly high spec with breathable fabrics, though, thinking about it, with the amount of shite you are exposed to,any membrane breathable may degrade quickly. The blaklader one above looks like what I mean.
I used to be a livestock farmer (cattle and sheep) and never found a low (£100) budget solution that really worked as hoped, so ended up going down the very-low-budget and couldnt-care-less route. We also found military surplus stuff quite good - plain green (hard to find) or blue (RAF/Navy) being the prefered colour scheme.
Helly Hansen do a good range of workwear (waterproofs inc. options in all black, zip off hoods long length, zip in fleeces etc.)
Just bear in mind that most "outdoor" kit isn't especially hard wearing. Anything sold as "technical" has all sorts of fancy properties, one of which being the ability to self destruct in a few years. You also pay more. Unless you are so active that the sweat is pouring off you,the budget stuff will work just as well and either last longer or cost less to replace. Nothing lasts like good quality waxed cotton or the old fashioned Henri Lloyd neoprene.
Just thought. Look at the stuff sold to the survival/ psuedo security type stuff. It's often black and can be just a different coloured version of the companies outdoor gear. Try military surplus shops (which sell mostly non military, non surplus kit)
Or ex police stuff in black
Steph Bloom wrote (see)
I'm also fairly tall with long arms, and do sweat a bit and sorry, but I want to be a bit more stylish than Paramo would allow. They need to be black, possibly dark grey or brown, and more or less single colour. Thoughts? Ta
Just a thought, but Paramo has a new women's jacket due out just before Christmas which sounds like it might fit the bill. It's styled long and almost A-line, far more tailored and fashiony than anything they've done before. I've seen it in the flesh and it actually looks pretty cool in a not very traditional way, so it may be worth keeping an eye open for it.
OutdoorsMagic Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
I thought this thread sounded familiar...
That was another lifetime and an entirely different need, I made a couple of thick Windpro fleeces which did the job, but not enough for standing around saddle fitting, and not smart enough. When really cold I wore a 200g jacket AND gilet, I had other waterproofs etc to go over them. I do love Windpro.
I eventually bought a Jack Wolfskin 3 in 1 jacket on offer (£100 off) at Cotswold Outdoor - the Mountain Creek from AW11-12. It's 4x4 Taslan which is breathable enough, and supposedly tough, and has a 200g fleece inner, and after a month's use and one wash I'm really pleased with it. Can't wear the fleece very well on it's own as the neck is too tight when done up alone, the downside of a 3 in 1 I guess, but it's still just what I wanted.
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