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Kit review: Looking good in Craghoppers

Written by Fiona August 20 2010

Over the last month or so I’ve had numerous flattering comments about how good my clothes look. People have enquired about my “stylish jacket” and commented on how nicely my trousers fit.  It’s making me wonder what people previously thought of my dress sense! I’m well aware that I have a reputation for being “the woman in the outdoors clothing”. In my world – the world of FionaOutdoors – there are few occasions when combats and a fleece are not suitable wear!

But perhaps I hadn’t been thinking about my overall sense of style. (Certainly little Miss Outdoors would hoot with laughter if you asked her whether mum has any style! “Yeah, right, style? Mum only wear sports clothing. Ever.”) But finally, it seems, I’ve found the perfect combination: outdoor clothing that does what it says on the label (ie keeps me warm, dry, comfy and non-sweaty) but also looks really good, too. Thanks Craghoppers!

This wasn’t exactly what I’d expected to be honest. I’d imagined that Craghoppers – being such a big brand – sold reliable kit that offered plenty of weather protection while out and about in the great outdoors. Afterall, Craghoppers jackets, trousers, t-shirts and fleeces line up on the racks alongside other big brands such as Berghaus, Haglofs and Mountain Wear. But what I hadn’t considered was the cut and look of this brand of outdoors clothing.

That is, until I received my bundle of “to review” Craghoppers items in the post. The first person to comment was the G-Force. Now he is a man who knows about stylish clothing. While also a fan of on-the-mountain type kit and cycling clothing he is also very capable of turning out for the pub dressed in a well-cut, nicely-fitting outfit. (Unlike me, who would still be wearing the combats and fleece!)

Craghoppers women's Pulaski jacket

Craghoppers women's Kruxx jacket

Craghoppers women's Ventura trousers

Turning a heel on the fashion catwalk (i.e. the rug in the living room) I showed the G-Force my new Craghoppers kit. To be exact I had on a  Ventura trousers (long-length), a Pulaski fleece-style jacket, topped by a lightweight Kruxx Jacket. His first words were: “Wow, so there are outdoor clothes that fit you properly!” The G-Force has often asked if I bought my clothes from the men’s department. Hmm, yes, sometimes!

Looking in the mirror I could see what he was saying.  Although very comfortable, the clothes looked tailored and flattering. They didn’t feel tight but nor were they hanging off me. Craghoppers had somehow built in “give” where needed for full movement while hiking and generally getting out and about in the outdoors, yet also created clothing items that would suit a less wild situation, say a BBQ or the pub.

Indeed, I have now worn the Craghoppers clothing for a wide range of occasions, including a family hill walk, a work meeting, down the pub, out to dinner with friends, while walking the dog with a pal, on a cycling trip to France, and each time I’ve been offered praise for looking, well, er, clearly better than I did before!

I’d maybe go so far as to describe the outdoor clothing revelation as my own private “Gok” moment! Not “how to look good naked”, but “how to look good in outdoor clothing”!

The G-Force was also lucky enough to receive his own bundle of Craghoppers clothing. (He gets to wear it but without going to the trouble of writing about it! Lucky him!) However he did spare me some time to talk me through his thoughts on his NosiLife Cargo shorts, Base T-shirt and a men’s Kruxx jacket.

Craghoppers men's NosiLife cargo shorts

The shorts: “Really comfortable and well cut. They fit neatly in all the right places yet they do not feel constraining. I like the big pockets on the side for putting lots of bits and pieces. The material is nice and light too. It says on the label that the fabric is insect-repelling, sun protecting and quick drying, too. Ideal for being in the mountains on a sunny day! There’s also a DryBag watertight pocket system, which is great for my mobile phone. My only quibble is that although the buttons look the part and suit the style of the shorts one of the back pocket buttons has snapped in half.” I can report that there has hardly been a day when the G-Force hasn’t worn these shorts!

Craghoppers men's base t-shirt

The t-shirt: “Nice and light feeling and breathable. The fabric felt soft against my skin and the cut is perfect. I don’t like t-shirts that are too baggy when I’m out walking. The length was also good for me, Mr Average!”

Craghoppers men's Kruxx jacket

The jacket: “Really stylish. In fact, so stylish that I’ve worn it to the pub – even when Fi was wearing hers, too. How sad! – and for work meetings. The cut is tailored and the style is simple. It’s the sort of jacket I’d pack if I was going away for a weekend of outdoors stuff and needed something to wear while travelling or at the pub. It was ideal when travelling to France and during the evenings after our cycling days.”

See, I told you that the G-Force knows stuff about clothing.

The technology that has gone into creating the Craghopper clothing is impressive and it’s worth clicking on the links above to find out more. The clothing would ideally suit outdoor travel types. Whether abroad or in Britain, being touristy and roaming cities or walking trails, the clothing will keep you dry, comfy, non-sweaty and protected from the sun (and also mosies and perhaps in the Scottish midge!) If, like me, you have a reputation for being a little scruffy and baggy you’ll also be delighted by your new Craghopper style look. Gok, take note in case you ever come across another outdoors girl like me! (Even Little Miss said the clothing would be acceptable when forced to walk the streets or shopping centres with me!)

Oh, and I’ve just noticed that the Craghoppers website have a great sale on. (They didn’t tell me about this so don’t go thinking that I’ve written this blog to suit them! )

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