Craghoppers Ashby Parka Review
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Craghoppers Ashby Parka Initial Thoughts
Fashion meets function with the Craghoppers Ashby Parka. This Parka has a flattering feminine design that is insulating, waterproof and breathable. Craghoppers pulled out all their bells and whistles for a woman’s appeal with this jacket. Having multiple pockets, a removable faux fur hood trim, adjustable waist belt, and luxury satin lining, you can stay warm in style while doing a variety of winter activities.
I didn’t really know a lot about the Craghoppers brand until I had the opportunity to test their Ashby Parka, so I wanted to do a little research about the company’s history before I began. According to Craghoppers website, Craghoppers story started back in 1965, in Batley, West Yorkshire, UK. Two lads created a wide range of outdoor clothing to keep them warm, dry and comfortable, wherever they went and whatever they did. They wanted their clothing to stand up in extreme conditions so they decided to test their designs while summiting the greatest mountain of all, Mount Everest. In 1995 Craghoppers joined the Regatta Group and continued producing innovative designs. You might be familiar with Bear Grylls the popular TV outdoor survival expert. In 2008, Craghoppers joined with Bear in making designs tailored for him to endure a multitude of outdoor elements. Craghoppers went global in 2009. Over the past 49 years, Craghoppers has excelled in producing a wide range of world travel clothing for a variety of outdoor activities.
The Ashby Parka Design
I first received Craghoppers Ashby Parka at the end of October. Colorado had a fairly mild fall and I was thinking this coat would be way too warm for anything outdoors this fall. As luck had it, our weather drastically changed. The second week in November we had a blistery high of 10 degrees and a low of 0 degrees. I quickly broke out my Ashby Parka to put it to the test.
Craghoppers Ashby Parka has a touring jacket design. The fashionable trench coat has an adjustable waist belt for a flattering feminine look. There is a detachable faux-fur-trimmed hood. Not only does the whole hood remove, but the faux-fur-trim also detaches separately. So if you don’t like the added flair the fur provides, you can keep the hood on and remove the fur! The hood also has a waxed drawstring cinch tie in the front, and snap or stud size adjuster in the back of the hood to really get the perfect fit. Craghoppers was thinking about keeping the cold out when they designed the front zipper. The Ashby Parka has an inner zipper guard with a snap fastening stormflap with 7 snaps. The inner collar is a ribbed polyester that is soft around your neck but stands up like a collar should and keeps its shape around your neck. Craghoppers placed elbow patches I believe for both fashion and function as well. These patches add nice texture and provide extra fabric for protection against wear and tear. The inner sleeves like the inner collar have a ribbed cuff and 2 size adjustable snap closure to get the perfect fit around gloves or just to keep the cold and wind out!
The Craghoppers Ashby Parka Pockets
There needs to be a whole section designated for the pockets on Craghoppers Ashby Parka. This parka has more pockets then I know what to do with! This is my favorite features about this coat. Every pocket has a specific design, which are labeled with little pictures and best of all, you can fit everything you would need in one of the pockets that you don’t need to carry a purse!
Craghoppers Ashby Parka has a whopping 11 pockets, which add style and function to the Ashby Parka. When you look at the front of the Ashby Parka you will only see 4 pockets. 2 snap or snap-fastening chest pockets and 2 lower bellowed snap-fastening pockets. Inside the right side bottom pocket is what I would call a mesh nylon blend mobile phone pocket that fit my iPhone 5s perfectly. Inside the left bottom pocket is a credit card pocket with a Velcro flap closure. You can safely store your credit cards, ID, or cash in this convenient little pocket. That no one knows you have! On the sides of both the lower bellowed pockets is a zippered hotpocket. The hotpockets are amazing! They have a thermal fabric layer in the lining that stores your body heat for when the temperature drops! These pockets will keep your hands nice and toasty while walking around the city.
Now lets move on to the inside of the coat. On the inner upper left there is a deep zip closure pocket. The picture indicates a spot for headphones. The problem with that is that it would be a great pocket to store headphones, however, it does not have a slit to thread the headphones through so the zipper cannot fully zip shut. Above the zip closure pocket is a headphone loop to keep your headphones in place, so it would only make sense to keep your iPod or music player of choice in that pocket. It would’ve been nice to see a little slit at the top of the pocket to thread your headphones through. The inner bottom left has a very large mesh nylon pocket. A perfect place to store your gloves or just about anything else! This pocket does not have any secure closure system to it. Last but not least, the most important pocket your jacket needs while you travel around is an O/S (Ordinance Survey) Map pocket. The map pocket will fit any topography or travel map comfortably without squishing or bending it. A map will slide easily into the pocket and the pocket zips shut to ensure you won’t lose your map to help you find your way back home!
