FOFFA MEN'S HARRINGTON NAVY GRAPHITE JACKET
590.5g (medium as tested) £180
The Foffa Men’s Harrington Navy Graphite Jacket oozes Italian style. Smart enough for formal business meetings or high end restaurants, yet practical for comfortable middle distance commutes. I have a few minor niggles but otherwise, there is little I would change.
Ok, so as we’d expect from this price point, detailing and standards of construction are very high. It’s a three layer polyester laminate, which doesn’t look, or feel remotely technical. Unlike Gore Tex and similarly sophisticated fabrics, Foffa tell me it’s proofed for life, so no need to introduce in-wash aftermarket agents every so often.
Talking of washing, like most polyester based kit, it can be popped in the machine at a low temperature with minimal detergent. Similarly, avoid fabric softeners like the plague or you’ll strip those fibres of their technical magic.
Sonically welded and taped seams and zipper continue the reassuringly climate repelling theme. According to Foffa, its enjoys a waterproof rating of 10,000mm per hour, which is on par with most overtly technical riding jacket.
Heavy rain just strikes the outer shell, beads up and rolls away-quite pleasing to watch. On longer, wetter rides, some rain did sneak in around the cuffs, something I raised with Foffa who are aware of this experience and working on a revised version.
Cut is excellent; so long as you’ve got the right size and there isn’t much room for adjustment, save for the cuffs. Thankfully, their detailed online size guide is pretty much fool-proof.
I found our medium perfect for my 1m81 frame. The raglan cut sleeves were particularly welcome, allowing unrestricted movement when alternating from hoods to drops, or pushing escapee pumps back into their brackets mid ride.
There’s ample length in the back to protect you from rain and chill, even when hunkered really low, yet sufficiently shallow up front. No chance of snagging on the saddle’s nose, when making swift dismounts or sprinting out of the saddle in stop-go traffic.
A long collar continues this theme, keeping water from sneaking inside without hampering over-the-shoulder checks, especially when entering the flow of traffic. To date and in temperatures between +3 and +12 degrees, I’ve never felt the need but should you really feel the cold, there’s just enough room for merino neck-warmers.
The distinctly tailored fit limits you to thinner layers beneath. On colder days and shorter commutes of a few miles, it will entertain a shirt and thin jumper, which suits most contexts pretty well. At the other extreme, a huge ventilated shoulder panel, underarm ventilation ports and the long zipper with generous leather tags should prevent overheating.
Not that the fibres aren’t efficient at wicking away rider generated coolant. I’ve remained temperate and presentable on commutes of 8miles or so, at a steady 15-17mph.
Holding a racier 20mph, or so and that familiar misty dampness has crept in around the lower back but these are not racing threads eviction proceedings are on par with other polyester based commuter models.
Two zippered pockets offer decent storage space for keys; wallets etc and are perfect for parking hands when mooching about. These are also waterproof, so no danger of soggy perishables. I was a little disappointed by the lack of “Napoleon” breast pocket, ideal for smart phones and other tech. The designer says this revision will also feature in subsequent versions.
Ultimately, there’s no getting away from the fact £180 is hardly small change. There are plenty of competent sub £100 technical jackets that are better bets for longer distance, faster paced commuting or training. However, the Harrington delivers if you need a stylish, highly weather resistant jacket for shorter distance, everyday riding.