Monday, 14 October 2013

Human Jacket Reviews

I have to start by saying I love, love, love my Kerrits gear. I love it so much that I have had two very similar winter coats from them in different colors. Sadly, the first one is pretty beat up after numerous winters at the barn. Most of the buttons and zips are now unreliable at best. The second one? It was pretty roomy to start and now I've lost a bit of weight and it's just too big. My search for a Kerrits replacement ended in disappointment as it appears the coat I love has been discontinued. I was willing to try another style, but after months of eBay and sale stalking, I couldn't find an appropriate Kerrits coat in a price range I felt comfortable with.
Kerrits discontinued "Precip" coat that I love:
Lots of nice coats at www.kerrits.com

I'll insert a quick recap of what I need in a winter coat because it's probably more of a spring/fall coat for some of you.

1. WATERPROOF. I hang out on the Pacific Coast. Water resistant doesn't cut it. There's nothing worse than being out in the cold/wind/rain an hour or two from home and feeling water trickling through the seams of your new (expensive) coat.

2. Multipurpose. I'm on a budget. My coat has to be fitted well enough to ride/run/hike/bike in, and look presentable enough to wear to the grocery store now and then.

3. Dark color. So I can pretend no one can see how dirty it really is.

4. Not too 'puffy'. While it definitely gets chilly here in Alberta, the coast sees more moderate temps and I get pretty grouchy if my coat is making me all sweaty and gross. I have a gorgeous Mountain Horse down jacket that I wear maybe once or twice a year because it's so warm. Which makes me sad when I think how cute it is and how much it cost. So, I look for lighter weight and figure I can always add a layer if I'm cold ( or move around a bit more!).


Being the penny pinching, horse expense drained girl that I am, you can bet I was shopping for my new winter coat on the clearance rack this past spring. I failed to find the perfect coat. Instead, I found two very nice coats for screaming deals. Both were about 75% off retail so I felt I could justify the splurge.

Jacket 1 - Columbia Hot Thought jacket. MSRP $140.

Sounds like it would be baking hot, right? Nope, it's a super lightweight waterproof coat with a tinfoil-esque lining designed to reflect your body heat back at you and keep you warm. Or something like that, I admit to not reading/understanding all the gimmicky scientific sounding words on the tags.

http://www.columbia.com/Women%E2%80%99s-Hot-Thought%E2%84%A2-Jacket/WL2127,default,pd.html
Pros:
-Super light weight.
-Flattering fit out of the saddle
-Waterproof!
-So far, keeps me at just the right temperature, even with just a t-shirt on the below freezing mornings we've been having
-Feels like decent quality 

Cons:
-Not crazy about the color (same as picture)
-Fits a bit on the long side, I suspect that will equal it bunching up around my midsection while in the saddle
-Hood is attached, and tucks into the collar. Not sure how I feel about that, although I suppose it's main purpose is to be my rain coat so I'll need the hood more often than not :)

Overall: Nice coat, but I wouldn't have paid full price for it.

Next up, coat 2.

Outback Trading Company Oxley Softshell jacket. MSRP $120

Such a pretty coat, and it fulfils my need for plaid. It has a soft shell exterior and a nice fleece lining.

http://www.outbacktrading.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=479

Pros:

-Definitely designed for time in the saddle. Length is just right, and back tapers down a bit to cover better while you're riding.
-More traditional than the Columbia jacket. Looks a little more professional for some of the lessons/clinics I go to. It matches all of my breeches.
-Nicely fitted, so even though it's a thicker coat, it doesn't look overly bulky.
-I did end up getting stuck in a rainstorm last week and it kept me dry. I don't think it's up to serious long term rain, but nice to know I'll be OK if the weather surprises me now and then.
-Dirt fighting/hiding capabilities.
-Well made
-Looks cute with jeans, I've worn it for walking to work on casual Fridays and got compliments on it.

Cons

-It has an attached hood. A rather bulky attached hood. I'd rather it had no hood or a detachable hood since I've got my helmet on in the saddle and won't use a non waterproof hood at any time - I'd rather wear a cute hat if I'm cold out of the saddle. 
-Too thick for more intense sports (running, mountain biking), but I can see myself hiking and walking in this one, as well as riding of course. 
-Fit is on the small side - I had to go a size up. (which isn't really a con except for making me feel fat ;)

Overall: Love this coat, wish it was west coast standard waterproof, then it would be my favorite coat ever. I would actually consider buying this coat even at full retail price.

The clock is ticking - not too long before I go home and try these coats out a little more seriously on horseback!




2 comments:

  1. They are both very, very cute! It's great that you got them for 75% off! I don't ride outdoors a lot so I tend to wear a lot of down vests with long sleeved tops, so I am always on the hunt for ones that have pockets with zippers so I don't lose my phone and keys!

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    1. Good point about the zippers - both these coats have them - my old kerrits coat didn`t and my cell phone fell out one day in the ring. Instead of being smart and getting off I rode Ginger around looking for it and saw it just as she stepped down on it. A+ to iPhone for surviving. D- to Kerrits for not having zippered pockets on a riding coat! Oh, and an F to me. Why I thought riding around to find it was smart is anyone`s guess. With feet like Ginger`s it`s not like she`d ever miss!

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