I’m someone who likes to be very organized so I found the pockets to be helpful. I didn’t have to shove everything in 1 pocket and dig around for it. I could carry everything I need in one of the 11 pockets!
The Craghoppers Ashby Parka Innovative Features
The Ashby Parka is constructed of Craghoppers’ AquaDry Membrane technology. What is AquaDry you ask? It is a dual layer fused waterproof fabric. The Ashby Parka is made of a completely windproof, water-repellent, and durable outer fabric. The AquaDry fabric layer provides another layer under the outer layer that is a waterproof, non-porous membrane laminated fabric that is flexible and resists tearing. The outer fabric is a high performance waterproof membrane. The inner fabric is insulating and breathable which helps you maintain your body heat while allowing sweat and excess heat to escape keeping you at the perfect temperature all the time. If that wasn’t enough, the outer face of the Ashby Parka is treated with a Durable Water-Repellent finish to help keep the outer fabric drier for longer.
Craghoppers Ashby Parka has a waterproofing of 8,000mm. The higher the number, the higher the waterproofing of the material. 8,000mm is an adequate amount of waterproofing for basic walking, traveling or touring with light to moderate rain or snowfall.
The Ashby Parka has a very high breathability rating of 40,000g/m2/24hrs. Just like the waterproofing, the higher the number the more breathable the material is.
The inside lining is made of a lightweight fleece but has a luxury satin feel. The insulating lining helps retain body heat for extra warmth on those cold winter days.
Craghoppers Ashby Parka Performance
I have to say I was highly impressed with the performance of the Craghoppers Ashby Parka. I wore my Ashby Parka while I walked my dog, lightly hiked, shoveled snow, window shopping in downtown Fort Collins, and moving into my new house. For some reason my husband and I decided to buy a house in November and to top it off the day we closed was the coldest day of the year! I made what feels like about 500 trips in and out of the house in 2 degree weather with gusty winds and heavy snow. The Ashby Parka stood up to the cold, wind, and snow like a pro! The Ashby Parka handled the 20-30 mile an hour wind gusts nicely. After days of moving in the snow the Craghoppers Ashby Parka continued to repel the snow and not let any moisture in. Like many of you know, moving requires a lot of lifting, bending, and sweating. The fabric was flexible enough to allow me to move freely without being constricted and the AquaDry membrane kept my core warm without overheating.
Let’s just say, I was rough on my Craghoppers Ashby Parka while moving. I did not find any tears or signs of wearing on the jacket at all. With all the boxes and furniture I moved, I thought for sure there would be some damage to the front of the coat. It still looks like new!
The only con I would say regarding the Ashby Parka is that it is slightly on the heavy side. The website states it is 1460 grams which is 3.2 pounds. When you just pick the jacket up I feel like it weighs 5 pounds. However, it doesn’t feel like you are wearing 5 pounds of jacket. While moving around it can feel bulky at times, but overall I feel like it does weigh more than your average jacket.
Who the Craghoppers Ashby Parka is For
I would say this would be the perfect jacket for anyone doing any overseas travel. I wish I could’ve tested the Ashby Parka while traveling Europe. The multiple pockets, extreme condition protection, and flattering fit makes this a perfect touring jacket. If you are like me and not planning on doing any oversees travel anytime soon, the Craghoppers Ashby Parka would still be for you! If you enjoy the dog park, window shopping, strolling around downtown, or simply walking around the neighborhood the Ashby Parka is an amazing comfortable and warm parka!
Sizing & Colors
Craghoppers Ashby Parka has a UK sizing guide which can be a little tricky compared to the US sizing guide. It comes in UK sizes 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20. UK Size 8 is a US size 4. I was a little hesitant on which size to get. I opted with the size 8, but it would’ve been nice to have a size 6 option. The size 8 is slightly on the larger side, however, it is nice that I can wear a sweatshirt underneath without it being tight. Craghoppers comes in 2 colors: Navy Blue and Dark Mushroom.
Craghoppers Ashby Parka kept me warm while walking in wind gusts up to 50mph, while moving in heavy snow, and while walking around the neighborhood in less than 10 degree weather. With the multitude of pockets, removable faux-fur-trim hood, and flattering fit it would compliment any woman’s figure while providing comfort and warmth for any winter day!
For more information on the Ashby Parka and other Craghoppers gear please visit https://www.craghoppers.com/us/.