Newsletter, Trip Gear Reports

Sprayway Jackets. The 2 best choices in outdoor wear

02/11/2023 by .
Sprayway Jackets. The 2 best choices in outdoor wear

Andy Mossack road tests two marquee Sprayway jackets in the sternest of locations and comes up smiling and dry.

The outdoor clothing market is a fiercely competitive sector, particularly since Covid with so many people discovering the pleasures of hiking trails on their doorstep they never knew they had.

No shortage of outdoor wear choices, but there is a marked difference between waterproof and water-resistant and levels of fabric quality and design. Particularly so when it comes to the higher-end ranges such as Sprayway Jackets. Perhaps that old maxim you get what you pay for has never been so brutally exposed. UK based Sprayway’s philosophy is a ‘function first’ design, a product mantra it has rigidly stuck to for over 40 years.

If you are going to road test high-end outdoor gear, an unusually balmy autumn is not really going to cut it. Just as well I had the perfect solution to that problem by taking them on a cruise around the Canadian Arctic with Swan Hellenic.

It might still officially be summer there, but that means an average temperature of -4 instead of -30. More than enough weather to give these premium Torridon and Grendel Sprayway jackets a thorough testing.

Sprayway Torridon Jacket

Torridon Jacket

The Torridon jacket was an outdoor staple during the 90s and some might even say changed the Gore-Tex waterproof market for ever. This hill walking favourite has been redesigned and relaunched with a longer length and new multi-purpose hood to fit all kinds of weather conditions.

Fortunately for this review, we tested the Torridon jacket right in the face of Storm Philippe, a tropical cyclone that hit Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton hard. Hurricane winds and driving rain, who could ask for more. The Sprayway Torridon met Phillipe face on and batted it away without a second glance. The waterproof and breathable recycled PFCec Free 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric kept us warm and dry throughout, a bull’s eye for Sprayway’s function-first edict I would say. Velcro adjustable cuffs locked down any wrist leaks, as did the concealed drawcord in the waistband and the very impressive 2-way centre front zip with double storm flap.

Torridon Jacket

The Torridon Jacket provided plenty of ventilation with deep two-way pit zips, while the 2-way zip pockets have storm flaps large enough to keep maps and essentials dry.

For me, the genius in the Torridon jacket design was the fully adjustable hill hood and wired peak. The drawstrings and high front ensured our faces were protected, particularly as the wired peak could be adjusted to direct water away in various directions.

The Sprayway Torridon Jacket passed with flying colours, speaking of which, the range comes in a variety of contemporary three colour panels for both men and women.

Available direct from Sprayway Jackets at £375

Sprayway Grendel Jacket

Grendel Jacket

As this jacket is more about thermal insulation than waterproofing (although it is still deemed durably weather resistant) we tested it out on the Nunavut arctic tundra in northern Canada.

This is a signature piece in the Sprayway jackets insulation range, heralding Gore-Tex Infinium technology. Membranes designed to block wind but allow perspiration to escape while also containing DWR, a water-repellent outer fabric that can protect you from light rain and snow. Smart stuff indeed. But there’s more. A 30-denier nylon ripstop fabric combined with ThermoSphere blown insulation gives a down-like feel to the material yet keeping it super light.

The weight was the first thing that piqued my interest with this Grendel jacket. Coming in just below 500g it really is as light as a feather and comes with a handy stuff sack so it packs away easily on a rucksack or in a carry-on case.

As with the Torridon, the hood fitted snugly around my head and mouth using the adjustable drawstrings and wired peak. The difference with the Grendel jacket was the full insulation, which kept my face nicely warm for the duration of my hike. There’s a handy roll-away Velcro tab for the hood, which I used when I wore the Grendel simply as a casual social jacket.

Grendel action7 1

To complete the insulation protection, the three zipped front pockets (one is a natty Napoleon chest pocket) are fully insulated. Also, the cuffs are semi-elasticated and Velcroed and the adjustable hem can be drawn tight with a split drawstring.

The Sprayway Grendel jacket proved to be very reliable throughout the varying cold and windy conditions in Nunavut wearing just a base layer and a light top. It also proved to be rain effective against numerous light showers I faced sustaining no leaks or dampness. This is a jacket where state of the art fabric technology provides practical protection that really works and not simply marketing window dressing.

Three colour choices available direct from Sprayway Jackets at £340.


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