View Full Version : Purchase of walking/hiking jacket for son

Brian Deakin
06-27-2014, 5:33 PM
I need to purchase a walking/hiking jacket for my 15 year old son

Can anyone please provide advice/suggestions

My initial thought was


regards Brian

Eric DeSilva
06-27-2014, 6:16 PM
What kind of conditions -- temperatures, amount of rain/snow -- are you trying to cover?

If it is simple walking and dealing with light rain/wind, Gore-Tex isn't a bad choice, although there are finally some decent alternatives and I'm a little troubled by Gore-Tex's business practices. The key is to get something that is light enough that it gets carried, breathes so you don't sweat a puddle inside it, and is water/wind resistant. It has to be comfortable too.

If the activities start getting more extreme and include things like carrying a pack, you might want to look at things that offer better shoulder wear and durability. Runners seem to favor light over durable. My dad, who doesn't exert enough to really sweat while walking, is going to have different criteria and couldn't care less about breathability.

For general purpose use, I like Patagonia, and they make jackets across a wide, wide spectrum of outdoor activities and exertion levels. Once you get into more extreme gear, however, my loyalty tends to shift to Arcteryx as a brand. I really haven't ever used LL Bean. Had a girlfriend that worked there and swore by the stuff and their customer loyalty programs.

Do you have an REI nearby? They carry a pretty broad range of gear and might be a good place to try things on. Fit for outdoor equipment can be very important.

Shawn Pixley
06-27-2014, 7:56 PM
I second REI. They'll help you out. But as Eric said, what climate are you preparing for? My advice for southern California is different than my advice for Alaska. Patagonia or North Face would be more expensive choices.

Disclaimer, I have been a REI member since the 1970's.

Frederick Skelly
06-27-2014, 9:12 PM
+2 for REI

Wade Lippman
06-27-2014, 9:33 PM
I always stop at REI when traveling, as there are none near me. That said, I buy most of my outdoor gear from Sierra Trading Post; even though they have started collecting sales tax.

I would never buy such an expensive jacket for a 15 year old. Odds are it won't fit next year! Come to think of it, I wouldn't spend $185 on my 21 year old, and maybe not for me either. That's just a lot of money for a jacket.

Bob Turkovich
06-27-2014, 11:05 PM
If you can hold off until your July trip to the Boston area, there are LLBean retail stores in the area where your son can try the various jackets they offer. If you're going to Maine, their Freeport complex is worth visiting. I have an LL Bean winter parka and boots that are over 10 years old and are holding up fine. I would place LL Bean quality in the same category as REI but they typically only sell their own brand while REI will carry multiple brands.

As far as Gore-Tex goes, I've had mixed results. My first jacket was from Eddie Bauer about 15 years ago and loved it - my son "borrowed" it to use as a golf rain jacket and I never got it back. He's still using it. I bought another Gore-Tex jacket from Cabela's six years ago and it isn't as durable. There's a small tear in one of the sleeves (cause unknown) and it isn't as breathable as the earlier Eddie Bauer jacket. I have since bought another GoreTex garment from Eddie Bauer - a shell parka - and the performance is similar to the first.

Brian Deakin
06-28-2014, 3:38 AM
A huge thank you to everyone for your advice and suggestions .Bob you are correct I am travelling from the Uk. visiting Boston and the surrounding area , we will be shopping in Freeport and will callat the LL Bean store

I will need to purchase two Jackets for my son, one jacket for walking/Hicking in the Uk (temperature range 4 to 15 degrees centigrade, 40 to 70 fahrenheit) and another jacket for a ski trip to Andorra (temperature range -2 to +5 degress centigrade, 29 to 41 fahrenheit )

The hiking/walking in the Uk is on a Duke of Edinborough award bronze course

see link below


regards Brian

Shawn Pixley
06-28-2014, 12:23 PM
I favor wool sweaters under a waterproof shell for these applications.

Mike Olson
06-29-2014, 5:30 PM
+1 what Shawn said. Nice 100% wool sweater and a waterproof wind breaker that folds into it's own pocket if it gets really windy/cold.