Thankfully, weíre not short of a few drops of moisture right now, and so the Target Dry Pioneer Jacket that popped through the post has been given an absolute thrashing, in the fullest sense of the word.
Waterproof clothing is often a bit of a Catch 22, in that it might keep the water out, but it also keeps moisture in as the clothing generally isnít designed to be breathable or if it is, only slightly. Often the item itself is generally quite heavy and they tend to be more of a burden than a benefit.
Target Dry seem to have hit the nail on the head with the Pioneer, in that itís relatively light and is fairly breathable as well as being windproof.
Itís a functional jacket but one that manages to carry itself quite well and looks quite smart, with two pockets either side, deep enough to take a smartphone.
The entire jacket can be pretty well locked down once itís on thanks to a variety of elastic toggles which means you can keep the wind from sneaking up from underneath and create a snug shell around you.
If you should find yourself getting a bit hot under the collar, there are zips on the undersides of the arms which you can open to allow the heat and any moisture out, but rather disconcertingly, thereís no mesh or any barrier, so you can actually reach right inside the sleeve. I wouldíve liked to have seen a simple mesh over the opening just to prevent any ingress of crap and dirt, but itís a minor point. Itís not something Iíve often come across where there is no mesh, so perhaps itís just more the unfamiliarity thatís made me unsure about it.
The benefit to it is that it means the air circulates freely as there isnít anything to hinder its entry or exit, so every cloud and all that!
The inside of the jacket does have mesh however, which again helps in wicking away moisture and heat from the body, whilst the base of the jacket inside is solid fabric for extra robustness.
The hood can be rolled down and held in place with a Velcro tab, and itís a pretty good effort as itís not so big it obscures your vision, and not so small it doesnít actually fit over your swad.
Once fully done up, if youíre like me and like to have your mouth covered, then youíll find that your lips rest directly against the metal of the zip, which isnít a huge issue, but itís minus 2 degrees celcius, and itís damn cold metal. A small flap that could be closed over with Velcro would again have been a nice addition, but again, not a show stopper.
The overall experience is of a light, functional jacket that will keep some heat in, but if youíre taking part in arduous activities, the underarm vents make a nice difference, and it does stop the wind as advertised, which is certainly appreciated right now!
Iíve enjoyed wearing it, it looks good and having had a look at the competitors, I think the nearest jacket to match would probably be the Berghaus Mera Peak II jacket. A similar style jacket, the features appear to be relatively similar and whilst the materials used differ, Iím happy paying £89.95 instead of £250 for the Berghaus.
A name isnít everything!