My penchant for men’s jackets continues with this pumpkin-orange Arete waterproof jacket, £90 from Sprayway at Blacks. It’s been all the way up Mount Kenya and back with me and we’ve both lived to tell the tale.
Up mountains: Sprayway’s Arete jacket ticks a lot of boxes. Its waterproof shell repels water effectively – stand in a downpour and rain forms pleasing little beads on its surface. It’s breathable and comfortable to wear, even on eight-hour treks up glacial mountains. And the Arete is warm and wind-resistant, working very well as an outer shell with layers underneath – I wore it on a four-day trek to the summit of Mount Kenya with a fleece and a down jacket underneath and it kept me dry without overheating. Oh, and it looks great – the warm orange colour reminds me of the jackets worn by polar explorers. Brilliant.
In the rain: The Arete is a no-brainer choice for rainy days, especially in autumn and spring when you can get away with just slinging it on over work clothes. The hood, whilst fiddly to adjust, stays put and fits over a cycling helmet. The adjustable velcro cuffs, high collar and drawstring hem work together to keep rain out effectively. The only issue I’ve had with the Arete is that the outer chest pocket isn’t reliably waterproof – use the inner pockets instead if you want to keep something like your phone snug.
Verdict: A great outer layer to wear in downpours, out hiking and as a waterproof shell in the depths of winter. Even better? The Arete looks great and comes with a very palatable price tag at under £100. Check out the rest of the Sprayway collection at Blacks for other options.