As an off-roader with a penchant for tough, rugged and long lasting items, it should come as no surprise that I like Barbour jackets.
To be honest, I had no intention of buying a new jacket, but because I was following Muddy Madam around Cheshire Oaks, one of those huge retail outlet villages, I was bored. Then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a familiar sign, it was a Barbour outlet shop, “Hmm, let’s have a nosey.” And that’s how I ended up with a new coat!
If you’re unaware, shops in outlet villages generally sell last seasons ware, items which the bigger shops haven’t sold and want rid of to make way for new stock.
So, there I was, trying on jackets when I came across the ‘Commander Long’. I liked it, it looked good, it fit, so I bought it. Muddy Madam did mumble something about me having too many coats, but I chose not to listen.
Made from 6oz Sylkoil Waxed Cotton, it’s proven to be a very versatile jacket. I’ve worn it daily for work, nipping out to the shops, green-laning and as smart evening wear. Because it’s made from sterner stuff, I’ve even laid it on the floor to kneel on when I haven’t wanted to get to trouser dirty, and after a pat down, it’s as good as new.
On the outside it has 2 large bellowed pockets with buttoned flaps and a small collar - it’s pretty basic. The 2-way zip is offset to the left with centre buttons. On the inside there’s 3 pockets, 2 zipped on either side that will easilyhold your wallet or mobile, and a small one that holds a packet of TicTacs.
It isn’t the warmest of jackets, so it’s best to use a layering system. Also, because the inner sleeves are nylon, they sweat quite significantly, especially if you’re moving a lot. The other evening I decided to go for a walk, I was only out for 40 minutes, but when I returned and took it off, my shirt sleeves were wet through! Unlike other jackets, you won’t find any breathe holes or ventilation pockets.
If it’s a bit chilly out, wear a thin jumper and you’ll never feel the cold. It’s a great piece of kit that’s regularly thrown in the back of Duex Smurf and crumpled under other items, it isn’t fragile so there's no need to be over protective.
If you Google Barbour Commander you’ll get the limited edition jacket that some bloke called Tokihito Yoshida designed which is famous for being the jacket that Daniel Graig wore in the Bond movie Skyfall. Then of course there’s the similar looking Dept B Commander jacket which differed slightly but was available in greater numbers. My Commander however, is neither of these. In fact, I even contacted the Barbour PR team who couldn’t find any details of it.
So what I’ve done here is write a review on a jacket that isn’t for sale anymore, and probably will never be found again, pointless? Maybe. But I wanted to write this purely because it’s a Barbour jacket, and in my experience they’re hard wearing, classless, and like an old Series Land Rover, look better with age.
And before you lot say anything, yes, I know modelling isn't my strongpoint!