On Friday I took delivery of a Lowlander jacket, made by Thistle in Scotland.
My first observations were just how light this jacket was, almost like a cagoule but looking further it's nothing at all like a cagoule. So what's so good about it? Well first of all lets look at the hood, on it's own there are a host of features which I'll try and describe. Firstly it folds away into the collar and when folded you'd never know that it was there so thats a bonus. But also it's a shaped hood, I suspect that it's been designed for wearing with a cap underneath as it fits with a cap superbly, but it also has a draw string with those sliding fasteners, then inside the hood it has a small membrane that helps to fill in the gap between the hood and your face, clever!
So move on to the collar and it's got a nice fleece lining as well as the velcro back fastenings for the hood, a nice feel to and is not to stiff like many others.
The sleeves are finished with a neoprene cuff that helps keep out the wind and rain and this cuff also has some cleverly finished velcro fasteners. When wearing this jacket I noticed how the fasteners were shaped rather than the quick and easy rectangular ones that are normally adorning clothing these days, the reason, well I guess it's so they don't catch on anything? At the top of the sleeve under the arms are some zipped vents and this leaves us onto the body of the jacket.
There are 5 pockets in this jacket, one inside breast pocket, not big at all but will do for keys etc. on the outside there are 4 angled pockets, the two at the top are small but when you put your hands into them they open up both ways, ok for what they are, the bottom pockets are nothing short of HUGE, you can get your whole hand in and half of your lower arm. Well thought out. The zips are the water proof type and the pockets safe for paper maps etc.
General.. The jacket is well thought out, it has a beaver tail type bum bit (not split) to keep you dry when your sat down in the wet, it's quite long in the body to keep you dry but not daft. Even though it's nicely lined the weight is super light, and whilst this jacket will not keep you warm it is generous enough to allow for you to layer up beneath it and that's what I did.
It's water proofing qualities are second to non, when it rains the water is repelled like water from a waxed car, it bobbles and sheds, superb. The seams are heat treated to ensure that they stay water proof and all in all it's a first class product. It's also wind proof so no need to worry. I'm told that it's 90% breathable too and I have worn it twice now, the first time in that awful drizzle that wets you through, I was out for two hours in that and I can tell you that my legs were wet, even though I had some so called water proof trousers on from a well known brand name, however my body was bone dry. But the acid test was today, I took the dogs for a long walk on the beach and after almost three hours in the perpetual rain I returned back to the car and took off the coat, one shake and it was dry again, but above all I was dry underneath. Top quality jacket.
I understand that they are stocked at Pickering Guns, Raygill and Swillington plus a few others.
Photo's coming in a bit.