Rachel Draper finds her go-to coat for a wide range of country activities in the Fernley Field Coat from Alan Paine
When it comes to shopping for country coats, one of the things I struggle with is finding a good ‘all-rounder’. There is a wide selection of beautiful coats available from many brands, and going into a country clothing shop can provoke a ‘kid in a candy store’ feeling; too much to choose from and not enough time – or money.
From tweed shooting coats to everyday wax jackets, sporting clothing can be pricey and, although often worth the money, having a jacket for every different occasion is not a luxury that I can justify. So, I want one jacket that will do it all, from a day on the peg to walking the dog and checking the ponies.
I would quite like it to be flattering and feminine, to look like I’m wearing a lady’s jacket rather than my father’s hand-me-downs. A big ask, but when the Alan Paine Fernley Field Coat arrived on my doorstep, I was confident I had found the one.
(Looking for the perfect outfit to head into the countryside? Check out our lists for best shooting shirts for all weathers, best shooting fleece jackets and tops, best shooting wellies and best moleskin trousers).
Fernley Field Coat features
- Fully waterproof even in heavy rain
- Drip strip to prevent water rising up the lining from the bottom of the coat
- Taped seams
- Storm cuffs to prevent rain running down your sleeves, which is particularly useful when raising your arms to mount your gun.
- Eyelet drainage holes in cartridge pockets to prevent soggy cartridges
- Action back for freedom of movement
- Adjustable waist for the perfect fit
- Cosy fleece-lined handwarmer pockets
- Faux suede collar
- Secure inner pockets
- Machine washable
Alan Paine as a brand was established in 1907 in the market town of Godalming in Surrey and started life primarily as a knitwear manufacturer.
The family run British business is now known for producing a range of country clothing that is functional, fashionable, and good value for money.
I have to admit that although I was familiar with the brand, I did not have much experience with its clothing and tended to stick to the old Schöffel coat in my wardrobe.
The Alan Paine Fernley Field Coat has been designed as a classic, versatile, and comfortable garment that should be suitable for a range of occasions and weather conditions. Alan Paine advertises it as the “go-to coat for field sports, country pursuits or simply walks in the country”, and I have to say, after enjoying wearing it for several weeks in some rather appalling weather, I would have to agree.
The first thing that struck me about the Fernley was how soft the outer fabric was. From a distance, you would think it was a traditional waxed cotton, but it is actually polyester and beautifully soft to the touch, lightweight and flexible.
The next thing I noticed was the lining. A vibrant purple background featuring a duck and dog pattern. Although no one sees the lining whilst you’re wearing the coat, I do think it’s a charming feature and shows that the quality and detail have been extended all the way through the design. With the country colour scheme primarily being greens and browns, it’s nice to add a splash of something different.
When putting the Fernley on, I was pleased with the overall fit. I am roughly 5ft 5in tall with a fairly standard build, and I found that it was a very practical length, long enough to cover my bottom but not long enough to swamp me. The action back is a major plus point as it really does aid freedom of movement and thanks to the lightweight design, I didn’t feel at all restricted.
Fernley Field Coat’s breathability
Breathability is an important feature because the majority of country pursuits involve some form of active movement. As your body temperature rises, a breathable membrane will allow body moisture to evaporate and prevent you from overheating.
A non-breathable waterproof membrane will prevent air flow and stop moisture escaping, meaning you become hot and sweaty in the coat. If the external temperature is low, this sweat can cool and make you colder. Although it seems like a less important feature than waterproofing, breathability is a key part of comfort.
Fernley Field Coat’s sporting features
As it also features cartridge pockets with drainage holes and retainer straps, I would feel comfortable spending a day game shooting in this coat. The sleeves are about the right length and feature cosy knitted cuffs that make a real difference to warmth, and there is an adjustable waist that allows you to create your perfect fit.
Currently being seven months pregnant, the waist was at its loosest and I have actually sized up, with a size 14 covering the bump well. This means the shoulders are possibly a touch on the large size, but I am confident that a size 12 would normally fit me well.
The inner collar is lined with a faux suede which feels delightful around the neck, and the hood is tucked away within the collar. This is quite handy as on shoot days I prefer to wear a cap, so a hood is redundant, but on dog walks when unpredictable showers strike, it’s useful to have. The handwarmer pockets are initially hard to find, but once you get entry into the pockets, they are a good size and lined with a very soft fleece.
The two-way zip is another positive as I would happily ride in this coat, and it does make it slightly easier when sitting in the saddle to be able to adjust the zip.
I was lucky enough to receive this coat just before the arrival of Storm Eunice, and its waterproof qualities were certainly put to the test. The outer layer appears to be treated with a water repellent finish as the rain droplets were beading and running off rather than soaking in. This stops the coat from becoming heavy. The hood certainly came in handy too, as the sleek design meant it stayed up in moderate winds.
I have been out in heavy rain for a good few hours and the Fernley did its job well, preventing any water getting through, and this will be down to the internal membrane that is both waterproof and breathable.
It is actually slightly warmer than I expected as well, not being particularly thick or heavy duty, but still keeping the worst of the wind chill at bay. I do think that for very cold weather you may want to layer up underneath with knitwear and perhaps a gilet, but for spring and autumn weather this coat will be perfect.
Summary of the Fernley Field Coat
The Fernley Field Coat really impressed me. It is simple yet functional, versatile and flattering. It is comfortable, smart and for a retail price of £259.95, you get your money’s worth several times over. I think I may just have found my ‘go-to’ coat for everyday country life.
- Price: £259.95
- Sizes: Ladies UK 8 to UK 20
- Also available in a men’s version
- Colour: Woodland
- Visit: alanpaine.co.uk