Review: 3 years with the Fjern Orkan waterproof Jacket

December 27, 2022  •  5 Comments

I've had the Fjern Orkan jacket for three years and I use it all the time for my evening walks in the Ochil Hills

I'm a pretty easy-going bloke, so I am maybe not the best person to split hairs over the merits of different items of waterproof clothing. I do however consider myself as being able to give my opinion of the Fjern Orkan waterproof jacket, having owned one since October 2019.

Walking around GlensheeWalking around GlensheeWearing the Fjern Orkan jacket

In the winter, I go night walking in the Ochil Hills once or twice a week in all weathers. I walk with my friend Livvy and we will only draw the line to venturing into the hills if the rain is torrential or the wind is above 40mph (64kmh).

This short (and noisy) 54-second video is a compilation of the wind and rain that we experience during our walks at around 2000ft (600m).  All of these videos were taken whilst I was wearing the Fjern Orkan jacket.

NightWalkingNight Walking in the Ochil Hills in all weathers

Once you view the above video, I hope that you will agree that I've earned the right to give my opinion of the Fjern Orkan jacket. Livvy, who you see in the video, has a preference for jackets that are over twice the price of what I paid for the Orkan and her jackets obviously work too!

The Orkan cost me £129 and it is currently on sale from Sportspursuit for £139 so it is keenly priced. I try to avoid buying very expensive jackets as I generally lose things and I am accidental, so I'm always keen to find something that works that won't be so painful if it gets lost or damaged. The Orkan fits this bill and it has surpassed my expectations on longevity.

The Fjern Orkan uses eVent fabric. I would describe this fabric as slightly more like an oilskin feel than Gore-Tex, but it's only a subtle difference and that observation takes me to the extent of my knowledge on these matters.

I recall the labels that came with the jacket saying that it should be washed often, although I can't recall the exact instructions... What I find works for me is when the water beading from the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) starts to fade, I wash the jacket in Nikwax Tech Wash at 20ºC and then, whilst the jacket is still wet, I coat it with Nikwax TX direct spray-on and leave it to dry. This reinstates the DWR to an "as new" condition and this has never worked so well for me before with my previous jackets. I only need to do this 2 or 3 times a year as well, which is tolerable.

As for breathability, I usually wear a grid fleece base layer with a fleece on top and when climbing, I have at times noticed moisture on the surface of the fleece. I always keep the armpit zips open to minimise this and it works so that I don’t feel damp. I could layer more, but I'm lazy.

The jacket is of an athletic cut and the external pockets are quite small and aren't fully waterproof. This is stated in the manufacturer’s literature, but I was surprised once when I reached into my pocket for my phone only to find the pocket half full of water. Luckily my phone wasn't damaged but Fjern state to store sensitive items inside the jacket in the provided pockets.

The hood is good. The peak is just large enough to protect the eyes from rain when traveling into the wind. You have to walk head down for this to work and although I carry goggles, I've not yet had to stop to put them on, although I've been close. 

The one issue I noticed is that the hood tensioner strings are to the side of the hood. In bad conditions, you have to pull these tight and as a result, there is string whipping about in the wind at the side of your face. One time the string whipped very close to my eye with sufficient force to make me nervous and tuck them in. I've since realised that the string comes out at neck level and the excess can be pulled from there to keep it tidy.

Finally, the arms of the jacket are longer than my arms, which probably says more about my arms than the jacket. I find this useful anyway as I can withdraw my hands into the jacket and shelter them from the worst of the wind.

So, all in all, I would recommend the Fjern Orkan jacket. It has provided me with good protection from the ravages of the Scottish weather. It is also competitively priced and durable enough to make me feel pleased at having bought one.

Me on Stob BinneinMe on Stob BinneinWearing my Fjern Orkan in wet conditons Me in Glen AffricMe in a wet Glen AffricWearing my Fjern Orkan in 2020.

The Ochil Hills at NightThe Ochil Hills at NightThe Ochil Hills at night

 


Comments

Chris Bowness Landscape
Thanks for the feedback MW. It's a shame yours let you down so quickly

The jacket in this review suddenly fell apart after four years. The taped seams and pocket zip all failed at the same time. I've bought a Paramo Velez Evolution for my Ochil's wet weather night walks in future, which will hopefully see me out. I use Buffalo systems gear for when it's below zero and multi-day jaunts. I've just bought the Fjern Skjold packable jacket for summer use, It's E-vent too, but half as waterproof, but much more breathable, according to the stats. I'll see how that works out...
M W(non-registered)
I bought one of these.

It leaked like a sieve and the DWR lasted about 4 hours before the fabric wetted out. I was wet under it.

Shame, as in every other respect, it's a great jacket.
BD Wear(non-registered)
I appreciate you giving this transit-related information. It was both fascinating and helpful. It's true that you wrote it simply so that everyone may read it and apply the necessary knowledge.
Jacket Empire(non-registered)
Great review, Chris! Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Fjern Orkan waterproof jacket over the past 3 years. It's impressive how well it has held up in the Scottish weather. Your tips on washing and maintaining the DWR are helpful too. Considering its durability and competitive price, it sounds like a solid choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Keep exploring and sharing your adventures!
Andy P(non-registered)
Nice one mate, tried to put the Still Game "naw ye havnae" gif to this phrase but the best laid plans etc....

"I hope that you will agree that I've earned the right to give my opinion of the Fjern Orkan jacket."

This one.... https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DsixHqLWkAAo3cL.jpg

Good review and hope to catch up soon.
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