Filson’s ubiquity among the young city dwellers who’ve taken so strongly to the brand over the past few years is still mostly limited to just a couple items: the Mackinaw Cruiser, their remarkably versatile and durable heavyweight wool coat and, to an even greater extent, their Original Briefcase, which it can sometimes seem is standard issue upon being hired for any even remotely creative job in New York City. It remains to be seen whether their most recent offering, the Neoshell Reliance Rainjacket, will be joining those ranks any time soon. But after wearing the jacket for more than a month, through rain, sleet, and snow in temperatures ranging from the mid 30s to the low 60s, it would come as no surprise if it did.
The Good: Put simply, it serves its intended purpose extremely well: it keeps you dry in all sorts of conditions, and it’s surprisingly warm despite being plenty breathable when you start to heat up. Like all things Filson makes, the Reliance is built like a tank and feels like it will last forever. The list of features, from zippered pit pockets and a stowable hood to taped seams and a waterproof internal chest pocket, includes just about everything you could possibly want. Its exterior consists of a three-layer polyester material that is most striking if not for its ability to keep the elements at bay then for its ability to stretch and move with you throughout even rigorous activity. Also, something about the jacket gives off a slight Liam Gallagher vibe, which is nice.
Who It’s For: People who don’t want to get wet but who think umbrellas are inconvenient both because they’re always getting lost and are thus a poor investment and because they’re literally a slap in the face (or a poke in the eye) to those with whom you share a sidewalk? But for real: the Reliance is clearly built to stand up to the harshest conditions, for people who do actual work in the actual outdoors for significant amounts of time. So it’ll probably serve you just fine on your three-block walk from the subway, too.
Watch Out For: Well, for starters, it’s not cheap. $395 is a pretty serious chunk of change for a garment that, despite its relative versatility, is still somewhat specialized. It’s only offered in one color, albeit a nice one. And the jury’s still out on how it will fare in higher temperatures — once temps creep toward the 70s, you’ll probably want to switch over to their other new rainjacket, the lightweight, packable Swiftwater Rainshell, which would set you back another $195. And Filson’s stuff runs big. Like, really big.
Alternatives: The North Face Dryzzle Hooded Jacket, which is styled somewhat similarly and packs many of the same features, can be had for around $150 at all the go-to discount sites. Fjalraven’s Ovik Eco-Shell is an even pricier option at $499, while Mountain Hardware’s Overlook Shell Jacket does a pretty good impersonation for $175.
Verdict: There is no shortage of choices when it comes to high-performance raincoats, depending on the investment you’re looking to make and how you plan to use it. Could you get away with dropping a hundred bucks or less on something that’ll be perfectly serviceable? Sure. But what you have available to you in the Reliance is something altogether different: it’s a jacket that leaves no stone unturned in terms of features and general considerations, and given that it’s a Filson product, you can rest assured it’ll last you damn near a lifetime. If a raincoat isn’t tops on your list of essential items to splurge on at this particular point in your life, that is certainly understandable. But if it is? Look no further.
What Others Are Saying:
Not a lot of reviews out there just yet, but…
• “Awesome all around jacket… fit is great. Waterproof and breathable without being “crinkle.” — Filson customer John M.
• “Fits true to size, very stylish and effective at keeping you dry in inclement weather.” — Filson Customer Robert M.
External Material 5.5oz Polartec polyester shell
Interenal Material 100% polyester brushed tricot backer
Product Care Machine wash on cold, line dry.
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