I don’t really read gear reviews*. I find them, well (whisper it) a bit, well boring. Sorry.
I have however noticed that the retailer Go Outdoors has been showering, nay – carpet-bombing – fellow outdoor bloggers with largesse; to whit free, gratis and for nothing gear, and wondered when my time would come. (I know, a tad hypocritical to be sniffy about gear fetishists but jealous of the free gear – I put it down to capricious old human nature.)
Well – that time, my time, is here. Go Outdoors have very kindly sent me a coat to look at. Handy that because I have two cagoules already – both of which leak like the proverbial sieve.
The garment in question is a North Face Men’s Resolve Waterproof Jacket, which I notice, since they sent me it, has been discounted to a mere fifty quid less a penny.
One of the anoraks this will hopefully replace is also by North Face, and although it leaks now (after fairly heavy use), when I first bought it I was very happy with it. In fact, I rather hoped that the Resolve would be the same jacket. It’s not – it’s quite different.
Which begs the question – what is the Resolve like?
Well – it has two sleeves, a hood (not-wired), a zip down the front, various poppers and bits of velcro too. Elasticated wrist-thingies (way too big for my girly wrists). And….um, it’s black. Oh – it’s coated with hy-vent. Whatever that is. It probably isn’t a coat for winter mountain walking, but I think (hope?) it will be ideal for popping into my rucksack for my extended commutes when the evenings draw out and the forecast isn’t for anything too threatening.
I haven’t worn it in anger yet. Perhaps I’ll have more to say when I have.
*This is a whopping great lie. I’m quite fascinated by the evolving technology of tents/tarps/shelters. But that’s it. Oh – and stove’s too obviously, if there’s a video of the stove in action with real flames and a kettle boiling. Apart from that I’m immune to the charms of gear porn. Well, no I’m not, it’s just….sometimes it can seem that the gear is more important than the walking itself. I’ve been reading…
…”…And Far Away” by Garry Hogg. An interesting account of three walks undertaken towards the end of WWII. Along Offa’s Dyke, before it was a National Trail, from Skipton to Wooler in anticipation of the Pennine Way, and from Lulworth Cove to the Cotswolds (more about this last at some point I think). That’s him on the left. And here he is again…
He has a great deal to say about gear – maps (of which he approves most heartily), his walking stick (for which he feels a great affection) and volumes of poetry (difficult to decide which one to take with you apparently). About his pear-shaped rucksack, his tweed suit, his shoes, hat, or even the ubiquitous pipe he has nothing to say. If it rained he looked for a barn to shelter in. Or knocked on a door. Or gritted his teeth and got wet. In the Pennines he carried (and almost certainly wore. A lot.) a waterproof cycle cape.
Would he have swapped his stick for pacer poles, his tweeds for a soft-shell, his shoes for performance footwear, his beloved maps for GPS, his cycle-cape for the latest technical fabrics?
Well, maybe he would. But…he still savoured his walking without any of those comforts. I’m not suggesting that we should do without, just that we should never lose sight of what the gear is all for: to enhance our enjoyment of being in the outdoors. So, erm…Go Outdoors!
(Oops – didn’t see the cheesy ending coming – sorry.)
P.S. – of the three links I was sent to insert in this post, one inexplicably, was for Hi-Tec stuff at Go Outdoors. It doesn’t make sense, but there I’ve done it – you don’t want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Or bite the hand that feeds you.
P.P.S. I have some Hi-Tec Boots. With new ion-mask waterproof technology. Very comfortable. Very leaky, almost from the off. After one year’s use: falling to pieces. Just thought you might like to know that.
More about the Resolve when it has been tried and tested.