As a lifelong resident of Michigan, and an avid world traveler, I never know what to expect when it comes to the weather. Where I’m from, in Northern Michigan, the weather might call for sunny skies and warm temperatures, but then I look out the window to see a thunderstorm dumping buckets of water outside. I’ve been caught outside, or away from home, without a rain jacket enough times to have learned from my mistake, which is why I always bring this Barbour Waxed Cotton Rain Jacket with me, wherever I go. The best part about this, is that this exact jacket is on sale for 40% off, here from Orvis!
As a brand, Barbour is known the world over for their exceptionally high quality rain jackets and gear that prepare adventurers for anything Mother Nature throws at them. Founded in 1894 in South Shields, England by a Scotsman named John Barbour, his waxed cotton jackets and oil cotton clothing became an iconic sign of British country living, and has been worn by everyone from the Queen of England and the Royal Family to farmhands working the land. Nothing says “form meets function”, more than the dichotomy of their target clientele.
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I have been wearing this jacket since March, and it’s kept me warm in the sleet and hail, kept me dry in heavy rains that dump down upon us as we hike through the forest, and was the perfect companion during our most recent visit to Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, where it wasn’t too warm that I couldn’t wear it in the July heat of the island, but it also kept me dry from the irregular rains that are the hallmark of Northern Michigan weather. It’s safe to say that I absolutely adore this jacket, and have been wearing it all year!
The interior is a very soft fleece that is perfect worn on its own, or when layered with a gilet or other layer, patterned with a lighthouse motif that matches the pull tab of the jacket. The jacket comes with a detachable drawstring hood, storm flaps, a fishtail hem at the back of the jacket, as well as front closure that both zips up and buttons shut, keeping me dry and warm in even the heaviest of rain showers. While on Mackinac Island, we went sailing, biking, and hiking, and this jacket was the perfect companion through it all.
Like all Barbour jackets, this one will need to be re-waxed each year at least, but this can be done either at home with Barbour’s DIY rewaxing kits, or Barbour also offers a service wherein jacket owners can send their garments in to be serviced professionally. This bit of maintenance is a small price to pay for a jacket that will last a lifetime. My mother has a Barbour jacket that she has owned and maintained for more than 35 years, and it still looks as new as the day she bought it. While the price of the jacket is initially a bit higher than most other rain jackets, it is significantly higher quality, traditionally made, and much more sustainable in the long run. Rather than spending $100+ each year for a new spring jacket or rain coat, spending $450 on a jacket that will last for decades is a much wiser investment, and is better for one’s wallet as well as the planet.
Sizing of Barbour Jackets
As far as sizing is concerned, this jacket is a bit roomy, so I went with my normal size, a size 4. This allows me to layer something else underneath my jacket, like a Vineyard Vines Shep Shirt, if I want to stay extra warm. If you want to wear something even thicker under your jacket, or if you have broad shoulders, a larger chest, or just prefer a roomier fit, size up from your normal clothing size for a relaxed, comfortable fit.