Browning Featherlight Typhoon Jacket
- By Chris Parkin
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 25/01/2017
I like Smocks and I like Coats because each provides certain design and comfort attributes that the other, fundamentally cannot offer.
Smocks seal you in more and tend to be warmer for a lighter weight and bulk, but coats offer faster ease of taking them on or off and unzipping the front allows much faster ventilation, when internal heat and humidity build-up. What happens when you combine the two?
Browning’s Featherlight Typhoon Jacket immediately looks distinctive, due to the angled zipper. Yes, you can either pull it over your head like a smock or fasten it like a coat but with the zip slotting together at the lower right thigh, almost around to your hip, it is a bit fiddly to get things moving, as twisting your body to reach it tends to want to pull the junction into tension. I pretty much ignored this and used it as a smock… but with benefits. The zipper, when drawn down to mid chest height when walking hard, allows masses of hot air to float upward and out when you do need to drop your core temperature a little and avoid building up moisture.
That large deep pocket, that is so appealing to store your binos or camera in, is separated from the inner body by a mesh panel, to allow more ventilation when it’s open. Both hand pockets combine with this centre pocket though and I’d prefer those to be kept separate; otherwise, whatever you store in any of these three compartments falls to the centre and ends up jumbled up. Shoulders are reinforced with thin rubberised sections, to keep your rifle sling in place and the generous hood is adjustable with the neck, if you zip it right up, really sealing you into the ‘Pre-Vent’ material (100% Polyester with Polyurethane membrane) Waterproof and Windproof Typhoon.
I have a wardrobe full of jackets and have found myself consistently wearing the Typhoon because other than the fiddly zipper, it is so comfortable and quiet to wear. All the rubberised zippers and seams have remained totally watertight and I like the lightweight build, allowing me to layer up perfectly underneath, yet never feel too bulked-up. I always put it on and take it off over my head, smock style, but do like the zip, which allows quick ventilation.
Simplicity extends to just one arm pocket for valuables and a chest radio pocket. Carrying binos or a camera centrally with two gloves didn’t really bug me that much in the end. An elasticated cord across the lower back lets you cinch the jacket in a little but the overall cut is mid length, so covers your rear enough to stop cold air getting in and the arms were cut long to avoid them riding up when reaching to shoot; plenty of space in the shoulders and across the back also helped here, a Velcro adjuster is present at the cuff too. I especially liked the way the hood cinches closed around the lower neck because it keeps the rain out but the stiff ‘brim’ on the hood doesn’t restrict your vision!
Browning have made a really interesting `jacket` here which although I tend to see as a `smock`, does offer benefits from both intrinsically different styles of clothing. I can forgive the awkward zipper but would like the three pockets as three, not one.