The PR blurb that accompanied this parka from Didriksons said “The Angelina Parka from Didriksons will be every woman’s most desired Parka this winter”
They weren’t kidding! Never before have I tested a jacket that everyone’s commented on, wanted, tried to nab and so on. I practically had to wrestle my own mother to the ground to prevent her whisking it during a recent visit, she still keeps dropping some seriously unsubtle hints that it needs to be given a good home with her, and she is not alone.
So we’ve certainly established that this is a good looking coat – and I do agree. It’s well cut, beautifully made, fits nicely and the ‘night purple’ of my test version is also very easy on the eye.
But is it outdoor gear or is it better suited to a fashion flunky’s winter wardrobe?
Well, as you would expect from a Swedish brand that started back in 1913 making gear for fishermen, they know a thing or two about keeping you warm and dry, and this knowledge has been applied to this coat. Warm… tick. Dry… tick.
On my early tests in late Autumn I actually found the Angelina Parka to be too warm and bulky to go on a serious hike, but as soon as the temperatures dropped, snow fell and winds picked-up this not-so-little number came into its’ own.
My rambles take me to the top of a few of Shropshire’s peaks and the wind up there has been pretty biting lately. Pop the fur-lined hood up on the Angelina and you are taken to a very warm, snuggly – and oddly quiet place.
The hood is massive but you can shrink it a bit by detaching the fur trim – you don’t sacrifice any warmth doing this as the hood and back of the coat are fleece lined. There are two toggles that allow you to cinch and shape, but for me it still remained a fairly cavernous space that made me feel weirdly detached from everything around me, and it totally takes anyway any peripheral vision – something I suspect is useful in 5 foot Swedish blizzards but here in blighty I found it a tad disconcerting so found wearing a hat under the hood helped keep the sight lines open.
And “Hoorah!”, it’s plenty long enough to cover your backside and stop any rising breezes from finding your kidneys. It’s long enough to sit on a cold bench and keep your butt from freezing over your hot chocolate.
This a full on bells & whistles coat and the spec list is pretty impressive:
- 2 way zip
- Ajustable hem
- Adjustable waist
- Adjustable sleeves (poppers)
- Chin guard
- Detachable faux fur hood
- Extra protective peak
- Fixed hood
- 3 inner pockets including a ‘Napoleon’ pocket with headphone slot
- 2 large buttoned external pockets
- Covered zipper
- 2 way adjustable hood
- Storm cuffs
One of the internal pockets is perfectly suited for a map, although the exterior pockets are also large enough to accommodate one… plus a chocolate bar, tissues, dog poo bags, keys, purse, and a 1000 other things.
Okay I’m exaggerating a teeny bit, but the pockets are very generous! The waist and hem adjusters are a nice touch and great for when the wind is whipping up.
I like to listen to music when I walk so the attention to detail with the headphone slot is great as it means I don’t have wires flapping about.
This parka has all the pedigree and detailing that you need to withstand the white stuff and all the other elements that mother nature likes to throw at you. It’s a tad too chunky to appeal to the hardcore mountain types, but it looks right at home on the gentler slopes, and for a bit of Apres ski, shopping, dog-walking and general winter living.
Here in the UK it’s perfect for people like me who spend their days out and about and then flit on to walking the aisles of the supermarket and an evening at the local hostelry…. assuming you manage to keep hold of it, of course!