Craghoppers Compresslite Packaway Hooded Jacket

2-Compresslite-Packaway-Hooded-Jacket

They Say - Part of Craghoppers’ Outdoor Pro collection, which fuses the brand’s Pro Stretch technology with ergonomic design to offer unlimited performance, the new Compresslite Packaway Hooded Jacket is an exciting addition to the range for 2014.

Constructed from insulating ClimaPlus wadding, which is also windproof, the Craghoppers Compresslite is an advanced lightweight insulated jacket, which conveniently packs away into its own stuff sack.

Retailing at just £60, the Compresslite features:

  • Two lower welted zipped pockets
  • Adjustable hem
  • Elasticated bound cuffs
  • Full-length zip with inner zip guard
  • Grown-on hood with elasticated bound face
  • Weight 440g

The Compresslite is available in S-XXL in Black, Red, Dark Blue wave and Bright Green.

For her, the Pumori Packaway Jacket features the same innovations and performance as the men’s Compresslite and is available in sizes 8-20 in Rose Pink, Black and Caribbean Sea.

Stockists: www.craghoppers.com or tel. 0161 749 1300.

We Say – You generally won’t find padded-style jackets within the Trek and Run review pages as we refuse to test anything that’s been made using down, as it’s so hard to tell if the down has been collected from the birds in a decent way or not. So it’s always nice to hear of padded-style products like this Compresslite Jacket that don’t use down, because it’s great to know that our outdoor gear companies are acting decently and also, because we like to say yes when we’re offered good kit to test out!

So this jacket already felt good to me, before I even put it on. Knowing that it’s at least partially ethically sound (not sure where the materials were sourced or where it was stitched together, or the working conditions there, but I’ll aim to find all that out and report back when I know) means a lot to me, as I’m sure it does to many buyers.

But being ethically sound is in reality worth little if the jacket isn’t up to scratch when it comes to keeping your warm and protecting you from the wind. So, is it any good?

First things first. Size. The Compresslite packs down very small. Here’s how the sack looks with the jacket inside it

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You’ll find jackets that pack down smaller but generally they’re little more than plastic bags that’ll keep the wind off in an emergency and they certainly won’t keep you warm for any great length of time. What you gain in space saving, you loose in looks and performance. The Compresslite isn’t like this, it’s a little larger than the smallest packaway jackets but in my opinion, for the increased weather protection and good looks that it offers, it’s worth it.

I’ve been wearing it for 2 weeks now and found it very comfortable. It doesn’t feel like a traditional packaway jacket (you know how some are, very flimsy and feeling like the zips will break or catch on the lining at any moment)  and it doesn’t look like one either. You couldn’t tell the difference between this and another jacket that doesn’t pack away small and which takes up loads of space on the coat hooks (and in your rucksack).

It’s also capable of handling reasonably cold weather. Today was 5 degrees with a 25mph wind and I was by the sea (so very exposed) but didn’t feel cold at all during a 3 hour walk.

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The pockets are deep enough so that your hands are warm, and the hood is well elasticated (it didn’t fall down at all today, even in that wind).

Yesterday I wore it canoeing and found that there was enough give in the shoulders and arms to allow me to paddle easily. This isn’t simply a sizing issue, it’s more an issue of cut. A jacket that’s cut for use around town or for undemanding activities will be fitted, or in normal words, quite tight, around the shoulders, upper back and chest. This jacket isn’t like that though. It’s been cut so that you can wear it as an everyday jacket, sure, but you can also use it during activities, such as canoeing, and if it’s ok for that then it’ll be ok for cycling, hiking with a rucksack and scrambling.

The only negative is that it’s not great in the rain. I wore it in heavy rain for about 10 minutes and started to feel the damp almost immediately, so I wouldn’t want to be out any longer and expect to stay warm. Combine it with a lightweight waterproof though, which is what I plan to do when I take it hiking in the spring, and I’m certain it’ll do a good job. It’ll act like a fleece under the waterproof if you’re out in the country but it’ll also be of use if you want a smart jacket for when you get to a town.

It doesn’t crease at all, so when it’s been contained in it’s bag for a while you can just pull it out and put it on without it looked shabby. Creases aren’t an issue if you’re on the trail but for sure, if you can look smart with no effort when you’re breaking your trek for a few days in a town, it’s a bonus. As for cleaning, I don’t generally put my jackets through the washing machine so with this Compresslite, when it got dirty I just rubbed a damp cloth on it. Worked fine with the generally dirt that gathers whilst walking and canoeing.

For review purposes though I put it through the washing machine and it came out fine. Dried in a few hours and there’s no noticeable issues as a result or deterioration of insulating properties.

So, overall I like this Craghoppers Compresslite Packaway Jacket. It’s very windproof and warm, it packs down small, it looks good and it’s very good value. For more info, look at www.craghoppers.com

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