By Barnaby Dracup
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
This new Barbour Linhope Featherweight Jacket is a streamlined and very welcome addition to the Barbour range.
This is now my new favourite Barbour.
Having previously been a fan of the 3 in 1 Linhope Endurance - my initial reaction to this was that I thought it seemed far too lightweight to be of much use (some commented it looked a bit like a pack-a-mac).
However, I have been pleasantly surprised and it has now usurped the Endurance in my affections. I find it much more practical as a day-to-day coat, its main selling point being to me being it's lightweight and easy-to-wield nature.
Now, what with global warming and the warm and wet climate we seem to be experiencing over the last couple of years - I have never actually used my Linhope Endurance with the gillet zipped in to it.
Possibly because I've never found myself huddled on the foreshore in late December, with a semi-auto in my hands - the Endurance's outer jacket itself was more than enough to cope with being out in the field in all types of weather. And from that, I'm assuming a shooter like myself is more the market this particular offering is being aimed at.
The Featherweight is typically well made in the Barbour fashion and has the usual user-friendly features you come to expect. As far as I'm concerned, this jacket has no obvious flaws - it has the big front pockets, internal zip pocket, draw-string waist and hood etc., and even comes with a mesh bag to carry it in.
Only there was one thing that confused me - the lack of specific, bespoke hand pockets. The Featherweight has the standard billows pockets on the outside, for gloves, cartridges, hip-flasks, i-phones, Sat-Navs and Star Trek phasers - but no hand warming pockets.
The ones in the Endurance were like slippers - all nice and cosy and fleecy lined.
With the Featherweight I constantly find myself trying to put my hands somewhere (possibly because I'm used to the Endurance), but the front chest-pockets on the Featherweight have the openings facing inwards instead of outwards - so unless you want to stand like a breakdancer, with his arms folded across his chest, it's the cartridge pockets or nothing for your frosty paws.
If you are out in all types of serious weather, in all types of serious places - then get yourself an Endurance. They are versatile, well constructed and can cope with pretty much anything you throw at them.
However, if you are constantly moving between town and country, on and off tubes, and between shoots, clay grounds and offices... as some of us seem to be - then the Featherweight is for you. Surprisingly warm, and extremely lightweight and comfortable, this jacket keeps the elements at bay without being a pain to lug around with you.
Personally, I find it the perfect companion, it just doesn't get in the way, can be stuffed into a bag at speed, and feels and looks great no matter how many layers you've got on.
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