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Härkila Stornoway 2.0 HWS coat put to the test

Matt Clark tests the Härkila Stornoway 2.0 HWS coat well beyond what it is designed for. How did it fare?

Harkila Stornoway 2.0 HWS coat

Price as reviewed: £449

Harkila Stornaway jacket

Designed for driven shooting, the jacket is rugged enough for walked-up sport too

The Härkila Stornoway 2.0 HWS coat is primarily designed for driven shooting. However, as it is relatively lightweight, windproof, breathable and waterproof, I decided to test it beyond what it is designed for by taking it on a couple of walked-up days. If it can withstand heavy physical exertion, it will stand anything.

You might wonder how a proper tweed coat can be waterproof and windproof. Härkila has made this coat from traditional tweed by Mallalieus of Delph, woven in England, and combined that with modern technology in the form of its own Härkila Weather System (HWS).

This membrane is designed to be waterproof, windproof and breathable, rather like Gore-Tex. The reason Härkila has developed its own membrane is because Gore-Tex comes with a premium price, which would make the coat more expensive to buy.

Härkila still uses Gore-Tex in its activewear clothing where keeping comfortable is essential, as some experts say it is the best in the business. I wouldn’t argue with that. With the Härkila Stornoway coat designed for driven game shooting, it is unlikely the wearer would build up much of a sweat.

Harkila Stornaway jacket

The pleats on the ‘action back’ open when you stretch

That said, the HWS system is very impressive and did a great job of keeping the water out and keeping me comfortable, even during the exertions of a walked-up day. All I noticed was a few sweaty patches in the crook of my arm after walking miles with a 12-bore. This is to be expected as a membrane has not yet been invented that is 100% breathable and 100% waterproof. There is always a trade-off between the two and the HWS system offers a good compromise on that front.

It rained heavily on one of the shoots I was on and the coat shrugged off the wet and kept me dry. I was wearing a matching tweed cap on that day and it kept my head dry. A high collar comes up firmly under the chin and is lined with Alcantara. This will help keep the warmth inside the coat and keep the rain out. There is no hood, so you might need a wide-brimmed hat, rather than the matching tweed cap, or a scarf to stop the rain running down your neck.

An advantage of the HWS membrane is that it’s not only water resistant and breathable, but it’s stretchy too. Combined with the tweed’s natural stretchiness, this gives a little extra freedom of movement. The Stornoway also has an ‘action back’, which means it has pleats that open up when you stretch, a bit like the back of a traditional Norfolk tweed jacket.

One of the many things I like about this coat is the blending of the traditional with the new. The tweed is stunning. From a distance it looks tastefully subtle – not like a Toad of Toad Hall check – but look closely and you will see all the beautiful colours of a moorland landscape in its subtle herringbone weave. The Härkila Stornoway would be ideal for the grouse butt because you would be brilliantly camouflaged against the heather and grasses.

Harkila Stornaway jacket

Handwarmer pockets that zip down make access easier

Combine this with a Teflon coating that enhances the tweed’s natural properties, repels dirt and prevents staining and you have a thoroughly practical shooting coat. My only caveat with the tweed is that it snags on thorns and that is where more modern materials, such as tricot, are better when it comes to rough shooting.


The Stornoway is practical in many other ways, though. Its side pockets are large enough to take 75 cartridges and have drain holes. The flap can be held open with use of the traditional strap hanging from the hand-warmer pockets. The pockets have Alcantara trim to make them more hard-wearing. I would have liked the cuffs to be trimmed with the same material to protect them. That said, the tweed the coat is made from is quite rugged and would not wear quickly.

For your mobile phone or car keys, there is a hidden pocket under the storm placket that covers the zip. One of the many things I liked about this coat was the fact that the press studs on the placket were hidden under the material, so there was no chance of the studs marking the stock of your gun.

Under the storm placket is the main zip, made by YKK, a brand renowned for its quality. Inside there is a further zipped pocket. The jacket has exactly the right number of pockets, not so many that you lose things, but enough for everything you need.

The fit of the coat can be adjusted with a drawstrings at the waist and hem. These also play an important part in keeping the weather out because they prevent the jacket from being blown up by the wind. Some tweed shooting coats are rather bulky and make the wearer look like Michelin man, but the Härkila Stornoway  is less padded, giving a more flattering silhouette. That said, if it’s cold you will need more layers underneath.

Harkila Stornaway jacket

The jacket’s two way zip allows for more freedom of movement

For walked-up shooting I found the coat was a little long. To get round this, I simply pulled the two-way zip up, to allow more freedom of movement. As the Stornoway is designed for driven shooting this would not be a problem and is rather beneficial as it would keep you warmer while you stood around. Press studs on the cuff enable you to tighten them up to keep you warmer, or loosen them off, ideal if you are wearing a double-cuffed shirt on a shoot.

My jacket came in size 56 European fitting, which equates to around a 46in chest. This provided plenty of room for extra layers, if needed, and allowed me to wear the Stornoway tweed waistcoat underneath. You can also get matching breeks as well as two styles of tweed cap.

For a driven shooting jacket the Härkila Stornoway is ideal. It provides protection from the elements, looks smart and offers great freedom of movement for your upper body. With a nod to tradition, it uses the best of modern materials to keep the wearer warm and dry.

Harkila Stornaway jacket

Press studs on the cuffs mean the are easy to tighten or loosen

Features of the Härkila Stornoway 2.0 HWS coat

  • Outer made from British tweed by Mallalieus of Delph for a classic look
  • Teflon coated to repel dirt and prevent staining
  • Härkila Weather System membrane to keep you comfortable
  • Rugged YKK two-way zip
  • Storm placket over the zip to keep the weather out
  • Matching tweed cap, waistcoat and breeks
  • Sizes: Scandinavian 48 to 56 (equates to 38in to 48in chest in UK)
  • Colour: Terragon brown tweed
Tweed jacket wearer

Härkila Stornoway