Rohan Ascent Waterproof Jacket for Men
Product Review & Walking Gear Test

Rohan Ascent Waterproof Jacket for Men Rohan Ascent Waterproof Jacket for Men
Ascent Waterproof Jacket for Men

Vital Statistics:

Colours:
Ruby Red, Nautical Blue (shown)

Sizes:
SM - XXL

Weight:
780g

SRP:
£189.00

Rohan says:"Reliable. Dependable. Adaptable.These are the sort of qualities which describe a good walking companion - so why not apply them to your choice of jacket? Rohan's Ascent Jacket combines all these benefits and more besides. It's constructed using [Rohan's] advanced Barricade™ technology in a 2-layer construction with a rugged polyamide face fabric and a mesh liner combining breathability with fully waterproof protection - even in challenging, humid conditions. The outer fabric is treated with Durable Water Repellency™ to ensure that water beads up on the surface of the fabric and stops it wetting out. This is really important because breathable fabrics rely on a humidity differential to work. Moisture vapour transmission is highest when it's warm and humid on the inside and cold and dry on the outside - if the surface of the fabric is wet, then breathability is inhibited. [Rohan's] DWR™ treatment ensures that doesn't happen. The Ascent jacket features two large hand pockets which are situated high enough to clear most rucksack hip belts. The zip toggles feature a tactile rubbery coating which makes the toggle really easy to locate and use, even if you're wearing winter gloves. The zip itself lives behind a substantial storm-flap, folded over to keep the elements out and secured with a sturdy popper. There are two internal pockets: one is inside the storm-flap but outside the main zip and doubles as Packpocket™. Not only can you pack the jacket in it for convenience when you travel, it's large enough to take an OS map. There's a second internal chest pocket inside the main zip and both are mesh-lined to maximise breathability. We've given the lower arms, elbows and shoulders tough abrasion resistant panelling to protect the fabric from rucksack straps and general wear and tear. The hood is adjustable, providing a snug fit with unimpeded visibility. The peak is stiffened and wired for extra protection and the whole thing rolls away neatly into the microfibre-lined collar. Adjustable cuffs and a draw cord at the hem allow you to fine-tune the fit and adjust the ventilation to suit the conditions. The definitive shell for the keen hill-walker and outdoor enthusiast. With understated good looks and no-nonsense style, it's perfect for general use too. If you only want one waterproof to cover all your needs, this is the one to go for."

Features to Note:

In-use Test:

The Rohan Ascent Waterproof Walking Jacket is aimed at the more serious walker who is willing to venture out in all weathers - and on Winter trips to the Peak District and the Lake District, as well as many a day trudging round in the Manchester rain, it has performed admirably. So far, it has proved to be absolutely wind proof and water proof. All kinds of rain simply form into beads on the surface of the Barricade™ fabric and do not soak into the material so there is very little wetting out. This is crucial to the overall breathability of the jacket since for it to work there have to be 'dry' areas between the droplets to allow moisture to pass from inside to out where it evaporates away. This is helped by keeping the jacket nice and clean and I found it washed well and dried quickly. Overall, I thought the breathability of the jacket was pretty good even in the heaviest rain. I've not had the chance to test this jacket in warmer weather but will report back with my findings when I have. There are no pit zips under the arms but so far the breathability has been good enough not to need them. The jacket fits me very well (I'm 5ft 10 and XL) and provides plenty of room inside for a base layer and mid-layer. The sleeves are nice and long which I rather prefer since I can keep my hands out of the wind without having to put gloves on. The cuffs have tapered velcro closers around the wrists which work well. The main body of this jacket is also nice and long so it covered my crotch and bottom. With the jacket fully fastened up I found I had full freedom of movement, both when bending to get under a barrier and when reaching up to gain a handhold on a ladder stile. There are three external zipped security pockets. Two are hand warming pockets with robust zips that close from bottom to top with the zips. Each zip is covered by two baffles to stop the weather reaching the zip from which ever direction it attacks. Both of these pockets are large enough to take a fully gloved hand but not large enough for a standard folded OS Map. These pockets are also located high enough up the jacket body to allow access when wearing a belted daypack or rucksack. A feature surprisingly absent from most jackets of this nature that we test. At chest height there is a third outer zipped pocket on the left side. which can be accessed with my right hand. The opening to this is between the zip and the outer poppered baffle so it can be accessed without unzipping the front. This pocket is large enough to accommodate a standard folded OS Map. This pocket is also large enough to stow the jacket itself in when not in use. There is a fourth pocket on the inside of the jacket for keeping valuables that you do not need when 'out on the hill'. This is a good size and large enough for a smart phone, keys, wallet - and emergency chocolate bar. Both the outer waist pockets have toggled zips that can be grabbed and operated by fully gloved hands. Sadly, the outer chest pocket does not have a toggle, making it awkward to operate with gloves on. I suppose I could add my own toggle but this seems like a careless omission for what it would cost to include one. As is common (and essential) with these types of waterproof jackets, the front zip is a double slider open ended zip - i.e. when the jacket is fully fastened, you can unzip the jacket front from the bottom up or the top down as required. The top down zip has a larger than normal 'puller' but does not include a toggle - something I again think would be useful for access with cold gloved hands. The 'bottom up' zip is standard size (i,e, small) and difficult to grab with anything other than bare hands. When fully fastened the zip is protected from the weather by a double outer baffle that is secured about every 4 inches (100cm) with a popper. The right-hand, inner baffle has an extra piece of material folded back on itself and secured with a stitch. This, tiny little feature, easily missed, stops side wind and rain getting into the zip and is really effective. I love the thought that has gone into this. When fully fastened the jacket zips up right under my chin and feels nice and secure. The hood has a wired peak which can be moulded into shape and is large enough to take a woolly hat, buff, snood, fleecy hood or baseball hat comfortably. Unfortunately it is not big enough for climbing, scrambling or bike helmet which rules this jacket out if you want it for multi-activity usage - for some, this might be a serious omission. An elasticated toggle at the back of the hood reduces the hood volume by tightening an elastic thread around the crown of my head - so that the hood turns with my head instead of staying put and blocking my vision. A small flap of material covers the toggle housing to prevent wind and rain getting in - which is a nice touch. Elasticated toggles on either side of the hood allowed it to be drawn tight around my face but there is no face guard to cover my mouth - another surprising omission.

Buying Advice:

I really like the Rohan Ascent Waterproof Walking Jacket - it is wind proof, water proof, wicks well, is large enough for summer and winter use and has a number of neat little design features. There are a couple of niggley omissions but none that would stop me from buying it. The only down side is the lack of hood volume to accommodate a helmet - but if you are wearing a helmet - do you really need the hood up? Well, yes if were walking in winter snow and ice. Just one more thing, we were sent a Ruby Red one to review and while the Nautical Blue version pictured above is a great colour, the Ruby Red is just fabulous.




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