Imagine, if you will, an illicit liaison between an old Barbour jacket and a modern climbing jacket. Imagine they were able to produce an offspring, and the inevitable result would be the Leftfield Jacket from Sprayway.
After many, many hours of trawling around an enormous outdoor trade show this summer, I was shown the Leftfield at the end of the day and it struck a chord as being just a little bit different from the countless brightly-coloured and technically-featured jackets I’d seen during the day.
Styled in a gamekeeper green, the Leftfield is a long jacket which is suitable for walking, stalking and wandering about town. And thanks to the fact that it hides a full Gore Tex Performance Shell lining means that when you batten down the hatches, with their big horn-look buttons, the weather is well and truly sealed out.
The Leftfield has been on-test as the jacket of choice for all-weather dog walking by the Wife and I for the last month and it’s been great. It’s not a thick jacket, so you need to layer-up with fleeces on cold days, but it sees off all rain and wind without a thought.
The sleeves are long, and adjustable via a metal popper which we’ve never had cause to use.
The Leftfield is fitted with a couple of generously large hand-pockets. These are sealed up by a zipper and then a storm-flap which itself is poppered down. A hidden zipper pocket inside the main storm-flap is perfect for secreting a wallet or phone and protecting it from the rain.
The Leftfield has a large hood which is permanently attached. It’s adjustable via a toggle, but since this isn’t a jacket which is designed for anything technical it doesn’t have the same sort of peak and 2-way adjusting that a more contemporary jacket would have.
The homage to Country-style jackets is carried through to the interior of the Leftfield, which is lined with a patterned fabric reminiscent of Barbour and tweeds. This is a jacket which has, to my mind, successfully transcended the difficult step between the outdoor and country-sport markets. It has all the advantages of a modern jacket with light weight, breath-ability and waterproofing, but none of the down sides like being waxy or smelling of horses.
I like the Leftfield. It makes me feel like I should be shooting things and surveying my land. It makes me want to keep a pack of hounds in the outhouse and carry a hip flask. It’s refreshingly different from most of the other Gore Tex jackets on the market at the moment and carries with it a different image. One more at home in a country pub where it would blend in to the wood, flagstones and smell of ale than the bright colours we’re shown in Outdoor magazines.
SUMMARY: The Sprayway Leftfield Jacket is a fully waterproof, long jacket with a styling taken from the country-sports market rather than the technical fashion. It performs well in rain and wind, and has been a firm favourite for Autumnal dog walks.