Jack Wolfskin HALIFAX PARKA for Men

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They Say – Weatherproof parka for outdoor and urban wear.

  • Waterproof, windproof
  • Breathable
  • Extremely robust
  • Especially warmly insulated
  • Ten pockets
  • Longer parka cut

Great warmth, durability and storage space are the three main arguments for this waterproof parka. The thick layer of synthetic insulation extends into the hood. The detachable faux fur trim on the hood, the integrated fleece cuffs and the slightly longer length all provide additional insulation. The Oxford weave makes the weatherproof material very robust. There’s plenty of storage space in the ten large pockets, some of which are patch pockets in the typical parka style.

FURTHER DETAILS

  • Waterproof, windproof and breathable TEXAPORE 2L
  • Especially warm MICROGUARD synthetic insulation (200 g/m2)
  • Hood: warm MICROGUARD synthetic insulation (100 g/m2)
  • Integrated ARCTIC HOOD, adjustable in terms of size and field of vision, with detachable faux fur trim and storm flap
  • Six side pockets (two high), two chest pockets, two inside pockets
  • Fleece inner cuffs
  • Drawcord
  • Headphone port
  • Pen holder on the inside

To discover more please see http://www.jack-wolfskin.co.uk/halifax-parka-men/1105231.html

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We SayI chose this jacket for my winter trip to Canada for a few reasons.

Firstly, I needed a jacket that could cope with temperatures as low as minus 35C, and this looked like it could.

Secondly, I knew I’d be spending as much time in the city as in the country so I wanted the jacket to look good in all environments as well as be an effective barrier against the cold. And this jacket certainly looks very, very good.

Thirdly, I didn’t want my jacket to be insulated with down, be it duck down or goose down (down is the name for the animals’ inner feathers). The companies that use down almost always say that their down is a by-product of the food industry. To get an idea of where the down that’s used in the outdoors industry is sourced from, have a read of this, which I got today from the North Face website.

“Down used in manufacturing is derived from geese that are primarily raised for their meat and liver, which industry experts estimate comprise 85 – 90% of the economic value of a goose. By comparison, down is estimated to comprise roughly 5% of the economic value. Put another way, the value of down itself is not an economic driver in goose farming. If the apparel and bedding manufacturing industries were to cease using down as a material, goose farming would continue unabated due to the demand of the food industry. The majority of outdoor industry products such as jackets and sleeping bags use down from grey geese while the bedding industry uses down from white geese. Grey geese are raised primarily by farmers for their meat and liver, which are used by the food industry to make products such as foie gras.

The North Face has primarily sourced its down for over 20 years from Allied Feather & Down, the leading down supplier to the outdoor industry as a whole. All of Allied Feather’s down is a byproduct of the food industry, that is to say it is derived from geese that are raised for their meat and liver.”

So in other words, and the North Face is admitting it in plain English, the down that they and most other outdoor clothing suppliers use is sourced from the Foie Gras industry, you know the one, where the animals are kept in tiny cages and force fed to the extent that their livers grow to ten times their normal size. All so rich people, and the French (who are the world’s primary producers and consumers of Foie Gras) can eat food they don’t need. And the North Face’s excuse is that the Foie Gras industry would continue whether they used the down or not, so they might as well use it. How disgusting. 

I didn’t want to be involved in any way with that cruel industry, especially not when there are so many decent jackets around that offer an alternative form of insulation, such as this Jack Wolfskin Halifax Parka, which uses synthetic insulation instead of down.

So, off I went to Canada, together with my Jack Wolfskin jacket. My jacket looked good, but would it’s synthetic insulation keep me as warm as a down insulated jacket would have done? I didn’t have long to find out. When we landed my brother in law said,

“Welcome to Canada, you’re lucky, it’s warmed up today!” It was minus 15. And he wasn’t being sarcastic either, it really had warmed up. But no worries, it was soon to get cold again.

The next day the TV weather person said it was minus 25C and that there was a severe cold weather warning issued. But the sky was bright, so it seemed a perfect time to get out, go for a long walk and test the coats (my wife Lamia also had a Jack Wolfskin coat with her).

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The snow was a foot deep and there was a wind. Under my jacket I had two Helly Hansen base layers, which are fantastic at keeping you warm, and together with the jacket that was enough. As long as I kept my hood up and my warmth in, I was cosy. In minus 25. Wow.

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We stayed outside for over two hours that first day and had a lot of fun, and whilst at the beginning of the walk I feared the effect the cold might have on me, by the middle of it I had forgotten all about that and could just concentrate on enjoying the snow and that good feeling you get when you’re acting like a kid.

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The terrain was challenging, I guess, quite hilly forest. I guess I must have raised a sweat going up and down the hills but I didn’t feel any ill effect from it.

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So, the jacket passed that first test with flying colours. There was no doubt about it, the synthetic insulation was totally up to the job of keeping me warm in what most would consider extreme temperatures.

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As the weeks progressed we experienced varying temperatures, as low as minus 35C at times. The jacket coped with this. Obviously you need to be wearing your gloves and to keep your hood up and pulled tight in these sort of temperatures but as long as you do that then this jacket is extremely effective.

The pockets are worth a mention. They’re large, and deep, which is essential. When you’re wearing gloves you don’t want to be dealing with anything dainty. There are also pockets up by your armpits/chest, so that you can keep your hands in the warm when walking or carrying bags that aren’t rucksacks.

Talking of rucksacks, the jacket isn’t so bulky that it’s not good for hiking with a rucksack. I can fit my rucksack on easily over the top of this jacket and walk with it, no problem. Ok, so I’m not putting in any 20 mile walks in the snow, but I have done a few hour long, rucksack laden walks, and it’s perfectly comfortable for that sort of thing.

Recently the temperature has warmed up a bit and we’ve experienced several days when it’s been over zero. I’ve still worn this jacket, only with a single base layer instead of two, and it’s been very comfortable.

Because I’m so into animal rights I wasn’t keen on the fake fur hood trim when I first saw the jacket online. I thought, why use it at all, is it just for looks? But now having worn this jacket in severe weather I can see the benefit of the fake fur trim. It’s not just for looks, it definitely cuts the wind and snow out without totally restricting visibility – which allows me to see when I’m walking in harsh weather – and as well as that it provides a little mental comfort with the feel of it against my skin. The weather may be terrible but when I pull up my hood, have it tight against my head and feel that fake fur tickle my face, I do feel warmer. It’s all mental, of course, but that’s ok. I’m an athlete so understand how important your mental state can be to your overall wellbeing.

I also have to say that I feel very good in it when walking around the city (we live on the edge of Toronto so get downtown pretty often). I do like to blend in when I’m in the city (I get pointed at enough for reasons beyond my control when I’m in public – my wife’s half my age and a different colour than me so we tend to draw attention to ourselves relatively often…) so I like clothes that help me achieve this. The jacket does that; it’s well cut, has a classic style and colour and never looks out of place, no matter where we go.

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So, in summary, this jacket is superb. It keeps me warm in all weather, which is the most important thing. It also feels very comfy and looks at home either in the city or the country. The insulation works excellently and proves that you don’t need to have animal down in your coat to keep you warm. I would 100% recommend this jacket.

Discover more (it’s on sale at the moment too) at http://www.jack-wolfskin.co.uk/halifax-parka-men/1105231.html

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