Testing in the Peak District in December and January we put the Eco Proof jacket through some serious rainfall and abrasion resistance tests and took a look at its eco credentials.
What the manufacturers say:
We explored every aspect of sustainable thinking for the design of our new Eco Proof jacket - particularly the "re-use is better than replace" ethos. It's designed to a classic aesthetic and made so that many of its component parts can be easily replaced or repaired, extending the life of this garment extraordinarily.
The Eco PROOF™ Jacket is built to last a lifetime. As well as providing superb protection, the jacket has been designed in a way so that every small detail - right down to the zipper - can be removed and easily replaced. Let it accompany you on all of your adventures, and really put it through its paces: safe in the knowledge that wear and tear isn't going to put it out of action. And it's also genuinely in sync with nature. To minimize the environmental footprint of the jacket, the material used in its construction is bluesign® approved, even down to the smallest details. It's made from recycled materials and completely free from fluorocarbons.
- Waterproof, robust and reliable fabric - developed to keep you dry while causing minimal environmental impact
- Treated with a fluorocarbon free DWR to protect from water and dirt
- Rethinking of the design process makes the jacket easily repairable with most spare parts replaceable (zip, buttons) for superior longevity
- Cord adjustment at front hood and elasticated webbing at back provide great protection in harsh weather
- Equipped with multiple front storm pockets and one chest pocket to stow away items
- Easy adjustable hem via a cord running through the pockets, to help you stay comfortable and dry
- Button adjustable sleeve ending for a tight and snug fit
- Centre back length 83 cm (men's size L)
- Regular fit
Haglofs Eco Proof Jacket on test:
Where to start......This is a Haglofs jacket, but it's unlike any Haglofs we've had, or seen, before. It's got the build quality and attention to detail that the brand have made their reputation on and has earned them a place amongst the very top end brands. But rather than the close fit that typifies the brand's clothing the Eco Proof has something of a 1980's style with square cut, press-stud fastening, pockets, zipless chest pocket and press-stud cuffs. At first sight it looks more like a classic "country" jacket than a high end hillwalkers coat - until you look put it on.
The fit is generous with plenty of room for a decent mid-layer but the extremities of hood, hem and cuffs can be quickly and easily cinched to create a seal against the weather. The eco-centric (more on that later) fabrics give the Eco Proof jacket a slightly stiff feel and hang when unzipped, to the point where it wouldn't look like overkill walking the dog or going to the pub. The slight stiffness, however, is a sign of its durability - this is a tough face-fabric that will shrug off scrapes without leaving a blemish. Interestingly this blemish-free fabric seems to have an allergy to dirt too, taking repeated muddy paws and claws from an excitable muddy dog in its stride.
The jacket has 5 external pockets, 2 unzipped hand warmer pockets which lie over the 2 press stud fastening pockets with the final pocket being an un-buttoned chest pocket on the left. The 2 main pockets have a very square profile and a top flap to protect the contents from the rain. The positioning is more urban than mountain with access restricted when carrying a pack, but the diagonal cut hand warmer pockets still remain accessible. The chest pocket, although unbuttoned, proved extremely effective at keeping the contents dry - there's no feeling like the relief of your phone still working when you suddenly realise it's been in an unbuttoned pocket in torrential rain!
When it comes to the hood, the standout feature is the adjustability and fit. The cord adjusters at the front sit quite high up, making them very easily accessible and combine with an elasticated strip in the rear and a high chin guard to give very good protection from the elements. The peak is also stiffend and does actually maintain its shape in winds over 30mph - even when a cap below is doing its best to detatch itself.
The hem uses the pretty much standard internal cord and toggle while the cuffs have a classic press stud closure. In an era of zips and velcro the look is quite retro, but apart from being perfectly efficient the use of metal press studs obviously saves using plastic in the form of velcro.
Importantly for the Britsh climate the hem adjustment works well, with none of the riding up your back that can get so frustrating.
When the weather takes a turn for the worse the Eco Proof quickly sheds its urban-friendly perception and performs like a Haglofs mountain jacket. With the hem tight, the collar up and the hood and cuffs secured nothing is getting in! Horizontal rain simply beads away whether on the body or over the pocket flaps and as mentioned an unprotected phone in the chest pocket survived a 30 minute Peak District downpour without a problem. Likewise the confidence inspired by the durable feel of the fabric is justified when the wind picks up, giving wind resistance on a par with any 3 or 4 season shell.
If there is an issue with the Eco Proof it's the lack of pit zips. Put simply, when you make a closed environment that's warm on one side and cold on the other you're going to create condensation. This is inescapable. Yes there are degrees of breathability and the jacket is defined as "breathable" but the reality is that under high workloads and without a dedicated wicking base and mid layer set-up the internal temperature will rise significantly and yes, there will be some condensation. It's not a major issue, but there are definitely times when a little extra ventilation would be welcome just to release some heat.
Predictably with a name of "Eco" Proof, Haglofs have put sustainability at the core of the design and manufacture of the Eco Proof range. With a philosophy of "re-use is better than replace" the jacket uses 52% recycled polyester, 48% polyester that's easily repairable and, as mentioned, press studs rather than Velcro/plastic on fastenings. Zips and buttons are easily replaceable, meaning the lifespan of the Eco Proof should be extended.
At £270 the Eco Proof is mid range in price terms, but in cost per year terms it's up there with the best value for money jackets on the market. The durable materials, build quality that means you can't see a stitch never mind a loose one, and replaceable parts make the jacket a long term investment.