|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!|
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:
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'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!