Waterproof jackets

My old Snowgum waterproof jacket, which I got about ten years ago, is finally wearing out — self-destructing from the inside, a little like the Snowgum stores themselves.

It’s been so handy that I want something similar to replace it: reasonably lightweight (but not flimsy and featherweight) but waterproof (not just water-resistant), that can be packed down easily to carry in a bag. And I’m prepared to invest in something tough and durable.

It’s sale season, so I’ve been exploring the cluster of outdoor shops around Little Bourke Street.

Kathmandu’s prices at sale time go down to something reasonable (why would you buy when they’re not on sale?) — and they have a few options in the $100-150 range, but I can’t help think the linings on them look just a little flimsy.

Macpac has a few different coats, but their lightweight one (“Dispatch”) seems a little too small and lightweight, and the heavier ones (“Endeavour” and “Copland“) seem a little too heavier than my old jacket — not easily foldable, for instance. They’re a bit more expensive ($229+) but they do look very sturdy.

Nothing in the Paddy Palin shop leapt out at me. I haven’t looked properly in Mountain Designs yet, though there are some in the current catalogue and online that look okay — but unlike shoes (which I’m now happily buying online, in part because I hate shoe shopping with a passion) I’m finding I really need to see coats in person, particularly to see what kind of weight they are.

I’m not looking for a fully-blown stockman’s coat, but Drizabone also has a few options. At first I thought the Darby might be good (despite being described as a “traditional styled anorak” — hello gunzels!), as it looks like the right weight, but I looked at them in David Jones, and they’ve got a peculiar cord-type thing that goes under the arm. I think it’d bug me. Perhaps I should try one of the smaller oilskin jackets?

Any other ideas, preferably in the CBD?

Postscript Sunday 29/6/2014: I eventually got past Snowgum and Kathmandu in Moorabbin, near home. The latter had a jacket I hadn’t encountered at the city Kathmandu — the Andulo — it’s perhaps not the most perfect jacket ever, but given I really need to replace the old one, it’ll do the job for now.

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12 thoughts on “Waterproof jackets

  1. I assume the Snowgum jacket you have is no longer available? If it is, wouldn’t it be worthwhile getting a new one in the closing down sale? Given it lasted 10 years, it would seem like a good investment?

    I agree that cord around the Darby would give me the irrits too…

    Being based in Brisbane – where apparently any time it drops down into the teens is cause for bringing out the huge puffy jackets because it is SOOOO cold – I’m afraid I can’t help. But Mountain Designs seem to have some good stuff so I’d look there a bit more closely…. And I do love Drizabone jackets but they tend (up here at least….) to be too warm because they seem to seal in the warmth completely….

  2. @Randall, yeah the jacket’s done reasonably well I think. There are barely any Snowgum stores left (basically they’ve closed all company-owned stores, only leaving franchise ones to keep going), though if I get a chance I’ll check one of them near home. Certainly the web site lists only two jackets, neither of which are appealing.

    Good point about the Drizabone jackets… ideally I really want something breathable that I can use in summer (or Brisbane!) as well as winter.

    @Mark, thanks – will go take a look! Yeah forgot about their store – curse them for not being in Little Bourke Street!

  3. I highly recommend speaking to the folks in the Bogong store – they’re knowledgeable and stock the best gear in my opinion. They’re rarely the cheapest but I’ve always had such great service and success with what they recommend that I don’t care if it’s a little more expensive. I’m not affiliated in any way I just like the store!

  4. Don’t forget to check out the outlet places in Smith Street, Collingwood. Paddy’s, Kathmandu, Mountain designs and Patagonia all have stores right near each other.

  5. Have you tried the Southern Cross shopping centre? There’s a few outdoorsy places, eg Kathmandu and the like. That’s not too far from work, and might be worth checking out.

  6. From the description of your jacket, it sounds very similar to what I bought from Paddy Pallin for a trip to Europe in 2005. Lightweight gortex that packs down to the size of a 1 litre milk carton. That, and waterproof pants, have served me well for nearly 10 years. No idea whether that jacket is still available though.

    A couple of months ago I picked up an “Unbreakable Umbrella” for .. several sheckles. It is a superb umbrella, notoriously difficult to source here.

  7. @Pip, haha it’d help to have it by Saturday, yes!

    @Matt, thanks!

    @Adrian, a bit too far for a lunchtime jaunt, but thanks.

    @Rae, good point!

    @Doug, it’s a little heavier than the lightest, most compact jackets, and that’s what’s thrown me a bit. The really lightweight ones aren’t too hard to find, but I’m having trouble finding an exact equivalent of what I’ve had.

  8. Finally got a jacket at Moorabbin Kathmandu.

    Just for the record, the Southern Cross shopping/outlet centre didn’t have much — Kathmandu has closed down, and the only other outdoor shop was, I think, Ozark — who don’t seem to have a web site.

  9. I love ScottEVest (www.scottevest.com). Expensive, but high quality, and IPAD POCKETS!. I have bought three.

    The email version of this newsletter has loads of Euro symbols in it:

    [quote]
    Nothing in the Paddy Palin shop leapt out at me. I haven’t looked properly in Mountain Designs yet, though there are some in the current catalogue and online that look okay — but unlike shoes (which I’m now happily buyingg online, in part because I hate shoe shopping with a passion) I’m finding I really need to see coats in person, particularly to see what kind of weight they are.
    [/quote]

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