As an avid hiker, I was excited when presented with the opportunity to test a waterproof and windproof jacket.
I've been caught out in the wild in torrential rain before, and it isn't a fun time.
The problem was that during the review period it just didn't rain that often. So I was left with no choice.
I had to stress test this thing in the shower.
This jacket has been on some adventures over the past few weeks. It has ridden the Staten Island ferry on a moody New York afternoon. It has been soaked while I ran through the streets of Manhattan, refusing to spend $20 on an umbrella. It has accompanied me to meetings throughout Sydney, where winter finally decided to arrive. And it has hiked valleys in the Blue Mountains and been whipped by wild winds on the Coast Track in the Royal National Park. I've been a lot of things during these jaunts — tired, hungry, hangry, invigorated, excited, stressed, motivated and a whole lot more. But there's one thing I have never felt at any point — cold.
What Is It?
Kathmandu's Stockton Rain Jacket is a waterproof and windproof jacket designed for the outdoors.
It sports an adjustable hood and storm flap and reaches down to the thigh for extra coverage.
While this can be restricting on some hiking jackets, its roomy enough to allow for more freedom of movement. Back vents, articulated elbows and buttoned cuffs also help with this.
It's also breathable, so you don't turn into a walking sweat machine.
You can definitely wear is as your daily driver during the cooler months, but it would be best suited to the likes of hiking and camping.
In addition to being made from element-rejecting material, it also partially contains fibres from recycled plastic bottles.
Stockton Rain Jacket
WHAT IS IT?
A waterproof and windproof jacket from Kathmandu
It does its job well, is warm and has many pockets
What's Good About It?
It sure is water resistant
Good news, everyone! The primary function of this jacket is practically perfect.
While some water did leak in during the shower test, I think that's a pretty fair cop.
It's not exactly intended for that environment and you're unlikely to come across a natural rain shower that is localised to directly above your head.
That being said, comparatively little got through the sleeves and neck holes, and even then it was only because I was flailing around like an idiot.
Why do I do this to myself?
The very few times I actually got to try it in the rain, it wasn't for very long. It's been a dry few months.
But when I did the jacket did an admirable job. Where my backpack copped an absolute soaking, my body was well guarded. Absolutely no water marred my clothing in the spots it covered.
While I didn't get to try it in a proper storm or a wet hike, I am more than confident in its abilities to keep me dry.
And wind resistant
Not long after I got my hands on this thing there was a windy as hell day in Sydney.
One of those ones that's so bad that people bother to tweet about it.
Where some people with lesser-garments were being sliced and diced by invisible air-knives, I was walking the street like a God.
Absolutely nothing penetrated the jacket and I was damn impressed. It certainly bodes well for winter hiking in windy climates.
Not only does it keep the rain off you, it dries itself off might quickly also.
I found that it was ready to go again in around 15 to 20 minutes.
People who have been subjected to 'women's clothing' will know why I am so stoked on this.
There aren't just two pockets, there are five.
The first four are located where regular jacket pockets are - offering both button and open options.
The final pocket is hidden on the insider of the jacket near the breast. It's perfect for safe keeping items you don't want to lose and you can access it without unzipping the whole thing.
I could not be more excited for this level of practicality.
What's Not So Good?
At $499.95 it ain't a cheap purchase.
It's a bit fiddly to do up
But for a good reason.
In the spirit of water proofing, the jacket has a zip as well as a string of buttons to do up over it.
It basically makes doubly sure that no water can get in through gaps or holes.
It's very useful and helps keep you extra warm, but takes you longer to sort out than a regular jacket.
It's a bit frumpy
The Stockton isn't particularly chic and as I learned last year with the North Face's Thermoball offering, thermal jackets can be hot in both senses of the word.
But does anyone actually need a stylish water proof jacket? Probably not.
And to be fair, as excellent as the Thermoball is it's not waterproof and the Stockton is warmer.
So while it's incredibly versatile - I can wear it on hikes and for some city-based events - it's not quite as hardcore as this bad girl.
The jacket certainly isn't ugly, it's just not the sexiest I've seen. But if you don't care about being on fleek while trying to triumphing over the rain gods, this won't be a concern.
It's incredibly comfy and does its job damn well, and that's probably enough.
It's also worth mentioning that I lost weight from when I first received the jacket. It's about two sizes too big now which hasn't helped the frump factor.
Should You Buy It?
Coming in at $500, the Stockton is certainly an investment.
But if you're an all-year-round hiker or live in an area that gets a lot of rain, this could be worth it for you.
Because there was so little rain during the review period, I found myself trialling it on cold days instead. It kept me incredibly warm and I couldn't have been happier with it.
It's an incredibly versatile jacket and probably worth the money if you have the lifestyle to match.
I absolutely intend on taking it to rainy-Scotland in a few weeks because I know it will be up to the challenge.