Föhn Repurpose Polartec waterproof jacket: a new kid on the block


Truth be told, we hadn’t heard of Föhn either until the company contacted us. Turns out Föhn is a line of outdoor gear and apparel from Wiggle. You know, the online cycling gear retailer. Except that this description is way outdated. These days, Wiggle has his fingers in all sorts of outdoor pies, including running, swimming, and, what concerns us most, hiking. So it’s Wiggle, but what’s the deal with Föhn?

Launched as Wiggle’s “own brand” line and currently available exclusively on its website, Föhn covers hiking clothing, a few backpacks and water sports gear. The range looks good. Polartec has quite a presence in fabric offerings, and most products use recycled or repurposed materials. From a hiking/outdoors perspective, there are t-shirts, fleeces, tights, hats, gloves and more, but this jacket particularly caught our attention, and not just for its color .

The Föhn Repurpose Polartec Waterproof Jacket feels like a solid mountain hard shell. Using Polartec NeoShell alone suggests so, but the spec sheet confirms it. It’s not all good news, as the jacket is only available in a limited range of sizes and there are no women’s specific designs. This may change and grow with the brand, there are already plans to sell Föhn through other retailers.

So let’s take a closer look at the Föhn Repurpose Polartec Jacket to see if it offers enough to be your next waterproof shell…

Five things you need to know about the Föhn Repurpose Polartec waterproof jacket

Recycled Polartex NeoShell

NeoShell is, according to Polartec anyway, “the most breathable waterproof fabric technology in the world”. That’s quite a claim, but our own NeoShell experience kind of backs it up. It is soft and comfortable, more like a soft shell, and indeed offers excellent breathability as well as a 10,000mm hydrostatic head. The Föhn jacket uses recycled fabric to limit environmental waste, adding eco-friendly credentials.

Thick zippers

Zippers can be a nightmare when you’re wearing gloves, and the easy-to-grasp pull tabs on the Föhn jacket make this one less of a hassle to worry about.

Lots of storage

There are four pockets – two waist pockets (away from a backpack belt) and two chest pockets. They all have YKK AquaGuard zippers, but they’re lined with mesh so they can be used for ventilation, which means they’re not waterproof if left open or used to store wet gloves.

Protective hood

Although the visor is unwired and only lightly reinforced, the combination of drawcords at the back of the hood and either side of the main zipper pulls the hood together brilliantly to provide a tailored protective hood.

Active cut

The combination of stretchy fabric and a fit that’s close enough to feel active but leaves room for layers underneath, means the Föhn Jacket is ideal for motion-intensive activities like scrambling.

Specs and Serious Things

Trail Verdict

The hard shell market is crowded, but the Föhn Repurpose Polartec Waterproof Jacket has the performance to compete.

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