Sartorial Selection: Raincoats for the summer season

We find ourselves entering a season where a man’s sartorial thoughts quite naturally tend towards garments of a nature that will withstand weather of an inclement nature. We may try to convince ourself that it is a time for bare arms and legs, but deep within we know that nature is a cruel and fickle trickster, just waiting to unleash a preview of the delights of a cold and damp Autumn on us.

So, to help anyone else suddenly feeling a hankering for appropriate outerwear, I had a look around for jackets I liked the look of. The parameters in general are to be mainly water and wind-proof, with a range of styles and price levels.

 

Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket

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Patagonia are a bit of a favourite withe Guys That Like Jackets. With a history going back to 1974, they’ve been in the game a long time. This is one of their classic and most popular designs, combining lightness and a decent amount of protection. Using their ripsstop woven and 100% nylon H2No fabric it’s both waterproof and yet breathable. A decent adjustable hood, collar lined in microfleece and a couple of zipped pockets. Nice visible colour as well, and available in more subtle hues if you prefer to keep a lower profile. (LINK)

 

 

Arc’teryx Veilance Actuator Jacket

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From an American jacket we head North to Canada and Arc’Teryx. Admittedly not a brand I normally look at, but I like the clean design of this one. A classic wind-breaker made of 3 layers of Superlight Goretex with fully taped seams to make it wind, water and breathable. Yet you can pack it up into an internal pocket with Tardis-style. Hand warmer pockets with hidden zipped pockets inside, to ensure the sleep look and excellent water resistance. (LINK)

 

Barbour Dept. (B) Commander Jacket

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Going from Canada over to Blighty now for a spot of Bond-inspired waxed cotton goodness. Now that Barbour are no longer working with Japanese designer Tokihito, this is an update of last seasons ToKiTo jacket that was featured in the Bond film Skyfall. Last years version was more expensive and quite limited availability, this one less so in both respects. It has all the features of last years though and looks a mighty fine Barbour indeed. Sylkoil thorn-proof waxed cotton outer, plenty of pockets, and of course that Bond cachet. (LINK)

SEH Kelly Tour Jacket in ventile

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Staying in Great Britain for another fine jacket, we head over to the good folks at SEH Kelly for this seasons update to their classic Tour jacket. This one in very waterproof Ventile, one of the more classic and natural technical fabrics. Superb detailing with envelope flaps on the pockets, real horn buttons and a collar that can be worn according to whim. Nice detailing, such as the butt-covering rear and innovative shoulder construction, make it an excellent choice for cyclists. (LINK)

Woolrich Bloomfield Reversible Parka

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From a traditionally styled Swedish we head over to the USA again for a clever take on the classic Woolrich Mountain Parka, this time in a reversible design. This would appear to be all things to all men, one side offering a traditional cotton fabric, the other a technical polyester shell. Two flap pockets on each side, zip closed Napoleon style pocket on the inside and a zipped front with button closed placket. A two in one deal? Available in dark green as well. (Link)

Barbour Japanese Overdyed SL Bedale Jacket

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A second entry from Barbour, and granted it’s less of a raincoat than the first effort, but I wanted to include it due to it being such a fine looking jacket. All the typical features you’d expect from a Barbour, including two pairs of pockets, both bellows and hand-warmers. Zipped and buttoned front to keep the wind out. Good corduroy collar with wind flap. Oh, ok, so maybe 100% cotton won’t be the best in the rain, but the colour is really nice, right? (LINK)

Stutterheim Stockholm

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From one classic fabric to another one, this time the rubberised cotton rain-wear I remember from younger days. This is classic rain-wear in the style of a fisherman’s coat from Swedish Stutterheim. Rubberised cotton does two things well and that is withstand water and keep wind out. No breathing or technical malarkey, just plain and simple. Double welded seems to ensure it’s all well sealed, drawstring hood and popper buttons. Two pockets, with rivets to prevent tearing. Thankfully they included some ventilation holes under the armpits. Available in 5 different colours, but I like this one. (LINK)

