The HydroSeries range from FootJoy is pretty comprehensive, bringing three golf jackets all boasting different attributes to the market: the HydroKnit, the HydroLite and the headline garment, the FootJoy HydroTour.
As the headline piece, the HydroTour is said to tick all the boxes for golfers who are not scared to play in the most testing of conditions, cold, wet, windy - if the course is open, they're playing.
I tested the HydroTour on a cold winters day in Manchester, playing Withington Golf Club to assess the performance where it matters most.
FootJoy are claiming to have made the 'ultimate storm-proof jacket' using some specific technologies.
A lightweight 3 panel construction is said to reduce bulk and weight making it easy to pack away whilst maximising mobility during the golf swing.
A new stand-out patented dryseal collar is said to specifically protect the back of your neck from rain by channelling water out through two grommets (small holes) on the back of the collar.
Obviously, the HydroTour claims to be 100% waterproof also thanks to a specially engineered waterproof fabric with a Xtreme DWR finish, dual sealed seams, and YKK Aquaguard waterproof zippers.
To give you extra peace of mind, FootJoy warrants that this piece of outerwear will be 100% waterproof in normal use for three years.
FootJoy HydroTour Jacket Review
I tested the HydroTour in the black / charcoal / lime colourway, which I have to be honest wasn't really to my taste. If you're like me, don't worry though as it also comes available in a navy / black / red colourway which I prefer having seen it on pictures. However this is just personal preference as I've never been a huge fan of bright colours like lime green on waterproofs.
Having said that I actually think the overall design of the HydroTour will appeal to a lot of golfers: It's classic FJ styling with a contemporary nod thanks to a couple of different elements.
The contrasting chest panel and zips give it a slight stand-out edge on other waterproof jackets and will make it easy to tie it in with other areas of colour in your outfit, for example shoes or a hat.
Performance and Versatility
Performance-wise, as you'd expect from a £225 waterproof jacket, the HydroTour excels.
Once on, I found the fit comfortable to wear and swing in. I tested the jacket in a size medium and found the fit to be snug without being too tight in any areas so that it would restrict my golf swing, bearing in mind underneath I was wearing a short sleeve polo shirt and an FJ half zip mid layer, I was still swinging freely and unrestricted.
Throughout the testing the jacket kept me very warm, which in most cases in winter is an obvious plus. I did find however that when taking the jacket off post-round, moisture had gathered on the inside of the jacket, because of this I found the breathability of the HydroTour to be a drawback. The last thing you want to be when you're layering up to protect yourself from the elements is a little too hot under the collar, so to speak.
Therefore if you're playing in the warmer but still wet weather, I suggest going for something more lightweight like the FJ HydroKnit or the FJ HydroLite. I suppose that's a plus for the HydroSeries range - there are plenty of options for all weather.
But it does beg the question, are we now expected to buy three waterproof jackets priced over £150 instead of just one?
An element of the jacket that I thought was poor was the zip. FootJoy say 'A waterproof front zipper allows for easy on/off wear, whilst protecting you from the elements when accessing pockets.' Unfortunately during my testing I didn't find this to be the case. I found the zip to be clunky and very hard to use in fact. It felt stiff and at times hard to pull. This stiffness could be explained by the waterproof materials used so there is a trade-off, but I see this as a drawback all the same.
One of the standout features is the DrySeal double collar system, which caught my eye the first time I saw the jacket. To explain it simply, the jacket almost has two collars - an inner and an outer collar. The inner layer has an elasticated cord running through it so you can adjust it to be tight around your neck. The outer layer then has two small holes in the back of it which are there to allow any water that gets inside the collar to flow away down the back of the jacket, instead of inside of it.
This felt warm on my neck and on the surface this seems like a great innovation for when the rain really starts to come down, but is it really that necessary? Nice idea that again helps warmth but to be honest I'm not that sold.
There are a number of other nice features including 3 outer pockets and one inside pocket for a scorecard, as well as Velcro cuffs that mean the sleeves are not going to get in the way when gripping the club.
FootJoy HydroTour Jacket Verdict
The overall build-quality of the jacket felt really premium. The four-way stretch material allowed for real ease of movement during the golf swing and it really kept me warm and comfortable during my testing so all in all the HydroTour passed the test.
There are some slight niggles that I have like the zip, the need for the collar and the colourways available but I have to say, those aside, this is probably one of the best golf jackets I have reviewed for Golfalot.
It's very FootJoy - it's reliable, good quality and will do the job for a lot of golfers when the weather turns sour.
Would I Use It?
Yes, but not regularly. On the days where it really is cold and I am looking for an old-school, 'proper' waterproof top to not only keep me dry but to also keep me warm - this is the jacket it will be leaning on.
It's not my favourite in terms of aesthetics but it does tick a lot of other performance benefit boxes and I can see it being popular in 2022.
- Four-way stretch fabric allows for great mobility
- Jacket is warm and comfortable
- Collar is comfortable and seems to work
- 100% waterproof
- Simple design will appeal to a lot of golfers
- Zip was faffy (I wouldn't want to deal with it whilst having cold and wet hands)
- £225 is a lot considering lack of versatility
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