Living in Montreal in the winter quickly turns you into an expert meteorologist. You can decipher between squall and flurries, regular ice and black ice and even between freezing rain and freezing drizzle.
Such broad range of expectations require a proper winter arsenal—most people own several jackets. But, what if you could wear only one jacket from November to March? One that fits to go to work at the office, to head out for a few pints with friends and for the occasional hike.The Mountain GTX parka by Woolrich John Rich & Bros offers just that.
Don’t be fooled by its name, this jacket is more in its element waiting outside of a new trendy restaurant than climbing Mt Washington. You definitely could use it to climb above the treeline, but it would be like driving a Range Rover where a Jeep would be more adequate.
Insulation and Material
To accomplish its mission, the Mountain GTX uses two of the best (and expensive) materials available: duck down and Gore Tex. The Gore Tex layer is guaranteed to protect you from any wind or water (in its many forms) thrown at you, while the down keeps you warm.
This jacket strikes the right balance between warmth and breathability. Let’s admit it, some jackets are just too warm! There is not much that I dislike more than sweating in my jacket as soon as I get inside. My Woolrich John Rich & Bros jacket kept me warm outside and cool inside. It is also surprisingly lightweight for a winter jacket.
Style-wise it is very classic and elegant without looking parvenu, making it durable in time. Not surprising for a company founded in 1830 that still sells some of its original designs today.
Cuffs & Zippers
The quality and the finish of the product is as you would expect from such a high-end product. The cuffs are very pleasant, the zippers are tough, the seams are sealed and no down comes out of the jacket.
The hood is very large, insulated and cozy. It does require proper adjustment, otherwise it might feel too big and—on a windy day, it could act as a parachute.
One downside is that there is no upper inside pocket to store your wallet. There are, however, two large inside pockets at the bottom of the jacket but, in my mind, are not secure enough for valuables. Also, some could find the fabric too stiff probably because of the use of Gore Tex, but then again it is a small price to pay to stay dry and warm.
In conclusion, the Woolrich Mountain GTX Parka is a very good-looking yet very technical jacket that is sure to keep you dry and warm, whatever the weather.