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
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.