As well as our much-loved Barn Coats and Painter Jackets, over the last few years we’ve developed a small collection of outerwear pieces inspired by classic outdoor design—specifically built with harsh winters in mind.
The Down Jacket was a new design for last winter that’s back by popular demand this year. Design-wise, it’s a nod to the time-honoured down-filled winter coats of the 1970s and ‘80s—a big, down-filled coat that wouldn’t look out of place shovelling snow in a Montana driveway, or on a hike in the Rocky Mountains.
That said, it’s not some throwback reproduction piece, and we’ve moved things up to date a bit with a contemporary shape (vintage outdoor jackets often had quite short arms) and a modern fabric.
It’s made from what’s known as a two layer nylon Oxford. This stuff is woven in the same pattern as the cotton Oxford cloth you’d maybe find on an Ivy League style button-down shirt, but because it’s made from nylon, it’s a whole lot tougher. It’s also got a water-resistant membrane, helping to keep the rain at bay even on the worst winter days.
We’ve also made the Down Vest. Made from the same double-layer Oxford nylon as the Down Jacket, this is pretty much the perfect cold weather layering piece—and it works just as well over a work-jacket on a crisp autumn day as it does under a big parka when the frost has well and truly set in.
The Mountain Parka is a new design for this season. As you’ve maybe guessed, it’s our version of the classic mountain parkas of the 1970s, with a big insulated hood and a high collar to keep you fully shielded. The outer shell is that same water-resistant double-layer Oxford stuff we’ve already mentioned a few times here, whilst inside there’s a full insulated lining. A bit lighter than the Down Jacket, this is a prime slice of everyday winter outerwear.
Our fleeces pull from the same era—with items like the High Pile Fleece, the Fleece Layer Cardigan and the Fleece Layer Vest taking inspiration from the sherpa fleece jackets developed in the late ‘70s. Unlike the more modern ‘micro-fleece’ fabric often used today, the early fleeces were made of thick, deep-pile polyester—almost like a synthetic shearling. Anyway, it’s that chunky fleece we’ve used—giving all the warmth of a wool jumper, without the weight.
This season we’ve ramped our fleeces up a notch—and the High Pile Fleece now features a two-way zip, as well as nylon patches on the elbows for a bit of extra protection. This season’s Vest now has nylon shoulder yokes too—which gives a bit of shower protection when the clouds open and adds another layer of reinforcement and comfort when you’re using a backpack.
As ever, the Layer Cardigan is still perhaps the most useful item of clothing we’ve ever devised. Sort of like the stripped-back younger brother of the Pile Fleece, it’s the kind of thing that you’ll find yourself reaching for a lot, and thanks to its low profile it works great under a waterproof shell when you need a bit of extra warmth.
And as you’d expect, all this stuff is put together the Stan Ray way—built to last, and designed for serious wear.