I've recently made the move to the Netherlands (no not for horses sadly -- although I plan on taking advantage of living in such an amazing horsey country!) and the winters are wet, wet, wet (oh yeah and windy). In the past I've always gone for the gore-tex/ski-shell rain coat type but a. they require so many layers underneath I end up looking like a down pillow and b. despite dropping $$$ on them they inevitably wear out after about 3-4 years of constant use.
While living in the UK my attention was turned to Barbour jackets but at the time I was a student with no income -- now I'm a student with an income (yay Dutch PhDs!).
I figured the horsey world would probably have quite a few people with them and would know about how they hold up to use. As I would wear it on my 30 minute cycle to work everyday as well as walks/bike-rides on the weekends it's not going to have to live up to quite the equine-wear and tear standards, but I do want something that will last with proper care (and yes I know they require re-waxing)
The one I am looking at is a bit more of a "city-ish" utility jacket: http://www.barbour.com/womens-clothi...utility-jacket
So Barbour jacket owners: Pros? Cons? What would you advice for a currently rain-drenched expat in Holland?
I love my Barbour jacket. I have to wear a fleece under it to be really warm, but its great for rain and wind block.
I'm not familiar with the latest styles - I bought mine for a steal on Ebay many years ago. I would suggest looking there for some good deals if you are on a budget.
I lived in North Yorkshire in the late 80s and invested in the old standby waxed Bedale style ... I wore it for probably 12 years or more, but it was never warm, so I ended up looking like a michelin person, too. But I stayed dry!
I got a new one about ... oh ... 10 years ago? that isn't waxed. Its a bit warmer (even w/out a lining) and kept me dry through northern California and central Florida monsoons to this day!
I have one that is a little longer than the model you referenced. It is at least 15 years old. I reproof it every year and other than a few small holes in one sleeve near the bottom(probably from barn work) it has held up great.
I never felt like mine kept me warm, but it does block the wind well and will keep you dry it you re-proof it.
I had leather trim put on the ends of the sleeves and around the bottom edge of the coat, because it was beginning to fray from use. It was about 8 years old at the time.
I also had a couple of tears repaired by Barbour. You can hardly tell where the repair was made.
They do come with liners, which help with the warmness factor, but I still felt like I needed a down vest or heavy wool sweater on cold yucky days (rainy 40 F weather).
They don't come with a liner, but you can get liners for them. I had my Bedale for a while before the BF got me a vest-style liner for it for Christmas last year. The liner doesn't seem to alter the fit/line of the coat at all, and does make it warmer, though not as warm as layering over something like a down vest does.
Originally Posted by jawa
IMO, it's a great mid-weight, waterproof coat. But even with the liner, it's not a true winter-weight coat (though I don't know how cold it gets in Holland for that to be a concern); below the 40s, I'd want something heavier. But here in the mid-Atlantic we get quite a few months of cool, damp weather every spring/fall, and it's perfect for that. It also doesn't breathe quite as well as some of the other coats I have that are more technical fabric rain coats; if I were just buying for another rain coat, I'd buy another Patagonia Torrentshell, cut big enough to layer under.
Wow, speaking in terms of barn wear (which I know the OP isn't), what would I wear to the barn with the knowledge that it will likely get coated in horse snot, etc.? The $129 Patagonia rather than the $400 Barbour!
Originally Posted by JenEM
Yes, my bad, you can get them as an add on for around $100. Trying to get the info out quickly and with the correct wordage is not a strong suit for me.
I have the old style, snap in liner. I don't like it as well as the newer style of zip in liner.
I have a 10+ year old barbour...Its worn well, had some holes & tears which were nicely repaired by the local tailor. I have a liner too which I haven't used yet (coat was my mums, I just took it over) but its one of the furry vest like ones. I also got a really nice quilted on the inside storm protector hood. I love my coat, it has the perfect worn "vintage" look.
I don't think it gets consistently below 30s in Holland, so I would think that a barbour+liner+regular layers would be fine for the winter. I was in Amsterdam the coldest weekend they had this year and that would have been fine then, but then I am a cold weather person so maybe someone will jump in and completely contradict me. Definitely look into the quilted hood - it's so cozy!
If you look around, there are companies online that will sell older barbours for good discounts. Just make sure you buy the accessories you want with them at the time, because its hard to find the older ones to match the linings.
Thanks guys! Hmmm now I'm torn on what to do -- I was hoping for resounding "yes I love mine" but it seems like mixed opinions.
No, Holland does not get all that cold (rarely ever below freezing) but it's a very damp humid country so it always feels colder then it is! The dampness just seems to permeate EVERYTHING.
With the hoods, can they only be attached to some of the coats? The jacket descriptions on the Barbour website give so little information!! Frustrating!
They are nice for walking about looking British in the city on a damp day, but for doing any kind of sport they
-weigh a ton
-are not actually waterproof
-smell funny from the wax
-aren't that warm unless you want to carry around even MORE weight
-are more expensive than many much more effective and lightweight solutions. I can stay warm and dry in 19 degrees for about $150-200 if I add together my various layers.
