Travel

Breaking wind (while also repelling rain): The Westcomb Crest Hoodie

  • Aug 07, 2013
  • 570 words
  • 3 minutes
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Canadians collect jackets like Carrie Bradshaw collects shoes. I’ve got one Gore-tex shell that I wear to run or otherwise get sweaty during the winter, and another I wear when it’s cold outside, but I’m not planning to work out. I’ve got a fleece to layer with when cold starts creeping into the forecast in late autumn, and a puffy Everest-ready down jacket for those bitter January days when Arctic air masses blow south. I’ve got a raincoat that I wear mostly in cold November rains, a dress coat I wear on the rare occasions I have a meeting I can’t show up to wearing hiking boots and a three day beard, and a decades old fur coat that I inherited from my grandfather when he passed away, but haven’t ever worn out of the house for fear of the inevitable verbal onslaught by animal rights activists.

I thought I had the bases covered when it came to outerwear, so I was surprised to find a new type of jacket to fill an apparent void in my hall closet. As July turns to August, and the first whiffs of cool air creep into those nights around the campfire, I find myself reaching for Westcomb’s Crest Hoody. I love the feel and fit of the made in Canada Crest, but my threadbare gray sweatshirt is pretty comfy too. You wouldn’t want to wear it out in the pouring rain.

To be perfectly truthful, I was skeptical the Crest could even be called a jacket at all. I thought of the ultra lightweight shell as being, well a nice, very lightweight hoodie, but at 150 grams, it’s lighter than the average hamburger. That doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence.

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The Westcomb Crest worked well at Ottawa’s May Tulip Festival

I’ve since worn it around the campfire on late summer evenings, in driving rain along the Wales Coast Path and during a few crisp, windy nights spent high in Utah’s Wasatch mountains. It reminds me a little bit of the old zipper up K-Way jacket that I – and everyone else in my elementary school – brought on 1980s school field trips, only it’s whole lot better.

This isn’t only because my Crest has never been slathered in the chocolate pudding that my 8-year-old self spilled in my backpack on virtually every field trip I ever took, it’s because of the Crest’s comfort and performance. While my K-way stuck uncomfortably to my arms and soaked the back of my t-shirt in all but the most passing of showers, Westcomb’s Crest actually keeps me dry in the rain. Worn over a cotton t-shirt, the shirt stayed dry. Due to the Pertex Equilibrium material, water beads up on the outside. You stay dry.

The $140 Crest is very much a warm weather jacket. It offers very little insulation value, or if you’re a glass half full kind of person, it does a pretty near perfect job of breathing out excess body heat. If you’re only going to have one jacket to wear no matter the season, this is not that jacket. But if you like having the perfect outerwear for any situation, the Crest fills a niche and fills it well.

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Walking the rugged Wales Coast Path
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