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Have you found yourself in the market for a lightweight insulated jacket, but just don’t have any idea which to choose? Fear not! We’ve put some of the most popular lightweight jackets to the test in order to help you find the perfect jacket for your next adventure.
Sometimes we forget how wise those who have gone before us really were: like the explorers, mountaineers and fishermen who, for generations, swore by wool. Well now, in a collaboration with Tirol Mountain Rescue Service, Salewa has turned to the wool produced by Tirol sheep to create a new, light and lovely, insulated jacket.
Warmth: This isn’t just any old wool by the way. It comes from sheep that live at 2,000m year-round and survive extreme conditions, thanks to their specially adapted dense fleece. It’s well known locally for its outstanding warmth, breathability and thermal regulation. It provides great insulation even when wet, which is a really nice bonus. And it’s low bulk, too.
The clever people at Salewa have also mixed in a synthetic insulation called Celliant which reflects heat back to the body, especially when you’re hanging around and inactive.
Features: This is a simple jacket with a wind-resistant, water-repellent outer fabric, two zipped outer pockets, a windproof flap behind the front zip and a cosy hood (also with Tirol wool) that is elasticated to keep it up in windy conditions. The sleeve cuffs are also edged with elastic and the hem has an elasticated cord lock system, both nice touches for keeping the cold at bay. The jacket weighs in at 603g and comes with its own handy stuff sack.
Appearance: Designed in Italy, this smart and fitted jacket is one you’ll merrily wear around town on a cold day, as well as packing it for cold hikes. The fit is on the small side, so make sure you try before you buy. But once you’ve got the right size, there is plenty of room for manoeuvring.
Overall verdict: You’re likely to bond with this jacket and it will be your go-to in properly cold weather. And knowing that a little rain won’t ruin or clump the insulation is a real bonus. I also love that it is machine washable and that the stuff sack is internally attached in a pocket so it’s much harder to lose it! My one wish is that the hood could be cinched really tight on my head, but the elastic edge does a pretty good job. Now, if only this jacket could make me as agile as those Tirolean mountain sheep…
Available from/order through: Adventure.ie, Laragh, Co Wicklow; Great Outdoors, Dublin; Radar Stores, Limerick; Cotswold Outdoor, Dublin.
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