Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
The Performance Softshell Jacket itself is a 3-layer softshell is both water and wind resistant, to help shelter the wearer from those blustery, and potentially shower filled days of Spring - Photo by Lorraine Peachey
Spring is an absolutely incredible time of year. I love watching the world come back to life after seeming like it’s been sleeping for the past several months while hiding under a lovely blanket of snow. The snow has finally been banished away (well, after it came down pretty much all day long on the first day of spring — guess it just needed one last hurrah).
It’s so uplifting to wake up each day to the sound of birds happily singing and chirping. And to watch the warm rays of lights spill over the ground as the sun comes up is definitely worth pausing and taking a moment away from my barn chores to see the hues of pink, purple and orange staining the sky. And it also makes me smile to look on at the spring bulbs coming up and the trees budding up.
This season is also one of unpredictability — you get a beautiful t-shirt weather day with temperatures in the 50s, and then the night might dip down into the 20s. And the wide range of temperatures, coupled with the oh-so typical spring showers means that versatility is needed, when considering what to wear out in the ever varying conditions of the outdoors.
I heavily rely on my weather app to check the weather conditions and forecast each and every day. Multiple times a day, actually. But let’s face reality: the forecast is just that. A forecast. Which means that things can change, and the forecast can be wrong. It’s ok, because I know that weather is something that has the ability change on what seems like a never ending basis.
That’s why it is so much more important to be able to have pieces in my wardrobe that are versatile enough to be able to handle a range of weather conditions. So that’s the watch word of today folks: versatile. I want apparel for life around the barn to be able to handle whatever the day has to throw at it, while keeping me comfortable enough for getting my chores done, or going for a ride.
The prospect of having a whole closet full of different coats and jackets, each with their own specific purpose, is a daunting prospect, to say the least. And even when I take the time to carefully check the weather forecast, things seem to change at a moments notice – so even with careful planning, I still might end up wearing outerwear that turns out to be all wrong for the day.
Unless, of course, I find that elusive “all around” jacket that is able to keep me sheltered from whatever weather conditions arise and still keep up with me when I’m working and riding. It’s not an easy thing to find, because I’m pretty focused in on making sure that my jacket is sporting all of the right features to support great functionality.
My all around jacket must protect against rain and wind, be breathable enough for warmer days, but warm enough for cooler days, have a functional hood, plenty of pockets and I’d prefer that it look great also! A little bit of a demanding list? Maybe – but I’m oh-so happy when I find a jacket that meets all of my criteria and is up for the challenge of life around the barn and around town as well.
Even if the day turns a little breezy or we have a shower pop up, I just pull up the hood and keep going about my day with a smile–because I’m still dry and can keep on working or riding while rocking an oh-so stylish jacket – Photo by Lorraine Peachey
This spring season, I’ve found myself comfortable and sheltered from the elements while wearing the Women’s Performance Softshell Jacket from Dickies. And it has really been a jacket that fits the bill well for me during the unpredictable days of Spring, where one day might be warm and sunny, and the next might be chilly and rainy.
The Performance Softshell is actually a piece from the Dickies Performance System, which is a collection that has been designed to keep you protected and comfortable while you are working or active. The jacket itself is a 3-layer softshell is both water and wind resistant, to help shelter the wearer from those blustery, and potentially shower filled days of Spring.
One of the really terrific features of the Performance Softshell is that the outer shell contains spandex in the fabric content, which allows the jacket to have a bit of give to it. The Softshell Jacket also has a full zip front, and features a lovely and durable feeling zipper pull. The front zip also has a storm flap all the way along it, as well as a chin guard (because who likes to catch their chin in a zipper?).
I also find that I like the extra bit of warmth that the lining of the Performance Softshell Jacket provides on days that are a little chilly — it is smooth and soft to the touch; it is made out of 100% polyester, and feels akin to a micro-fleece fabric to me. The jacket also boasts two roomy side pockets that zip open/shut with the same durable feeling zipper pulls, and are also lined with the same material as the inside of the jacket.
And you KNOW that I’m happy when I say that the sleeves of the jacket are long enough for even my long arms – Photo by Lorraine Peachey
Along with the two side pockets, the jacket also features a slightly smaller pocket on the inside left chest. This inner pocket also zips open/shut (also with the same durable zipper pull), and it also contains a media port for your ear buds. There is also a functional 3-piece hood that you can pull up and adjust with drawstrings for a just-right fit or you can detach it by unzipping it completely if you would prefer to wear the jacket without the hood.
The Performance Softshell Jacket also sports an elastic bungee type cord that runs around the inside of the bottom hem, along with two adjustable pull tabs which allows the wearer to tighten or loosen the tabs for a more customized fit. The sleeves of the jacket also feature Velcro tabs at the edge of each, so that you can adjust the width of the sleeve openings.
From the first time that I picked up the Performance Softshell Jacket, I was pleasantly surprised at the weight of the jacket – it is very substantial feeling for a softshell, and the polyester lining definitely help keeps me warm enough when I’m out on slightly chilly days. Though I can appreciate that even when the temperatures travel upwards, that I’m not overly warm either.
When I pull on the jacket, I feel pretty good about pulling up the zipper – because it is nice and sturdy feeling in my book. The fit also works really nicely for me; the design of the jacket is definitely flattering in such a way that I feel like it falls in just the right spot between too baggy or too fitted. And you know that I’m happy when I say that the sleeves of the jacket are long enough for even my long arms.
I find the 3-piece hood to be well fitted to my head, and the adjustable tabs allow me to get just the right fit. And even though I like the option that I can remove the hood with a quick and easy unzip, I tend to prefer to just leave it attached to the jacket – for reasons of both function and style.
There is also a functional 3-piece hood that you can pull up and adjust with drawstrings for a just-right fit – or, you can detach it by unzipping it completely if you would prefer to wear the jacket without the hood – Photo by Lorraine Peachey
The slight stretch that Performance Softshell features, thanks to the spandex content in the fabric, really helps to make it more comfortable to wear while working or riding. Because instead of feeling constricted while I’m the midst of my daily activities, I (really) like that the fabric has more give to it. It just helps to make the jacket that much more comfortable.
It is also terrific that the side zip pockets are large enough to store things in while I’m working or riding – My phone. My keys. My utility knife. My chapstick. And even some horse cookies. Everything that I want to carry fits nicely, and I don’t have to worry about anything falling out since the contents are securely zipped inside.
I’ve found the Performance Softshell Jacket to perform really well for me through whatever conditions the Spring season has thrown at me this year – cooler days are no problem, as I’m kept toasty with the lining. Even if the day turns a little breezy or we have a shower pop up, I just pull up the hood and keep going about my day with a smile–because I’m still dry and can keep on working or riding while rocking an oh-so stylish jacket.
The Performance Softshell is offered in a variety of colors, and patterns. If you prefer a more traditional look, you can choose from Black, Antique White, or a lovely shade of orange called Mandarin. And if you prefer to go for a slightly more sassy look (like I did), you can pick from three different camo patterns–including Pink Lemonade Camo, Mandarin Camo, or Wild Lime Camo.
Go All Around Jackets (that Out Weather the Weather). Go Dickies. Go Eventing.