Overall this jacket scored well across the board. It’s now been tested in low level dog walks in the park and high mountain walks in the Highland of Scotland and it has coped really well in all areas.
I’d been searching for a new soft shell jacket for a while, but wasn’t willing to spend £100+ on one with everything else happening at home. I was on the hunt for a well performing, good value soft shell and this is it.
Comfort & Fit
As you would expect the fit is pretty good with the adjustable sleeves to keep the wind and water out as well as the draw string around the bottom of the jacket to pull it in if needed. The arms are well proportioned to the body and provides an overall comfy fit.
The inside of the jacket is made of a soft fleece material to help with warmth, and I like the fact that this continues up into the collar as it’s comfortable around my neck and face when the zip is done up to the top. Some jackets I have had in the past have not had this and it has not been as comfortable when done up in bad weather.
In really cold weather, I pair this jacket with its fleece counterpart, the Karrimor KS-300 fleece. Whilst the lining of the jacket is warm, when it gets a few degrees below zero, that lining on its own does not keep the chill off.
The drawstring around the bottom. Of the jacket ends inside the lower front pockets, which is a nice feature as you can adjust it whilst your hands are in the pockets. The adjusters are a simple toggle stitched into the lining of the pocket, with the drawstring threaded through it. Simple, but a great solution to adjust to your needs whilst on the hills.
The ‘Weathertite’ fabric has a 10K waterproof rating – which means it can handle light to average rain for a short period of time. So whilst it is waterproof, it is only under certain conditions. I have found this jacket to be a little better than that in all honesty, managing to cope with quite heavy rain for short periods rather than just the light to average its 10k rating would suggest.
The reason that I have not scored this higher, is that I would like it to be able to put up with more rain for longer periods. I am maybe asking a lot for an entry level jacket, but if I could change anything, it would be the waterproof rating of the jacket at only 10K.
All toggles, zips, storm flaps etc are as you would expect. As a relatively basic model, there is not too much technical wizardry contained within this jacket itself.
Having worn this jacket almost every day for the past 15 months or so, it has stood up really well to general life. It is my go to jacket in the spring and autumn for walking the dog, nipping to the shops and also to wear to work on occasion too. This is on top of having a space in my pack when I am out in the hills and the weather is playing nice.
Overall, there have been no durability issues to report. There is a slight loose thread around the left cuff, but I am not sure if that is through my use or not. Would definitely recommend on this basis.
This jacket is comprised of the 10K ‘Weathertite’ fabric that Karrimor use. I have not had it fail me yet and it has kept me warm and dry in all weathers. It is both waterproof and breathable, meaning monitoring and controlling my body temperature is also taken care of whilst climbing.
The three pockets (2 x hand pockets and 1 Napoleon chest pocket) are fully zipped and are safe and secure for carrying valuables and keeping the chill off your hands should you need to.
I did note on one particularly cold walk, I was carrying my phone in the chest pocket and due to the difference in temperature between the inside of the pocket and the outside air temperature, that there was some fogging on my phone. I suppose this is a good thing showing that there is good insulation in the jacket, but something to be aware of if you carry your phone on your person instead of in your bag when hiking.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the fleece lined inside is great, especially as it does run all the way to the collar, rather than stopping short at the neck. I find this a great feature, really meaning that I am comfortable if the jacket is half done up or all the way to the top of the zip. I hate jackets that are less comfortable the more you do them up.
This jacket retails at £45 – which is not too bad at all for a fully functioning, decent quality soft shell jacket. I think if I were to spend more on a jacket, I would expect there to be some real increases in several areas to justify the added expense as this jacket does everything I need, for a good price.
A developing theme that I have notice in my kit is that I rarely spend a lot of money on any one piece of kit as the lower priced items work well for me. I do not do long arduous winter expeditions or any super technical walking or climbing, so an average quality jacket is more than sufficient for my needs.
If you are looking to do these advanced mountaineering/climbing trips, you will need to look at other options for your kit as a £45 jacket may let you down when you need it most. However, for those of us who enjoy being outdoors in most weathers, this jacket will be more than up to the challenge.
Overall, this is a great jacket. For the price, you will be hard pushed to find better. Where the jacket lets itself down a little, is the waterproof rating – however, for full on storm weather, I would always use a full waterproof, which is what I would suggest to anyone thinking of buying this jacket.
If you are looking for a jacket that will keep you warm and dry in any weather, this is not the jacket for you. If you are looking for a well made, cheaper jacket that will cope with all but the worst weather, look no further than the Karrimor Soft Shell Insulated jacket.
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