Bird Watching (UK) - - Gear - RE­VIEWED BY MIKE WEE­DON ro­

My cloth­ing needs are not com­pli­cated. I am hardly the ded­i­cated fol­lower of fash­ion. All I want is com­fort­able cloth­ing to keep me dry and warm, while be­ing sub­dued in colour and rus­tle free. For the last few months, I have been tak­ing a cou­ple of up­per lay­ers from Ro­han out on my birding trips, both of which fit my needs very well in­deed. These are the Tun­dra Jacket and the Newcountry Shirt. The Tun­dra is a duck down and feather filled polyamide jacket in Ranger Green (also avail­able in Ink Blue), just the sort of toned down green we bird­watch­ers love. It has a gen­er­ous built-in hood and a cou­ple of pop­pered pock­ets big enough for a Collins Bird Guide with hand warmer pock­ets be­hind them. In­side, there is a zipped ‘Pack­pocket’, so you can eas­ily squidge the whole ca­boo­dle down to a pack­able ‘pil­low’. In the field, it is about as warm a jacket as I have ever been birding with. It is not op­pres­sive warmth, but com­fort­able, cosy, bird­able warmth. Com­bine that with light weight (765g) and an al­most com­plete ab­sence of rus­tle and it is a plea­sure to be out in the field with. Yes, you will need an­other wa­ter­proof layer if you in­tend to spend a lot of time out in the pour­ing rain, but this jacket is for keep­ing out the cold, wind and per­haps a snow fall or light shower. I love it. I may not be a fash­ion fan, but I still like to look ‘cool’… And the Newcountry Shirt is right up my street. It is a thick, re­versible snap-pop­pered shirt (Ranger Green with an al­ter­na­tive checked tar­tan-like side), and is warm and wind­proof enough to be worn as a light outer jacket on top of a lighter layer. So, as Ro­han say, it is four gar­ments in one! It has a cou­ple of breast pock­ets (on the green side side), one zip­pered. Rus­tle free and sub­dued in tone, this is my kind of birding gear. And it com­bines very nicely with the Tun­dra jacket for an ex­tra level of com­fort (and cool!).

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