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Review: Craghoppers Hanson Jacket

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Review: Craghoppers Hanson Jacket
 

Welcome the winter with this cosy unisex waterproof and insulated jacket.
Written by Daniel Neilson

ITEM: Craghoppers Hanson Jacket
PRICE: £150
STYLE: Insulated, waterproof jacket
WEIGHT: 1,020g
WHAT THEY SAY: Insulated waterproof with AquaDry Membrane stretch construction, EcoShield PFC-free DWR, and hollow-fibre insulation. Hanson’s styling incorporates patched-on pockets and a borg-lined hood – ideal for colder conditions. Approximately 450g of recycled material went into making this product.
ITEM: Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Expedition Trouser
PRICE: £80
STYLE: Walking trouser
WHAT THEY SAY: Survivor-style adventure trousers made from UV-protective stretch polyamide with EcoShield PFC-free DWR finish. Incorporating tough double ripstop panels to knees and inner thighs and complete with seven pockets, heel tape, and secure zipped pockets. Approximately 140g of recycled material went into making this product.

As the weather cools and the days shorten, sunlight becomes increasingly rare. It signals the beginnings of life slowing down. The harvest fields are stubbly, the grey clouds lower, darker. As the green disappears from the leaves of the trees, what’s left are colourful yellows, browns, burnt oranges – and, when there’s been a lot of sunlight, and dry weather increases the sugar sap in the tree, we see popping reds.

Autumn comes, and there’ll be five days of memes about getting the ‘big coat’ out in the digital realm. In Italy, the wardrobe change is a ritual; people meet the cambio di stagione with either trepidation or anticipation. It’s the latter for us. The chance to snuggle up in a cosy coat on a brisk day fills us with happiness.

It was exactly like this, among the changing woodland of North Yorkshire, on the day we shot photos for the Craghoppers Hanson Jacket paired with the Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Expedition Trouser. Look at the 1:250,000 OS map around Leeds, Huddersfield, Barnsley, and Wakefield – it’s dominated by built-up greys and thick blue-and-white lines of the motorways. Zoom in, however, and it’s the space in between roads that pop out. Forested greens and pink diamonds along dotted lines criss-cross this part of Yorkshire – the Kirklees Way, the Dearne Way, the enticingly named Barnsley Boundary Walk. Look closer at the map and the contours are steeper than you’d imagine. This is all working farmland, make no mistake, but, somewhere just off the M1, solace can be found.

 
Review: Craghoppers Hanson Jacket
 

Two years ago, we’d never have looked at this area to explore. Not because it’s not beautiful, but our peripheral vision was wider – we’d have looked to the National Parks, to the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Instead, as we’ve been blinkered by lockdowns and travel bans, we’ve realised that – cliché klaxon – adventure can be found on our doorstep, beauty in the minutiae.

So it was in an exquisite piece of ancient woodland we headed off under blue skies… grey skies… blue skies. The windy type of day that brings the unexpected. The woodland is described as lowland dry oak and birch wood. Ancient oaks, the kind that talk in fantasy novels, groaned in their attempts to catch the chlorophyll, but mostly seemed to have given up – tired but contented old men. In between, pale birches rose straight and confident out of a deep covering of ankle-grabbing bracken.

***

The Hanson is the definition of ‘big coat’. It’s less about putting on the coat, more enveloping you in a big warm hug. From the furry hood to the heavily padded interior, this jacket is designed to protect you against wind, rain, and biting cold. The Hanson is a jacket that cleverly conceals the technology that makes it so perfect for winter. There are no popping colours or shouty logos (except Craghoppers’ retro emblem); instead, it just quietly does the job. The outer is a mildly stretchy AquaDry waterproof membrane, treated with an environmentally conscious EcoShield PFC-free DWR that makes the rain bead off. Inside is synthetic Thermo Air+: hollow-fibre insulation that mimics down (Craghoppers now don’t use down in any product). The combination of insulation and waterproof membrane makes this a very warm jacket indeed.

And that hood – sooooo cosy. It’s cosy too against the Cornish weather (which, as all Cornish folk know, is among the worst across the British Isles). On our Sidetracked Creators Tour, a storm hit – hats off to the full crowd who still turned up with enthusiasm! And there was plenty of running around outside in preparation for the evening. Wind, hail, driving rain, you know, sou’wester weather, was easily fended off – somewhat smugly – in the Hanson Jacket.

On to the jacket itself. There are ten pockets, ensuring you’ll be at least five minutes finding your keys when you get back to the car, but, rather nattily, one is an RFID-protected pocket. This technology blocks personal details from being stolen by an RFID reader. This pocket is also hidden on the chest – the perfect place for your phone. There’s another pocket hidden behind the storm flap.

The Hanson is a jacket for the glorious change of seasons. You’ll be throwing it on throughout the autumn, on the snowy hillwalks of deep winter, and into the dewy spring, where the first buds, full of sunlit green chlorophyll, can be spotted in the lowlands.

 
Review: Craghoppers Hanson Jacket
 

Craghoppers’ hugely popular Kiwi Pro Expedition Trouser helped us to fend off the attacking bracken. Trousers in the Kiwi range, headed by the best-selling Classic, are designed as trekking trousers. They’re comfortable and functional. There are zip-off versions (Convertible), stretch versions (Kiwi Pro), waterproof Kiwis, slim ones, soft shells, ones that wouldn’t look out of place on the commute, and now, the Pro Expedition.

The Pro Expedition is designed for tougher conditions. Construction is hybrid with UV-protective stretch polyamide panels and double ripstop panels at the knees and inner thighs. There are seven pockets, including secure zipped ones. The waist is partly elasticated and easily adjustable. There’s a reason why the Kiwi trousers are so popular – they just fit brilliantly, and are adjustable enough for most shapes and sizes. The added durability of the Pro Expedition is welcome, especially for scrambling, long-distance walking, and knee-high bracken.

The sun began to dip, early enough for us to check our watches. Yep, getting dark already, a reminder that despite the infrastructure, a large population, and the cities of Britain, this country is indeed a series of small, wet islands stranded somewhere in the North Atlantic. The weather and the seasons are sharp reminders of this. And it’s something that I for one take solace in. It is these reminders that continue to ground us in the most pleasurable way. Bring on winter, and all that lies beyond it.


The unisex Hanson Jacket and the Kiwi Pro Expedition Trouser are available from craghoppers.com

Website: www.craghoppers.com
Instagram: @craghoppers
Written by Daniel Neilson // @danieljneilson

 

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