Kit review: Protected Species Parka jacket
I first reviewed a Protected Species waterproof mac in 2014. I liked the concept and I was impressed by the practical details. The jacket filled the gap between my usual hill walking waterproof jacket and my smart wedding style jacket.
The Protected Species waterproof jackets are smart casual in style but offer excellent comfort and waterproofing for activities such as commuting to work, going out with friends on a wet night/day, shopping and heading to the pub.
Now the company has updated their range with new fabric, colours, styles, sizing and fit.
One of the founders, Anne Muir, says: “We’ve kept all the features everyone has loved from last season – the same adjusters, which shape the garments to flatter in the right places, all the same laser cut and heat welding details, the same waterproof accessories along with the softly shaped cuffs, but the fabric has changed along with some other details including colour, styles and fit after feedback from customers.”
Protected Species states: “The new fabric uses the same form of stretch laminated technology as the previous season’s collection but it is much more fluid, softer and more feminine.”
The fabric also has higher waterproof, windproof and breathable ratings (from 6k h2o/pm2 to 15k h2o/pm2). This is comparable with performance ratings for sports wear.
Colours and styles
New for this season is the Cityscape blue colour way and the atmosphere white, sold in both the Mac and the Parka.
The City Walker is the new style for the season, offering a shorter length option.
Sizing and fit
Customer feedback prompted an expansion of the size range at Protected Species. There is now an XL size, which is equivalent to an 18-20.
The Parka style has also been tweaked so it doesn’t taper quite as much at the hips.
Anne says: “We will continue to develop styles, fit and sizing in response to customers where we can. We only do womenswear, so the cut, fit for women is what we are all about.”
A bit about Protected Species
The brand was created by three women from Scotland and Manchester. 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.
Anne said: “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.
“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.”
There are now three Protected Species jackets, The Parka, The Mac and The City Walker.
On test: New Protected Species Parka
I really like the colour of this jacket. The last one I tested was a practical and sensible black. The blue is still practical and will go with anything I wear but it’s a little different and I appreciate that.
The fabric is really lovely to wear and touch. It is soft and comfortable but also surprisingly waterproof. I wore the jacket in heavy rain and the water simply rolled off the surface of the fabric. To test the fabric further I placed the sleeve under a running tap. The fabric didn’t soak up a single droplet. In addition, Protected Species offer a two-year “waterproof performance guarantee”.
I like the style too. You can wear the jacket as a straight up and down jacket or you can adjust it to fit to your figure with the internal cinching cord. The high neck helps to keep out the wet, wind and cold and there’s a useful hood. While many women might not like the idea of a hood it is a useful addition when the rain comes on. The hood can be rolled away into the neck when not in use.
The jacket feels very well made. It has a food quality lining fabric and the zips and buttons look like they are of a high standard.
I think the jacket will be long-lasting and durable. It would be a great “work horse” jacket for people who walk to work, take the kids to school on foot, shop, etc through all kinds of weather.
The sizing is generous too. I am a tall UK10 and the size 2 offers a good fit. I might have managed to fit into the smaller size but I like a good length in the arms and I prefer to have room for layering clothes underneath.
The Parka is priced £179.
See Protected Speices for more info about the jackets.