Once in a while, a garment comes along which gives your pre-conceptions about outdoor gear a bit of a kick back in to proper alignment. The Malte jacket from Swedish brand Didriksons has done just that for me.
You see, it doesn’t look like a technical outdoorsy jacket. It looks more like the kind of thing that you wear to the pub, or shopping, or wandering around National Trust properties, or on your commute to work. It’s classy, understated and almost elegant in a muted and subtle way.
But that belies its technical prowess. Lurking beneath the subtle exterior is a full-on waterproof breathable membrane with taped seams, and an insulated core which makes this jacket stand up to everything that the British Winter can throw at it. It is a jacket in which you can batten down the hatches and stride forth through storms and wind and not be under-dressed on the hills.
The Malte is made from what Didriksons call their STORMsystem fabrics, and much like the fabrics used in better-known outdoors brands, that consists of an outer shell material treated with DWR (so that rain beads up and runs off), over a breathable membrane. The STORMsystem doesn’t feel crispy or crunchy, and you wouldn’t know there was a membrane in there at all.
Inside the Malte is a synthetic insulation which makes it a very warm jacket indeed. With the snuggly stormcuffs (not waterproof, so they can get saturated in long rain storms) and high hood done up, you can be toasty warm on the coldest of days. When the going gets warmer, the full-length zipper lets out most heat, although my wrists did get quite sweaty when I was working hard.
There are two large hand-warmer pockets, which batten down with a chunky popper. And a pair of chest pockets – one external and one concealed behind the storm flap of the main zipper. The latter has a headphone port for use with your iPod.
The hood is removable, but I’ve left it on – it doesn’t get in my way. It cinches down well with two bungee cords, but is quite rustly so conversation when you’re walking with hood up is quite difficult.
All in all, the Didriksons Malte has been my go-to coat this winter. Nothing has come close to its combination of waterproofing, warmth and practicality, and suitability for all activities. As Didriksons are about to re-launch their UK sales efforts they will be a brand to watch. Top notch.
The Malte was sent to us by OutdoorWorldDirect.co.uk – who have a range of Didriksons jackets available. At time of publishing, the Malte is out of stock.