Teacher’s Comments: Light, roomy and breathable.
I have unfortunately had ample time in the past couple of weeks to field test the Fila Golf London Waterproof jacket. The weather this spring has been extraordinarily rainy—the start of our league has thrice been postponed because much of the course is under water.
Still, I’ve managed to get some playing practice in weather that could only charitably be described as drizzly. On those rounds, I’ve been very thankful that Fila sent me one of their London Waterproof Windjackets for testing.
From a golf swing perspective, the jacket fits very well. It is roomy, and the “mechanical stretch” fabric allows a great deal of freedom of movement. It’s a big step up in that respect from my older Nike Storm Fit jacket. That tends to bunch and reduce movement.
The fit is great, but where the jacket really shines is in its fabric. The material is both fully waterproof and breathable. That avoids the problem presented by some cheaper waterproof jackets (especially the “provisional” jackets) that keep the rain out, but trap your body’s moisture inside. The end result of those jackets is that you still end up damp.
A little Boy Scout knowledge here:
Breathability is by no means new to fabrics. Gore-Tex has been around since 1980. Indeed, I already own several “breathable” rain jackets for camping and golf purposes. The difference with the Fila fabric is its feel. This is much softer, lighter and more flexible.
It is, however, ultimately not as waterproof nor as breathable as a Gore-Tex fabric. Typical Gore-Tex weather fabrics offer 28,000 mm of waterproofness and 15,000 g/m2 of breathabilty. That means that the jacket will hold up to 91 feet of rainfall in a single day. A breathability of 15,000 indicates that 529 ounces of moisture can pass from the inside out in a 24 hour period.
Fila’s Waterproof Windjacket has a waterproof rating of 3,000 mm (9 feet in a 24 hour period) and a breathability of 3,000 g/m2 (105 ounces). That’s significantly less, but conditions regularly faced by golfers are considerably less severe than those of campers and other outdoor adventurers. If a golfer is faced with a rainstorm that will sustain more than four inches an hour, chances are he’s headed to the clubhouse.
I’ve had no issue in a steady drizzle.
The seams of the jacket are additionally reinforced with waterproof tape. Anyone who has ever camped in bad weather (as I do frequently with the Scouts) will tell you that the seams on a tent are its weakest link. I am sure the same holds true on jackets.
Another nice feature: the jacket has a detachable hood.
I have two suggestions in the design department. First, the jacket needs additional pockets—an inside breast pocket at a minimum. People carry so many gadgets these days that I don’t think a jacket can have too many pockets.
Second, I’d like a tighter sleeve closure.The current ones have a velco tab, but it doesn’t quite close snug enough for my tastes. This may be a design decision, since a tighter sleeve will trap more body moistue.
Still, I think those are minor complaints for a jacket that fits as comfortably as the Fila London Waterproof Windjacket. I think that Fila has made some very good design tradeoffs for the golfer. Making the jacket more waterproof would likely increase weight and cause a loss of flexibility.
Fila also makes a women’s waterproof windjacket called the Victoria.
Just as an aside: I assume that London refers to the city and that Victoria refers to the queen (unless it is one of several places named after the queen). Therefore, to keep the naming conventions similar, wouldn’t it make more sense to name the men’s jacket the Churchill? Or the Peel, Disraeli or Gladstone (Victoria’s prime ministers). Or if the decision is to stick with London(for its famous rain) wouldn’t it make more sense to name the women’s jacket the Manchester, Tyneside, or Glasgow? Tyneside sounds a bit feminine, doesn’t it.
But I wander too far afield.
As for the Fila Waterproof Windjacket: recommended
Victoria Women’s Waterproof Windjacket