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Craghoppers Women’s Minola Gore-Tex Jacket

Lizzie out on the moor during Ten Tors training ~ her Minola jacket working well when carrying a pack © Mike Gormley]

The Craghoppers top of the range Women’s Minola Gore-Tex waterproof jacket came to the rescue on a very soggy Dartmoor, writes Mike Gormley.


In early spring I was asked to help two young ladies I know, through the Dartmoor Ten Tors and Moorland Training group I am involved with, to evaluate the Craghoppers Minola Jacket.

At Kes Tor during a training weekend walk Ruby was glad of her Minola on this chilly misty day [© MG]

We had some extremely wet training sessions on Dartmoor back in the early part of the year ~ many of you will know what that can be like ~ and the jackets these ladies had at the time were just not up to it. So, with help from my friends at Craghoppers, we equipped Ruby and Lizzie with the Minola jackets in the hope their problem of getting a soaking when out on The Moor during training and then for the main Ten Tors event would be a thing of the past for them.

The hood has good adjustment by drawcords, kept captive so they don’t flap in the wind, and there is also a volume adjuster at the back plus a useful peak to help keep rain off the face [© MG]

They never quite got to experience the same soaking as before (good job) but in the wet periods they did have the Minolas kept them dry. The Minolas also got the thumbs up as far as their windproof ability, though the breathability was perhaps a bit lacking; but in fairness when slogging up those Dartmoor Tors with a pack on and you are tramping on to get those miles covered, in the case of these two ladies it was 45 and 55 miles, there is a lot of warm moist air to shift through a waterproof membrane!

Seen here in close up is the main zip with pull tab ~ note zip ‘garage’ at the top to protect the wearer’s chin plus the captive hood adjuster [© MG]

The main event this year turned out to be a mostly hot one, which in turn was an issue for many of the walkers. However, for the chill very early morning starts and when walking late into evening to camp up, the Minola proved to be ideal to keep the walkers warm and protected from the chill breeze until things warmed up. These jackets are relatively light at 540 grammes and easily packable, so ideal for when they need to be stowed away in the rucksack for the next time they are required; and on Dartmoor with its very changeable conditions you are never really sure when this might be.

Inside the main front zip there is a secure internal phone and/or documents pocket [© MG]

The Minola is, like many Craghoppers garments, made from part-recycled fabric. This jacket also has the benefit of two layer Gore-Tex membrane to help keep the water on the outside. The fabric offers good wind resistance and general breathability and is also a ‘stretch’ fabric; important when trudging up those hills with a full pack on.

The Minola has two ample size external side pockets for hand warming or stowage ~ note also the good length of the jacket [© MG]

This jacket is well equipped with suitable stowage having six pockets, including ones for mobile phone and security, to cater for most needs when out on the hill. Access to the two main side pockets tends to be inhibited by the rucksack waist belt as it crosses over the zips, so the belt needs to be released to gain access, though this only relevant if a large rucksack is being carried.

The side pockets are large enough to take quite bulky items, such as the team radio as here [© MG]

The Minola has a good hood with the necessary adjustments for comfort to keep the bad weather out, assisted by a waterproof full length front zip. It is a relatively long jacket to keep the rear end protected, especially when carrying a load and having to stretch and reach climbing up over rocks and other rougher terrain.

The cuffs are a good size and have easy to use hook and loop adjusters [© MG]

The trial jackets are in Charcoal but this model is also still available in Blackcurrant. All in all, after quite a lot of ‘real’ use the ladies liked the Minola.

Ruby, in her Minola, and her 55-mile team wait for the starting gun at the start of the Ten Tors main event ~ although dry, the morning air was chill so the Minola was welcome to maintain body heat for the off [© MG]

[images © Mike Gormley]


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