Craghoppers Piero Shell Jacket – A Copy And Paste
If you were asked to name a Craghoppers jacket that costs around £70, has an AquaDry membrane, is made of 100% polyester and weighs in at roughly 460 grams, you could be forgiven for thinking it was the Terrain Lite Shell Jacket; only you’d be wrong. Today we’re reviewing the very familiar and virtually identical Craghoppers Piero Shell Jacket.
A little while ago, we road tested the Craghoppers Terrain Lite Shell Jacket – we also got it thoroughly soaked during the Caledonian Challenge – and today we’re going to review it again, sort of. The Piero Shell jacket is so similar that we could probably have pasted the entire review over and switched a couple of pictures out. Instead, we’re going to show you the differences, of which there are few and highlight any advantages to shelling (ahem) out an extra fiver.
The Piero Shell Jacket is sold in two different colours – Blue and Green or Black Pepper/Black. The latter is actually Black and Blue (see the featured image) but for some reason Craghoppers have the colourway listed differently to how it appears.
Firstly, lets go over the similarities with both jackets. Both jackets are 29” long, both have grown-on hoods that use toggles and velcro tabs for adjustment, they both have an AquaDry membrane, they both have two external pockets and one internal. Both have pockets that’ll fit an OS map inside. They both utilise waterproof zips with inner stormflaps and have self-fabric cuffs with velcro adjusters as well as a brushed chin guard. They both also have an adjustable hem and contrast panels.
So what are the differences? The Piero is 30g lighter, £5 more expensive at £75 and has a bit of soft lining inside the pockets.
In truth, there is one more difference – the Terrain Lite Shell Jacket has a mesh hood lining whereas the Piero has a smooth lining. Oh and they have the AquaDry logo in a different place inside the coat. Please excuse my sarcasm. To highlight my point, take a look at the comparison picture below.
The Piero jacket suffered a similar problem to the old version of the Terrain Lite Shell Jacket which leaked slightly. After a long hike in the rain, small sections inside the coat along the zip were wet, so either the ‘waterproof’ zip or the inner storm flap isn’t performing well.
I also found a few loose threads, even though the jacket was brand new which is something I don’t usually expect with Craghoppers. As a brand I recommend to everyone, I almost feel as though they’re letting me down – I’m sure their quality control used to be better. The Piero isn’t too expensive, but for another £10 or so, you could buy something similar to the Karrimor Elite Alpiniste, which is more rugged and hard-wearing, has better waterproofness and a slightly better fit – though it does have a terrible hood.
I feel the fit of the jacket could be improved too – the sleeves remain a little too baggy for my liking and the enormous cuff adjusters fold the sleeve in half a third of the way up if you pull them tight – which isn’t aesthetically pleasing. The body length though, is spot on. Despite Craghoppers’ claim of good breathability, I found this to be incorrect. For everyday use, I’m sure there isn’t a problem but on a hard going, fast paced hike, I found myself getting warm very easily and once the rain had stopped and I removed my coat, I’m sure there was more moisture on the inside than on the outside.
Everything so far is very negative, so lets list a few positive points. Craghoppers have included pretty big, easy to grab zips that are long and have grippy plastic ends – even with a gloved hand, they’re easy to use. In general the coat allows water to bead off with ease, so despite the annoying damp patch inside after a downpour, you’ll stay nice and dry – this means that the water resistant finish is effective.
The hood is also quite good because it’s easy to adjust and it pulls in very tightly so you’re protected from the elements after a couple of pulls on the elastic. It does fold up quite significantly and for some strange reason, the bottom of the elastic isn’t underneath any piping, so it annoyingly rests against your face – but that’s a minor point when you consider the rest.
In casual terms, the black version of the Piero works nicely with jeans or chinos but if it’s a performance jacket you’re after, then you should look elsewhere.
In short, I wouldn’t recommend this product. I think this is the first time I’ve said this in a review and it’s a shame it comes from a brand I hold in such high regard. For £5 less, the Terrain Lite Shell Jacket is a better choice when comparing the features and the previously mentioned Karrimor Elite Alpiniste is slightly more expensive, but crucially it’s significantly better.