What better way to test a new jacket than to take it away on a typical British Bank Holiday weekend. There’s bound to be a wide variety of weather conditions to put it through its paces. Trespass asked me to review an item from their extensive collection and, after much deliberation, I chose the Bela Women’s Softshell Jacket in Cerise.
I took Bela on a trip from my home in Lincolnshire to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire then on to the Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth. A further stop in West Bay, Dorset, to check out the location of Broadchurch, gave Bela a run on the beach before we arrived in Exeter for an impromptu parental visit of our student son, Rory.
I was very familiar with the Trespass brand but I didn’t really know the background of the company. So here’s a little information about who they are and what they’re about.
The history of Trespass
Trespass was established in 1938 in Glasgow as Jacobs & Turner Ltd, originally providing technical workwear for organisations, including uniforms for the local police. However, it was the development of waterproof jackets which shaped their business over the following decades. The company created their dedicated Trespass brand in 1984 and it became synonymous with high performance, quality outdoor clothing. They branched out into affordable skiwear, boots and equipment and in the 90s developed their own trademarked fabrics. It’s good to know they still have their HQ in Glasgow: a great British firm who partner and support a number of charities and organisations.
The technical stuff
- My softshell jacket cost £59.99, reduced from an original price of £119.99 – (other colours priced from £30.99)
- It’s made of a lightweight, windproof Tres-Tex fabric created by Trespass
- Waterproof rating of 8000m (it can hold back a column of water 8m long before water would seep through the fabric)
- Breathability of 3000mpv (moisture vapour permeability – the amount of vapour which can be expelled from the fabric when you sweat)
- Trespass technical rating of TP75 which is above their basic TP50 level but not quite as technically top-notch as a TP100, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
Features I loved
- The jacket comes in a number of colours but I did like the cerise pink with the black edging.
- Adjustable zip-off hood. It’s good to know there’s a hood if you need one, but as I wanted my jacket to look city-smart, the fact that the hood was detachable was a big plus.
- 3 zip pockets with a warm, cosy lining. If you forget to bring gloves, these toasty pockets will soon bring some warmth back to your fingers.
- High collar plus chin guard. Having short hair, the design of the jacket collar was ideal, keeping the wind from whistling down my back. When zipped up, the protective cover over the top of the zip was excellent, stopping any chin abrasion.
- It’s slimline. I bought a small size so it would be snug, ideal to wear over a T-shirt and cardigan but nothing thicker than that. I have a ski jacket if I need proper winter protection. You might want to order a slightly bigger size if you prefer to wear it with thicker layers.
- The back is slightly longer than the front. This was perfect for keeping out the draught. My mother would be pleased as she always warned me that there’s nothing worse than getting cold in your kidneys!
Bela goes to Bletchley Park
The sun was shining intermittently last Saturday morning but it was decidedly chilly. Bletchley Park, the place where the Enigma Code was cracked, is spread over a large area around a lake. My Trespass jacket was ideal as it kept me warm in the gardens and in the functional wooden huts but was light to carry when we walked around the new visitor centre.
Softshell protection in Portsmouth
A day is not enough to experience all the naval attractions at the Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth. We decided to focus on HMS Victory and the Mary Rose, which still gave us time for a couple of museums plus a tour, by boat, around the harbour. The Trespass jacket was only removed when we walked through the special air-locked doors of the building housing the Mary Rose: the warm, humid atmosphere is designed to keep the ship from further deterioration.
The weather became much colder out on the water and Bela proved her worth, yet again, providing excellent insulation against the winds coming off the sea.
No drama on the Broadchurch beach
A great many fans of Broadchurch had the same idea as we did, heading to West Bay in Dorset on Easter Monday, to see where the ITV drama is filmed. As the final episode was to be shown that night, there was a buzz about the little seaside village. Day-trippers poured out of their cars to clamber onto the beach and take photos of the dramatic cliff face, which features frequently in the series.
Bela the Trespass jacket was very much at home on the beach, keeping out the coastal breezes.
Trespass jacket ticks all the boxes
When we eventually reached Exeter, and delivered a box full of Easter treats to our boy, the sun came out for good and Bela was consigned to the boot of the car. During the whole weekend the jacket had served me well, however, keeping out the cold but not weighing me down. Unbelievably, there was no rain during our mini-break so I couldn’t test out its ability to keep me dry. My husband Dougie offered to spray me down with the garden hose when we returned home but I declined. I’ll trust Trespass to do its job when the rain finally arrives.
I was given a Trespass jacket of my choice to review. All opinions are my own.