In which cold weather is coming and I'm worried about my butt cheeks

Following the epic failure of my new Helly-Hansen rainjacket at the endurance ride last weekend, I'm on the hunt for a new parka.

Helly-Hansen "Anchorage" rain jacket - I might as well have worn Speedos.

I normally buy clothes at thrift shops, because I find retail prices (and the entire "retail experience") to be painful. 

However, there are a few garments that I will buy new.  Socks, for example.  A riding partner got me a pair of World's Softest Socks for Xmas last year, and I am now hooked on them, for riding and for work.  They are soft.  They are warm.  They stay up and don't get all crumpled inside my boot.  They hold up in the wash. 

"World's Softest Socks" - they even come in purple!
Best of all, they come in purple!

A really good jacket for cold and wet weather is another garment that can be worth paying Real Money, in order to get something that really works for a long time. Unfortunately, fashion doesn't exactly support people who want to stay warm and dry in the great outdoors.  While shopping online for a parka, I'm finding a lot of garments like this:
Marmot "Precip" jacket

Can you see the problem with this jacket?   I'll give you a hint:

Gluteous Maximus.

That largest-of-muscles is not covered up by most of this season's fashionable jackets and parkas.  Even reputable companies like REI, Marmot, and yes, Helly-Hansen, are marketing scads of pretty coats that stop at the wearer's hips. 

First of all, that's a really unflattering look unless you happen to built like the plastic mannequin in the photo above, which I am not.

Second of all, the largest muscle in my body is not located between my hips and my shoulders.  That honor goes to my backside...and when my butt muscles get wet and cold, my entire body gets a chill.  

Here's what I want in a riding jacket for cold weather:

*  WATERPROOF!   Not water-resistant, or "spray-coated nylon."  I want something that keeps the rain out-out-out!  Helly-Hansen has been my go-to brand for years, and I'm just so disappointed in them now.

*  Breathable.  Because, believe it or not, the horse doesn't do all the work.

*  Pit zips.  See above about the horse not doing all the work.

*  Pockets.  Gotta have a place for the camera and a few horse cookies...preferably not in the same pocket.

*  Hood.  A hood should fit over a helmet.  How difficult is this?

*  Cover my butt with all that waterproof wonderfulness, even when I'm in the saddle.  

*  Enough room inside the jacket for some extra warm layers, so I can wear it when the weather is wet and cold...which happens for about 6 months of each year in the Swamplands.

*  I would really like to pay less than $200 for all this stuff. 

*  Extra points if I could find something in purple....

I'm looking now at the Kerrits Cargo Jacket, which is currently on sale at the Kerrits website.  I wore a Kerrits parka for many years, and it has finally begun to leak--the result of hard living and lots of washings.  (I don't blame a jacket for giving up the ghost after years of service). 

My question:  has anybody worn the new Cargo Jacket, and do you like it?

 I hate the belt.  It's removable, though.
I like the pretty styling on the back, but reflective piping would be even better.  Does the rear "flap" come down low enough to shield my backside from the elements?   I can't tell from the photo.

I'm a Kerrits Ambassador, partly because of my long-term good experience with my old Kerrits parka.  But after getting burned by Helly-Hansen's failure of a raincoat, I'm a little shy about buying online unless somebody tells me that the jacket actually works to keep the rain out.

Does anybody have some first-hand experience to share?  Tell about it in the comments, please!


  1. It's not exactly "fashionable" but it's durable & keeps me dry!
    They now have them in a shorter size too that I may try.

  2. I'm a big fan of LL Bean for reasonably-priced quality.

  3. Mountain Winter Jacket from Dover. The best money I've spent for keeping warm and dry in the saddle. Has lots of pockets and the pit zips. Alas, I don't think it comes in purple, but it's often on sale at Dover. Well worth the money.

  4. I'll second that about the muddy creek. I have the red coat and LOVE IT!

  5. Lands End has GREAT coats w/ double zipper that cover the bum, but you can unzip for more room while riding, etc. CHEAP and durable and WAAARM!!

  6. I checked out the MuddyCreek coats and that is going on my Christmas list!

  7. i had to smile because i had a helly hanson fail too - but it was such a pretty flattering coat (covered the butt, but shapely and deep black). i loved that coat but it was absolutely worthless in rain.

  8. Does anyone in the entire universe actively SEEK out jackets that stop at the fat part of the hips? Why do they keep making them?

    It's even worse when you're tall - then you have jackets that ride up around your waist. Nobody wants a crop top jacket.

  9. I am going to second the LLBean. They also have a lifetime guarantee on their stuff. It rips, send it back and they will give you a new one. Horse slobber and teeth marks do not void this warranty!


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