Spring is coming up fast, especially here in Scotland. If you’re looking for the right jacket that won’t have you sweating bullets as the temp kicks up a notch, but still offers rain protection through the requisite storms, give Barbour a once over. Wax cotton, though not cutting edge like Gore-Tex et al, still sheds rain every bit as well, and does it with a lot more character. Plus it can be re-waxed and thus re-waterproofed, unlike Gore-Tex pieces.
The Barbour International jacket was created as a motorcycle jacket before WWII, and ended up being the preferred jacket for many Allied sub commanders throughout the war. The story goes that the slanted Map Pocket was used for their sidearm because of it’s easy access. The jacket’s construction screams quality from details including a well-stitched, corduroy-lined collar, tartan lining, and brass snaps and zipper. For those of you dwelling where spring is as likely to bring snow as rain, there’s also an available snap-in pile lining. So to review – we’ve got great quality, time tested looks, and did I mention it was Steve McQueen’s go-to bike jacket?
A word to the wise: make sure to get this re-waxed every year or so to keep it waterproof and from wearing out prematurely. These will last a long time if cared for. I really like this jacket, especially the pockets, which are great for all the junk I carry with me. My one nitpick, though, is the buckles on the waist belt and collar, which are both made of cheap feeling plastic. For a jacket that is relatively pricey and otherwise addresses all other details, it seems to me that brass buckles or at least metal would’ve been more in tune.