We know from our experience with the Cross Penine II men’s jacket that Regatta makes some great waterproof shells. If you missed the review it’s here: http://pottyadventures.com/reviews/regatta-cross-penine-ii-hybrid-jacket-review/ but, suffice it to say, we were really impressed. However, as we know (and as my wife will certainly tell you!), hiking and the great outdoors is not the sole preserve of men and dads; women hike too. So, have Regatta got a similarly good outdoor-specific female waterproof, packed with functional features in their armoury? Of course they have.
The top performing waterproof in their extensive women’s range is the Regatta Oklahoma jacket. Constructed for 4-season performance, this comes with the same Isotex 15000 fabric that kept me dry and protected. Consequently, Nat also remained dry during the one particular test hike that took us through four hours of Snowdonia rain. I really must emphasise this point: it literally did not stop raining! Fortunately, the weather Gods were kinder to us on other test hikes, but this jacket took a real drenching and stood up to it.
The fantastic, hi-tech fabric is further assisted by the industry-renowned DWR finish. This added coat of water-repellent treatment really helps to bead and shed water before it even gets a chance to attack the near impenetrable Isotex 15000. In practical terms this means that water has less time to stick to the jacket, making it difficult to saturate the fabric. The Oklahoma also comes geared with taped seams to reinforce weak points where stitching has been used to bond various sections together. In heavy rain, stitched areas will often be the first to leak, so taping them from inside the jacket eliminates this issue.
Protecting your head (or hair, if you’re like Nat) is also important during bad weather. Luckily the hood is peaked to stop heavy rainwater from weighing it down and obscuring your otherwise lovely view. It also has shock cord adjusters to keep gusts of wind from tearing it from your head. Elsewhere the zips are water-repellent. Like stitched seams, zips often offer a way in for tricky rain, but the design of these will ensure that trail snacks or errand kids’ toys don’t get soggy. And, with a total of five pockets (including the internal map pocket), there’s plenty of room to store these family hiking essentials.
Despite often being weighed down like a portable hiking toy and dummy storage unit, Nat remained comfortable throughout. This was largely thanks to the excellent breathability of the Isotex fabric. This feature, together with the two-way underarm ventilation zips, really does help you to control your body temperature effectively. No more getting back to the car, after a hike, like a sweaty slug then!
The other feature that Nat really liked was her range of movement. When you’ve got a child carrier on your back, as she often has, the weight and size of it can restrict your movement. The carrier basically pins much of the back of the jacket, from the shoulders down, to your back. Over longer hikes this can become uncomfortable. Thankfully, Regatta has added stretch panels to the Oklahoma jackets, which minimise this restriction of movement. The extra elasticity, particularly around the arms and shoulders provide just enough ‘give’ to make a very positive, very welcome difference.
Last, but in Nat’s eyes certainly not least, the Oklahoma jacket looks great. When we posted a family photo of us all on our Facebook page, before one of our hikes, a few people commented about how much they loved her jacket. It really is easy on the eye. Thanks to companies like Regatta, women no longer have to choose between looking good and four- season performance. You can now have both. Moreover, you can have the best of each of these worlds in an affordable package…something not too many other companies can claim. Just make sure you’re quick. With a sale price of £35 reduced from £90 it’s unlikely to be in stock long!
So, if you plan to get outside and want a waterproof that looks good enough to wear to the shops, but strong enough to hike up a mountain, make sure the Oklahoma is on your radar.