This is the second jacket I was asked to review for Outdoor Look recently, this one is the Regatta Nitrus Soft-shell Jacket.I wasn’t very impressed with the other one I tried (see here), so I was hoping for better things from this one. It’s available on the Outdoor Look website for under £30, so it’s in the fleece price-range, but is it more flexible or practical than a fleece?
The photo above does not do it any justice and as I was ordering the item without seeing it in the flesh, I was actually expecting a more fleecy garment that the one that arrived. It’s very lightweight – only 373g and as you can see from the photo it’s a smock rather than a jacket.
The material is thin and comfortable so you could wear it over a short-sleeve baselayer and it feels water repellent, more so than the other jacket. It hasn’t actually rained while I’ve been using it yet, so I can’t state how effective it is at shedding water.
The first thing I noticed, and this is probably the only failing I think the jacket has, is that it is short in the back. I’m 6’4″ and I ordered an XXL – for the arm length as much as the belly coverage. The jacket is excellent in arm length, but only falls an inch or so lower than the belt on my trousers.
This left me feeling a little exposed at times and especially when it rides up a bit under my pack. So I did have to keep pulling it down at the back. However the arm length is fine, which is a relief.
There is a single chest pocket, on the left, which is perfect for us right-handers and it’s deep enough to use for my Samsung Galaxy S2 in its waterproof case (my GPS device). This scores much more highly than the poor pockets on the Uproar Jacket from the last review.
If i had to have one, this would be the one I’d choose. It’s much lighter, so it’s easier to carry just in case. In the summer I would definitely carry this on short walks instead of a waterproof coat, or indeed use it instead of a fleece when setting out, replacing it later with the waterproof if the weather tuned nasty.
I’m including a few more photos of the garment in use, which may identify the type of material it’s made from, better than the useless photo above.