Regatta Mystro Jacket
The Regatta Mystro jacket is fine for starting out, a solid beginner’s jacket. If you’re new to the sport, you’ll more than likely avoid venturing out in foul weather and might need something on the off chance that you’ll get caught in a shower. It doesn’t mean that the jacket will need to be particularly technical, just that it’ll protect you from the worst of the downpour. If you don’t want to be spending a fortune for a jacket that’s going to be in the bottom of your pack this might fit the bill. Likewise, if you’re just planning on a few walks and don’t want to invest too much in a waterproof.
The good stuff out of the way, we won’t get overly excited about this jacket. The best thing about it (other than the price!) is that it has a name that sounds like one of the X-Men, but the one where cheapness was their superpower as opposed to anything useful or exciting such as repelling water from 10 metres.
Furthermore, I am rather wary of venturing out on the hill without a decent jacket, but many of you will probably have an everyday waterproof that may be more technical and of a higher quality that would be as good, if not better, than this for the odd ramble. If you can afford it, a more expensive walking shell would be a better bet. Though that’s not to say this is a bad jacket, for the price it’s good. It’s infinitely better than the navy blue school parka that I set off on my first hill walk at around 14, found it wasn’t remotely waterproof and ended up half frozen. Or the old 70’s cagoule that had found its way to me after that incident, that had the peculiar ability to keep sweat in as well as permitting any rain that fell to join it. While 1987 me would have been very grateful for this jacket, 2012 me less so! It demonstrates how far technology and expectation has moved on, as well as the affordability.
For the price, the fabric is surprisingly breathable, but I expected it to perform akin to one of those 70s sauna suits so even if it did exceed my expectations that’s not saying much. The mesh inner stops it feeling particularly clammy. Neither am I impresses with the colour. It’s a rather hideous blue that’s somewhere in between the old school parka and 70’s cagoule, whilst trumping them both in it’s lack of visual appeal. At least you can pack it into one of the pockets if you really don’t want to look at it! The zips have a cheap feel about them, which is to be expected I suppose.
Overall, for the price you can’t complain. If you can’t afford owt else, then this might just suffice in the short term if you don’t want to take on challenging walks or only want to go walking when the weather is settled and rain highly unlikely. So for the one time walker up for Snowdon or similar, it’ll do the job. Though you’d be much better off spending a bit more on a jacket that’s more breathable and a little more aesthetically pleasing that can be used both as a general jacket and for taking on further walks in the highly likely event that you enjoyed the walk up Snowdon and want to go again (which is more likely if you remained comfortable on the first trip!)
Summary: Cheap and almost cheerful. Suitable for the beginner on an extremely tight budget, though even then we suggest you sell a kidney* or similar in order to get some proper mountain kit.
*we’re kidding about the kidney.