For the last ten to fifteen years, when golfers think waterproofs, two words follow: Galvin Green. There is good reason for this, allow me to explain…
Before Galvin Green came along, golfing waterproofs were nothing short of an out-dated afterthought. Ugly, heavy, cumbersome, rarely 100% waterproof and most of all, a nightmare to play golf in.
Galvin Green stormed into golf club pro shops across the globe with a statement, a new style and a whole load of technology. You only have to rock up to any golf club across Europe on a wet Saturday morning to see the effect they have had on the amateur game.
Fast-forward to 2019 and I’m keen to find out whether one of the headline additions to the Galvin 2019 outerwear range is AL it’s cracked up to be, and more importantly whether it’s still that much better than other brands on the market? Have other manufacturers caught up?
What’s It All About?
First things first, there’s no shying away from mentioning the price-tag of this jacket which is an eye-watering £400. But with a price tag like that, you get premium materials and peace of mind that ‘surely’ you’re wearing some of the best gear available.
As has become standard for Galvin outerwear, the AL jacket features Gore-Tex stretch fabric which in this model is combined with a C-Knit backer.
Other notable features are a rubberized collar edge, smooth ‘slide and glide’ inside, water repellent zippers, adjustable chest width and adjustable cuffs.
This jacket is all about three things in my opinion: shaped fit for optimum comfort during the golf swing, lightweight materials to keep it extremely breathable and Gore-Tex technology to keep you dry in any conditions mother nature fancies throwing at you.
Usually, to test a waterproof jacket you'd want a rainy day, for obvious reasons. However, given the fact that this is a Gore-Tex Galvin Green jacket, to be honest I was more focused on testing other elements of the jacket.
I played 18 holes of golf at Stockport Golf Club on a mild, late summers day. It's worth mentioning that since then, I have worn the AL to and from the office on my commute.
Galvin Green AL C-Knit Jacket Review
This is a strange one for me when it comes to looks. As to be expected with Galvin, the AL jacket boasts a contemporary and sleek design. Based on first impressions, I really liked the look of it.
From the front, it looked great. The design is simple and quite understated, especially considering the bold colourway I tested the AL Jacket in – lagoon blue and black. I thought the lagoon blue contrasted well with the black water repellent zippers and C-Knit lining of the sleeves. The little touch of black again on the seam of the right chest pocket with the Galvin Green branding – I liked it. It was all very neat and tidy.
My problems with this jacket however came at the back. I just think Galvin has over complicated things when they didn’t need to. The large black strip on the back of the jacket, combined with black panelling on the back of sleeves didn’t suit my eye at all.
To me, uncharacteristically for Galvin it just looked a little busy. Although they are hard to see on some pictures there is also some small wax detailing on the black C-Knit section, which again I wasn’t a huge fan of.
The performance of this jacket however, is where it really comes into its own. It’s unbelievably lightweight to hold and therefore wear on the golf course. In the constant debate of whether or not you can play your best golf whilst wearing waterproofs, the AL quite clearly falls on ‘yes’ side of the fence.
During the golf swing, although the jacket was extremely slim fitting - I felt very little restriction at all. The AL jacket seems to tick a number of boxes here.
Firstly, because the overall fit is extremely slim, it meant that the jacket never felt like it was getting in the way of my swing. It was tight to my body and always felt out of the way, especially underneath the sleeves and across the torso.
Secondly, although the jacket feels close and almost a little claustrophobic on your skin, in practice, the stretch fabric banishes any of these feelings. The combination of Gore-Tex with C-Knit means that although this garment is durable, it’s super stretchy and gives you all the room you could wish for.
Just in-case you do need to make the jacket slightly slimmer (personally I can’t imagine any golfer who would), Galvin have you covered with two adjustable elasticated chest width straps. These straps are a nice addition and something that have always featured on Galvin jackets. They feature the GG logo and add to the modern aesthetic.
When it comes to being waterproof – the biggest compliment I can give this jacket is that it goes without saying. We tested the jacket by literally pouring a litre of water directly onto the jacket and the staggering results simply need to be seen to be believed. It’s waterproofing is second to none.
As soon as water hits the jacket, it isn’t given a split second to gather on the material, it simply bounces off instantly. This means one thing – if you’re wearing this jacket, you’re going to stay dry on the wettest of days. Fair weather golfers, no more excuses folks…
One slight niggle I have with this jacket is the rubberised neck collar. Although its a good innovation to stop water dripping
down your collar from your hair, I found it uncomfortable.
When I wore the jacket zipped to the top, it rubbed slightly and became annoying throughout the round.
As I’ve already mentioned, the fit of the jacket means that in terms of styling, you wouldn’t look out of place wearing this jacket away from the course. The contemporary design and sleek looks mean that wearing it to work or even casually when walking the dog for example, would work perfectly.
The revolutionary, super-smooth texture of the inside of the jacket I also liked. It’s what Galvin refer to as ‘Slide and glide’ and means that you have no problem layering up underneath the jacket and becoming uncomfortable. For example on the colder days when you need a mid-layer as well as a waterproof jacket, the AL works perfectly.
I tested the jacket on a fairly warm late summer’s day and found it very breathable. I was warm but I wasn’t too warm, which is impressive.
The AL rolls up to a very manageable size to fit in your bag even if you’re playing with a smaller carry or pencil bag on a wet summer day.
Galvin Green AL Jacket Verdict
There’s no doubt that with products like this Galvin have not let their standards drop when it comes to waterproofs. This jacket is designed specifically with golfers and their swings in mind and you still get that feeling when you put it on.
As with all premium golf products, wearing it makes you feel good, it makes you want to get out there and play, it makes you feel like a ‘proper’ golfer.
Would I Use It?
In terms of performance - Yes.
I suppose there are two questions you need to ask yourself here: how much golf do you play in extremely wet conditions and how much money do you have? If the answer to both of those questions is ‘a lot’, then this is the jacket for you.
- Premium materials
- 100% waterproof in extremely wet conditions
- Ultra-lightweight and packs down very small
- Slide and glide texture makes it ideal for layering
- Very breathable so can be worn all year round
- Stretch and C-Knit fabric allows full movement during golf swing
- Some golfers may find modern aesthetics ugly
- Price-tag will instantly put some golfers off
- Very slim fit that doesn’t cater to all golfers
- Colourways are limited
- Rubberised neck collar can be uncomfortable