Craghoppers Bowshaw Jacket Review
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Initial Thoughts on the CragHoppers Bowshaw Jacket
CragHoppers is a company that started making jackets in England back in 1965. The Bowshaw Jacket arrived, and I felt ready to brave what you’d think of as a typical British day: Foggy, windy, with a bit o’ rain mixed in. It’s a classic and stylish overcoat. It’s those features that I happen to appreciate. The Craghoppers Bowshaw Jacket is kind of like old school classic tweed meets new world technology. The texture and the way the coat feels is smooth yet rugged. The Bowshaw will definitely be able to handle some colder elements. Especially while participating in some of my favorite outdoor activities like shoveling the sidewalk snow or bringing in firewood…. Kidding about that favorite part, but at least I will stay warm 🙂
Features and Technical Specifications
This is a water-repellent, windproof jacket that’s British Tweed with today’s best technologies. It features a waterproof membrane, insulation, multiple pockets, and a grown-on hood with toggle adjusters. The AquaDry Softshell is a dual performing outer layer that is smooth, wind-resistant, very durable, and laminated to a waterproof breathable inner fleece membrane. The interior lining is super warm. Comprised of a high-loft Sherpa fleece lining which creates a smart, winter-ready outdoor performer. The end result is an insulating jacket keeping you nice and warm.
The sleeve openings have a Velcro-fastening cuff adjuster, but I do not see the need for ever using that because it’s already pretty snug. Upon taking the coat off, my arms do not simply slide out. I have to use my other hand to be able to get my arm out. The opening could have actually been a little larger, and then this very nice feature would be very useful.
The large front pockets are great. Very roomy, and the fronts are fleece lined which is great because my hands get cold quite easily. Keeping them bundled up in there has kept them nice and toasty. Four inside pockets provide plenty of storage for gloves, a hat, and any technological devices you may be carrying and want to keep from the elements. The bottom of the jacket and the hood both have toggle buttons allowing for adjustments.
The Craghoppers Bowshaw jacket has a waterproof rating of 15,000mm. I had to check into that a bit more to get a good idea of what that actually meant. If you put water in a square tube on top of the jacket with an inside dimension of 1″ x 1″ and 15,000 mm tall (49.21 ft.) it would not leak through. In the 1-5,000 mm range, it has minimal resistance to moisture but will work in light rain or dry snow. At 15,000 mm, a fabric is rainproof and waterproof under high pressure like a moderate rain or average snow. Anything above 20,000 mm can handle heavy rain and wet snow at high pressure. I suppose that means a Himalayan blizzard.
A breathability rating of 15,000 g is also very important. You can surely make a jacket completely waterproof, but you’d quickly be soaking in your own sweat with any kind of activity. This rating is measured by how many grams of water vapor can pass through a square meter of fabric in 24 hours. The higher this number gets, the more breathable the apparel would be. It appears to be a fine dance between waterproof and breathability, but it seems the Craghoppers Bowshaw Jacket is up to the task.
I got my Bowshaw Jacket mid-October. We’ve had such a fantastic fall here in Colorado with temperatures into the 80’s, that I only finally got to break it out in early November with some cooler mornings. Nice and cozy is definitely the call of the day.
One thing that does have me a bit concerned is the lack of roominess of the arms. I am of fairly average build and quite lean due to my endurance activities. I went with the Large which is kind of unusual because many of my coats are a Medium. I’m glad I did though. The fit is pretty good all the way around my body, but the arms seemed short when I reached up. They are fine when just hanging normally, but as you reach up the arms rode up my forearm. The design of the shoulders is pretty stiff, and kind of bunches up. I don’t see myself doing Jumping Jacks in these, so no real worries there. I would also assume that with wear the Bowshaw Jacket will lose some of its stiffness to become more supple. Let it be known that I am not a gym guy! The roominess of the forearm is one thing that is quite snug. I guess what I’m saying is that these are built more so for the slender arm type of guy. I don’t think I would ever go the route of getting an XL, but that coat may be a whole different ball game?
I have worn the Craghoppers Bowshaw jacket on morning commutes taking my kids to school on the bike. It’s probably a bit formal for that, but with a dreary rainy morning, this jacket was up to the task. Both my 2 and 4-year-old were bundled up nicely in the weatherproof trailer. Daddy, on the other hand, had to brave the cold wet rain. The sleeves did ride up slightly, but that had more to do with my positioning on the bike and reaching for the handlebars. I had gloves on, so it wasn’t a real issue. This won’t be my commuter jacket, I just wanted to see how it handled these adverse conditions.
A weekend getaway celebrating our anniversary to Crested Butte, CO proved to be the perfect place for this Jacket. Crested Butte is kind of a low key mountain town with a few nice restaurants sprinkled in with the Pizza and beer joints. My coat was able to handle the evening chill while walking the Main St., and looked presentable enough to handle going for Sushi (I know, it sounds a bit odd in a Mountain town. What you gonna do, the wife wanted Sushi).
Final thoughts on the Craghoppers Bowshaw Jacket
I honestly think this is a really nice coat. It is casual yet has an active outdoor feel to it. The Craghoppers Bowshaw Jacket has an understated elegant look that is balanced by the rugged tweed. This provides for a very suitable winter coat able to handle most conditions. I usually don’t go into the pricing of an item I’m reviewing, but this acts and feels like a much more expensive garment. For the price this is a great value for the numerous benefits and features that the Bowshaw Jacket sports. For more information on the Bowshaw Jacket and other Craghoppers products visit www.craghoppers.com or www.amazon.com/craghoppers.