April 16th, 2012, 09:51 PM
Birding coat/jacket recommended - from an unusual source
Now, I'm not one for all things fishing, but I discovered a jacket that was made specifically for the fishing market and should be of interest to other birders. I've been using the Ron Thompson "Ontario" jacket for a couple of months now, and can honestly say that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to other birders. It has 17 pockets, including a large cargo pocket/pouch at the rear which I find holds any larger items such as drinks bottles, sarnies, gloves, maps, specs case, spare sweater, etc. The side pockets are big enough to get an A5 notebook in. The arms, which have snug velcro ends, are a good length which means they fit nicely over the wrist of a glove to keep out the wind, and stay there even when the arms are raised scanning the sky or tree tops, and they also zip off to convert it into a gillet. It also has an attached hood, which rolls into the collar but, not being a fan of hoods (how many birders are?) I've kept it rolled away to keep the collar nice and solid.
It is waterproof and windproof, if a little heavier than my old trusty Berghaus Arctic Gemini, but that just means it keeps it's shape well even when the pockets are stuffed to bursting.
The only negative point I have found with it is that it isn't made of breathable fabric, which results in some moisture on the inside, particularly on a very warm day.
But, that aside, it is a very nice jacket/gillet, and at a very reasonable £54.00 from GO Outdoors.