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Craghoppers Compresslite VIII Hooded Jacket

With a classic Snowdon backdrop the Craghoppers Compresslite, teamed here with the Torney fleece for added warmth, is in home country ~ note the storm flap on the main zip [© Jean Gormley]

The Compresslite VIII from Craghoppers is a cosy and remarkably rain-resilient hooded insulated men’s jacket, writes Mike Gormley.


The Compresslite VIII is a very good to wear jacket and proved its worth, and more, on a wet and windy trip to Snowdonia. In fact, it surprised with its resilience to the rain.

Heading up the Watkin Path and for now still dry ~ the Compresslite was proving ideal on this chilly day [©JG]

Having used it for ‘local’ knockabout purposes I wore this jacket one day on a trip up the Watkin Path in less than great weather. I purposely did not put a fully weather compatible waterproof jacket on to see how this one would cope, and broadly it faired very well indeed, considering it is not officially a ‘waterproof’ jacket. This day, the recent snow was just departing thanks to the rain, so it was pretty chilly as well as wet.

By the time we reached the famous Gladstone Rock the rains had arrived ~ no excuses for picture quality, now waterproof phone only, but I was still dry [©JG]

So, the Compresslite worn with a Craghoppers Torney fleece underneath did well as a combination. The only downside to the Compresslite is the hood. Really the hood is fine, but sadly lacks any form of adjustment so as soon as any wind, even a light breeze is encountered, off it blows! To me this is a real shame as it spoils what is really a very good jacket with wide-ranging uses. Even in an urban situation the hood would soon become dislodged in a breeze.

Further up the Watkin my face tells the story but I was still dry underneath in the cold rain [©JG]

As for many Craghoppers items these days, this jacket is made from a significant amount of recycled materials. Colour for this one is Chili Red but there is a good variety of alternative colours in the range. The Compresslite VIII is what it says and is both light in weight and very packable. The ThermoPro fill insulation is aimed to replicate the properties of down and certainly works well and is not so fussy about the wet.

The Compresslite has a well-sized chest pocket ~ note also the elastic cuffs and good front zip which brings the collar into use in poor weather [©JG]

The jacket has a very useful set of pockets with part-lined side hand pockets and good phone sized chest pocket. Cuffs are elasticated to keep the wind out, but the lightly elasticated hem has no drawcord; though I did not find this to be a problem. The main front zip has a useful storm flap to help keep the wind out. A very good jacket with just one spoiler ~ that lack of hood adjustment.

The hood was much needed this day but sadly with no drawcords it would not stay in place for very long [©JG]
Heading up the Watkin Path on a rough old day is a good place to be if suitably equipped ~ it is certainly a contender for the best route up Snowdon but it does have a sting in its tail which I recall from many years ago and with 70+ mph winds forecast on the summit that was not for us this day [©JG]

[images © Jean Gormley]


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