We’d be the first to admit that when it comes to being experts on the Snow Peak backstory, we’re… well… we’re simply not experts. However, after our time checking out their kit at ISPO 2020 and getting to know more about them generally we’d also be willing to admit that… well… we’re now dead into Snow Peak. Their outdoor coats, for example, are extremely Liam Gallagher on tour in Japan; rockstar cool chic, but not in a shout it from the rooftop kind of way – a bit Manchester Murakami, if you will.
Behind the stylish aesthetic, and beneath the outside fashion veneer, however is a proper brand with authentic, practical, credentials. Spend some time in nature sure, get some shots for your socials why not, but also do it in gear that actually works; that’s the play being served up by Snow Peak – a brand founded in 1958 by accomplished mountaineer Yukio Yamai, based in Sanjo City in the Niigata Prefecture, and today one of Japan’s biggest outdoor brands (their big focus is on car camping).
“A brand founded in 1958 by accomplished mountaineer Yukio Yamai”
Over the course of one seriously wet and windy week in Dungeness and the green spaces surrounding Rye, we put Snow Peak’s Wanderlust 2.5L Jacket through its paces to see just how well it worked when the weather got bad. Spoiler alert: it didn’t let us down.
Made from a lightweight Japanese polyamide, the Wanderlust 2.5L Jacket is lined with a breathable membrane which aims to effectively wick away moisture while simultaneously keeping you dry and protected from the elements.
We were testing it on a pretty cool February day so obviously didn’t build up much of a sweat, but the product’s waterproofing really did work like a dream. At one point, while walking around the RSPB Dungeness Nature Reserve pretending to know the difference between a Coot and a Tufted Duck (without even using binoculars) the heavens opened in a big way.
The jacket repelled the water brilliantly, and we couldn’t resist allowing ourselves a moment or two to indulge in a pastime reserved exclusively for coat nerds – we stopped and stared at the water beads. Please allow us our simple pleasures in this cruel, cruel, world.
“You know they’re there if you need them, but they’re not making a big song and dance about it like some pockets do”
The adjustable collar and cuffs, the side zips, and taped seams here have all been well implemented. Special shoutout also to the protective, stealthy, pockets that offer great storage solutions without ever feeling intrusive; you know they’re there if you need them, but they’re not making a big song and dance about it like some pockets do. That overriding sense of “clean design” is underlined by the stowaway back pocket which doubles up as a place to pack down and store the jacket when travelling. The kind of feature that’s easy to miss but which illustrates a clever approach to things. We like it. We like it a lot.
Our only notable issue with the Snow Peak Wanderlust 2.5L is that even a Size ‘USA L’ / ‘JPN XL’ version of it felt a tad short in the body, although this’d presumably be easily rectified by sizing up (for context, I’m 6ft 2 and usually wear a ‘Size L’). At £429, it’s also not the cheapest jacket around so maybe try it on before buying it and weigh up whether it’s right for your budget. All in all though, thumbs up. Great stuff.
For more information on the brand, head to the Snow Peak website.