Spring shows its face around the corner and your Winter jacket is starting to feel a tad too warm. Thankfully you kept the lighter, older model from last year, who cares if it’s missing the bottom button. Who cares if it’s way out of style. That one jacket wasn’t waterproof after all and the other didn’t breath one bit, not to mention the one not suitable for biking. Stores are full of new and colorful choices. I can’t afford to get the priciest one and why should I, next Spring I’ll be needing a new one, right? And you need a jacket for every occasion, right?
I did some research and the past couple of years I’ve bought jackets from sales and thrift shops, jackets that I almost liked. Dozens of cheap alternatives as if to test if they’d work well enough. When a piece of clothing is 20 to 60 euros a pop, averaging in 40 euros per jacket, I’ve already spent 400 euros. Sure, some of them are cheaper and if I’m rounding it down, 300 euros in total. You should be able to get one hell of a jacket with that, right? You can.
For me, the elite of hiking clothing was available at around 300 euros. Combining flexibility, breathability, water resistance and practical details, it works well with or without my tube backpack. The model is also city-worthy. And if it’s not, I guess I’m not fashionable, just satisfied.
After two weeks of testing I can already tell we’ll have a long future ahead of us. I’ve left unreliable rags behind and chosen a shield for all the elements.
Would’ve it been easier if I picked the right one from the get-go? This jacket will probably last me several years with everyday use. So I’m saving money.
I must’ve shrank in size during Winter because XL felt giant on me and I ended up with a size M. So thank you for a reality check / generous size chart, Fjällräven! I should’ve checked beforehand, huh? The next problem might as well be the size since Heikki is on a no-sweets diet until Christmas and by default, I’m also eating less candy. If I were to shrink a few sizes, I’ll just use the new jacket as a Winter one with extra layers underneath. After all, the only really cold weather is 30 below zero.
I feel like lately I’ve found several items I’ve fallen deeply in love with, granted the feeling is directed at the practicality side of them. The hammock, a new tube backpack and the jacket will be heavily used in the coming months, not forgetting my hiking boots and three-season-sleeping bags. I’ve also learned to let go of the idea of purchasing cheaper things in the expense of practicality.
A check list for buying a hiking jacket
- Price and quality go hand in hand.
- Try multiple options out.
- Breathability! Google, study on the qualities of the jacket, read reviews. A plastic bag doesn’t feel good on a hike.
- Water resistance. If necessary, get a separate rain cover. I haven’t bought a proper one yet – instead I’m using a disposable one I got from Yosemite. Let me tell you, they’re not disposable and can be used more than once. But it doesn’t breathe at all.
- Zippers in the armpits for ventilation!
P.S. This is in no way a sponsored blog post, by the way. I’m not saying it’s a good fit for everyone. Try out different options before making a choice!