Kit for wood­land wan­ders

We choose some great gear to pack for Oc­to­ber ad­ven­tures in the woods THREE OF THE BEST LONG WOMEN’S COATS

Countryfile Magazine - - Lazy Days - Re­views Joe Pon­tin Pho­tog­ra­phy Steve Say­ers

AIRD JACKET Craghop­pers, £120 0161 866 0583, craghop­pers.com This rain­coat in­cludes an in­ner zip that al­lows you to at­tach a fleece lin­ing (sold separately), giv­ing you that flex­i­bil­ity to add or re­move lay­ers. The fab­ric is

breath­able, so you shouldn’t get too steamed up on a steep slope. It’s treated with Durable Wa­ter Re­pel­lent, ef­fec­tive in show­ers but not likely to keep you dry in hours of teem­ing rain. An ex­ter­nal storm flap pro­tects the zip. A breast pocket is big enough for an OS map (just), while zipped hip pock­ets al­low you to keep your hands out of the wind, but are po­si­tioned low on the coat, which won’t suit ev­ery­one. The ad­justable, peaked hood can be zipped off or tight­ened to grip your head, rather than just around the face, which makes the fit more snug. VER­DICT: Good weather pro­tec­tion and flex­i­bil­ity for easy ram­bles. WANDA PARKA Spray­way, £140 0161 366 5020, spray­way.com This straight­for­ward, unin­su­lated rain­coat is not the most tech­ni­cal gar­ment, but it gains in sim­plic­ity. It’s

light and pro­tects you from head to well down your leg. The fab­ric is Spray­way’s own Hy­droDRY, which will re­pel show­ers, but I wouldn’t rec­om­mend it for ex­tended pe­ri­ods in pelt­ing rain.

An ex­ter­nal front zip keeps the coat look­ing neat, but it’s worth re­mem­ber­ing that the in­ter­nal storm flap won’t be as weath­er­proof as an ex­ter­nal one.

The fixed hood can be tight­ened around the face in bad weather, but not around the head, so you may end up look­ing out through a tube of hood. There are few pock­ets: two at the hip and a small­ish one at the breast, none of which are large enough to fit an OS map. VER­DICT: Suited to the ram­bler, com­muter and dog walker. GREEN­LAND WIN­TER PARKA Fjall­raven, £350 fjall­raven.co.uk This long coat has a pleas­antly cosy feel, thanks to a soft teddy lin­ing and fleece-lined hand pock­ets. It also has seem­ingly ef­fort­less, rugged Scandi good looks. A draw­string waist keeps it

close-fit­ting. There are big pock­ets for mit­tens and hats, plus a breast pocket and a large in­ner pocket. The hood – also lined – is com­fort­able and cosy, but has only one slightly in­ef­fec­tive ad­just­ment to tighten the open­ing around your face. The cot­ton/polyester fab­ric is hard-wear­ing and keeps the wind out pretty well while re­main­ing breath­able. But it’s not wa­ter­proof. You can im­prove its wa­ter-re­pel­lency by treat­ing with Fjall­raven’s Green­land Wax, but this is of­ten only patchily ef­fec­tive.

VER­DICT: Stylish and cosy for am­bles and pot­ter­ing around in cold, dry win­ter weather, but bring an um­brella.

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