​​Craghoppers Dynamic 12000 Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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​​Craghoppers Dynamic 12000 Jacket | Review

A stylish and innovative waterproof jacket with a unique feel-good factor

Why we chose it: Innovative, sustainable, stylish

Craghoppers’ new Dynamic 12000 jacket is not only designed to keep you dry and comfortable in the great outdoors, but also to improve your overall wellbeing, since it has a unique feelgood factor. Huh? Well, this jacket is equipped with a special mesh lining, imbued with six natural minerals, that apparently reflect your body’s own infra-red rays back into the body. Supposedly, these rays can improve the circulation of oxygen-rich blood and encourage cell regeneration. In turn, this promotes faster healing of deep tissues, keeping you active for longer.

That’s according to the marketing blurb, anyway. Cynics will scoff, but on the flipside, there are many advocates of similar IR and red-light therapies, and it is an increasingly popular field of alternative medicine that has been used to treat inflammation and even chronic or acute pain. Peer-reviewed research on its effectiveness is relatively scarce, although one study on infrared therapy for chronic low back pain that followed 40 patients over six years indicated impressive results.

Photos: Chris Johnson

Of course, it’s hard to assess whether it really works in a jacket. The mesh can only reflect the body’s own naturally occurring radiation after all, so it is likely to have a limited impact at best. Did we feel better after a day in the hills with the Dynamic than with other rain shells? Well, maybe – but we could put that down to numerous other factors. Ultimately, this is a technology that probably isn’t going to be top of the list when shopping for a new waterproof. But if you’re a believer, it’s a definite plus.

What Is The Craghoppers Dynamic Jacket Best Suited To?

As its on-trend, colour-blocked design might suggest, this jacket is aimed at “young, active and eco conscious” outdoor enthusiasts. It’s priced at £120, and is available in both men’s and women’s versions.

“It’s the sort of jacket that would easily transition from rainy city commutes to weekend adventures in the hills.”

Obviously, given its USP, the Dynamic 12000 tech will particularly appeal to those who are advocates of IR therapy. Infrared light – that is, light emitted beyond the visible end of the light spectrum – is essentially what makes the sun feel warm on your face. So, if you like the idea of having that sunny glow inside a jacket, this might be for you. Supposed health benefits aside, it should also mean that the Dynamic is marginally warmer than most waterproof shells, a possible benefit in chillier weather.

But even if you reserve judgement on the merits of the reflective mesh inner, this jacket still has all the features we’d want in all all-round everyday waterproof shell – the sort of jacket that would easily transition from rainy city commutes to weekend adventures in the hills. As such, it’s a versatile outer layer that combines both style and practicality. Add in the sustainable approach and a price tag that isn’t too scary, and you’ve got a very well-rounded jacket. So, it gets a firm thumbs up from us here at Outdoors Magic.

Eco Credentials

Here’s where even the cynics can’t fail to be impressed. The Dynamic jacket is made from a recycled stretch polyester fabric. According to the brand, around 60 plastic bottles are recycled to make each jacket. The Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment applied to the face fabric is similarly eco-friendly, using EcoShield plant-based chemistry rather than the harmful and persistent perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) found in many other waterproof jackets.

Construction and Performance

That polyester fabric is backed with Craghoppers’ own PU-based AquaDry waterproof-breathable membrane. In the lab, this has technical ratings of 10,000mm Hydrostatic Head in terms of waterproof performance and 10,000g/m2/24hrs in terms of measured breathability. Both of those figures are good benchmarks for a hillwalking waterproof.

The recycled polyester has a soft handle and a nice drape, so it doesn’t feel too stiff or crinkly. It feels reasonably durable too, though it’s worth noting that for its weight, polyester is a weaker fibre than nylon. But then, this isn’t a jacket that has been designed for overly technical use or the most punishing terrain – you’re not going to be inching up rock chimneys or scraping across granite boulders.

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Other features are very practical. There’s an adjustable, grown-on hood and four good-sized pockets (an inner zipped security pocket, an external zipped chest pocket and two zipped hand pockets). Hood adjustment consists of two cordlocks to cinch the hood in around the face, plus a rear cordlock at the back of the head to adjust the overall volume of the hood. It’s just a shame the hood doesn’t have a slightly stiffer peak or brim to deflect rain away from the face. However, the hand pockets are well placed, so that you can still get to them even if you’re wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt.

You also get an adjustable hem and shaped cuffs with Velcro tabs, providing good all-round coverage. Similarly, a deep collar and highly water-resistant front zip further improve the weatherproofing. Built-in articulation, with ergonomically shaped sleeves and a scooped tail provide enhanced protection even when bending or stretching. Reflective trims also ensure better visibility in low-light conditions, whether you’re night-hiking in the hills or coming home from the pub.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“I’m 5 foot 10 and weigh about 11 stone and I’ve had this in a medium, my usual size. For me it’s been just the right fit. I like the cut Craghoppers have gone for actually – it’s loose, so you can easily wear a thick insulating layer underneath, but then it isn’t too baggy either.

“I’ve found this to be a well-designed everyday walking jacket. I can’t fault the eco-friendly fabric and finish, nor the practical array of hill-friendly features. It also has a unique USP thanks to that reflective mesh, which is certainly unusual. At this price, I think it represents good value too.”

“IR is interesting technology & it certainly is used by Olympic level athletes recover from exertion. However I am not so sure that it is at its most effective this far from the skin – I do know that this garment is part of an integrated layering system, so keep your eyes open for the other parts too. Recycled materials & PFC-free is almost the industry norm now…”

Craghoppers Dynamic 12000

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