Swanndri Mosgiel 10 year review

Started by Optimist, December 13, 2022, 05:11:00 PM

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A little over ten years ago I bought a Swanndri Mosgiel bush shirt after a bunch of New Zealanders on the old forum raved about them.

It was marketed as a durable wool coat for wet weather. In my experience it has been very good for that. My short review is that if you live in a place that is frequently in the 30s and 40s Fahrenheit and raining this is probably a coat you should consider.

This is mine after ten years of use, including a decent amount of time working around the farm and going through the woods. No damage so far.

(might look shorter than it actually is as it is laying on a couch)

When I bought it I remember it being marketed as having a coating/treatment on the wool that made it water resistant, not waterproof but "shower proof" is what I remember them calling it. I live in a climate similar to the Pacific Northwest. It rains very frequently, but usually not very hard. I don't remember ever getting wet underneath this coat. There's lots of thick bushes and undergrowth here, and it is easy to get sopping wet in a very short time moving through it, but I don't remember this coat ever feeling sodden and heavy. However, this has been my experience with wool coats in general and I don't know how much can be attributed to the coating. I glanced at the Swanndri website and didn't see any mention of a coating but I didn't spend much time searching.

It's a thin coat, so it works best as a single layer in cool but not cold weather. Obviously this is very subjective, but for me it is ideal as a jacket over regular clothes with light or moderate activity from about 30-50*F. For everyday use I usually switch to a heavier coat once it gets to be below freezing most all of the time, but if I know a I'm going to be working hard this coat with some warm base layers is a good combo. It's not too bad in the 50-60s if I'm just sitting or standing around, but it's just too hot for hard work in the 50s unless fully unzipped.

The wool is fairly rough and scratchy. It has a liner around the torso that is smoother, but not on the sleeves so you might want to stick to long sleeves or skip this coat entirely if you don't like scratchy wool.

I like that it's very long. Having some extra material over my groin area keeps things a lot warmer if I'm wearing this coat over normal pants and don't have any windproofing/insulation on my legs. It also is very nice for sitting down and not getting my butt cold and wet.

I do have a long list of small things that make this coat good but not perfect for me. Some of them are my fault for ordering the wrong size and some are problems with the design.

They said right on the website that these run way oversized but for some reason I didn't trust them and ordered it in the size I normally get coats to make sure I had plenty of extra room for layers. This thing is massive on me and I can wear a very thick winter coat underneath with room to spare.

I also ordered the long/tall version. This got it to just above my knees. I like that length, but I think it causes the zipper to bunch up and catch. It's a big YKK zipper so it seems sturdy but it can be finicky at the very start/end when trying to put it on or take it off. I'm not sure but I think if I ordered the correct length it still would have covered most of my thighs and the zipper might work better. (It does have cuts and pleats on the sides so being long doesn't restrict leg movement.)

The hood is massively oversized. I don't think this is the result of my having purchased it too big, I think it's just an oversized hood. Most hoods are cut too big these days to accommodate hats (and thereby annoyingly requiring you to wear a baseball cap to use them) but this is a step beyond. I have a ridiculously large head that very few hats fit, so being a pinhead isn't my problem. The hood can actually occasionally slip over the brim of a baseball cap and obstruct my vision. The hood is removable, but I am annoyed by this (and most modern hoods) because I really like having hoods as a backup for when my winter hat gets lost and/or an additional layer of warmth, especially around the neck. This hood might be a positive feature if you normally wear a wide-brimmed hat (I seriously think cowboy hats might fit under it).

The pockets are too small. The two hand pockets can fit light work gloves but heavier winter gloves often fall out. It has one outside chest pocket (I'd prefer two) and one inside chest pocket. The outside chest pocket can hold a lightweight winter hat but not a heavy one. It can hold a small/medium headlamp but not a big one. It can't hold a winter hat and a headlamp at the same time. The inside pocket can hold some extra batteries or some hand warmers, which is what I usually use inner pockets for so no complaints on that front.

For everyday use I like to be able to stuff large winter gloves, thin glove liners, a big hat, a headlamp, a buff (neck tube), extra batteries, some chemical had warmers and a full-sized flashlight into my coat. This coat can't do that at all, which is another reason why I mostly wear it in the warmer months.

That mostly covers the negatives. Overall I've still been pleased with it. Since it has held up well with no damage I can find I've been considering paying to have a few alterations made by a tailor. I've been thinking maybe having a shorter zipper put on the front for more of a "fishtail" cut. I've also been thinking of maybe having loops added for a belt kind of like a trench coat/duster so that I can fully unzip it but not have it flopping around and also as a backup just in case the zipper fails. A few buttons and loops might be an easier solution.

I could have larger pockets added over the top of the existing ones, but I'm actually working on setting up an EDC hi-vis vest both for safety when walking down the road and as a way to quickly switch from one winter coat to another without having to move everything out of the pockets.

I've never owned a coat with pit-zips. I find the idea interesting, but I don't think I'll pay to to have them added especially since the coat is so loose it probably won't be as effective.

I could probably have the hood taken in a bit, but since I've been growing a bald spot I wear hats more often and it might not be necessary.

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