Branded Waterproof jackets - Worth the money?

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Tiley

Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
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Perhaps the most important aspect of buying any clothing is the fit. Some folk will find The North Face fits them perfectly whereas others will be similarly pleased by Berghaus, Norrona, Taiga or whoever. No matter what it's made of or by, no matter what the price, you've got to get something that works for you and comfortably.
 

Brizzlebush

Full Member
Feb 9, 2019
290
181
Bristol
I'm not going to bother reading all the above so there may be some duplication. In a word, Yes. Had cheap, have expensive named kit because it's good and works. It's not just the waterproofness it's the fit of the hood, the pockets that don't allow water in, the zip not leaking. If money is a factor I'd go the ex military route, you are mainly tied to the camouflage scheme of choice but I think the Austrian kit is quite good and reasonable. A friend recently got a cracking well put together police goretex but his pocket's pool water. Buy once, cry once.
I've got wet pockets, if i don't zip them up, but for £35 I get to flash my police badge any time I need to arrest a badger.
 
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Kadushu

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Jul 29, 2014
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The thing with cheap stuff (and this applies outside clothing) is that you take pot luck with the quality of design and manufacture. For example I bought a cheap waterproof from Screwfix which I loved to bits and kept wearing despite burning holes in it and perforating it with thorns. Its replacement or similar price but different shop and brand was utter crap. One pocket was sewn shut, it felt cheap... It was disappointing.

By buying a branded product hopefully you're paying for some product testing and experience in design. Often I find it's little things like the arms being the wrong length or a leaking pocket flap that cause most grief. Hopefully...
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,237
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Lancashire
My old paramo used to get water running into the pockets in heavy rain. Even without your hands in the pocket, if the zip was open the flap didn't stop the rain on its own. I got very used to wet pockets.

Whilst paramo was a good brand and design it was back in its earliest days with the first version of alta. There was so much wrong with those original designs. Still, I was able to kit out fully with alta jacket and trustees; 200 fleece; silva expedition 4 compass and other sundries for less than £200, when goretex jacket alone was £200+! Benefits of buying when they first started. Now my new paramo is a very decent design but £300 and the fabric isn't any better performing.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
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Is The North Face still a quality outdoor brand?
My impression is that they went the route down like Karrimor, Jack Wolfskin and Fjällräven and decided to stop making real expedition equipment in order to earn more money by selling exclusively weak constructed fashionable dog walk stuff.

A quality brand that wasn't yet mentioned here is Carinthia. They also make raingear. They devellop it in collaboration with the European military. The Special Forces try it out and give their feedback.

I didn't buy it yet, because my German army Flecktarn Goretex suit works well enough for me. Made by Feuchter in Germany it is also very convincing. Used in good conditions it's sold very cheap. It's a robust no nonsense lightweight construction.
 
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jackorion

Member
Sep 8, 2021
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I'm paying attention to this thread as I need a new waterproof - I'm doing a land and wildlife management course and volunteering as a ranger with a few different organisations and, as winter looms, I know my old Craghopper is not up to the task!

The issue I have is that I need something tough - the last three weeks I've been clearing blackthorn and anything delicate would get destroyed!

Warmth is not really an issue as I can layer up underneath and I'll be moving a lot, but water-and-wind-proofness is important as is the length - ideally something that covers my bum and thighs - and a few decent sized pockets too...

So I need something:

Tough
Waterproof
Windproof
Long
With decent sized pockets
Probably not a 'smock' as I'll need to get it on and off quickly and have the option to vent by undoing the zip as well

I'm not adverse to splashing out it something ticks all the boxes - I'd rather spend once and spend right if a piece of kit will last - but I'm at a bit of a loss where to start - part of me is thinking a Barbour might be the answer but there seems to be an opinion that quality is not what it once was...
 
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TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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Is The North Face still a quality outdoor brand?
My impression is that they went the route down like Karrimor, Jack Wolfskin and Fjällräven and decided to stop making real expedition equipment in order to earn more money by selling exclusively weak constructed fashionable dog walk stuff.

A quality brand that wasn't yet mentioned here is Carinthia. They also make raingear. They devellop it in collaboration with the European military. The Special Forces try it out and give their feedback.

I didn't buy it yet, because my German army Flecktarn Goretex suit works well enough for me. Made by Feuchter in Germany it is also very convincing. Used in good conditions it's sold very cheap. It's a robust no nonsense lightweight construction.

