Swazi Wapiti jacket - tried and tested
- Credit: Archant
We put a this super durable, smock-style hunting and shooting jacket from Swazi to the test, and find that the Wapiti offers great protection and strong vlaue
I have been using a Swazi Tahr smock for stalking for around three years now and have become a big fan of the simple design and the latest Aegis fabric. So when a colleague asked if I’d like to trial the Wapiti jacket, I leapt at the chance.
First thing you notice is the weight – or lack of it. The whole thing weighs just 1,300g. This is not an insulated coat, so you will need to wear it as part of a layering approach in cold weather. But that means the jacket doesn’t stifle your natural movement or bulk you up like some others do.
I love the big, chunky two-way zip (ideal when wearing gloves) and the extra long cut that allows you to sit on the jacket if you don’t have waterproof trousers on.
I know from speaking to the guy that Swazi founder Davy Hughes is no lover of pockets, so I didn’t expect to find loads plastered over the Wapiti. However, there are two generous pockets with press-stud closure and handwarmer flaps built in to the sides. There’s a waterproof map/phone pocket on the chest, too, hidden behind the storm flap.
The sleeves feature a stretchy inner cuff to stop water running up your arms while crawling or glassing, and there are adjustable outer cuffs to keep everything staying where it should.
The hood is built in with an adjustable peak and designed to deliver good peripheral vision and still shed water well. You can even roll the jacket up and store it into the hood.
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The Aegis three-layer claims to be fully waterproof, windproof and breathable: the holy trinity of outdoorwear properties. My experience with both the Wapiti and the Tahr, used in the highlands, the lowlands and as far afield as Finland, is that it performs up there with the very best in all departments. It might not be the very quietest, but it is light and tough and very easy to live with.
It offers great mobility, superb weather-resistance and can be had in either dark olive or paler ‘tussock’ green and can be ordered direct from the Swazi website. It is not a cheap coat, but it is far from the most expensive on the market and, in my experience, delivers really strong value.