Not a backpacking coat by design (it’s not bulky by any means, but it’s not super minimalistic like this REI jacket was ), it is perfect for most outdoor activities be it hiking, walking or camping. Seeing that I haven’t been on a camping trip since my backpacking extravaganza , I tested this Craghoppers jacket the best way I knew how: walking my dog in cold, windy weather day after day. Yes, the Midwest has had a mild winter, but we’ve still had enough windy 20-degree days for me to call it legit testing weather. But it certainly stood up.
First off, the jacket is light and a little poofy, without making you look like a marshmallow in the least. While it doesn’t look like it would be that warm—and even when you put it on at first it doesn’t feel really heavy or really toasty or anything—it certainly keeps a gal cozy. It’s insulated, water repellent and—this is my favorite part—windproof. One day I got smacked with 20-mph cold winds, and it seriously didn’t get through the coat (my yoga pants were a different story). Awesome.
Oh, and if that wasn’t cool enough, it’s reversible. And not in one of those lame ways that you never use because the zippers are wonky on one of the sides and there’s a tag sticking out—you really can wear both sides, and I did! I preferred the purple, but the blue was a nice change of pace now and again. It also has zipped pockets on each side, which were helpful for storing keys without the fear of them falling out. (In my book, every pocket on activewear should be zippable.)
At about $100 , the jacket isn’t cheap, but it’s also classic enough that it’ll never go out of style. Not to mention that it’s high quality. While I usually wear it only when I’m doing active things, I do love it in the mornings when I’m headed to the gym and have to scrape ice off my car. I also have worn it a couple of times out—you can totally wear it with jeans for a—if we’re doing the Spice Girls thing, which we always are —Sporty Spice look. The coat does have a small print of the Craghoppers name on the chest of the jacket, but it’s totally minor and not overly noticeable. Overall, it’s a staple in my winter closet!
Do you have a particular winter jacket or coat that you wear for outdoor workouts? What factor—water repellent, windproof, look or otherwise—is most important to you? —Jenn