Weather Proof Coats That Aren’t Arc’teryx

Earlier in the year we ran a small, climatic piece about various coats that’ll storm proof you against all eventualities. It’s an ever-present issue: what can we wear to protect our necks without succumbing to unnecessary hype?

Last week, while writing an article for The Basement, an anonymous interviewee DM’d me on Instagram declaring that “nothing matters as long as the Arc’teryx logo is showing,” which is ultimately an ironic and outrageous claim that summarises the direction in which outdoor wear has travelled in. 

Arc’teryx is great and all, we all know that, but the homogenisation of outdoor wear under the brand needs to stop. Not just because there are many brands which are more practical, applicable or more affordable, but because – and this is only IF we have to meet people on a label level and not a functional level – everyone has been wearing Arc for a while now. There’s a tongue pressed firmly into the cheek here, but it’s bait now. Sorry. 

Anyway, here’s a selection of coats that’ll ensure weather protection, in a variety of different ways, from puffer warmth to lightweight beading off.

Light and Effective: Montbell Cruiser

This Montbell Cruiser is everything you need in a lightweight, high-tech waterproof. 3-layer Gore-Tex, taped seams, nice toggle technology. 

A little known fact about Montbell is that it’s Japanese, and was founded in 1975 by Isamu Tatsuno, a dedicated mountaineer from Osaka. His life story involves many successful (and world first) ascents, outrageous kayaking accomplishments, and books on eco-tourism. An all-round great guy.

Packable and Functional: Gramicci Pertex

While we generally associate Gramicci with a range of exceptional pants, the brand has far more than that under its umbrella. 

Packability is an underrated feature in a jacket (not least because it is almost exclusively enticing if you’re going hiking and are therefore space and weight conscious), and often it comes with some technical costs. This Gramicci Pertex jacket is still heavily water resistant, and has the added benefit of a very well-shaped hood.

The Parisian Way: K-way Le Vrai 3.0 Claude

This French one’s a little bit of a curveball on the list, as it falls into the category given above. It isn’t the most water-resistant, or the hardiest, but it packs down into almost nothing. 

K-Way was one of the first brands to create a packable jacket, way back in 1965, so it’s important to know where the style came from. The idea was that large jackets weren’t cool In 1960s Paris (outrageous, admittedly), and therefore, a tiny one that you can access with the ease of an umbrella made a lot of sense. While large jackets are definitely cool now, the history is something to bear in mind. 

Sleek and Stealthy: Stone Island Smock

Not every functional jacket needs to follow the same format, with a middle zip and taped pockets. This Stone Island O-Ventile Ghost Smock is more inner city stealthy than great outdoors, and that’s fine. 

Like all Stone Island Ghost pieces, this one features a blacked out badge on the sleeve, and lives in the same world as Stone’s Shadow Project, where the emphasis is on camouflage and discreet technology.

Big and Puffy: Berghaus Ice Cap 78

Oi Polloi’s recently resurrected Berghaus archive piece is equipped not just for a bit of rain, but distinct drops in temperatures and blistering winds. Or, as Oi Polloi themselves declare: “trekking from one illicit warehouse romp to the next.” 

The 70s classic is basically a pimped up puffer made with taffeta fabric – the latter of which gives the coat a silky, lustrous shine. The down-stuffing packs bang for your buck, and the colour’s sheen speaks of class rather than tack, like so many of the world’s radiating puffers are guilty of.

Budget Banger: Rains Storm Breaker

And lastly, it’s worth reminding ourselves that we don’t need to break the bank everytime we buy a new jacket. While our immediate thoughts suggest that the more you pay you more you get, it’s worth dissecting our purchases a little more attentively. 

Abbreviations like Gore-Tex and scientific sounding properties are great and all, but sometimes, cheaper materials are just as good – and you don’t need to pay a premium to own a jacket with them. Rains’ Storm Breaker comes in at just under a oner, and has a reasonable water resistance – enough for medium ish rain.

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