In my quest for outdoors-ready gear that you can wear down the pub I review the fully waterproof Berghaus Ancroft parka, stocked by GO Outdoors. Stormproof, furry-hooded and a bit of a looker, it’s now reduced to only £140.
Coat about town: In short, the Ancroft is a fine figure of a parka. The mossy green outer shell is thick and waterproof, and the breathable AQ™2 membrane that the Berghaus bods have magicked up in a dark mossy green is suprisingly soft and nice to touch – expect people to want to cuddle you in this coat. The parka’s thick insulation is warm and comfortable but light enough to wear in warmer spring weather. The design is well thought out on the whole, with a drop hem, adjustable drawcords and roomy lower pockets. The zippered upper pockets are rather small and oddly placed but serve for keeping your phone in easy reach. And there’s a huge, face-enveloping fur-lined hood (faux, natch) which feel incredible cosy, even if it does makes you look a little like a seal hunter. It keeps the chill off a treat in stiff winds and you can take it off when you get bored of pretending you’re Nanook of the North.
In stormy weather: The Ancroft’s lovely fur hood becomes a pain in wet weather, and is best removed before you head out in a shower or you’ll have sopping wet fluff tickling your face. The jacket itself loves a good storm though, staying warm and waterproof even in heavy rain, with a stud-covered zip and cuffed sleeves keeping you totally dry. Plus, the breathable outer shell means the jacket doesn’t take long to dry out after a day in the elements. Impressive.
Verdict: Down to £140 from £230 at GO Outdoors, the Ancroft is a bargain for a beautifully made, comfortable and fully waterproof coat which you can wear anywhere. Pick a size up so you can pop it over thick jumpers come winter – in the meantime it’s perfect for spring showers and facing the first nip of autumn.