There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.
– Swiss proverb
What you wear when you travel should not only look good, but serve a function as well. If you were going hiking in the Swiss Alps, you wouldn’t wear some flashy sneakers with no support over a simple pair of solid hiking boots would you? Function first, style second, is my motto when travelling. But you can still have both.
This post is a review of a jacket I bought for my travels to England and Europe, by Canadian outdoor apparel brand Misty Mountain.
Why I bought this:
As I said, when travelling utilitarian purpose often takes precedence over making a fashion statement. Through research I learned that winters in southern England are particularly chilly and rainy, so a solid rain jacket was needed.
This jacket offers inside pockets for wallet/passport storage, fully taped seams (which guarantees no water coming in or getting out) and a bit of insulation for those chilly mornings. It also came with drawstrings on the bottom to adjust the fit. Overall I was pretty please with it, and it was closest to my ideal fit (I’m more of a slim fit person)
Let’s talk about the price. I paid $147CAD for the jacket, which roughly equates to £80.43/€98.77. In Canada at least, where jacket prices are already ridiculous, what the jacket offered and what I would be using it for, the price was okay in my books.
How it all played out:
Pros – The biggest pro to this jacket is it lives up to its claim of being waterproof. Amidst the many rainy days in Southampton (including the St. Jude’s Day storm) not a single drop penetrated the jacket. The water simply rolled off, much like swan feathers. One of my professors on a rainy morning even recalled how waterproof the jacket was, because simply no water got inside.
Cons – The main downside to this jacket is I forgot one key aspect of the southern UK climate: humidity. Even in the middle of November, when the temperature hovered between zero-two degrees Celsius, I was sweating on the inside. When I was in Germany and back home in Canada where the air is drier, I had no problems with inner moisture while walking about.
Another limitation I found was the insulation factor. I noticed this most when I was visiting Sachsenhausen. It was a chilly day, and despite layering, I still found myself shivering a little.
I do have to say the jacket did not hold up to wear-and-tear either. I noticed after about six months there was a tear in the right arm along a seam. Considering I had only used this jacket for everyday use and some light travelling across Europe, and that Misty Mountain markets for an outdoorsy audience, I was a little baffled and disappointed it would be showing signs of wear so soon and after such light use.
The last limitation to this jacket I found was also the most annoying one: the zippers! I found – especially with the inner pocket that held my passport and wallet while traveling – the zippers to be quite tricky, always catching the fabric.
Overall, this jacket does it’s intended job of protecting from the elements. It served me well for what I needed. However, the limitations of the jacket that I mentioned do make me skeptical I’ll be purchasing a Misty Mountain jacket in the future. This jacket is most likely suited for a drier climate, and as the final shell layer for an early spring hike. Just be gentle with it!