It’s late November, it’s a Sunday morning and the weather forecast looks fairly reasonable. My wife is away for the weekend, and there are two choices opening up ahead of me.
Option 1: Go climbing with my buddy, Tom.
Option 2: Open a bottle of wine at 10AM and start watching horror movies in my underwear. Continue drinking until I have emptied the drinks cupboard of all booze, even the sangria from 2007. Eat only peanut butter from the jar with a spoon.
It’s a tough call, but since my lovely wife has been away for a few days, there’s been a little too much of option 2 happening recently. We drive to the Peak district.
Climbing at the Roaches is a great testbed for a coat. It’s exposed, the wind blows at about force nine, and climbing involves a fair bit of yomping up hills at pace carrying loads of gear, a bit of standing around, quite a bit of huddling on ledges, lots of getting rained on, and then the inevitable retreat to the pub.
First thing to note is that this Regatta Carrington 3-in-1 jacket is red. It is very, very red*. It is also a rather well put together thing, with a removable fleece liner, a useful hood, and not too many bells and whistles.
On the initial yomp up the hill carrying a full pack of climbing gear, ropes, cake, pork pies and fizzy pop I found the coat pretty warm. Had the walk been longer I would have needed to remove my midlayer or the coat liner. I didn’t end up a sweaty mess though, so I’m liking the breathable outer shell.
This isn’t a specific climbing jacket though, so once the harness was on I couldn’t access the pockets any more.
Standing around belaying while my intrepid buddy started climbing was no problem. With all the zips done up, the hood up and adjusted to fit, I was snug, windproof and pretty happy. I was also wearing a coat red enough to have been seen from space, which I guess could be an advantage if today goes so badly wrong we need mountain rescue to bail us out.
We are climbing a mutipitch route, which means halfway up my buddy runs out of rope and can’t continue, so he has to set up a safe place for us to hang out and eat cake, before one of us continues to finish the second half. So, Tom faffs about a bit on a ledge, and then invites me on up to join him.
The jacket is generously cut – it’s really comfortable for the full range of movements I can achieve. With the hood up and adjusted, the hood moves with my head, so I can always see. I’m really liking this jacket.
When I reach Tom, I clip into the protection he’s placed, put him on belay and off he goes again. I’m left huddling on a ledge, about fifty feet up, in pretty harsh winds. It starts to rain. I’m nice and warm in my coat, but my bum starts to leach heat to the rock.
Once Tom is at the top, I dismantle the gear around me, and start up after him. The climbing isn’t tough until the very last part, which requires jamming an arm up into a crack in a roof above my head, and hanging off that while I sort out where I’m going next. It’s not a nice experience hanging by one jammed arm about a hundred feet up, desperately trying to find something useful to do before exhaustion hits and the inevitable screaming and plummeting starts…
I fully expected the jacket to suffer some damage from this treatment. It didn’t. Not a scuff. Not a rip, not a mark.
I since worn this jacket on various non-climbing romps and hikes and I really like it. It’s warm, versatile, strong, and scuff-proof. It’s an absolute bargain, and Regatta have made huge leaps forward in quality. My only tiny criticism is that sometimes when I take it off the inner fleece tries to come with me, so I think it could do with a second fixing at the wrist.
So in summary:
- It’s very red. It’s very wind and waterproof, and it’s pretty warm.
- 3 in 1 configurations. warm coat, waterproof, fleece.
- The wired hood works well.
- Regatta are making great strides with their new range.
- This coat could be any of the much more expensive brands.
- It’s turned into my default coat.
- Not noisy!
- Really quite abrasion resistant – forearm jam on gritsone – not a mark.
- Full range of movement.
- Currently available for £50. It’s an absolute bargain. Unbelievable value.
- The drawstring on the back of the hood pulls it over my forehead.
- The adjustable cuffs adjust all the way down to almost nothing.. which means whan a normal person wears it, there’s a lot of velcro out there. Collecting fluff.
- The fleecy liner cuffs are possibly a little small on RHS, I’ve snagged a few times getting out of the coat (might break in the future). Perhaps an extra fixing point would help.
More: Regatta *other colours, less red are available