Kit review: Protected Species Macs
I know you might imagine that I wear nothing but sports clothes, however occasionally I do brush up a bit. I might be going out for dinner with the G-Force or to meet friends for a drink. Sometimes I am even required to wear something smarter to attend a client event.
But wearing smarter clothes doesn’t mean that the rain disappears. In fact, if you live, as I do, on the west side of Scotland, there is a higher chance of rain than any other weather. Most often I pull on one of my usual waterproof walking jackets in a brighter shade of Gore-Tex. They are pretty smart (in my eyes) and do the job of keeping me dry while I walk to the train station/pub/restaurant.
But now I have a better solution. A technical jacket that works like my walking jackets but that looks like it’s meant for “going out”.
Protected Species is the new brand.
It has been created by three women from Scotland and Manchester (they know all about rain, then!). They decided there was a gap in the market for women’s outerwear that performed in the rain but also looked clean and modern with a feminine cut. So they created a couple of highly technical but feminine looking macs.
They pick up the story. Anne Muir says: “We see Protected Species as being in the function/fashion space. We’re using a different material from traditional waterproofs so it’s super light, very soft, tactile and stretchy. This makes it noiseless and really comfortable.
“It’s called Fluid Intelligence fabric and boasts good waterproof/breathability ratings (waterproof 5000mm/gsm; breathability 5000gm/m2/24hrs) and our jackets are also fully seamed, sealed and windproof.
“Our jackets are ‘technically sophisticated’ for urban wear, which means they are technical but much more aesthetically pleasing.
“This is a jacket to keep you dry while commuting on foot to the office or to a night out. It will get you from car or train to your location without worrying about getting wet.”
Protected Species jackets
There are two Protected Species jackets so far, the Northern Quarter Waterproof Parka (in black or cobblestone colour) and the more traditional looking West End Waterproof Mac (in cobblestone). Both styles have a hood.
The West End Waterproof Mac looks office smart yet still boasts lots of really good technical features:
- Fully seam sealed
- Weather resistant front zip under button-fastening front
- Welded button tabs at cuffs, shoulders and back flapWelded front and back chest flaps
- Welded flap front pockets
- Buckle fastening belt
- 2 piece collar with stud fastening collar stand for extra protection
- Detachable hood with adjustable drawcord inside.
The Northern Quarter Parka has more of a funky look with a funnel neck and drawcord waist. (This is the one I chose to review).
There are lots of great features:
- Fully seam-sealed
- Weather resistant zipsWelded cuff tabs, front pockets and chest flaps.
- Internal waist drawcord that can be adjusted to fit
- Internal hem drawcord
- Shaped cuffs for extra weather protection
- Foldable hood with adjustable drawcord
- Large front pockets.
When I first put on the Parka I worried it looked a little like a sack but the internal waist and hems drawcords quickly sorts that out. I was able to draw in the waist and hem to create a lovely flattering fit.
I am a tall-ish, slim person so I requested a size 10. Size 2 (UK 10 to 12) offers a comfortable fit with space to add a layer underneath if I want. My main concern was having arm and hem length long enough to provide protection from the weather. The size 2 is perfect.
The features and details of the parka are lovely and I don’t think I have owned such a smart going-out jacket before but one that also boasts lots of sensible technical attributes. It is also easy to wear and extremely comfortable. There is nothing stiff and formal about the jacket yet it looks fab.
The proof is also in what the G-Force, Little Miss and friends say. All gave a big thumbs up. I think most people are surprised to see me in anything other than brightly coloured Gore-Tex so they have all made comments.
When I report that the jacket is actually highly technical and has a hood, too, they seem really impressed. This is a useful and practical jacket but one that is also very smart.
I have so far worn the jacket over jeans and a top and also to attend an evening wedding (it rained, of course, and I was wearing a dress and heels). I would imagine that office workers would make a great deal more use of a Protected Species jacket than I have so far, but that’s because I work from home or in the great outdoors!
See Protected Species. The jackets come I three sizes: 1: UK6 to 8; 2: UK10 to 12; and 3: UK14 to 16. They are priced £179.99