The journal of Paul M. Watson.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My own Columbian

Columbia 365 Mountain Jacket Hailing from Durban, a sunny, sea-side city in South Africa where 15 degrees celcius is considered freezing, I tend to walk through Cape Town winters in shorts, a t-shirt and takkies. While others are warmly bundled up I stuff my hands in my pockets and walk through the cold wind and rain. That is how you can spot a Durbanite in Cape Town; just look for shorts on a winters day.

One can do this in Cape Town because while it is colder than Durban the winters here are mild in comparison to Europe or North America. It snows only on the highest mountain tops, never drops below zero degrees and there are odd winter days where you can hit the beach in a swimming costume.

Ireland though, where I am soon to live, is a different story. It may be considered mild for a European country but it still beats the winters I have experienced by a long margin. I will also be hopping over to the mainland every now and then and want to try my hand at skiing.

With this in mind I went out one winters day, in shorts and bare-feet of course, and bought myself my very first outdoor jacket from Due South. Jerseys, pullovers and track-suit tops have been sufficient for all these years. Now though I have a new Columbia mountain jacket with all the bells and whistles; waterproof, breathable, wind breaking, pockets galore, strappable wrists, hood and a detachable inner.

Couple things I like about this jacket:

  • It looks good. It is neat and smart. I bought a khaki and dark-grey one. No bright blues, greens, pinks or oranges here. Also all the zipper-tags, buttons, sealers and other bits are covered up so you don't look like a walking mountain sherpa about to traverse the north face.

  • When zippered all the way up my chin fits inside the neck cowl. Other jackets leave your throat and chin raw from rubbing.

  • Zippable armpit vents (though there is probably a more technical term for this).

  • Rip-stop material that doesn't look like it was made from old tents. The material is a nice blend between soft, cotton jackets and plasticky bin-liner jackets.

So far I have not tested out the waterproof capabilities (rain damnit!) but it sure cuts through the wind and cold with ease.


Blogger Slight Clutter said...

How exciting to see you gearing up for the move! Cool jacket. Breathable armpit thingees...nice!

Houston is a lot like Cape Town. Many, if not most, of our winter days call for shorts, polo jersies, and floppies. Last year it snowed on Christmas Eve - the whole city was in a tizzy.

5:22 PM

Anonymous skin said...

Paul, I cannot believe you're moving to Ireland from Cape Town while I've just moved from there to here (well, I'm from Ireland but realistically I moved from Ireland to Scotland to England to here!).

I was looking forward to maybe meeting up sometime, how long are you away for?

5:55 PM

Blogger Paul Watson said...

Officially the project is for a year but it will more than likely get refunded at that point and I will stay on. I think 2 to 3 years is a fair estimate.

6:28 PM


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