Keela Harris Tweed Smock | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Mid and Base Layers

Keela Harris Tweed Smock | Review

Heritage smock with classic good looks and timeless appeal, perfectly suited to bushcraft weekends in the woods or chilly nights around the campfire

Why We Chose It: UK-made, carbon-conscious manufacturing, durable

Developed in partnership with Peak District-based bushcraft and survival school Woodland Ways, this unusual smock is a core piece in Scottish brand Keela’s Heritage range. It employs British-sourced fabrics in the form of heavyweight Harris Tweed and Millerain Stay Wax Cotton panels. This results in a classic look and feel, which works in perfect harmony with the timeless smock pattern design.

What Is The Harris Tweed Smock Best Suited To?

It’s a supremely well-made garment that will appeal to campers, bushcraft enthusiasts and any other outdoorsy types who prefer the look and feel of natural fabrics to new-fangled modern synthetics. It’s also a real investment piece – one that not only ought to last for many years but will also get better with age as it gets worn in.

Our tester James using the smock in the Lake District’s Borrowdale Valley. Photos: Joe Whitmore

It’s certainly no lightweight – this isn’t a packable, ultralight layer for backpacking or long-distance walking. But for weekends in the woods or low-impact camping trips, it would be the perfect warm, weather-resistant top.

Eco Credentials

There are a multitude of British brands in the outdoor industry: Mountain Equipment, Montane, Berghaus, Rab, Paramo, Craghoppers, Alpkit, Sprayway, Rohan, Vango… the list goes on. But comparatively few of these companies actually manufacture anything in the UK.

“A commendably low carbon footprint.”

This smock, however, is lovingly made at Keela’s Scottish HQ using materials sourced close to home – namely, Harris Tweed from the Hebrides and British Millerain waxed cotton from Lancashire. As well as showcasing a long and proud heritage of British fabrics and British textile manufacturing, this also gives the garment a commendably low carbon footprint.

Construction and Performance

Wool has long been known for its remarkable properties, which is why it has been used in clothing for centuries. In fact, it wouldn’t be a push to call woollen garments nature’s own performance fabric, since they offer good UV protection, naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, good warmth (even when wet), temperature regulation and long-term durability. This smock is made from Harris Tweed, i.e. heavyweight 100% virgin wool, and so boasts all of these qualities. In addition, the waxed cotton panels across the shoulder yoke add extra water-resistance and durability – ideal if you’re lugging a haversack full of vintage camping gear.

This is also a great layer for evenings around the campfire, since wool is more fire resistant than cotton and most synthetic fibres. It has a lower rate of flame spread, a lower rate of heat release, a lower heat of combustion, does not melt or drip and forms a char that is insulating and self-extinguishing. Or to put it another way, if you catch a flying spark from the fire, you won’t go up in flames. Reassuring.

In terms of features, you get a stand-up collar with a chunky three-button chest placket, side vents for improved freedom of movement and better coverage when sitting in camp, two buttoned chest pockets and a slim arm pocket (into which you could easily slip a pen or pocket-knife), a scooped tail, button cuffs, and – an unusual addition – a loop to enable you to keep a fire steel handy, just in case.

The fit is fairly relaxed, and if you hover between sizes, we’d recommend sizing down. It’s a heavy and warm layer that works well with a long-sleeved baselayer underneath, ideal for chilly days from spring through to autumn. It isn’t as windproof as you might expect, especially in exposed locations, but in the shelter of a campsite it kept us very toasty indeed.


One of the more unusual bits of kit we’ve tested here at Outdoors Magic, the Keela Harris Tweed Smock is perhaps not for everyone. There’s little here that is likely to appeal to hardened mountaineers or ultralight backpackers. But if you’re a keen bushcrafter or camper, it’s hard not to be won over by this smock’s timeless looks, classic appeal and genuine Made-in-Britain credentials. We approve.

Keela Harris Tweed Smock

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023
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