With the Haukland Explorer 5-in-1 jacket for photographers we've created a jacket specifically for photographers. The small photo backpack and the microfiber cloth in the sleeve of every jacket (also in the fleece and the quilted jacket) are certainly the coolest features. But apart from that we have tried to create a great all-weather jacket that you can wear in any season.
Of course, this also includes the outdoor features of the outer jacket. It is made of a special wind- and waterproof material, which is additionally refined by an impregnation.
The outer jacket has a water column of about 6000mm - but what does that actually mean?
The terms watertight, waterproof, etc. are confusing and can sometimes lead to false expectations, which we would like to clarify in this blog entry. Basically, a material is defined as waterproof if it has a minimum rain column of 1300mm (Germany) or 4000mm (Switzerland).
The designation in millimeters indicates the pressure at which water penetrates into the material. When sitting on damp ground, a pressure is built up, which corresponds to about 2000mm water column, kneeling even about 4800mm. The boys and girls of www.bergfreunde.de wrote a cool article with many comparisons.
Just because a material is waterproof it doesn't mean that you can run through heavy rain as long as you want without getting wet. On the one hand, the moisture comes not only from the outside, but during physical activity also from the inside, and secondly, the rain column just indicates the pressure needed to wet the material with water.
So you need to make sure that you choose the perfect mix between breathable (wicking moisture from the inside out) and waterproof when you choose the materials for a jacket.
This can be achieved for example through membranes (multiple layers) like Goretex or ventilation. Additionally, the material itself has a certain density, but the seams don't. As you know, fabrics are being connected with needle and thread and lots of small holes. As a result, the fabric can more easily be penetrated by water at the seams and also the zippers.
The Haukland Explorer outer jacket doesn't have welded seams. Welding means, that every seam that has been sewn is additionally sealed with a kind of rubber. This is a complex process that also costs money. Although this means that you can stay longer in the rain without water penetrating through the seams, it also means that more moisture stays inside the jacket, which makes you sweat more.
Outdoor manufacturers such as Northface, Patagonia and Co have been developing really great models and materials over the last few decades, making jackets with rain columns higher than 20,000mm and costing between 250€ - 600€. These are extreme-duty jackets that are mass-produced and sold to tens of thousands around the world.
You can't expect the same from the Haukland Explorer outer jacket for 139€, which is produced in small quantities especially for photographers, like you would from a jacket that sells for twice the price. That is simply not possible.
With the Haukland Explorer jacket you can easily walk through light rain for a long time and even strong wind is not a problem. The jacket is breathable and comfortable. Both in summer and in autumn with the fleece underneath or in winter with the quilted jacket and optionally the fleece underneath. We wore the jacket both in the summer (outer jacket only) and in freezing temperatures and snow (all three jackets together) and were fully satisfied.
You can get all this for 300€ in a set or for 139€ separately. An all-weather jacket.
However, you shouldn't expect that you can stay in heavy rain for hours with the Haukland Explorer jacket, without a drop penetrating through the jacket or not freezing during a North Pole expedition. These are extreme situations for which the jacket wasn't made.
We wanted to make the best 5-in-1 jacket for photographers to make it easier to take photos and look great, at a price that's fair. Hundreds of satisfied Haukland customers confirm that we have succeeded!