It's well and truly 'new jacket season' and luckily for us golfers, FootJoy have introduced a new piece of apparel that could just take the top spot of your winter wishlist.
Recently we saw the unveiling of FootJoy's latest AW22 Apparel range, highlighted by the new ThermoSeries collection and headlining the range is the eye-catching new ThermoSeries Hybrid Jacket.
Aiming, as the tagline goes, to make every day playable, the ThermoSeries collection represents FJ's latest example of 'the layering technique', where a number of different garments are designed to be worn alongside one another to protect golfers against the elements, yet still offer that all important freedom of movement.
In this review I took to a wet and wintery Bramall Park Golf Club in the Hybrid Jacket, to test whether it's worth the hefty investment of £130 and making it's way into your wardrobe.
The ThermoSeries Hybrid jacket is made up of a brushed jacquard knit body and sleeves, as well as having a lightweight woven quilting on the front panels and collar.
The jacket is 100% polyester providing the golfer with the fleece-like luxury feel and uses a cire finish to offer contrast and material interest through its matt aesthetic.
It has a full-zip construction complete with adjustable collar, left chest zipper pocket and two open hand pockets.
FootJoy ThermoSeries Hybrid Jacket Review
The Hybrid Jacket features a two material contrasting design, differing from the back, sleeves, chest pocket and trims to the front main body of the jacket. This contrast gives a contemporary edge to what is essentially a pretty straight-forward looking jacket. As is usually the case with most FootJoy products, you will do well to find a golfer that is put off by the ThermoSeries Jacket looks-wise - it's safe, functional and inoffensive.
Typically FootJoy, once again there are no bold or brash colour schemes in sight. The Hybrid Jacket follows the rest of the collection with a neutral colour palette, navy and charcoal fabrics are mixed with blue, grey and white stone to provide versatility with other garments you may be wearing in the winter like waterproof pants or jackets. There's no Galvin-esc lime greens and bright pinks here...
I tested it in the navy and slate colourway - if anything the more standout of the two colours the Hybrid jacket is available in, the alternative being charcoal and grey which may be a little harder to keep clean in the muddier and wetter winter months.
As we've become accustomed to seeing in recent years, the famous FootJoy logos then decorate the left collar and the back of the shoulders. As seen throughout the collection there is also a snowflake below the left jacket pocket giving this the feel of a 'serious piece of kit' - this motif is carried throughout the full series.
Overall I like the look of the ThermoSeries Hybrid jacket, and I think a wide range of other male golfers will do too, which is what FootJoy have always been so good at, designing products for the masses.
Performance and Versatility
Testing the Hybrid jacket I found it provided a snug fit around the shoulders, chest, and torso whilst still allowing some room for movement during my swing. However, be warned - I am of slim build and wore a size medium, so if you are on the larger size of medium, it may be best to size up, even if just to allow room for that extra layer.
I coupled the Hybrid jacket with just the ThermoSeries baselayer beneath it and found it to be plenty warm enough to take the chill off a cool, wintery day. With the baselayer hugging my skin and the jacket resting tightly on top, especially on the sleeves, I was never cold throughout 18 holes - I felt comfortable, warm and free to swing effortlessly.
I could see this being the perfect extra layer to wear on those cold golfing mornings for the first few holes, then maybe to throw in your bag for if you get a little warmer during the round. It felt like a solid all-rounder in that respect with plenty of versatility.
The full-zip closure worked well and while that should seem like a given for a £130 piece of apparel, in the past I have found FootJoy zips to really let their jackets down, as I found when testing the HydroTour Jacket last year. Thankfully this was not the case here and there was no annoyances when it came to putting with the zip bulging out.
The open hand pockets were a nice touch which I used regularly to keep the chill off my hands during the round and I actually enjoyed the fact of not having any zips to faff about with. That being said, I found the chest pocket to be a little pointless, although it does add some extra detail to the design. I have never met a golfer who stores things in a chest pocket during a round of golf, have you?
Similarly, I'm still not sold on the adjustable elasticated collar that FootJoy have introduced in recent years - I just find it a little unnecessary. Although it is easy to use and may help some golfers, on a jacket like this that isn't waterproof, the chances are you're probably not going to be wearing it in any extreme conditions, I just can't imagine it ever being used.
Although this jacket is not specified as being waterproof, I did pass through two or three fairly heavy showers during testing and I can confirm that it is at least 'showerproof', with no need to add that extra layer for short downpours. I also found it to have great windproof qualities but in the current days of gore-tex being the standard in waterproof 'jackets' however, I think this will put a lot of golfers off at the price point of £130.
FootJoy ThermoSeries Hybrid Jacket Verdict
The ThermoSeries Hybrid Jacket looks good, fits well and feels great to wear on the golf course. Golfers who purchase this jacket will feel like the business rocking up to the first tee wearing it.
For the type of golfers that will buy this jacket, given it's neutral colours and functional design it could also go down well off the course with a pair of jeans or casual trousers, for a trip to the pub or when nipping the dog round the block.
However, the ThermoSeries range as a whole offers plenty of versatility for golfers on a cold winters day but I'm not quite sure where the Hybrid Jacket fits into ThermoSeries layering model. If you were to combine a number of the other layers from the collection together, I wouldn't then want put this jacket on top with it not being waterproof, it just wouldn't make sense.
In conclusion, I actually think this jacket would be perfect for the summer months on colder or windier days where that extra little layer is needed - the windproof qualities are where this jacket excel.
This is a solid piece of golf clothing with plenty of benefits, I just hope FootJoy's positioning of it in the market and it's lack of waterproofing doesn't hamper it's chances of finding it's way into your wardrobe or more importantly, your golf bag.
Would I Use It?
Yes I would, I am the sort of golfer that would prefer to play in a lightweight water-resistant jacket like this and carry an umbrella for when the rain gets really heavy, than a waterproof jacket. But I am not every golfer, and a lot of avid players will want a jacket at this price point to be waterproof.
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