Waterproof, windproof, breathable, durable, comfortable, affordable, stylish, sustainable. The list of outdoor gear buzzwords that can be used to describe the Stormbird is a long one. As an all-rounder, few jackets on the market are quite as accomplished as this one.
UK brand Finisterre is one of the leading outdoor companies when it comes to sustainability. It’s no surprise, then, that their best waterproof shell jacket is made from 100% recycled nylon with a durable water repellent finish free of the harmful fluorocarbon chemicals used by many other waterproof gear manufacturers. Even the FSC-certified paper packaging is 100% recyclable.
Stormbird’s USP may be its environmental credentials, but this jacket has many more qualities that are worth shouting about. Fully taped seams, waterproof zips and a hydrostatic head rating of 20K (that’s good) create a protective shell that stops driving wind and rain from getting in – though it is worth noting that waterproofing around the shoulders is slightly compromised when wearing a large rucksack in long periods of very heavy rain. It’s a durable jacket, too, thanks to its rip-stock nylon outer, and can handle a bit of rough and tumble for those who like hands-on pursuits such as scrambling and bivvying.
The hem of the jacket, which sits just below your hips, can be adjusted with drawcords and the cuffs tightened with Velcro to ensure the most comfortable fit over or under gloves. The main zip, though quite bulky for a modern jacket, is two-way and pulls quickly and easily all the way up to your nose; combined with the three-point adjustable hood (helmet-compatible), this allows you to be completely shielded from bad weather.
For such a tough jacket, the brushed polyester inner feels soft, supple and breathable, while the Stormbird’s micro-fleece rear neck guard prevents the hood from rubbing against your skin. Finisterre suggests that the jacket fits slightly large, though on review it was spot on, offering enough room for several underlayers.
There are two deep pockets on the front of the jacket, which can be used to keep your hands warm or to store quick-access items. These pockets can be used with your rucksack hip-belt fastened, but you may need to unclip to access larger items such as an OS map – this is the only downside to the jacket. There is another medium-sized pocket inside the jacket for valuables.
Stormbird Waterproof Jacket specifications
- Weight: 645g (men’s small).
- Material: high performance three-layer fabric.
- Maker’s waterproof rating: Featuring a 20K HH , fully taped seams, and waterproof zips throughout.
- Breathability: 15K gm2 breathability rating.
- Hood: three-point adjustment (two drawcords at front and one at back) with peak.
- Pockets: two large hand-warming pockets, one internal inner chest pocket.
- Sustainability: 100% recycled fabrics (GRS certified).
Available in black and olive green for women and men.
The women’s version of the Stormbird varies only in cut. The rest of the jacket shares the same features at the men’s version.
This beast of a boot looks and feels like it could walk you safely through the apocalypse, which has been a reassuring thought lately. It can certainly handle wintery conditions, no matter how severe things get.
The tall Arctic Sport Welly is a clever combination of a durable rubber lower boot topped with a GU foam upper, all lined with 5mm neoprene. And the stretch-fit top-line binding pull the neck of the boot in close around your calves, keeping out draughts and splashes.
These unisex wellies also have a soft fleece lining, and there’s an extra layer of thermal foam in the underlay for additional warmth. The moulded EVA midsole feels cushioned and, despite the robust nature of all the components, they’re not as heavy as you might expect (1,209g for a single men’s size 11). Plus, they’re comfortable to walk in.
The sole of these wellies is super chunky, with large lugs for good grip, and it features reinforced spots on the toe, heel, instep and Achilles areas. The extension of the sole around the top of the heel helps when taking them off, and there’s a hoop for pulling them on. They’re available in black, moss and maroon.