Good point ref Carinthia.

I'm now looking at the

CARINTHIA MIG 4.0 JACKET​


But as my body 'runs hot' I'm not too sure about the insulation overheating me.
Decisions , decisions.
 

JB101

Full Member
Feb 18, 2020
44
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Watford
I'm paying attention to this thread as I need a new waterproof - I'm doing a land and wildlife management course and volunteering as a ranger with a few different organisations and, as winter looms, I know my old Craghopper is not up to the task!

The issue I have is that I need something tough - the last three weeks I've been clearing blackthorn and anything delicate would get destroyed!

Warmth is not really an issue as I can layer up underneath and I'll be moving a lot, but water-and-wind-proofness is important as is the length - ideally something that covers my bum and thighs - and a few decent sized pockets too...

So I need something:

Tough
Waterproof
Windproof
Long
With decent sized pockets
Probably not a 'smock' as I'll need to get it on and off quickly and have the option to vent by undoing the zip as well

I'm not adverse to splashing out it something ticks all the boxes - I'd rather spend once and spend right if a piece of kit will last - but I'm at a bit of a loss where to start - part of me is thinking a Barbour might be the answer but there seems to be an opinion that quality is not what it once was...
By the sound of it a waxed jacket would be best for you.
You could always lookout for an older preowned one get it repaired /reproofed or reproof it yourself.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,174
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Berlin
@TeeDee

The temperature rating of padded Carinthia clothing is meant in very light motion wearing only a T-shirt underneath!

The MIG jacket is a non waterproof warm winter jacket for usual Austrian winter weather.

These below here are the rain suits they offer:


@jackorion

Very similar stuff like shown above you can get used from Endicotts in Exeter or another surplus internet shop from the British, German or French Army.

If you expect that it gets destroyed in your use anyway you can also take such a used one. They cost a fraction of the original prices!

These are made of the most robust and durable waterproof Goretex fabrics that are available.

The British one you could combine with a wide brimmed waterproof hat, for example offered by Solognac pretty cheap in relatively good quality.

Endicotts also sells professional Goretex reparation materials if needed.

If we talk about good quality low budget equipment, generally the best recommendation one can give you is to have first a look into the Endicotts shop in your own town, and second, especially regarding rather civil looking clothing, to have a look at the Solognac offers.
Like that you will get the most out of your money.
 
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Billy-o

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Apr 19, 2018
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You can buy a 80s 90s Barbour on ebay. I spent a long time looking for a particular Bedale model for sentimental reasons. Dind't find it, but saw an awful lot of good stuff affordable. Italy and Ukraine seem to be some of the places where you find it, as well as the UK. Some of it terrace wear in pretty good condition.

A Beaufort might do you. That is a bit shorty but easy to move in (about the same length as the Bedale - which was a riding jacket). A Border is much longer. Durham, Solway and Northumbria are kind of inbetween. There's others. But, then is the period for the more robustly made ones. Search 'vintage barbour' on ebay :)

It's fun more than anything. Let yourself get an eye in for condition before buying though.
 
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TLM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 16, 2019
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Vantaa, Finland
The issue I have is that I need something tough - the last three weeks I've been clearing blackthorn and anything delicate would get destroyed!
Sounds like a job for PA "nylon", thick DWR treated outer and some partially breathing surface coat (usually PU) on the inside, a lot cheaper and tougher than the films, not quite as good as the films but works and the combination should be reasonably priced as none of the components are really expensive. Some tough fabrics use DuPont's "Cordura" but that is not the only one.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,474
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McBride, BC
Go to a chandler's and buy commercial fishing outer clothes.
Bib front pants take some mental getting used to. You think the next bucket of water will soak you and nothing happens!
The coats are usually thigh-length with buckle fronts you can manage with mitts on. The nice ones have cloth linings in the collar and knitted storm cuffs= very cozy.

I still think that sou'wester hats look so goofy. But that long back does the job.

Inland from the coast here, I can buy abut the equivalent at Acklands-Grainger for outdoor wet construction.
 

Athos

Full Member
Mar 12, 2021
128
99
East Sussex
Good point ref Carinthia.