Norse Projects x Elka 4 Pocket Parka

06-02-2014_np_4pocketparka_blueKeeping it Scandinavian, and let’s face it, that is where the cool appears to be these days, we find ourself with a collaboration between the Danish makers of ultra-traditional rain-wear, Elka, and the epitome of Scandi-cool, Norse Projects. Using a similar old-school PVC fabric as the Stutterheim above, this one is also utterly waterproof. They’ve added a breathable lining and a rear opening yoke though, which has to be a good thing. Full zip and snap button placket, snap button flaps on the four pockets to keep your kit dry, drawstring hood and adjustable snap button cuffs. Just the thing to keep a chap happy in the downpour, and available in a range of colours to boot. (LINK)

Norwegian Rain Single Breasted

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Still keeping it in Scandinavia, we have an entry from the rainiest city of Europe, and likely worldwide. I’ve previously mentioned Norwegian Rain, and have greatly enjoyed my own single breasted jacket for the past couple of years. Norwegian Rain are at a completely different end of the scale from the traditional old-school raincoats, having thrown out the old ways of thinking and reinvented the concept. Using high-tech Japanese recycled eco-friendly fabrics there is a waterproof membrane on the inside, with heat sealed seams to ensure water repellence is complete. It’s not only the technology that is next level though, the jackets are also designed with style in mind. This is the raincoat for the man that wants the best. No kidding. Various variants and colours available. (LINK)

Barbour x Norton & Sons Seaboard Jacket

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From sartorial style from Norway, I find myself back in England for yet another Barbour variant. This one has sartorial assistance by way of Norton & Sons in Savile Row though. Delving into Barbours archives of past designs, they’ve found the inspiration for an elegant piece of traditional outwear design. Unlined waxed cotton, as is Barbours usual way, with a pair of pockets and double zipper. Adjustable cuffs and a decent looking hood complete the jacket nicely. The colour looks utterly splendid as well! (LINK)

Mackintosh Dunoon Hooded Jacket

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When talking about raincoats, and sartorial matters, and tradition, there is one brand we can’t leave unmentioned. Mackintosh being the daddy of all raincoats, we couldn’t possibly overlook their efforts. While I think they could use a little reinvention, they do occasionally come up with designs that catch the eye, like this one (and also the Clisham, as reviewed before). It being a Mackintosh, you know it’s going to be rubberised cotton fabric, which means it’s utterly waterproof and wind-proof. The hooded Dunoon has a removable hood, full button placket fastening, a couple of slanted front pockets and that single visible horn button at the top. Made in Scotland as well, by chaps for chaps. Great colour combination as well. (LINK)

Buzz Rickson M-51 Fishtail Parka

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From the left-field we have a sort of USA-Japanese collaboration from Buzz Rickson’s, masters of the autistically detailed vintage reproductions. The M-51 parka hails from the WWII era where it was intended to be used in cold and wet conditions (sound familiar?). Various versions were made, but this one of a heavyweight black cotton satin, with adjustable fishtail rear, large hood, diagonal wool-lined, chest pockets with flaps and a zippered and stud press fastened storm flap on the front. Quit the iconic piece, and certainly relevant for keeping the weather out! (LINK)

Elka Klitmøller 1 Jacket

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Just when I thought I couldn’t find another worthy contender, I happened to notice this one by Danish Elka. As we saw above, they also do collaborations, but this is one of their own. Totally bare-bones old-school, with raglan shoulders, to pockets, elasticated hood and pop buttons all over. With the welded seams and PVC/Polyester outer, this is totally utilitarian rain-wear. And that cobalt blue is a really great colour! If you want something nice and basic, this is a good ‘un! (LINK)

In an ironic twist of faith, I started compiling this post on a day with terrific sunshine, and publish it on day 2 of a downpour of almost biblical proportions, aided by a biting wind. No doubt my fault. Sorry. I’ll have to do a post on swimming trunks and sunglasses next.

 

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2 Responses to “Sartorial Selection: Raincoats for the summer season”

  1. paul

    nice write up nick. i love the norse elka and goto invest in 1 soon. You know i love my Barbour jackets which in my oppinion can not be beaten on the quality you get for your money .

    Reply
  2. Scratch

    A very thorough round up there – good stuff. I must say there’s only a few coats in there I’d have but top researching fella.
    If you ever make it to the Barbour factory shop in South Shields I fear your head may explode.

    Reply

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