What Decathlon say:
Protection from the rain and wind, and keeping your body dry while MOUNTAIN HIKING. Waterproof, breathable, and ventilated, the Forclaz 300 L has all the essential properties of an authentic trekking jacket at an absolutely unbeatable price.
- Waterproofing: 5000mm waterproof NOVADRY membrane. 100% taped seams.
- Breathability: NOVADRY hydrophilic membrane (RET=12) limits condensation inside the garment.
- Ventilation: Underarm ventilation zips: aid perspiration wicking.
- Flexibility: Hood folds into the collar.
- 2 year guarantee.
It also has the following features.
- Two reasonably sized hand pockets with zips.
- Inside pocket with zip.
- Storm flap over main front zip.
- Adjustable cuffs via velcro tabs.
- Adjustable bottom via pull-cord.
- Adjustable, peaked hood with draw-cord
- Soft collar and chin protecting fabric over top of zip.
- L size = 461g
At the time of writing, for sale for £44.99. I bought the jacket on offer for £39.99.
I bought this waterproof jacket for the warmer months to replace my Paramo Velez Adventure Light Smock which is just far too hot and heavy to carry in the Summer. After hunting around and doing some research I’d actually decided I wanted the Rab Kinetic or the Marmot Crystalline.
The Kinetic weighs 220g and the Crystalline 176g! Obviously both much lighter that the Forclaz 300 (461g). However the Kinetic (at the time of hunting) cost £128 and the Crystalline £120 and neither jacket was available to buy in the colour and size that I wanted. So, on the spur of the moment whilst passing time in Decathlon, I bought the Forclaz 300. It was on sale and looked like a bargain.
The Good Stuff:
- Features of a modern high-end waterproof (see list above) in a cheap jacket.
- A very flattering and comfortable jacket. Long at the back, fitted at the waist (but not too tight). Long sleeves to keep hands dry.
- Loose sleeves that can be pushed up or cinched tight. (I can’t stand elasticated wristbands.)
- Excellent hand pockets for hands or bits and bobs. Also a good-sized inside pocket with a zip that takes a smart phone.
- The pit zips, sorry “underarm ventilation zips”, are excellent and easy to use one-handed.
- The colour. My Mum thinks it’s a bit bright but I love the turquoise blue. Reminds me of the seaside.
- The price. Quite honestly, if I lost or ripped this jacket tomorrow I wouldn’t shed a tear.
- It’s waterproof! Like the Quechua tents this jacket is, so far, bombproof.
The Bad Stuff:
- The hood isn’t perfect. On my Paramo I can move my head around and the hood moves with me and the peak is excellent. On the Forclaz there’s a bit of movement and the peak isn’t ideal.
- The weight. At 461g it’s not particularly light but then it’s still about 200g lighter than my Paramo and it packs down to about 2/3rd the size.
- I imagine this isn’t as breathable as a more expensive jacket? I ask this as a question as it’s never something that’s been a particular problem for me since the cagoule I had back in the 80s.
In Summary: I’m really pleased with it. If I could have sourced and afforded a Rab or a Marmot jacket I would have bought one but all my extra money would be getting would be less weight and a smaller pack-size. In terms of features the Forclaz 300 is an excellent waterproof for a remarkably low price.
Aside: It took a month and a half for me to test the waterproofness of this jacket because from the moment I bought it all rain clouds were repelled from me. Including during a weeks walking on Dartmoor! For me that’s worth £40 alone 😉