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Woman wearing reversible jacket by the sea

Review: Finisterre Transition Reversible Jacket

A fully recycled, reversible jacket with lightweight insulation for active adventures in changeable conditions

For those looking for a highly versatile jacket that is as stylish as it is practical, look no further than the Finisterre Transition Reversible Jacket. Boasting excellent breathability, stretch and comfort, this sustainably made jacket is ideal for winter walks and running in cold weather. Read on to see if Finisterre have nailed the balance between fashion and function, or not.

Finisterre Transition Reversible Jacket: The stats

Best use:Walking, winter running and everyday wear
Weight:395g (size 10)
Weatherproof:Water resistant
Insulation:Recycled synthetic
Eco conscious:Made from 100% recycled content

Features of the Finisterre Transition Reversible Jacket

Outer / inner fabric

Jacket fabricAs this jacket is reversible, both the inner and outer linings are made from the same fabric: 100% recycled (GRS certified) polyester. The fabric is breathable and is treated with a fluorocarbon-free durable water repellent (DWR) finish for protection in light rain.

Insulation

Finisterre jacket on womanThe jacket is filled with S-Form 40gsm insulation. Like the outer / inner fabric, the insulation is fully recycled (GRS certified) and traps heat effectively without extra bulk. Though not as compressible as down, the FEI (Finisterre Engineered Insulation) retains 75% of its warmth when wet compared with down. Additionally, the low profile of the insulation improves breathability.

Pockets

Internal pocketThere are two hand pockets on both the orange and navy sides of the jacket. These are zipperless and open. On the orange side there is also a zippered chest pocket which doubles as a storage sack in which the whole jacket can be stuffed and stored.

Hood

Hooded jacketThe simple hood design has an equally simple adjustable system. Soft toggles, which look like small folded pieces of neoprene, slide along the elasticated cord to tighten the hood opening. This is then loosened by stretching out the hood opening. It’s surprisingly effective. The hood also features a high neck to keep the breeze out.

Cuffs and hem

Sleeve cuff on jacektThe cuffs and hem are tapered into the body. They are very lightly elasticated and non-adjustable.


Woman looking out to sea wearing Finisterre Jacket

Finisterre Transition Reversible Jacket review

New to Finisterre in 2021, is the Transition Reversible Jacket. As with almost all Finisterre clothing, the Transition bridges the gap between style and function in the outdoors. But does it do it as seamlessly as it could? From a brand that is born from the “needs of hardy British surfers”, one expects Finisterre clothing to be burly and robust. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that it is also a fashion brand. The crossing of these lines is what Finisterre does best, which is why it has grown to the brand that it is today. And though this jacket does perform very well for its intended purpose, there are a couple of design flaws that push it slightly into the fashion camp, for me.

Style

While we’re on the subject of fashion, let’s cover this one first. The Transition sits very comfortably in the casual and sporty jackets section. There’s nothing super technical and outdoorsy about its aesthetics. It has a relaxed fit that is at home paired with your favourite jeans as it is with your running tights. The reversible and contrasting linings even have you covered if you like to mix up your running outfits! In fact, the only place this jacket seems a little out of place is when worn with technical hiking gear.

Fit and sizing

The fit is true to size (I’m wearing a size 10) and, as mentioned, a relaxed design. And because the built-in 4-way stretch fabric moves with your body, it’s a good option to wear over other mid layers without feeling restricted. However, the main problem with the fit of the Transition is that it is on the short side. Unfortunately, I feel that Finisterre have favoured fashion over function in this area. Its lack of length means that I get a cold backside when running, and when hiking with a pack the whole back of the jacket rides up underneath the backpack. Most of my mid layers are also longer than the jacket and stick out below it! So unless I’m only wearing a base layer, which I can tuck into my trousers, there’s always something sticking out below the jacket.

The main benefit of the short hem is that it fits nicely underneath almost all rain jackets without the bottom edge creeping out and getting wet.

Woman wearing Finisterre Transitition Jacket

Warmth and breathability

Aside from above-mentioned downsides, there is very little else to say about the Transition that is negative. From a technical point of view it performs as it should and is much warmer than expected. Sure, it’s never going to be that cosy down jacket you can’t wait to get into when you take a break on the trail or after a winter surf. But so long as you are moving, the 40gsm of recycled insulation provides plenty of comfort on days as cool as 2 or 3ºC when worn with a fleece and baselayer.

Filled with Finisterre’s “most breathable insulation for staying comfortable when on the move”, I have also been pleased to wear it on trail runs on the really cold days. On Cornish coastal runs, when the windchill can dip the temperature down to near freezing on even moderate winter days, this jacket provides excellent protection. I’ve worn it with only a t-shirt underneath on such days and have neither overheated nor cooled down. And better yet, the breathability is as good as Finisterre claims. Very little moisture build up occurs inside the jacket, even on the steep dunes and coastal climbs.

Packed jacket next to bottle

Weatherproofness

Though certainly not windproof, the Transition does a decent job at keeping out most of the chill on very windy days. And despite the lack of zips at the pockets, the reversible design means that you don’t get a breeze creeping in through the pocket openings.

The water repellent fabric couldn’t be better for coastal running and walking when there’s always moisture in the air. We get a lot of, what the Cornish call, ‘mizzle’. Rain that is so fine it’s almost mist, but far too wet to be in cloud form! The sort of conditions in which we don’t think a rain jacket is needed, but probably should be worn. The fluorocarbon-free durable water repellent (DWR) finish beads the mizzle well and it takes ‘proper’ rain before it starts to penetrate the fabric.

Woman standing by the sea

Versatility

The Finisterre Transition Reversible Jacket is a surprisingly versatile jacket, despite its shortcomings in terms of length. Its casual design makes it a superb option for everyday life at the beach or on the coast when the weather is changeable. Its weather resistance means that getting caught out on an impromptu beach walk isn’t a problem. It means that you can stroll into town without having to take a waterproof in your bag, just in case. Plus, the lightweight insulation provides comfort during the warmer months when days at the beach are hounded by a stiff onshore breeze. It’s packable enough to just chuck in a beach bag. But it also provides warmth against the bitter winds of winter when running and hiking the coastal path.

And finally, its stylish design and reversibility means that it’s a winner for wearing with a whole host of different outfits!

Woman wearing reversible jacket by the sea

What I love the most about the Finisterre Transition Reversible Jacket

Its comfort, stretchiness and breathability make this casual-looking jacket ideal for being active in. It’s a surprisingly versatile jacket for life by the sea. It’s also hard not to love the reversibility of the jacket which adds even more versatility.

What I don’t love so much about the Finisterre Transition Reversible Jacket

I don’t love it’s length. It leaves me feeling a bit exposed during the winter, is impractical when wearing layers underneath and it rides up when carrying a backpack.

Also, the toggles that adjust the hood bounce around when running. You need to tie them together to stop them bopping you in the face with every step!


Woman sitting looking out to sea

Verdict

The Finisterre Transition Reversible Jacket is highly versatile jacket for year round use on the trail, at the beach or for everyday wear in changeable conditions. It has good levels of insulation for winter running and walking in the shoulder seasons. Plus, it packs into its own pocket to chuck in your bag for those ‘just in case’ days, and its aesthetics mean it works as a casual jacket as well as for more technical uses. Its short hem lets it down a little for me, taking away a small amount of functionality in cold weather.

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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About the author

author-joey

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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