Posted by Petrus de Klerk in Clothing, Gear on October 7, 2015
Two of Cape Storm’s newest items recently landed on my desk for review, the Iguaza Rain Coat (specifically for ladies) and their Rush 25 day pack. As I am not of the “lady” variety, I decided to get some outside help in reviewing these items and therefore gave both to my girlfriend to try out and get her ideas on them (noted that the “Rush” is unisex but that the idea of killing the proverbial two birds with one stone sat well with me).
Firstly, the Iguaza is a waterproof coat (with a 3,000mm water head rating) and a mesh lining, meant for everyday use. Due to the weight, length and bulk thereof, the Iguaza is more suited for hikes and/or commuting day-to-day than it is for running. There are vents at the back which should help regulate temperature somewhat but when doing vigorous exercise it would probably become way too hot too soon.
Our test jacket was a size “M”, and fits a size 34 lady comfortably, with a little bit of extra “play” – something that will definitely come in handy during winter when you are bound to be dressed in slightly bulkier clothes and therefore don’t necessarily need a tight fit. That being said though, the Iguaza has a draw-string around the middle of the waist (on the inside lining) meaning that it can be fitted nicely and still have a “clean” silhouette. As far as the overall sizing goes, the length at the back is more than ample to keep more than just the upper body dry, although the sleeve length (with Velcro for tightening at the wrist) feels a little short. The jacket has a hood with a slightly reinforced peak, but our tester commented that the size of the hood is probably a little small should you want to fit a high ponytail or bun under it. This can however be negated by pulling the drawstring a little tighter than normal but it would have been nice to have some extra room.
Further on, there is a full zipper and three additional press studs (one at the bottom and two around the neck area) to keep the jacket closed and secured, as well as four evenly spaced Velcro straps so that the zip stays hidden behind a flap that runs the length of the front. There are also two big zippered pockets along the sides of the jacket for storing a phone/wallet securely or keeping your hands warm and dry on those particularly stormy days.
Overall, the Iguaza is a solid choice as an everyday jacket, and comes in an appealing deep purple colour that should work well with most outfits. If you’re looking for something to use on a day-to-day basis, this might just be exactly what you want. Coming in at under R1,000 it won’t break the bank, and as it is well-made it should be durable enough to last you at least a couple of winters.
Next up was the Rush 25 pack, Cape Storm’s go-to daypack. The pack comes with a large zippered back pocket, further divided with a separate compartment, large enough to hold 20 plus litres of items (the “25” in the name refers to the overall 25 litres capacity). The pack has comfortable shoulder straps that can be tightened to fit, as well as two canvas pockets on the side large enough to store dual 500ml water bottles within reach.
There are two additional zippered pockets on the outside – the first being a small zippered pocket for storing items that need to be in closer reach (a cell phone or cash, for example), and the other being large enough to store a sandwich bag, complete with special storage space for pencils and/or pens. These features make the pack ideal for commuting students or young professionals.
The pack sits comfortably on your back, and with compression straps on either side can be adjusted to fit comfortably whether fully loaded or carrying only one or two textbooks. Another feature we specifically liked is the fact that there are soft foam straps that run the length of the pack against your back that serves the dual purpose of helping with ventilation as well as adding some comfort when storing more bulky items.
Overall the Rush would serve well as either a day-to-day pack for basic commuting but is comfortable enough to use as a day pack for short hikes. Coming in at about R600 it will compete well with most other offerings in this target range and is well worth considering.