I was given a Javelin Jacket from Mountain Equipment recently (full disclosure) for swanning around on camera generally looking swish and funky (see previous Gok Wan posts). In return I promised to wear it and review it at some point – no that anyone cares.
In a nutshell – I love this jacket. In fact, my wife and her mother love this jacket – and they haven’t even worn it – so lets discount their opinion for the moment and look at why I love it, and this requires a story.
Many years ago (12) I bought my first soft shell. This was a step up from my previous ‘go to’ jacket which was the Mountain Equipment double fleece sandwich, goretex, red and black number. Remember them? Brilliant, sort of. To bulky to fit in a bag and too hot to wear it was always a bold statement to go to work wearing one. Anyway, back to my first soft shell – it was black, had G2 written on the arm, ‘naploleon pockets’ and no hood. It wasn’t waterproof particularly, it was quite sweaty, not windproof when the pockets were open and not really very nice looking. I loved it. It was comfortable, sat well under a harness giving access to all pockets and could be worn as a shell except with the occasional need to throw on a belay jacket. Basically I lived in it and I still wear it. In fact I have just returned from trekking in the Himalaya in it – check out my gallery for evidence. It is tattered and battered but it is still intact and looks smart (ish) and does the job it set out to do.
I have had several soft shells since including expensive American ones, cheap shop brand ones, specialist merino wool ones and even more recent incarnations of the Mountain Equipment one but none of them have stood the test of time and all now live in my cellar for use when gardening. A quick special note – in fairness to Mountain Equipment I do still use their previous Shield jacket but it is looking threadbare after only one year of use (this has been brought to their attention).
This brings me mack to the new Javelin jacket – it has supplanted this old number and I can see myself wearing it for many moons to come. I don’t think it will stand the test of time as the other one did but it is comfortable, not sweaty at all but somehow warm enough and whilst it is in no way waterproof I don’t care. It’ll do for most British conditions and I cannot recommend any other soft shell more highly.
Unless you can get hold of one of those original black ones of course (they also game in red).
I think the reason why my wife likes it is more subjective – the less said the better.