Barbour Waxed Jackets - Men's
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Barbour quilted jackets
Since 1894 the British outfitter Barbour have been setting the standard for practical outdoors wear in a stylish and understated manner, immensely practical, comfortable and comfortingly traditional in appearance and feel.
These dry wax treated cotton jackets can fit over a smart business suit as readily as they slip on over a sweater or flannel shirt for walking the dog. Barbour jackets are owned and worn by people from all walks of life and of all kinds of lifestyles from farmers to poachers to lawyers to royalty. They are an investment that lasts for years and like all classic garments will look as stylish in 10 years as they do today, better actually as they gain experience and provenance with you.
Barbour Wax Cotton materials are all manufactured exclusively to a unique specification. The material is made from finest 100% long staple Egyptian Cotton and is treated with special oil and wax to ensure it is totally wind and waterproof. It is available in heavy or medium weight finishes and can easily be reproofed.
What a waxed jacket is:
Practical and versatile - The tough cotton material used for these jackets and the dry wax coating give a waterproof, thornproof, abrasion resistant outer layer. I've worn mine to walk through undergrowth that scrapes against me without finding anywhere to grab hold of and tear a hole. I also wear it when pruning my enormous rambling roses as it's never once even pulled a thread let alone suffered any damage.
Warm, windproof and waterproof - They are a shell layer with a soft cotton lining, warm enough to add some extra insulation, versatile enough to go over a t-shirt in warmer temperatures or insulating layers when it gets colder.
Blessed with enough useful pockets - It varies somewhat by model, though typically two cargo-sized lower patch pockets, two moleskin-lined higher placed handwarmer pockets, a "poachers pocket", a long pocket that goes around the back closed off at each end with a zip and an internal breast pocket.
An investment - They aren't budget items, but they are very good value for money, mine is 11 years old now and looks like it will go on for at least as long again. The classic and timeless styles ensure you'll still want to keep on wearing them too.
A sustainable clothing choice - Garments that aren't going to last more than a few years before needing to be replaced have large environmental footprints, Barbour waxed jackets will last the lifetimes of several alternative garments.
What a waxed jacket isn't:
Suitable for extended backpacking - I have taken my Barbour with me while hill walking (and to Arctic Canada and Greenland in the summer) it kept me warm and dry but not as well as a modern lightweight waterproof would. The seams can leak while carrying a backpack meaning after a full day of rain you have to dry them inside out overnight, they are fine for day hikes.
Lightweight and compact - They don't feel especially heavy when worn, but they do when you put them in your backpack to carry because it's got warmer, they take up a lot of space too.
Suitable for very cold temperatures - You can buy a zip-in fleece waistcoat for many models, but don't bother. By the time it gets cold enough to warrant such extra insulation, you'll wish you had more on your arms too. I find the ideal insulation in cold conditions is a lightweight fleece jacket under the waxed jacket, under which go a thick overshirt and thermal base layer if needed. In such conditions I've found them good for down to about -5C which where I live means suitable for all but a few days every few years.