I have called this ‘initial impressions’ as I cannot, in the interests of journalistic ethics, write a full review of a jacket I have only had for 3 weeks. The full review will come once we have had a chance to wear it through a whole British summer – sun, rain, wind, hail, sleet and snow. However I can promise you that although I have only had the jacket for three weeks, I have barely taken it off in that time. In fact I’m wearing it whilst sitting in my office right now. I even nearly wore it to bed! Never let it be said that e-Venting does not conduct thorough product testing!
The Top Notch is a brand new design from PC Racewear, as part of their ‘A Little Bit Racey’ collection – clothing which has moved away from the pure functionality of specific riding wear. This is a jacket that will look as good wandering the shopping village at Badminton, or in the members tent at your local point to point, as it will in the saddle. It is designed to be lightweight and showerproof.
When I first opened the package with the Top Notch jacket in it I confess I thought ‘oh, it’s a bit plain’. But actually its plainness is its virtue. It has very flattering lines, pretty much uncluttered by unnecessary colour blocks, patterns or excessive branding. This makes it look like a fairly unassuming piece of clothing hanging on a coat hook, but once on it is transformed. It is cleverly tailored to fit the female shape, flaring slightly at the bottom where it covers your hips.
It is a pretty sturdy piece of kit too, and stays smart with wear. I have literally chucked everything at it in the past few weeks and it still looks smart. We have had disappointingly little rain, but it has kept out the chilly winds and repelled the showers we have had. The high collar, with zip done up to the top has certainly been a bonus in the recent weather!
I also think it would be a brilliant piece of clothing for ‘teamwear’. Because it is fairly plain there is lots of room for your business name/sponsors’ logos etc. It’s certainly high on the list for when I finally get round to ordering our branded workwear – PC Racewear offer a custom personalisation service for their clothing.
So far, so brilliant. I love it. I’m supposed to pass it to another member of the e-Venting team for a longer term test and am already considering lying and making up some excuse so I can keep it. “The dog ate my jacket, miss”…..
The jacket is currently available online on the PC Racewear website here
Look out for a thorough longer-term Tried and Tested review of the Top Notch jacket later in the summer.