When I hike/do barn work/ride in inclement weather (and I am talking nineteen degrees on the windy plain) I use a mixture of windproof fleece, light waterproof shells, and vests. All of which are MACHINE WASHABLE.
You can fluff up a down coat/vest by running it through the dryer with tennis balls.
I LOVE my Bedale. The whole time I was working with horses I desperately wanted one, but had to live with a knock off (lesson learned, you get what you pay for). Now that I don't have horses, but show my terriers instead, I have one received as a Christmas present two years ago.
Is it heavy for a summer storm, yes. Is it perfect September through April? You bet. When it's cold I have a fleece jacket I wear under it. I got the hood as a Christmas present the following year and have only had to use it a couple of times.
The key thing when buying a Bedale, is that you should buy it one size larger so you can layer under it. When you're buying the Utility Jacket, or one of the fitted coats, buy your usual size.
I have the bedale, but really don't use it that often.
First, I won't use it in the barn, because I and the horses are slobs, and it would be ruined in short order.
I mean, can you wash them??? If you do, then you would need to re-proof I would think.
So, I use it when I am going out, etc, but it does not have the hood, so again, really not as great for rain protection as my gore tex or water resistant jackets from EMS or LLBean...which are tons cheaper. I have thought about buying the hood, but don't use my barbour jacket enough to warrant the purchase.
I also like lightweight stuff, and clothes that I can layer. I feel bulky in the barbour, but not the lightweight shells that I get from ems and bean.
Sorry, just think its for walking around looking british as meupatdoes said!
I have 2 with the snap on hoods and also with removable liners.
But I've found that they are too hot down here in coastal GA most of the year. So I only use mine in winter.
I use in Fall and Spring and Summer my nautical slickers. I used to sail a lot, and I've found that they are great for riding and barn work. The colors are really bright though. Since they are designed to be seen when sailboats overturn. They are bright red and bright yellow. I do have a pair of nautica rain pants, in bright red. I don't think they make the olive green like Barbour.
Go With Filson
Honestly, I have two waxed Barbours (Bedale and Border) and two or three quilted coats. Go with Filson. It is my go to wet weather coat. Tougher, more breathable, lighter, etc. Holds up to horse snot and briars. Last year when I was soaked to the bone rabbit hunting in my Border, my husband got me a Filson and now I am a believer. Buy American.
Xeroxchick -- I laughed at the "buy American"comment because the most negative reviews on the Filson jackets are about the jackets being made in China! (I simultaneously rolled my eyes...who cares where it's made as long as it's good quality?!) Unfortunately once shipping and border taxes are taken into account the Filson is even more expensive then a Barbour! Even if I have a friend ship it for me :(
Well, walking around looking British is really what I'm hoping to accomplish. Ok -- maybe not quite, but I am going to use it primarily as a city jacket more then anything else. I have all my techy gear for when I go out hiking/rock climbing/mountaineering, so it won't need to fulfill any "sport" functions. (Cycling on a FLAT bike path for 20 minutes is not exactly "sport" in my mind). It sounds like the Barbour will fulfill the role of getting me to work warm and dry after 20 minutes in the rain (not torrential Katrina rains...but fairly constant rain). Plus I go touring around the country to check out other towns and picturesque areas and so having something between my tech gear or my fancy wool dress coat would be a nice!
The Dutch put a fair amount of effort into their appearance/dress so I don't want to arrive looking like I've stepped out of an REI catalog! Granted I work in a university so I don't need to have the 5th Avenue trendiest look, but I would like to look at least a little stylish for arriving at meetings, lunches, etc. Plus, I don't buy expensive things much but when I do I want to know they last for a loooooooong time.
Looks like I'm going to make do with my hiking gear until I can try on a Barbour when I'm next in the UK so that I can make sure I REEEEEEALLY love it (living only a 45 min flight away has its perks!) as the reviews on here were just a little too mixed to let me confidently order it sight unseen!
Thanks for all the replies everyone! I'd rather be cautious now then regret a purchase later :)
I do love mine, and it gets a lot of wear, but as a rain coat in an urban environment, it's not what I choose. And I say that as someone who lives and works in an urban environment. If I wanted really classically stylish and expensive and waterproof, I'd probably look for a shorter version of my Burberry trench, which I also love. What can I say, I love coats ;)
Originally Posted by EventingMaff
I have my J.Crew trench (Burberry is waaaay out of my price range) and while I LOVE it, it's not quite waterproof enough -- more just water-resistant. Jumping from store-to-store in the rain? Great. Standing outside for 20 minutes? :no:
To have a Burberry trench though *sigh*...one day
As much as I would love to get one, the money is just not there.
Two years ago my DH got me a Musto coat. Love it, it is warm not -20C warm but great for -10C. water proof, and light weight. Our winters here are a lot like the UK so it works great. He only paid $200.00 for it. I DO NOT wear it at the barn.
I have one that looks very close to this one.
I practically live in my Barbour Beadnell-but not at the barn:lol:
There I'm in whatever waterproof/fleece/down jacket I've found at Sam's Club!
However, it DID keep me very dry and warm last December in Ireland-for hours out riding in the rain, for a couple marathon days at Irish races, and in town as well.