Jacket/coat recommendations

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,696
718
Lancashire
Bear in mind there are many factors: fabric, design, fit and function or use. Fit really is dependent on brand. Many brands use the same or similar materials, even design. Their fit really can vary.

For example I used to have a very nice softshell by Montane. Absolutely perfect fit for me. I replaced worn out ones with the same jacket. They changed names and colours, tweaked the details but same jacket. Then I needed another one and they changed the fit. No longer any good for me.

Then there's other issues. Keela used to have a real quality issue regarding size control. So much so I used to have a local retailer of their stuff to call me whenever they they had new stock and a certain model of trousers was made with longer legs. Seriously identical waist size and model trousers used to have 2" difference leg length.

The story I heard was the next generation of the family who owned Keela was taking over production. The son of the founder was really into production and was controlling it better. Stopped buying after that because the trousers became too short for me.

Off topic sorry but I'm just trying to illustrate how you need to pay attention to brand sizing.
 

Brendanh

Member
Sep 14, 2019
14
2
24
South Wales
I agree that sizing is not standardised, two manufacturers may say 50inch they could both be very different.

I've been searching now for a week for a few hours a day and I'm still struggling to choose a jacket

All I'm looking for is a waterproof insulated jacket with a hood, which will have most it's use when I'm walking and fishing especially, when I'm in the woods it's not much of a problem as I can set a tarp up if I'm staying for any length of time.

Cheers
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,677
1,630
McBride, BC
Spend a lot on the coat. They can last 20+ years. All kinds of waterproof shells are in the shops.
Top brand here is Carhartt. Dakota would be #2.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,696
718
Lancashire
@RV Don't take it the wrong way but you sound like you should have a disclaimer in your signature along the lines of "may receive a payment for traffic to carhartt's site". Either you're a real fan or on commission. ;):)

I have looked at their site many a time after your posts. You'd probably have earnt enough for a new coat from them by now! :)
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,808
2,985
Mid Wales
Legs are a big problem being 34" waist but 6'5" tall. Most waterproof trousers that size aren't long enough. If they're a couple of inches short you fill you're boots. Btw most brands stop increasing leg length by size medium. It's like average size in the range and people only increase girth not girth and height. Daft!
Simple solution Paul: drink more beer, do less exercise, and put on weight ;)

I was quite surprised recently when I looked at the jackets in our local Wynnstay's (farm/equestrian/country supply shop); they looked well designed and reasonably priced. What suits a gamekeeper or beater in all weathers should be fine for country pursuits - probably not ideal for backpacking up the mountains but fine for the woods.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,696
718
Lancashire
Btw I'm working on one of those activities (do less exercise), although I'm virtually teetotal and am the same weight I was 20 years ago when beer figured more and exercise too.

I once went into a high and mighty store looking for jeans once. Leg lengths went up quite high but nothing fitted me. Even their trousers that fit me in the length were huge about the middle.

Still upper body outdoor kit fits me nicely, especially some brands. So in really don't understand why lower body clothing is so hard to find right.
 

plastic-ninja

Full Member
Jan 11, 2011
1,773
88
cumbria
I have two really good systems that work for me. Slightly different applications though.
First is a wool sweater under a Fjallraven padded waxed coat for woods and town. Sweater was £10 from Oxfam & coat was £150 second hand on here ( I think ). The coat is superb. Warm & was totally waterproof when I got caught in Storm Desmond : only my legs got soaked.
The other is a Berghaus Extrem goretex coat for the fells, paired with merino base and microfleece midlayer. I paid £100 for the coat rather than retail £350+ at a clearance shop because it is in Day-glo yellow. Totally waterproof but has lots of room inside and zipped vents which work well. Great for the fells but a bit loud for town!
My advice to get the best is look at pre-owned and be prepared to re-proof them as lots of people don’t bother to maintain them & just think it’s leaking/worn out so get a new one! Designer outlet centres carry the unpopular sizes & colours with huge savings sometimes on good brands. Trousers-wise I use softshell most of the time. Secondhand Mountain Equipment are my favourites.
Good luck finding the grail.
Simon
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,696
718
Lancashire
My first membrane waterproof was in event fabric. By the time I retired it you could see pinhole all over the fabric where it contacted rucksacks if not elsewhere too. They do have a lifetime unfortunately. That was probably 6.5 years of hard use.

