I have been testing the Amherst softshell jacket from Trespass over the last few weeks and have to say I love it. I have been wanting a Softshell jacket for a while, remembering an old Windstopper fleece I had many years ago. It was excellent for messing around outside on days that were forecast to be ok, and also doubled as a town coat, suitable for everyday use.
The modern softshell jackets are a new take on the windproof fleece, which is a step forwards from these earlier designs. Trespass do a range of softshell jackets with prices from around £25.The Amherst softshell is a fleece material in the inside, and a soft, just-not-shiny fabric on the outside. It is spec’d to be windproof and also showerproof, meaning that cold breezes should be taken in its stride, and the odd shower will not leave you running for your waterproof. It has great pockets to keep your hands warm and also a chest pocket, which is good for a phone, some change, or jelly beans depending on your mood!
I have found the Trespass Amherst to fit exactly what I was hoping and more. It is a great jacket to wear round town or out and about, and came with me as my jacket/jumper on a recent work trip to Tenerife as well being used most days by me. This goes a long way to show how much I like this jacket – I normally will not wear a coat or jacket at all, unless the weather is atrocious so the fact that I have been wearing it daily is testament to how much I like it.
I have used the Amherst jacket on several outings as a family, including trips to the beach, walking through the woods and a recent hill walk in our local hills, the Sidlaws. I have been very impressed with the jacket on valley, beach and forest walks where it functions exactly as I would want, keeping me warm and keeping the wind off, even fending off the odd short shower with ease. I was a little less keen on its performance on the hills. With a stiff cold wind but no rain, I was definitely starting to feel the cold, and wind getting through after around an hour fully exposed to the elements. I would not be keen to rely on this softshell alone in the hills, where shelter is less available and quick escape is not possible.
In a way this is no great surprise, in that different equipment works best (and is designed for) different purposes. If I am going on a long hill walk I will be packing my lightweight insulation layers (merino tops and down jacket) along with a hard shell waterproof. I have a windproof, less breathable hard shell which gets most use in winter and on slow hill walks with our son, whilst my superlight hard shell is best for high energy activity as it is highly breathable and really waterproof. In the same vein this Trespass Amherst softshell is ideal for valley walking, shorter activities, forest walks and everyday wear as a coat.
Overall I have been very impressed by the Trespass Amherst softshell and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a warm, windproof and occasional showerproof jacket that can be used as an everyday jacket and is also ideal as an outer layer for lower level walks and shorter outdoors activities as a family. The Amherst jacket has earnt a place in my regular use outdoor gear and I am looking forward to using it a lot more over the winter.
Disclaimer: We’ve been given this product by Trespass to review in exchange for our honest opinion.