My new Mountain Guide Jacket (and why I love it) – Tim Jasper, Rohan Brand Director.
I recently got myself a new Mountain Guide Jacket. And I felt moved to tell you why it’s even better than I thought it’d be. I’m just really pleased with it. Why?
THE WAY IT LOOKS. The genius of so much Rohan clothing is that although it is supremely functional it doesn’t look like typical outdoor wear. It’s more wearable for the everyday and for a much wider range of uses than the typical, specialised outdoor item. The Mountain Guide Jacket is no exception. Especially in the Black, which I chose, it has a clean, understated appearance. The branding is “quiet”, just enough to show that I’m proud of it without screaming “outdoor wannabe”. It’s a clever mix of classic and contemporary (for those who care about such things), with an assured, “wear me anywhere” appearance. Good quality waterproof/breathable jackets are an investment, so it makes sense to get one that can be used for serious hill-going yet won’t look out of place virtually everywhere else as well.
THE WAY IT WORKS. Un-bagging the jacket and discovering all the features was a very pleasurable experience. Although I was closely involved in briefing this jacket in the first place it was still a nice surprise to discover how many thoughtful and useful features you get for your money. This may be because the apparent simplicity of the jacket sets an expectation that the feature-count will be low, or because of being used to what passes for the norm in other outdoor jackets these days. I love the little touches that I know will be extremely useful: the way the hem adjusts without tightening in the bottom of the coat, which would mean rain would spill straight onto your trousers. The waist adjusters hidden in the (soft lined and ventilating) hand pockets that will easily seal in warmth when needed – without even taking your hands out of your pockets. The hand pockets themselves are just right: comfortable for general use and well clear of a rucksack waistbelt when worn in the hills. The well sited pockets under the double main flaps are great too, one sized for a map, one for a wallet – no need to unzip the coat to use them. The hood is genius. It’s our One-Pull(TM) hood which locks all around the head with one pull of the rear adjuster, but it stows neatly away into the collar. The clever bit is that the hood exits from the very top line of the collar, so there is less hood to stow away, meaning a less bulky collar, and it’s much easier to access, even on the move. And the hood lining has soft fabric positioned over the ears – an unexpected and thoughtful little bonus in cold weather. Cover is just right, with protection right over the chin at the front, but without throttling you when the weather is at it’s worst. A stiffened peak that presents at just the right angle AND a wired edge to the front complete what I really think has to be the best hood on the market. Inside there are Interchange(TM) zips to link in either a fleece or an insulated jacket. I know that some “specialists” scoff at this, but I have to tell you, a Mountain Guide with an Inner Flame inside has to be THE definitive winter coat for general wear and daily use in the colder months. Just fantastic. I know the Barricade(TM) waterproof fabric is going to work extremely well (it was me wot designed it after all…), and the high breathability is just as much of a benefit when crammed in a hot commuter train as when flogging up a wet hillside. There’s more, but a high level of enthusiasm can get wearing, I realise…
So, I give you the Rohan Mountain Guide Jacket. Probably the best general, high mountain-to-everyday jacket I have ever worn. Impeccable performance when you really need it. Understated looks and wearability for every other part of your life too.
A big thanks to Chris, our Design Manager, and to the Design and Technical teams for the design and realisation of a superb piece of kit.
Tim Jasper, Rohan Brand Director.