Despite never having been skiing, I do have a thing for ski clothing. For years I wore a super warm and waterproof ski coat (in white, though?!) which kept me warm when I walked on crutches. I even had the chunky ski mittens to go with it. Fast forward many years and (thanks to the offer of one to review) I am now the proud owner of a Westbeach Cloudburst jacket. I took it for a spin around Liverpool and the Wirral over Christmas to try it out.
Before I go banging on about the coat, I thought it might be useful to tell you a bit more about the brand Westbeach. They are a Canadian brand with humble beginnings: think a table stand in a shopping centre back in 1979. Of course they have grown somewhat since then, but maintain a friendly bunch designing products for all kinds of adventures. And that can be on the ski slope or in a UK city doing some urban wandering.
Anyway, onto the jacket. I decided on the Westbeach Cloudburst firstly because of the colour and secondly as an alternative to the multiple layers I usually wear.
As you’ll know by now, I am the kind of girl who loves getting out in all-weather, so having clothes that keep me warm and dry are very important. Especially living in the north west of England, which is notorious for rain. Lots of rain.
The jacket is fully waterproof and also breathable, which prevents that cagoule sweaty thing that comes with non-breathable alternatives. There are plenty of pockets and also the hood is actually big enough to cover my head. Don’t get me wrong, I have a tiny head, yet there are still coats out there which leave my forehead and glasses exposed to rain. So this one is an important factor. The faux fur collar is also removable – I am not sure whether it is me. What do you reckon?
Oh and one of my favourite mini-features, having been a fan of Bench clothing in the past, is the thumb hole on the inner layer of the sleeve. I love it because it holds your sleeve in place when you’re doing things like faffing with your camera and flask, meaning that you don’t get a draught right up the sleeve. Oh and who doesn’t love a thumb hole at the best of times?
From slope to city
Although this coat is designed for the slope, it certainly doesn’t mean that the features are restricted to ski life. I found that the internal lift pass pocket is excellent for my travel passes and the internal media pocket perfect for my phone and headphones.
The good, the bad and the ugly
OK, so not so much the ugly, but it just didn’t flow without it. There are plenty of things I absolutely love about this jacket and a few things I’m not so sure about (other than the fluffy hood, but that one might actually grow on me!) So I thought I would share it all in one little space.
The Westbeach Cloudburst jacket is incredibly warm! I made the mistake of wearing it for the first time on a mild day and felt like I was in the Canaries! (not that I am complaining, I’d rather be warm than cold and was totally aware that I was wearing a ski jacket!) The fabric and feel are really comfortable too without being too bulky. I remember my last ski coat making me feel (and probably look when I think back at it) like the Michelin Man. This doesn’t feel like that at all.
It comes in cheery colours! So many winter clothes seem to come in black or other dark colours, which to me seems quite silly in the dark nights. Some bright colour brings some nice cheer to the day as well as that added bit of visibility while out and about on an adventure. (they do also have it in black for those who fancy dark colours – totally not judging you!)
Having checked out the sizing guide, I opted for the size medium and it fitted just right. Being a ski jacket, there are plenty of adjustment straps, pulleys and velcro to get the perfect fit and with a winter coat, I like to keep room for layers.
Although there are plenty of pockets, I would have liked the chest pockets to have been real. Although it looks nice, I am a fan of practical pockets as I need somewhere to stash my handy lip balm and hankies where I won’t lose them. Not really a bad point, just a practical point I guess. The only other thing is that it is a bit weighty and large, so not the kind of jacket I would take with me to somewhere where I needed to stash it in my rucksack. It is more of a wear for a day in the elements kind of jacket – which worked perfectly for a trip around Liverpool One and the Docks.
(The in between)
I have a bit of a love/not-love-so-much with the jacket as it has the kind of styling of the Mod Parka which is incredibly popular in Manchester. I love the look, but the large badge on the arm, not so much. Would it stop me from buying it? No! So hence the additional “in between” section, especially for my weird opinion on the badge.
Ha! There is an ugly bit! It is me and my terrible attempt at modelling! (who am I kidding? I wasn’t attempting at all – I was just being me!) No reflection on the coat at all, but I thought it would fill the gap anyway – and probably give you a little giggle on the side as well.
Westbeach Cloudburst Jacket
After taking my Westbeach Cloudburst jacket for a spin over the holidays, I can honestly say that I like it. I don’t think that it will take over from my daily layers for walking my reverse commute, but it certainly has a place for when I want to look less hikey and more “normal” clothes wise. I love that it is a longer length, meaning that the rain doesn’t automatically run off onto my bottom and that there is enough pocket space for me to consider leaving my bag at home (on the very rare occasion!) even with the decorative chest pockets.
If you are in the market for a warm, hard-wearing, well made parka style coat then I would recommend this one. It isn’t bad for the price (£169.95 in the current sale as of 07/01/2019) and is classic enough to last for year – one of the things that stood out for me.
Are you a fan of a good ski jacket for the winter months? Do you like fluffy hoods? And do you reckon it will grow on me?
Let me know in the comments.