Tuesday, 28 July 2020 09:18

Picture Abstral 2.5L Jacket tested and reviewed

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Picture is a new brand for us, and like many brands these days they're keen to push their environmental credentials. For a first look we took their distinctive Abstral jacket out during lockdown.

Picture uses recycled polyseter in th Abstral jacket with a PFC-free coated 2.5-layer material and the brands sustainable Dryplay membrane.  The brand take the environmental impact of the whole manufacturing to retail outlet process seriously and along with using organic and recycled materials the clothing is designed to last.  In 2020, they also plan to implement a lifetime re- pair guarantee in certain European countries, and then throughout the rest of the world in the long run.

Picture Abstral 1

 

What Picture say:

The Abstral jacket is the do-it-all high performance jacket for your outdoor activities. This 2.5 Layers Stretch shell features 10K Waterproofness / 10K breathability thanks to Picture's exclusive Dryplay Membrane. Eco engineered with recycled polyester and Teflon Ecoelite™ PFC Free DWR treatment, it also features fully taped seams, integrated brim and reflective detailing for full protection. Its Stretch fabric, elasticated brim and adjustable wrists will offer ergonomics and freedom of movements.

Features:

  • Dryplay Membrane
  • 2.5 Layers Stretch
  • 10K MM Waterproof / 10K G Breathability
  • Teflon Ecoelite™ PFC Free DWR Treatment
  • Fully Taped Seams
  • Packable with Self Stowing Pocket
  • Brim Hood
  • Elastic Ergonomic Hood
  • Adjustable Wrists
  • Side Zippered Pockets
  • YKK Waterproof Zippers
  • Picture Expedition Puller
  • Picture Chest Reflective Logo
  • Expedition Shoulder Reflective Logo
  • Back Reflective Recycled Logo

Picture Abstral Jacket on test:

There's two things that you can't fail to notice with the Abstral; the price and the colour. When I say colour I should probably say pattern. Unless you wearing it while painting the house it's going to stand out.

Picture Abstral 2

With a list price of just over £145 and a street price as low as £100 if you're OK with the colour scheme, and we have seen a black option, it's a good price for a 2.5 layer waterproof.  

IN a world of over-featured jackets the Abstral feels quite basic, but what you get is a jacket that's light enough, breathable enough and stretches enough to be truly multi-purpose and at an affordable price. Picture's own website doesn't quote a weight  and on our scales it weighed in at 350g and with the option to pack away into its own pocket it easy to carry .

Picture Abstral 3

To make a 2.5 layer waterproof at this price level you're going to have some compromises and with the Abstral this is two basic, zipped, handwarmer pockets and a well shaped but unadjustable hood.

Picture Abstral 4

You do get hem adjustment, and Velcro on the cuffs and while the fit is quite loose with the cuffs and zips done up you can seal yourself off from the rain pretty effectively.  It's loose enough for cycling and running and while there's lighter alternatives claiming multi-purpose use the Abstral fits in well between a shower proof and a full-on mountain jacket. It's not what you'd choose for a day of continuous downpour in the hills but it would probably manage. As a jacket you carry "just in case" it's hard to fault it; the 2.5 layer, membrane will give you the confidence that even a passing downpour won't stop you and where you may worry about the durability of an ultralightweight you have no such issues with the Abstral.

There's always a compromise between breathability and waterproofing and it's noticeable that the Abstral lacks any ventilation other than zipped or unzipped. If this was a £250 jacket it would be an issue but with a street price of £100 you pay your money and make your choice. As waterproof/breathable membranes go the Dryplay's performance is  pretty much indistinguishable from the multitude of own brand membranes, and with the right base/mid layers underneath it's unlikely to become overloaded under normal exertion.

Conclusions:

The Picture Abstral is a basic, but very well priced for the specs, multi-purose jacket. Made with the environment in mind it offers a durable 2.5 layer water barrier that's light enough to carry when there's a chance of a heavy shower or two. It's got all the basics of a pair of pockets and a stiffened-peak hood, with a fce fabric that will take the bumps and grazes of the outdoors without the worries of a (often more expensive) lightweight waterproof.

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