I'm now looking at the

CARINTHIA MIG 4.0 JACKET​


But as my body 'runs hot' I'm not too sure about the insulation overheating me.
Decisions , decisions.
Look at the Carinthia TRG line, it’s a bloody good bit of kit. I hate wearing waterproofs but the TRG is a bloody brilliant bit of kit. Extremely well thought out, I think it was developed in conjunction with the bootnecks.
 

jackorion

Member
Sep 8, 2021
15
4
37
Exeter
Anyone got any thoughts on Fortis jackets? They look pretty decent and are, apparently, tough, although the only review I can find says they are sweaty… they’re also made not that far from me…

Country Innovations look good too - the woodlark jacket perhaps? both brands are pricey but if somethings going to do the job and do it for a long time I don’t mind splurging a bit…
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
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Anyone got any thoughts on Fortis jackets? They look pretty decent and are, apparently, tough, although the only review I can find says they are sweaty… they’re also made not that far from me…

Country Innovations look good too - the woodlark jacket perhaps? both brands are pricey but if somethings going to do the job and do it for a long time I don’t mind splurging a


Where are Fortis based then? I see you're another Devonian darling.

Belay the last - I remember where I've seen the signage now. Interesting.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
5,468
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W.Sussex
I have recently replaced a 10yr old Keela Falkland Ventile with a Paramo Halcon. It’s not a million miles off the Fuera, but beefed up a bit with some redesigned pockets etc.

I have to say I’m as impressed as the Buffalo Special 6 owner thread here. I spent a lot of money on the thing, but having got 10yrs and more from the Keela, I realised the £220 I spent on it works out at £22 a year. That’s not a lot of cash for warm and dry.

And it works, we had the entire day out in this weather, it was relentless.

B0B53AEB-5336-4509-B5B3-A66125939C6A.jpeg

My stoic adventurer look. :)
80B0CD81-0518-433D-89F2-2C775087A3E1.jpeg
 

jackorion

Member
Sep 8, 2021
15
4
37
Exeter
I have recently replaced a 10yr old Keela Falkland Ventile with a Paramo Halcon. It’s not a million miles off the Fuera, but beefed up a bit with some redesigned pockets etc.

I have to say I’m as impressed as the Buffalo Special 6 owner thread here. I spent a lot of money on the thing, but having got 10yrs and more from the Keela, I realised the £220 I spent on it works out at £22 a year. That’s not a lot of cash for warm and dry.

And it works, we had the entire day out in this weather, it was relentless.

View attachment 69507

My stoic adventurer look. :)
View attachment 69508
Yeah I've been looking at the Keela gear as well - I have their heritage trousers which I really like.

And your point about yearly cost is spot on.
 
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Charlie1956

Full Member
Nov 19, 2020
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5
65
East Anglia
Like @Erbswurst I've used a full Flecktarn goretex suit for many years, it cost peanuts and is still kept permanently in the car.

Since retiring I've decided I needed a couple of new waterproofs that were a bit smarter and more acceptable in places where camo may not be. I'm most definitely not a brand snob and I must have read dozens of reviews and tried dozens of different jackets from many makers.

One thing that's very obvious is that the sizing and the cut manufactures use varies incredibly, even amongst jackets in their ranges, so physically trying things on was a must.

On a recent trip to Great Malvern I bought a lightweight Patagonia Torrentshell 3L for summer use. I tried RAB amongst others in the shop but the Patagonia fitted, has pit zips, is guaranteed for life, reviews well and was the right money.

I also wanted a more substantial jacket that I can add layers underneath for winter use and I bought a Paramo Halcon from a local shop in Suffolk, Action Outdoors. I realise that Paramo's fabric divides opinion but I like the look and feel of it, a few friends whose opinions I value use it and I notice @Nice65 has mentioned it in this thread.

Quite a bit spent, they are very different materials but I believe both will give me what I need for all round use. They have been out in the rain but neither have been tested fully yet.

I've also been lucky enough to have been given an ex police Karrimor SF Enforcer goretex suit. It's heavy and bulky but will be ideal as my winter camping set.

Apologies for the ramble.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
5,468
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W.Sussex
Yeah I've been looking at the Keela gear as well - I have their heritage trousers which I really like.

And your point about yearly cost is spot on.
The Keela will still be in use for a few more years, I may even send it back to Keela for repair. They’re very good on sustainability. The pocket seams and cuffs could do with a bit of spa treatment. It is a brilliant thing, the worst I’ve had is damp shoulders and it’s a good material to sit next to a fire unlike the Paramo.

Not good in our van really, once it’s soaked it‘s hard to dry. Mind you I reckon vanlife is more suited to simple pac mac type gear that can be shaken off at the door.
 

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