Review: Ferox Apalone Hardshell waterproof jacket
A new UK company has created the Ferox Apalone Hardshell waterproof jacket. I was sent an XS size to test but it was too large for me so I asked Hubby G to give me his thoughts.
Features of Ferox Apalone Hardshell include:
- Porelle Extreme membrane: Waterproof and breathable It’s claimed by the brand: “Among the many benefits of Porelle Extreme membranes is its ability to work with the body, allowing sweat to continually breathe through the lightweight membrane and evaporate, whilst maintaining warmth, comfort and protection from heavy rain and wind.”
- DuraFil fabric: “An abrasion resistant material to reinforce and protect so as to increase the lifespan of garments and to reduce the wear and tear that occur as we use our clothing in arduous environments.”
- Zips: YKK Aquaguard and YKK Aquaguard Vislon water repellent zippers. “The two top performing zips currently available on the market.”
- Recco Reflectors: Installed in the brim of the hood. “A lightweight passive beacon consisting of diode and transponder that make you searchable by rescue teams when the user is in distress situations.”
- Velcro Hypalon cuffs: Fully adjustable with triple stitching. “For increased durability and a lifespan longer than traditional cuffs.”
- Twill Weave Nylon. “For a stronger, more wrinkle resistant and harder to stain/mark outer fabric than traditional plain weaves used by most other brands. Twill weave also has a softer feel and reduced noise under motion.”
- 70 Denier Nylon fabric and 350 Denier reinforcement panels. “For increased resistance to general abrasion and specific contact with the lower arms.”
- DWR coating.
- Cohaesive invisible cord-lock technology “for easy one-handed adjustments to garments, even when wearing gloves”.
- Price: £400.
- More info: Ferox.
Eco and ethics of Ferox
- OneTreePlanted partnership. For every product that you buy, Ferox donates money to plant a tree.
- 100% Compostable Mailer packaging instead of single-use plastic bag.
- Porelle is a British company based in Norfolk. They manufacture the waterproof membrane that is used in our products. They reuse and recycle all waste materials.
- 100% renewable powered factory with solar panels and turbine.
- OEKO-TEX certified.
Review: Ferox Apalone Hardshell waterproof jacket
It is immediately obvious that this is a well-made, robust and very durable jacket. I suspect that if you bought one, you would not need another for decades.
It is a men’s jacket and the colours, black and green (so far?), say male. The sizing is large. So while Hubby G would normally be a medium, the XS was just about fine for him. If he wanted a bit more room and comfort he would probably choose the size “S”.
He really likes the look and style of the jacket. The length of the torso and arm cuffs is ideal. The elbows are articulated for freedom of movement. He tells me that the green is a great colour. (Personally, I prefer brighter colours in an outdoors garment but I think the black and green will suit the main market for this jacket. More of this later.)
The attention to detail in the design of the jacket is excellent. Where you might expect more wear and tear, such as on the elbows and lower arms. Many of G’s jackets have worn out on the arms and around the cuffs and I can see that the Ferox has been reinforced with a more abrasion resistant fabric. G wears his jackets fro climbing in winter and this means they take a lot of abuse.
It is not a lightweight jacket, but, then again, with all the features it is not as heavy as you might expect. The general fabric of the jacket looks to be of very high quality and strong.
Waterproofing is good. I am not familiar with the Porelle fabric but it kept out the rain. G said it was also very windproof. There are taped seams inside the jacket for extra waterproofing.
The zips are robust and waterproof. There are two big zipped packets at the front (these are well placed to allow for a rucksack waistband to be used while also giving full access to the pockets). There is a small zipped pocket on the upper arm.
Two underarm pit zips allow for extra ventilation.
G remarked that the components of the jacket, such as where you would pull the hem and hood elastic to tighten, feel strong and durable. They are large enough to make them easy to use even when wearing gloves.
The hood is a good size and has a rigid peak to keep the rain stays off your face. There is a nice fleece chin guard for extra comfort too.
We discussed at length when you might be most likely to wear the Ferox Apalone Hardshell waterproof jacket. The company told me that it’s a jacket that can be used for a wide range of activities, “from hill walking, skiing and mountain biking to horse riding and urban dog walking”.
The website video of the product in use shows it being put through its paces in the mountains, with the wearers walking and running in rough terrain. The thrust of the video is to make you imagine it’s a jacket for “extreme” adventures.
G and I are not sure. It could be used as a hardshell for skiing because it has an arm pocket where you could put a lift pass and because is waterproof, breathable, windproof and very durable. But G owns jackets that he would choose above this one because they are made specifically for downhill skiing and ski touring.
For example, with most ski jackets the lift pass pocket is normally located on the lower sleeve. These jackets might also have a ski goggle pocket and an internal snow skirt. Downhill skiers tend to choose an insulated jacket, while ski tourers normally go for a jacket that is lighter weight and more breathable because skiing uphill is very sweaty.
While the Ferox film shows people running in the jacket, I don’t think you would want to run far in the Apalone because the fabric is fairly heavy weight and would make you sweat. Running jackets are usually much lighter and breathable.
Again, there are mountain biking specific jackets and they have been designed with the particular sport in mind. Although, you could easily wear the Ferox if you didn’t mind spending £400 on a jacket that would make you rather sweaty. The jacket would withstand lots of falls and abrasion, such as tree branches, etc, but I would rather wear a lighter weight jacket when working hard on a bike.
I can’t comment on horse riding but I do know there are specific jackets for this activity, too.
In the end, G and I concluded it’s a jacket that would be best suited to “general outdoors stuff” and “probably for winter hill walking”. It is durable, waterproof and breathable when doing activities that are not high intensity (there is always to be had in terms of the balance of waterproofing and sweat vapour release through fabrics). In truth, we reckon it looks like it would suit people who might usually choose a Barbour jacket but would prefer something much lighter weight, far more breathable and a lot more modern looking.
In conclusion: If you are looking for a high quality and durable waterproof outdoorsy jacket that you can wear for daily dog walking in the wind and rain; or a day of trail hiking in milder weather; or mountain walking in winter; an occasional ski, mountain bike ride, or horse riding outing; and also for activities such as clay pigeon shooting etc; then it might well suit you.
It would also be a good jacket for simply wearing daily if you live in the country and spend a lot of time outdoors, whether walking to your rural office/ the pub, taking the dogs out or walking with friends.
At £400, you will be keen to get a lot of use from it but I think you can be sure it will last you for many decades to come. Remember to choose a size small than you normally would.