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Ex Officio Barometric Jacket : The Travel Trench

Men and women who want to stay dry but don't want to walk around town (at home or anywhere in the world) looking like a hiker have another option--Ex Officio's Barometric Trench.

Now, I know that weather-proof features, fit, and style are important, and I'll get to those. But first, I like to check out a new jacket for cargo space. Here's what I've found:

-Two zippered chest pockets, discreetly placed underneath the folds on the front of the jacket. A mugger would never see them, so put your passport, diamonds, and other valuables there. You can also use one of these pockets to hold your iPod; it has a small earphone port in the inside.

-Two large side pockets, no zips. I like being able to walk along with my hands in my pockets. There's a soft, fuzzy lining in each pocket, so that's a bonus.

-Two deep pockets on the inside of the jacket--perfect for theatre programs, nutrition bars, guidebooks, a scarf, and other smallish items. There's also an inside zippered pockets on top of one of the inside pockets.

-A small zippered pocket on the left sleeve for a cell phone or GPS unit.

The Barometric Trench feels like sueded twill, and is virtually wrinkle-resistant. I've worn it out on walks in the rain and come home completely dry thanks to the seam-sealed, coated polyester fabric.

I tested a women's Barometric Trench and liked the loose, slightly contoured fit. The shoulders have a raglan-style cut, so it fits well around my shoulders and allows plenty of room for a fleece or bulky sweater underneath. The women's jacket also has a cinching system at the wrists so I can adjust the fit according to the weather. Thankfully, it doesn't involve any velcro, so I don't have to worry about snagging my favorite sweaters.

Finally, I like having the option of removing the hood (it snaps on and off with ease) or cinching it tighter to keep out cold air. The men's jacket is available in black and in breen. The women's jacket is available in black, espresso, and pinot (red).

Bottom Line: A functional, low-profile (the only logo is on the collar, and you can't see it with the hood up) urban jacket for folks who want to stay dry, .--E.D. (Nov '07)

Price: $170 women's, $180 men's


Manufacturer's Site: www.exofficio.com

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