If there was one article of clothing that I reached for every single day of my recent riding trip to Alaska, it would be this rainproof Horseware HWH20 Jacket. I pulled it out of my carry on and slipped it on when I landed it in Anchorage. I wore it riding (check out a little video below of me in the jacket riding bareback in the most glorious moraine). I wore it hiking to a glacier. I wore it pack-rafting. I wore it walking along the shore of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula scouting resident sea otters and orca. I wore it out to dinner. Now that I’m back home in Washington, D.C., I just pulled it out of my suitcase to wear with jeans and flip flops to go grab lunch with a friend on a rainy fall day.
- The jacket’s zippers and snaps seem built to last. I can’t stand it when you get a nice jacket and it’s finished with a cheap zipper that won’t last the season.
- So waterproof! I got splashed a lot in this jacket – I mean, like riding in the rain or when kayaking down a fast-moving glacier-fed river, paddling around icebergs and also a canoe paddling around a lake looking for baby trumpeter swans.
- Both the jacket and the base layer have lots of reflective details in case you’re out after dark.
Quality: These garments are made with high-quality fabrics and seem built to last. On the jacket, there are some tiny stitches holding the reflective shoulder piece and I wonder if they’ll hold, but so far so good. The long-sleeved base layer seems like the best piece of layering clothing ever.
Style: I have only seen this shirt in white. I wish it was available in black and/or other colors. I could see having more of these. The fit is flattering and the elasticized bottom provides a non-slip fit below the hips. From what I’ve read about the product, some riders are swapping in these easy-going, super cute technical fabric-type shirts in to replace more traditional cotton button-down show shirts. Cotton gets a bad rap in cold climates like Alaska. These technical materials are all the rage.
Function: These products do what they promise. They kept me cool and dry and warm. Neck coverage—like the Rambo WUG for the horses, the long-sleeved base layer gives your neck just a little coverage with its mock turtleneck style. I am not usually a fan of this style, but I loved in this shirt. I also loved how this base layer shirt comes down past my hips with a snug, grippy bottom seam.
Value: Horseware HWH20 Jacket — $130; Horseware Long Sleeved Base Layer shirt — $65. Worth every penny. My recommendation: Particularly the jacket is stylish and fun, versatile and rugged. And I think I might just wear that base-layer shirt from November straight through ‘til spring. Fortunately, it washes well.
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