The weather has been absolutely awful recently so it’s the perfect time to get a new jacket for the winter season. We do a lot of outdoor activities, regardless of the weather so I needed something to suit this lifestyle. I had been doing a fair bit of research to find THE one and came across the Quechua Forclaz 400 Women’s Waterproof Hiking Rain Jacket. If you are unaware of Quechua, they are a Decathlon brand. We own quite a lot of Decathlon gear and have always been impressed by how great the quality and amazed at their value. The Forclaz 400 is the perfect combination of being both versatile and technical, suiting all types of outdoor pursuits with its many features; I have been very impressed so far and here are the reasons why…
As it states in the title, this jacket is waterproof due to some awesome technical features. The jacket itself is 100% watertight and waterproof with taped seams and is made from a fabric (a membrane) that just repels water, no need for a lining for added protection, therefore ensuring the jacket is lightweight. I always find Quecha’s waterproof gear is fantastic and really does keep the water out.
Like all of their waterproof products, the fabric of this jacket is treated with water repellent, so it will keep you bone dry. Even the zips on the main fastening and the outer pockets are waterproof. Although not a thick jacket, the fabric creates a barrier against the wind too so you stay warmer; the jacket really is ideal for these wet and wintry conditions.
Being so waterproof, you would expect it to be quite thick. However, this rain jacket is really lightweight and has excellent ventilation to help wick away any perspiration. There are underarm zips which I really like and the 3 layers (outer, membrane and inner) work together to prevent condensation within the jacket, especially during any exercise. I have found this ideal when walking up the steepest hills and on the coastal path around Cornwall.
As it is lightweight and made from a soft material, it really does give more freedom of movement. Although it has a tailored fit, I never feel restricted when wearing the jacket; I have found it very comfortable to wear, even on longer hikes. It is roomy inside and I particularly love the curved fit which gives you much more shape than other rain jackets I have worn in the past. I have been able to wear the jacket over jumpers and fleeces no problem. This is because the fabric has a stretch element, which enhances the comfort factor. Due to the anatomic design, it also has bends in the joints to allow for further movement. This is perfect for scrambling or more physically active pursuits.
There are plenty of useful pockets too. The 2 zipped outer hand pockets are an ideal size. Inside, you will find a zipped pocket on the chest for carrying your more valuable/personal items and 2 net pockets, great for your hat and gloves. The fit of the jacket is enhanced by the elastic hem drawcords and the toggles around the waist and the hood. These are really easy to adjust when on the go and allows you to personalise the overall fit. The attached hood has toggles to help adjust the height and depth of it, which is especially useful when very wet and windy.
At the forefront of the hood is a rigid peak to ensure greater face protection in poor weather. The wrist cuffs have Velcro fastenings to give a secure fit and give even more waterproofing effects.
Overall, I really do like the Quechua Forclaz 400 Women’s Waterproof Hiking Rain Jacket. Not only does it meet all of my expectations in a winter jacket, but also looks very stylish when hiking as well as being super comfy. Coats by other brands, with this feature set, would easily be double the price; It is so fantastic to finally have a jacket that does so much for such great value – I would recommend it to anyone.