A relative newcomer to the outdoor market, Scapegoat turned our heads with its women's collection that made its debut in 2008. This winter we asked two testers to try out Scapegoat's fashionable Standard jacket, and both women gave it high marks. They reported that the jacket not only kept them warm while walking and running everyday errands, but it also was attractive enough to wear in an office setting or for a night out on the town.
The Standard has Primaloft Eco insulation and a polyester outer fabric (available in lavender, black or absinthe) that has a durable water repellent (DWR) finish. One tester wore it regularly during 30-degree temperatures and said that she was very warm -- and she admits to be a person that gets cold easily. Our other tester noted that the Standard also kept her warm, but she felt a bit cold when the mercury dropped below 30 degrees. Both testers noted that the DWR effectively shed light rain and snow, though, they were generally exposed to moisture just 15 minutes or so.
The jacket has a trim fit, and both women liked the silhouette. Scapegoat noted that the arms of its jackets are relatively long, but both testers liked the length and said that the jacket fit well. If there was any criticism, it's that one woman said the jacket tended to ride up in the back and let in cold drafts if she bent forward.
Most impressive were all the design details that make the Standard comfortable and attractive. As far as aesthetics, it has well-designed front pockets with metal snaps, as well as a metal front zipper, which add a little street sense to the jacket. The front pockets have knitted fabric at the opening to add some visual interest, and vertical stitching along each side of the jacket also makes a nice, subtle touch. Even the lining of the jacket has a bit of design flair, as there are fun, embossed-like icons -- martini glass, telephone, jet plane, bunny, ballerina, high-heeled boots and more -- that are muted and appear slightly glossy. All of these things combine to make this a jacket that can go far beyond the trail or ski slope. "I really like how versatile this jacket is, and it looks good enough that I can wear it to the office," said one tester.
In fact, the Standard is so attractive that one tester said she prefers to not wear it for outdoor chores where it might get dirty. "It's so nice, I don't want to mess it up," she said.
But it's not all just good looks. Great attention has been paid to make the jacket truly functional. For example, each sleeve includes an inner sleeve that has a rib-knit cuff. The snug-fitting cuff keeps cold air from flowing inside, and it appears more stylish than the standard Velcro-type closures on outdoor jackets. Also, an abrasion-resistant film covers the edges of the outer cuff, because this is an area that typically wears more quickly.
One woman noted that the collar is comfortable when the jacket is zipped all the way up, thanks to microfleece patches that prevent the jacket from rubbing the chin. There is also a welded storm flap behind the zipper that blocks air and moisture and prevents the zipper from snagging. Inside the jacket there are two pockets, including a laser-cut pocket and one with a zipper to secure money or an ID.
While our testers used the jacket during outdoor walks and hikes, both indicated that they were turning to it less for wilderness pursuits and more as a jacket for travel, work and everyday trips in town. It's not that the Standard isn't constructed well or durable -- they just thought it looked so nice that they didn't want to get it messy.
If there is any limitation to the jacket, it's that people might hesitate to buy it as a true backcountry piece. But there is no doubt that Scapegoat has created a high-quality piece of apparel that is now hanging dead center in at least two closets.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Retail price: $275
For more information:www.scapegoatbrand.com