Given that our Insta/Facebook/Blog feeds seem to be full of inaccurate, regurgitated PR ‘reviews’ of product the writer has never got their hands on, or fabric technology that they just don’t understand, we’ve decided that we will put together an irregular series of Deep-ish Dives into some of the key pieces of the season.
To start this we’ve chosen one of our favourites, the And Wander eVent Dropping Pocket Rain Jacket.
This style uses an eVent DVAlpine 3 Layer laminate giving a 20,000mm water column and a 20,000 g/m2 breathability rating. These numbers are what everyone talks about first with functional outerwear fabrics but it doesn’t always mean bigger is better.
Now there are laminates out there with higher numbers (and some fabric brands that never state their ratings…..) but from our experience of actual usage if its wet enough to need more than 20k waterproofing, and you are moving about, water is going to get in somehow or other.
Our key consideration for active hiking is breathability and we have always found eVent's Direct Venting technology to be one of the most breathable membranes available - which really helps with 3 Layer fabrics.
Durability is another factor to always consider with a hiking jacket. However, this is always battling with the demand for lighter weights.
And Wander have done a great job here by using a light, but not super light 40 denier ripstop nylon (using a False Twist technique which gives a softer, more natural feel without decreasing tear strength) face fabric with a matte, quiet, soft touch, and a very fine 20 denier tricot backer fabric.
The ripstop weave increases the fabrics durability to wear and tear and the very fine denier backing fabric provides protection to the membrane in normal use. This allows the use of an overall lighter weight fabric which helps bring the garment weight down to 450g for a size 4.
As always with And Wander the details elevate this beyond just another waterproof coat.
The main design feature is the one that gives the style is name - the Dropping Pocket.
The lower pocket consists of a waterproof zippered top compartment, along with an open side entry hand pocket (with drainage holes as its not closable 👍), but the clever bit is that the whole pocket is laid onto the outer shell and the lower half can lift up and sit over the waist strap on your backpack.
The team have worked really hard to make this jacket as backpack compatible as possible with the chest pockets being narrow enough not interfere with the pack straps but making up for this by having a healthy 3cm bellows at the outside edge to give plenty of storage space.
This gives you 4 sealable, waterproof pockets that are totally accessible and useable whatever pack you are using.
Then there are the little things that you will only notice, and be thankful for, in use - extended cuffs that only adjust at the undersleeve, leaving a smooth run off for rain whilst keeping your hands dry; reflective stitching along the full length of the front and back sleeve - because at some point you are going to end up walking along a country road at night 🚜; massive pit-zip vents at the underarm for those hot and humid summer storms ⛈.
This is why this is one of our favourite jackets and one that we keep buying season on season.
If you have any more questions on this or if there is anything in particular you want to know/ talk about just drop us an email (or come to the store). There is nothing we like more than geeking out on stuff.