If you’ve ever gazed wistfully at the price tags on top brand outdoor gear and wished you had deeper pockets, this one’s for you. H&M, the clothing store of choice for millions of teenage girls, have launched (21 September 2023) a new ‘Move’ range of outdoor kit in what they call a move to ‘democratise the way we explore outdoor spaces’.
If that sounds like mere marketing patter, we’ll admit that we were sceptical that H&M could hit the sweet spot between high performance, durability, design, functionality, and affordability. So, we took it for a couple of test hikes on a wet and windy Wales Coastal Path and were impressed with the way it handled the wind and the rain. It’s long enough to avoid leaks around the waist and the velcro’ed cuffs staved off drips down the sleeves. The StormMove material is their own trademarked water-resistant shell, and certainly does the job.
The zippered side pockets are deep enough for even a water bottle, and wea appreciated the extra zip chest pocket which was great for glasses or a phone. Throw in taped seams, well-placed underarm pit zips and drawstring waist and you’ve got yourself a proper bit of kit that’s light and easily folds down to stow in a backpack. One gripe: while the large hood is helmet compatible, which would make it good for cycle rides, we did find it a bit fiddly to make the necessary adjustments to stop it engulfing us without a helmet.
The jacket comes in four colourways and sizes from XS to XXL – the large was generous enough for a fleecy layer - and there are both men’s and women’s versions.
In conclusion, H&M have come up with a genuinely impressive performance shell at a very affordable price. We’re not sure about the rest of their outdoor range, which looks a bit, er, youthful for our taste, but you can’t have everything.