It’s not every day I get the opportunity to try/test out high-end kit. Recently I was lucky enough to win a technical jacket from one of our garment suppliers. Luck was on my side that day/week.
So let me unpack this…. Stormtech is probably a name most people haven’t heard of. However, the specification and the performance matches some of the high end outdoor technical kit you would send time “browsing” in any of the Ambleside gear shops on a wet afternoon in the Lake District.
So I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Stormtech Patrol XB-3 Softshell Jacket. With a retail price of £170.00 (plain jacket, no personalised branding applied)
It’s highly technical and functional softshell which is specified and designed for the outdoors. Stormtech, which is a Canadian company has seriously designed this for versatility in variable weather (which I am aware they get there!). With fully sealed seams, waterproof zippers and an excellent waterproof resistance – technically it’s excellent. Design-wise, there are some nice trim and features such as dual chest pockets for stowing your valuables, yes it does fit an iPhone XR max in the chest pocket.
I was testing it in a week where the weather in Yorkshire was very wintery. This jacket is comfortable and does a great job of blocking wind and moisture. The water repellence was good, with modest precipitation beading on the surface. Some Softshell jackets whilst light showerproof, don’t bead as this one did. The shell system does need layering for added warmth – however, ask anyone with some background in outdoors, and they’ll recommend layering. The softshell material is heavy-duty enough to be used as a ski jacket, breathable enough to workout in, and comfortable enough for day to day wear – which I have worn it every day in the last week with this review in mind.
With a background in the Outdoors, thanks to Scouting and also doing a Mountain Leadership course a few decades back, I always look at the technical details. The seams are sealed so the inside of the jacket, equally I have come across some sealed seams which are basic, Stormtech’s are a credit to them. Before I even looked at the technical specification of the jacket, you could tell, it was waterproofed to a good degree. (Water Resistance 10,000mm, Breathability 3,000g/m2)
Point to note, fit, I am a broad-shouldered person with longer than average arms, the large fitted me well for the shoulders and arms, with plenty of movement around the waist. So credit to the sizing of the garment, spot on.
Only only design point I would possibly suggest improvement on; The range provided by the UK distributors is very focussed on black with modest colour trim. Which, when dog walking in the evening in a dark Yorkshire, doesn’t do anything for your visibility. Even if it was flashes of reflective trim, it would add both for urban and outdoor use.
Verdict, if you are outdoors a lot, then yes I can say, specify something like this jacket, as you will reap the benefits from it. If you value your technical specifications and are a gear snob, then give it a try, you will be surprised, there is good gear out there, without the flashy branding. Valid point as per anything, you pay for what you get. Thanks to one of our garment distributors for letting me give it a go!