Wander into any Western mountain town and you’ll immediately notice that almost everyone’s wearing the same thing: a blocky, brightly colored, sometimes downright ugly jacket, jam-packed with technical details so obvious you can spot them from a mile away. We city-slickers have our stereotypes too, of course, but that doesn’t make this — call it mountain bro style — okay. Luckily, there are a handful of brands making jackets with the best of both technical mountain performance and city sensibility.
Fisher + Baker Greenwich Anorak
It’s based on a traditional Inuit design, built to withstand frigid, wind-swept days fishing atop frozen lakes — a climate that the founders of Fisher + Baker know all too well, having grown up in Minnesota. Yet this anorak contains no shortage of modern upgrades: a densely woven Ventile cotton waterproof shell (not swishy or loud, like ordinary nylon), side zippers (for easier entry) and suede details near the hem.
Goldwin Mountain Jacket
In Japan, Goldwin has for years been an established outerwear and lifestyle brand; recently, they’ve made the jump overseas to the U.S. and beyond (in fact, Goldwin was one of our favorite new brands at this year’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Utah). The Mountain Jacket, made of GoreTex 3L, nylon and fluorine, is one piece of a nascent collection available to non-Japanese consumers.
Nanamica Gore-Tex Cruiser Jacket
Nanamica is rarely found outside Japan. But in the online menswear shop END, though, the highly sought-after Japanese brand has stepped onto the global stage — if only just a foot — with the GoreTex Cruiser, a distinguished mountain-ready rain jacket. Displaying immaculate attention to detail, the jacket’s bespoke features include a studded storm flap, high collar, cotton corduroy and GoreTex exterior, and more.
Klattermusen Rind Jacket
The Rind Jacket is decidedly Swedish in two ways: first, it’s made by Klattermusen, a Swedish heritage brand; second, it’s environmentally friendly (made of 70 percent recycled post-industrial nylon) without banging you over the head about it. It is also the lightest of these five jackets and packs all the technical details you’d expect any modern rain jacket to have: external storm-proof pockets, adjustable hem and hood, taped seams, soft polyester-lined collar for added comfort and more.
Peak Performance Civil Active Jacket
Sweden-based Peak Performance (Sweden sure does make nice rain jackets, huh?) built this futuristic, asymmetrical jacket to withstand nature’s most violent mood swings — that’s what the GoreTex Active liner is for — without sacrificing fashion-forward looks. Other features include three external pockets (one chest, two hand), rear reflective details and a relaxed fit.