Kathmandu reckon their Benmore 5-in-1 jacket, £223, is the ultimate travel jacket. Time to put it to the test.
Product description: “It’s a rain jacket with a down bomber jacket/vest inside. Zip in the bomber or zip off the sleeves to mix and match and create the layer you need. The breathable, waterproof ngx2 outer has stretch to move with you and a removable hood. The down inner jacket has zip-off sleeves. Mix and match on the go to create just the right combo of warm and dry for each moment.”
Travelling: The Benmore is a clever bit of kit – or should I say two clever bits? The inner lining is a down-filled bomber that is removable, so you can wear it alone, wear the lightweight, waterproof outer shell alone or zip them together for a warm winter coat. It’s also very smart, in a marled grey, making it an easy coat to wear anywhere, from weekend city breaks to mountain adventures.
Zipped together, this is definitely a winter jacket, and one I would happily play in the snow in. It does feel a little on the bulky side when worn as one, and I’d go a size up from your usual. The waterproof jacket on its own is probably the element I wear most, as it’s breathable, comfortable and reliable in a storm. I also love the looks of the insulated jacket (filled with responsibly-sourced down) – the bomber styling makes it a lot more stylish and versatile for day-to-day life than your average down layer. So much thought has gone into this coat to make it useful, too – the jacket hood is removable and the sleeves of thee bomber are removable too, good if you like a gilet layer. All in all, you get a lot of bang for your buck here.
Verdict: It might be on the spendy side at £223 but you do get a lot for your money with the Benmore. If you just want one coat to see you through your adventures until spring that you can also wear in daily life, this is a great, warm choice.