Question. In terms of outdoors wear, what is waterproof, warm, versatile and convenient? Ok, that could be any number of things, but I am referring in particular to a 3-in-1 jacket, otherwise termed an interactive jacket.
I have tested many a 3-in-1 branded jacket in my time, and in the early days found many shells (outer layers) to be far too heavy, the inner of not great quality, and therefore of little use in the outdoors environment. And then the question immediately springs to mind: what exactly is the benefit when you could just as easily buy a waterproof jacket and separate fleece or insulated mid-layer of choice for your layering experience? The cost, naturally, comes into play, and if you are of a lazy nature, you probably wouldn’t consider zipping a jacket and midlayer together in the first place.
Harking back to those early days, one thing I did find was that once the mid-layer had been removed, the jacket proved to be far too big, hanging off my shoulders, with too much bagginess at the bottom resulting from the lack of a drawcord hem to keep the cold air at bay. The other major issue was one of breathability, as some of those early fleeces would trap in moisture rather than release it, so the wearer ended up cold and damp. You could argue that if you found the mid-layer to be too warm, you could always wear an alternative fleece, one that you perhaps already possessed. But then, there would be little point in going to the expense of a 3-in-1 and then buying an extra fleece – just in case.
Sprayway has restored my faith in interactive jackets
I am delighted to say that times have moved on apace. In today’s modern outdoors world, manufacturers continue to strive for versatility and adaptability, which is why I was keen to check out Sprayway’s Orsk, a new interactive jacket for autumn-winter. (The ladies version is the Yana.) The first thing that struck me was the shorter length of the Hydro-Dry shell jacket, which is teamed with Sprayway’s exclusive, interactive Inso/Therm synthetic inner. The Hydro-Dry technology is an excellent alternative to Gore-Tex, as it offers breathable waterproofing, and indeed has played a key role in the brand’s range since its introduction way back in 1983, when Sprayway became the first company to machine tape non Gore-Tex waterproof clothing. As for the Inso/therm, it packs a high warmth to weight ratio.
Features of both the shell and inner include two deep zipped pockets. The shell has a fixed, two-way adjustable, wire peaked hood, and drawcord adjustable hem, whilst the mid-layer has an elastane-bound hood, cuffs and hem. The test jacket arrived just in time, riding as it did on the back of thunderous ‘Brian’, so it was a perfect antidote to a bleak, cold, windy, rainy few days. And the result? Suffise to say, thank you, Sprayway, for restoring my faith in interactive jackets. Orsk – £180.00, Yana – £170.00, www.sprayway.com