Scruffs isn’t a name you’d really associate with active outdoorsiness unless your idea of activity was less ‘hiking’ and more ‘hammering’. A workwear brand which is most often seen adorning the bodies of gentlemen who wear steel toe-caps rather than Vibram’s latest sole. So, how does a piece of their outdoor wear fair when put to the outdoors test?
Well, it doesn’t. This jacket is completely unsuitable for hiking, biking or running. For all of those things it is way too warm and way too sweaty, and you’ll end up smelling like a workman after a hot day’s Transit driving in no time. So, forget it.
However, we can’t all be active outdoorsy all the time, so let’s think about the Scruffs Over the Head Jacket in the context it’s meant to be used. Bring on your average British Summer’s Day – torrential rain, high winds and a delayed delivery of sharp sand which brings work to a halt for a well-earned cuppa.
For standing around drinking tea and Yorkie bars in the persistent drizzle we all know hangs around building sites, the OTH jacket is actually pretty good. It seals in the warmth like clingfilm, and any gusts, gales and rain are going to have a hard time finding a way in through the zipperless front of the smock design.
The material that it’s made of is as tough as you’d hope it would be, if you were hanging out on a building site. It’s a polyester, but really tight woven and abrasion resistant. The inside face is PU coated, and it’s lined with a mesh so you don’t snag that coating or stick to it like a sweaty sunlounger.
The cuffs and waist batten down nicely with velcro and a drawstring respectively, and for those of us who like a Full English with Extra Tea for breakfast and lunch, there’s a handy zipper which stretches 6 inches up one side and allows the jacket to be taken on and off more easily.
There is a vent across the back, but don’t let that fool you in to thinking that this is anywhere near as breathable as an outdoor-active jacket – the vent just prevents you from becoming a boil-in-the-bag experiment.
The hood snugs down well, but it’s on the small side of things in the first place. It would only go under a helmet, rather than over one. I’m not renowned for my over-massive bonce, but the hood was a close-fit on me even when fully ‘loose’.
So, in summary, GearWeAre has taken a foray in to the world of building-site apparel and whilst we appreciate that lower-intensity activity requires something you can keep warm and snug in, the lack of breathability was a shocker and we can’t recommend this jacket for anything other than the least active, er, activities. That said, for sitting and poking a campfire as it incessantly drizzles on your barbeque, it may be fine.