As a dedicated Metro Vancouver public transportation user—due to my outright refusal to drive—there are few things I value more than a reliable waterproof jacket. And when it comes to purchasing a new rain jacket, I’ve undertaken a gruelling and lengthy search process that strives to secure a jacket that will last as many years as Grey's Anatomy. Because when it comes to clothing, I live by one essential (and slightly controversial) rule: wear it till it not only till it rips but, more specifically, till I can start to feel breezes through the armpits.
Historically I’ve gravitated towards buying thick Columbia jackets with fleeced interiors, zippered pockets and a fixed hoodie—but the type of outdoor jacket that I’ve needed has recently changed.
In the past few years I’ve undertaken a (slightly) more adventurous, outdoor centric lifestyle—like kayaking, canoeing and the occasional alpine hike. Much to my disappointment, my previous rain-jackets restricted my mobility and made me sweat uncontrollably during these activities.
I considered buying a separate, heavy-duty coat for these outdoor ventures, but despite my ambitions to become the next Bear Grylls, I realized that I wasn’t doing these activities nearly enough to garner this expensive purchase.
A dilemma had been created.
I was in need of an all-purpose outdoor jacket that could be worn during a brisk hike or to work on a soggy fall day. I worried that my needs were too specific, but thankfully Fjällräven answered the call with a Bergtagen Eco-Shell jacket. At first I was skeptical, but this breathable, three-layered polyester jacket met all of my needs. It has handy zippered chest pockets, a velcro adjustable hood and sleeve cuffs, and it’s made from an eco-shell fabric that’s both water resistant and sustainable. Bergtagen naturally has a looser fit, which allows you to layer up when it’s cold out. It comes in a Hokkaido Orange and Mountain Blue, and while it’s advertised for advanced activities in the mountainous terrain, it also passes as an all-purpose, waterproof jacket for wannabe outdoorsmen and transit enthusiasts alike.
Fjällräven Bergtagen Eco-Shell jacket, $650
Available at both Vancouver Fjällräven locations (147 W Broadway and 1976 W 4th Ave), as well as online.