By: Blonde Two

Apologies for late blog timing today (what would our Gatekeeper say?)  However, I do feel that a hard working Blonde should have a lie in once in a while.  The problem with a winter lie in however is that the very short day runs the risk of being reduced to a couple of hours of upright daylight.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about my new jacket.  There are lots of gear writers out there who can write in much more detail and with many more pseudo science words than I can.  I had a go at making a few of said words up; ActiveSweatish, MoistureGuardian and HillGoer were my favourites – now I just need to invent a clever fabric to go with them.

Science stuff aside (and my new jacket has plenty of that), there are two very important things that I was looking for (and found) when I went jacket-for-the-rain shopping yesterday:

1.  Bottom coverage.  I like my shape but there is a possibility that I have more than my fair share of bottom.  I prefer to put this down to muscular overload from multiple tor climbing but a glance at most of my sisters (there are lots of them) tells me that my bottom is a genetic hand-me-down.  Big bottoms are great, especially when you need something soft to sit on (and you often do on Dartmoor) but jackets-for-the-rain are not often styled to provide ample coverage.  I fell in love with this one the moment I put it on because it has clearly (despite being a man’s jacket) been designed with me and my rear in mind.  Apologies to the many men who currently follow me up tors to view said derriere, from now on, it will be out of sight but very warm to the touch should you manage to catch me.

2.  Pockets.  The first thing either of us Blondes investigate on any jacket, pair of trousers or rucksack, is the number of and placing of pockets.  Rucksacks are great holders of stuff but when you are walking along (and you are a Blonde) it is amazing how much of this stuff you need to have immediate access to; phone, lip salve, tissues, compass (mustn’t forget that), map, whistle, hat, gloves, more gloves, carrier bag (not sure why) and, of course, the all important Jelly Babies.  Please note that this list is just a basic one and needs additions for longer expeditions.  New jacket has two hand warming pockets (if you ask nicely I may let you warm your hands in them).  These also have ample space for other items.  It has the most capacious map pocket that I have ever seen, I lost my arm up to the elbow in it for a while (embarrassing in the middle of Go Outdoors).  I predict that, should I ever want to walk far enough, I could fit three OS maps into it.  There is also an inside, keepy-dry pocket but my favourite is the outside compass/phone shaped one (never store these together) with velcro and no zip – ladies and gentlemen, this is a revolution in garment design, I can open it with my gloves on!

I have yet to test my new jacket (it is a Paramo one by the way – big cheesey grin!) in the rain but judging by the lovely rainbow hanging between my bed and Dartmoor at the moment, I am sure that it will be raining soon!