Thicker softshell types, waterproofs and fleeces are widely available. Great. However, it has been known for the British Isles to warm up now and then and enter a season called Spring and also Autumn.
In these two particular seasonal extravaganza, wedged between that we have one we all remember for when we were a kid (summer). There’s not so much of a need for a thick jacket instead we need something a tad more lightweight, but still giving you essential features such as water resistance and take the edge off a chill and in the case of us, the most discerning of cyclists, a sartorial garment fit for the streets whilst the bike remains tethered to some lamppost somewhere.
Vulpine’s offering of the Lightweight Harrington jacket is here to answer the call. It answers the lightweight need straight away in its name for starters, but also the feel of the jacket when you put it on instantly feeling soft and comfortable with no heft to it at all. It’s the proverbial ‘light as a feather’ piece of smart cycling clothing. Harrington’s are experiencing a bit of a fashion renaissance at the moment in the mainstream style arena, they’ve always been a British classic and the Vulpine Lightweight Harrington is a welcome addition to the collection of Harringtons purely for it’s nod to the classic with some modern twists and of course additions to aid the commuter cyclist.
The jacket, as you would expect from the folks at Vulpine, has a well-tailored fit sitting well around the waist and arms – never pulling, moving with ease as you do. The sleeves are a good length and finish to a reflective trim which is the first nod to cycling functionality. The material is a water resistant cotton and it feels really good. Being lightweight and cotton also means the Vulpine Harrington is breathable helped by an open yoke at the back – again a finely tailored addition to the jacket. It’s superbly made and every stitch is of the highest quality.
The collar has a fabric lining which makes it comfortable against the neck and an improvement on the Vulpine soft shell is the zip goes all the way to the top with the magnetic clips closing over it. This means there’s no popping open as you hurtle through the city streets. A small thing but an important one. Here the magnetic closures become a handy aid rather than a device I thought wasn’t strong enough on the softshell.
Two big zip down pockets flank the main zip which has a flap over cover. The pocket zips are waterproof and the pockets themselves have a fabric lining which makes it a bit more cozy when you need to slip your hands inside for a quick warm. There’s a trademark pocket at the back with the magnet clip again – which again works really well in this instance as it’s secure when closed but easily opened when pedaling along. It’s a good size pocket you’d comfortably fit wallet, keys, phone, pack of prawn cocktail or waterproof jacket (not the crisps and the jacket though) as it’s the only pocket you don’t end up fumbling for it.
Last pocket is on the left breast with the harrington swish arrow design incorporated into the look. Closed with a sewn on button that’s branded first with the company name and second by a very nice detail of stitching of the ‘V’ into the button holes – a nice touch that. Again this gives you a little more storage and the button adds a bit more security so maybe you can store wallet up here and the back pocket can have those crisps and waterproof in at the same time after all.
Also at the back are 2 button adjusters to take the waist in if you so wish – it’s done in a really nice aesethic way too that completely fits the style and design of the lightweight harrington jackets look. All the nods of function included are just right. Nothing’s over complicated or left out. It just works how you want and need.
The Vulpine lightweight harrington jacket is made from cotton – so it creases, a lot. Not a problem of course but just be aware it will need a warm iron after a few wears to make it look it’s best. Currently coming in two colours, a pale olive green and a bright blue. Now I’ll be honest – green is not my first choice for clothing, in fact I’m pretty sure I own nothing that’s green apart from a Panathinaikos football shirt my Greek friend gave me when he returned to his native land – so when I first held the Vulpine lightweight harrington I was a bit nonplussed about the colour, it has since grown on me and fits in with the Vulpine branding although I would like to and am looking forward to seeing this jacket in a few different variations of colours possibly something a bit more muted but not as stark as black. Of course with only a few reflective patches on the jacket (cuffs and back pocket) the bright whit trims and the bright colour of the jacket does again high five the functional department and helps you be seen on the bike.
I’d also like to of seen the lightweight jacket with Vulpine’s take on the classic checkered inner lining you see on some versions of the harrington but I can imagine the cost involved never mind getting your hands on the material to do so may have prevented that idea, it’s certainly not essential just this writers fancy for the classics.
The lightweight harrington is certainly a jacket for when the winter has gone and the faintest of chills remain – however it is definitely an all rounder as it makes an excellent mid-layer to so you’re really getting your money’s worth with this stylish piece of cyclewear. The Vulpine harrington lightweight jacket for me is a great addition to any cyclists wardrobe. It’s style, design and features make it suitable for all types of cycling endeavors and is a welcome and essential piece of kit.
It’s superbly well made and as I’ve just said highly adaptable all year round. A Discerning Cyclists must.