My current berghaus has lasted longer but I no longer use hard shells as much. About town I wear non waterproof coats. Anything from a 15 year old denier knit softshell (Pertex equilibrium) through vapour rise and a nice haglofs synthetic insulation jacket. In the hills I actually wear the same but carry a hardshell if it decides to rain.

I don't see the point of spending a decent amount of money on jackets for one type of use. If they're good for it wear it.

This might set me up for strangers thinking I'm one of those types walking around Ambleside with the latest gear having never been in the hills. Or kendal during the film festival when you've got a town full of the latest fashion in outdoor jackets. Like the year of patagucci micro puff sweaters or high altitude down jackets when locals were out without coats.

Personally I buy things when they're cheaper than rep and when they suit my needs. They're never top end more mid range or top range at real bargain prices. Occasionally you see that softshell you've always wanted but didn't want the £200 bill for half price. My best spot was a crux full geodesic mountain tent for £100!! Rrp was over 5x that. A return that was never even pitched, the shop sent it back to Crux who replaced the pegs and fly then returned it with a letter of guarantee for as long as new.

Sorry off topic but basically once you know what you want shop around. Also wait. Don't buy when you need it for because others will need it then too. Buy out of season. If you can of course.
 
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Trojan

Silver Trader
Mar 20, 2009
640
35
The Countryside
Personally Arktis B310 with gortex lining and then layer up if very cold. I wore mine this morning as it was wet and windy to work and was very comfortable.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,696
718
Lancashire
Can I just point out one flaw with zip in fleece liners. They zip inside the outer layers main zip. This leaves no insulation at that area. It'll get cold in winter.

If you like that then take the fleece out of the jacket put in on then zip up. Then put the shell on separately. The only insulated coats worth it are when the insulation is built within the coat. This means the zip has insulated flap behind the three zip. No cold spots.
 
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Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,734
646
Berlin
I told you to buy a Goretex Jacket and to pull a fleece Jacket under it. Or more layers.

I recommended you the Army Jackets.

I gave you working Links to traders to incredible cheap original military stuff.

I told you where You have to look for which colour.

And now you ask us for a Miltec Jacket???

BUY IT, IF YOU LIKE.

THAT IS THE WORST QUALITY WE CAN FIND ON THE GERMAN MARKET. !!!!!!!
 
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Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
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Berlin
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,377
576
Canada
I have dozens of jackets covering all options ... it is a failing, I know ... but the thing that I find now determines my choices more than anything day to day is the question 'do I need serious pockets'? If yes, wear something tough either paired with a big brolly, or with a waterproof liner (I don't have one, but the Arktis option always looks good). If the answer is no, either Goretex - lightly or heavily depending on the nature of the expected downpour - or, if very active look at the softshell philosophy (see vid :)).


Miltec are fine if you know what you are getting into ... rough-house-able BDUs for example.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,696
718
Lancashire
It looked like it could rain Sunday so I couldn't be bothered with a hard shell. Thin summer softshell would wet out in half hour, dwr gone, so buffalo s6 came out. Ten minutes sun came out and buffalo off walking in wicking tshirt, lovely weather. Then clouded over and i got cold. Buffalo back on to shrug off a few drops of rain. Think I need a hood for it and a lighter version for this time of year


Btw I don't quite agree with the video guy. Softshell does not need a pile and a pertex type outer. I've had denier gradient knit fabric made jackets and they're actually very good as softshell. Polypropylene base layer and you stay dry in some pretty bad weather.

Then there's vapour rise from rab. Loss drop liner and denier weave, thin layer to the outside. Work well too. It's slightly different mech to buffalo and the double p systems.

As to membrane softshell jackets, when done well they're very good in certain circumstances. I've done well with one and poorly with one too. It has its uses if it does suit it works well for you.