Published on October 14th, 2012 | by Greg0
Tilley Times Two: Outdoor Coats For The City And Be
To paraphrase a quote: “You can tell a man by the coat he chooses”. Few garments are quite as visible as a jacket, and few others need to be quite so durable, holding up against the elements, neglectful treatment, and infrequent cleaning. And today’s company is a brand you might not be familiar with, offering gear that’s made in Canada, and originally justly famous for their hats. Not just any hat, either- theirs comes with an owner’s manual and an insurance policy, and the one we tested years ago continues to hold up incredibly well. But they make much more than headwear, and so we were anxious to try out two of their men’s jackets, one a stylish blazer and the other a waterproof hooded jacket.
First in the pair was the City Collection Travel Blazer- and now we’re featuring the Tilley Endurables Men’s Waterproof Jacket. Available in three color choices, ours was the classic charcoal, though sand and red both seemed like solid options. Sizing runs from small all the way through 3XL, and felt just a little bit baggy overall in the small we tried. But at least in the arms and waist, that wasn’t an issue, as a drawstring on the bottom adjusted nicely, and well-designed velcro cuffs closed them off to the wind as well. In the closeup image we took, you can see the somewhat unusual fastener, as well as the zipper.
Zippers get overlooked often, but are a key element to many clothing items. We tug, pull, and generally do our best to try and make life complicated, but these days most zippers are pretty decent (the vast majority are made by YKK, which takes them incredibly seriously). These are, as well, but are the “flat back” style with an interior flap as well, meaning that these seal impressively against Mother Nature. The photo highlights this clearly- we used a flash, but practically no zipper gleam can be spotted through the flaps, a rare feat and one worthy of particular attention if you’re looking for a jacket that can withstand the elements.
In fact, even against pretty serious wind, our core didn’t feel drafty. But there’s a serious downside as well- a lack of ventilation that meant a fairly steamy, sweaty environment. Often, jackets like these will offer some ventilation around the armpits or back, or use fabrics that breathe- here, the shell is 100% waterproof nylon, which means that nothing gets in but nothing gets out either. We liked the sealed seams- it certainly seemed like we could literally dump water on them without worrying about leaks- and the hide-away, roll-up hood was decent as well, if a bit big. Roominess has its advantages, as this hood can cover even a Tilley hat. Thumbs up to the sizable pockets, and unlike just about any other jacket we’ve seen, they didn’t skimp on the zippers (they’re the same as the primary one). The mesh lining offered no extra warmth, though, and there were sadly no hidden pockets in this one- but the large interior one fit a big GPS and some snacks.
Overall, the Tilley Waterproof Men’s Jacket is a solid choice- one that is great if you’re in mid-warmth climates or worrying primarily about the wind or moisture rather than sheer cold. It will hold up well, and hold out the weather well, but we definitely wouldn’t recommend this one for anytime you’ll be exercising or anything likely to make you sweat. Plus, it is a bit expensive, and the $250 didn’t quite feel worth it on this one. Available primarily online, directly from the manufacturer.