Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Gear Review - Regatta Tectonic 2 jacket fleece


Having been converted to the benefits of fleeces, I have another one here – the Regatta Tectonic 2 – which does give you the impression of something ground-breaking.  I’m not sure it’s that quite the case, but it’s certainly a good mug’s eye-full.
Firstly, this isn’t a standard “jumper style” fleece – it’s actually a fleece/jacket – which makes this a good choice for getting outdoors.

Now, as it’s a jacket, it is going to be your outer layer – so it has to be to some extent waterproof and windproof.  On the waterproof front, the Tectonic 2 has an Isotex 5000 membrane drop liner which has a hydrostatic head of – wait for it – 5000mm.  If you’re not a camper, then you might not be too familiar with hydrostatic head – so here’s a summary…
To see how waterproof a fabric is, a column of water is pressed against it.  The amount of water in the column is increased until the water penetrates the fabric.  This amount is measured in millimetres and is called the hydrostatic head – so the higher the number, the more waterproof the fabric is. 
We work on the rough scale that 3000mm is decent waterproofing on a jacket, so the Tectonic 2’s 5000mm will be good news whilst out walking.  In addition, the outer finish has a water-resistant coating.  I’ve been testing the jacket in various weather conditions, and it is quite water-resistant – most light showers will be no problem for the Tectonic 2.

Inner lining of the Tectonic 2


Toggles to adjust the fit at the bottom
I’m really happy with the neck cinch, which can be adjusted, as it manages to keep your neck warm without you feeling strangled.  The bottom of the jacket can be adjusted too with the same style of toggle.  Two outer pockets are provided which are zipped – very handy for ensuring your car keys stay with you on a walk (I’ll go into that one another time!)  There’s an inner pocket too – also zipped - which is supposed to be bigger enough for an OS map, so here goes… 

Will an OS map go all the way in?
Yes - and it zips up too!

Yes, standard size OS maps fit in the inside pocket no problem – some thought has been given there.  What’s the fit like?  Well, I liked it – it’s comfortable and cosy and it doesn’t feel too bulk either.

The only down side – and it isn’t just a problem with this jacket – is the type of material on the outer layer traps dog hairs like wasps and jam!  They can be removed with one of those special brushes or by simply picking them off, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re a dog owner.
Dog hairs trapped in the fabric - although they do come out with a brush.

That said, the Regatta Tectonic 2 is a great jacket and at full price – near on £60 – it would have got an 8.  But, the jacket has recently moved into the Regatta Outlet – their online clearance store – so it’s available with some cracking discount.  For example, the small in Navy is £30 and the large in Red is an amazing £18!  At those prices, the Tectonic 2 is a fantastic buy.


What's good...
Great fit
Waterproof for most walks
Warm
Excellent sized pockets
Fantastic price from the Regatta Outlet

What's bad...
Dog/cat hairs get trapped in the fabric
Fairly expensive at its normal price of £60


Regatta Tectonic 2 jacket fleece - Rough price - £30
Walks Around Britain rating 9/10
To buy the Tectonic 2 from the Regatta Outlet, click here for the direct link.