A new-to-us brand, Target Dry, boast a wide range of outdoors jackets, including theÂ Xtreme Series Element Jacket.
I had not heard of the brand Target Dry yet I was familiar with Mac in a Sac. It seems that Target Dry, based in Belfast, are the creators of the popular Mac in a Sac but they also make other styles of outdoors clothing including jackets, gilets, ponchos, socks and wellies. They have been doing so since the late 1980s.
The Target Dry clothing collection spans smarter coats and jackets to hiking wear. In this case, Iâ€™m reviewing the Xtreme Series Menâ€™s Element Jacket, which is aimed at hill and mountain walkers.
Target Dry have created their own waterproof fabric and offer a two-year guarantee on all products.
The fabric in the menâ€™s Element jacket is waterproof to 8000mm and breathable to 4000gsm. I like that the company goes to the trouble of explaining the technical details.
They state: â€œIf you are buying a waterproof coat for walking about town or dropping the kids to school, a rating of 2,000-5,000mm will be more than enough.
â€œIf you were planning a weekend in the mountains, we would advise a rating of 5,000-8,000mm as the conditions can be much harsher.â€
A higher breathability rating is also recommended for mountain walking.
The make-up of the jacket is also detailed. See the picture.
The Element jacket has a mesh lining (no insulation layer), followed by a waterproof membrane that is fixed to the inside of the outer layer of material. The outer layer of material is then sprayed with a Teflon coating to help the outer fabric to bead off as much rain as possible before it seeps down to the waterproof membrane.
The seams of the jacket are fully taped to prevent water seeping in through the stitching.
Other Target Dry Xtreme Series Element Jacket features include:
- Foldaway, volume adjustable hood with wired storm peak
- 2-way YKKÂ® AquaGuard front zip
- 2 chest map pockets with waterproof zips
- Internal pocket
- Velcro adjustable cuff tabs
- Underarm air vents with waterproof zips
- Adjustable drawcord at curved hem
Certainly the jacket looks and feels very well made. It is heavier than some more expensive mountain-style jackets and, in my opinion, has an unnecessary mesh lining but it is still a jacket that would suit the harsher conditions of a wet day in the hills.
The styling is good, too. I donâ€™t suppose that walkers need to look good when walking the hills but if they can, then why not? The male fit is active and flattering (my partner gave it a try and tested it in very wet weather) and the longer torso and arms will be welcomed by taller guys.
There is a lot of detailing in the jacket, such as the two-way waterproof zips and underarm air vents. A hood that is adjustable is vital if you will be walking in windy conditions.
There is little more annoying than finding the hood will not stay in place. The wired storm peak is another good asset in very wet weather.
However, the worth of this jacket comes in the water repellency. When out in the rain, even heavy rain, the water simply rolls off the jacket. It clearly has a very good coating of Teflon as nothing sticks to it at all.
In heavy rain it would be a good idea to wear a pair of waterproof trousers, too, because the rain runs down and off the jacket so you need a barrier on your legs as well.
Of course, time will tell whether the waterproof coating lasts but it does seem to be of excellent quality. The jacket itself is also beautifully made with taped seems and waterproof zips so for the price, just over Â£100, this looks like a great buy.
The breathability rating is not so good. The lining does not allow so much sweat to evaporate but on a cold walking day this shouldnâ€™t prove too much of a problem. If you do tend to get very hot and sweaty whatever the weather Iâ€™d recommend that you look for a better breathability rating than 4000gsm.
Also be aware that this is not a Gore-Tex product. I have rated Gore-Tex as the best product for waterproofing and breathability qualities for many years but I am now starting to change my opinion.
Other fabrics, such as e-Vent and own-brands, including Helly Hansen and Jack Wolfskin, make superb waterproof/breathable fabrics and often at a lower cost than those made from Gore-Tex.
I would recommend Target Dry as a jacket for people who are starting out in the hill and mountains or who are looking for a cheaper jacket for walks that might range from weekend country strolls and daily dog walks to some more adventurous hill walks.
Â£104.95, Target Dry Extreme jacket