Kit review: Sprayway Pandora waterproof jacket
I had a navy blue Sprayway jacket as a teenager. It was a size small men’s jacket and it looked like a square bag on me. But it did a good job of keeping the rain out.
Since then I haven’t looked at another Sprayway jacket and I had pretty much assumed the company sold only budget bracket outdoors clothing. Being a bit of an outdoors clothing snob I have tended to buy other more pricey brands because I have tried and tested them and know they do a good job on the hills in tough Scottish conditions.
Yet Sprayway’s heritage goes back to the 1970s (that’s when I was a child!) and is synonymous with legendary mountaineers, such as such as Doug Scott and Alison Hargreaves.
Now Sprayway appears to have upped its game again with a new Back to the Mountain collection for winter 2014. This range includes two excellent insulated jackets for men and women, the Grendel and Vela, and a three-layer Gore-Tex shell alpine style mountain jacket. The Pandora is for women, while the Zeus is for men.
Gore-Tex Pandora waterproof jacket
The Gore-Tex Pandora is good enough to hold its own with other brands that I favour, including Helly Hansen, Arc’teryx and Berghaus.
The jacket feels robust and durable being made of three-layer Gore-Tex. There is very little chance of the rain penetrating this fabric and the rest of the design of the jacket is very well thought out. It won’t be as breathable as jackets made from Gore-Tex Pro but in winter there is less sweat so the three-layer approach makes sense.
Athletic fit. I think this is what makes the new Sprayway jackets stand out as good competitors in the winter walking world.
Helmet compatible mountain hood. Thankfully the hood is not so enormous that to stop it blowing off in the wind you need to shore it up with every amount of elastic toggery (like some other brands these days). The Pandora hood is a good size and has a metal edged peak. The volume can be easily adjusted to fit neatly over your head when not wearing a helmet.
The zip is YKK’s AquaGuard Vislon with super water repellency.
There are two large zipped hand/map pockets and on the women’s jacket they are positioned high enough to avoid being compromised by a rucksack waistband.
An extra zipped outer pocket and a useful inner zipped security pocket are useful add-ons.
An easy to use and adjust drawcord hem.
Generous back length (UK size 12 = 74cm)
Fleecy chin area on the inside of the collar so that when fully zipped up it is soft against the face.
Fastener for rolling back the hood. This is very useful on days when you don’t need to have the hood up.
The sleeves are articulated to give good freedom of movement and there are large easy-to-grab Velcro cuffs.
The colourways are also fab, including rose, blue and pebble. I am not sure who would wear the pebble/fig (mainly cream) unless you were planning to be very clean in the mountains but it does look lovely.
As Sprayway states: “This winter collection puts our company firmly back in the mountains where it all began.” I couldn’t agree more.
The Pandora and Zeus jackets RRP at £260. To find stockists see www.sprayway.com or call 01753 497190. I’ve seen the jacket for around £220.