Product Review: Jackets and Swackets!

It’s my favorite time of year; light- and mid-weight jacket season! I’m not sure what it is, but I can’t resist a deal on a good barn jacket. I don’t love wearing long, heavy jackets when riding, even though I love my Mountain Horse heavy winter jacket and my Kerrits midweight one.

I just feel a bit restricted and bulky when wearing a winter jacket on top of other layers, so if I’m doing any kind of riding other than hacking I tend to ditch the jacket anyways when I get warmed up, even on the coldest of days.

My go-to for riding is a long sleeve top or fleece with a light or midweight jacket on top, so I’ve gathered quite the collection over the years.

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Noel Asmar Rider Jacket

In no world would I ever pay $238 for a lightweight jacket, so Noel Asmar as a brand in general has never been on my radar. I know of the brand because they advertise with COTH, and I’ve seen them advertise at WEF, but I never thought twice about buying something.

But when Smartpak had their lightweight Rider Jacket on sale for a steep discount, I decided to take a chance.

I measured myself as instructed by the brand’s guidelines, but the first jacket I received was just a little too tight around the middle, so I exchanged for the next size up.

It’s a really flattering design with a striped pattern around the waist and neck, slanted side pockets and zippers on the arms. It falls a bit below the hip.

It’s lightweight with no fill and a waterproof soft shell, which is essential around the barn. Oh So loves to put his runny nose on me when I groom and tack up so something that comes clean is important.

The back of the jacket has a zippered gusset to use when you’re riding, and the sleeves have soft cuffs with thumb holes to keep your hands warm. I find I never use that feature when grooming or leading Oh So, but it’s good to have nonetheless!

The hood is removable, and the zipper in front goes all the way up to my chin, but wasn’t uncomfortable, for those days when the wind chill is unbearable.

I was expecting this to be a bit warmer for the price. To me it’s more of a heavy rain jacket/windbreaker, which is still nice to have around the barn. It might be a bit too warm for a summer rain shower, but when the weather is changing rapidly in the spring time, I think I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

Asmar also makes a midweight version in several tempting colors, but for more than $300, I’m going to have to pass!

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Kerrits Horseshoe Hoodie

This is probably the warmest and softest hoodie I own. I love anything Kerrits, so when I saw this in person I couldn’t resist! It comes in black, red, grey and navy, each with a light horseshoe print. The cut is long, reaching most of the way over my backside, and it’s got quite a bit of stretch too.

The durable exterior keeps hay and dirt from sticking, and as a bonus, the handy front pockets are fleece-lined. Front pockets with zippers are essential for me because that’s where I tend to stick my phone, lip gloss and order of go while on assignment.

Kerrits offers sizes XS-2X, so this should work for a variety of riders. It’s a bit pricey for a hoodie, so make sure to shop the sales like I did!

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Noble Outfitters All Around Women’s Jacket

When I saw this jacket in blue and black on sale online, it spoke to me! Blue and black or color block anything will always get me, and this jacket was particular flattering.

The jacket is water and wind resistant, although after giving Oh So a bath recently I noticed the water droplets beading off of it, so to me the soft shell is almost waterproof.

The front pockets are lined with fleece to keep hands or phones warm (Is it just me or do phones drain their batteries crazy quick in the cold weather?).

There are velcro enclosures on the cuffs should you need to tighten them, but that wasn’t the case with me. In fact, if I’m bathing or grooming I sometimes like to roll my sleeves up, but I wasn’t able to because of the fitted nature of the jacket.

The sizing seemed about right, and the cut is slightly below the hips. For comparison, the Asmar sat lower.

The inside of the jacket was fleece lined, so definitely warmer than the Asmar. There’s no hood unfortunately, so this one is good for riding, but not for standing around and hand grazing on a cold night after you ride!

 

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