Every year there are certain golf brands that introduce innovative new products to the golf market. A brand that features more regularly than others amongst this list is Galvin Green.
Introducing the new Ashton Shakedry waterproof jacket, featuring in Part 2 of the 2019 lineup. One thing that's for certain with this product is that it will divide opinion. There's a sense of the Marmite factor here. The question is, do I love it or hate it?
What’s It All About?
The Shakedry jacket is Galvin Green's lightest ever Gore-Tex jacket. It weighs in at a featherweight 174 grams, which to kick things off, is incredibly impressive.
The name of this product is a little bit of a giveaway when explaining what it's all about. Galvin are providing golfers with a truly innovative product that you can genuinely 'shake dry' whilst wearing it in the most extreme of weather conditions.
However, it's also engineered to allow golfers to achieve maximum speed in the golf swing whilst wearing the jacket, with Galvin referring to the Shakedry as not only their lightest, but also their fastest Gore-Tex jacket.
To make this possible, Galvin has placed the waterproof membrane on the outside of the jacket, making the Shakedry the first of its kind in this category without a conventional face fabric then covering the membrane. Basically, what you see is what you get here. This then means that the jacket simply beads up water and moisture instantly so it rolls off the surface of the jacket.
This all sounds extremely impressive, as usual from Galvin Green products, where we have come to expect only the best in golf waterproof technology. But, in achieving what sounds like waterproofing perfection, has it created something that is actually practical for golfers to buy and wear on the golf course? Time to find out.
Galvin Green Says...
“Ergonomically designed for optimum comfort throughout the golf swing, the Ashton is also extremely breathable and takes up very little space in the bag. The streamlined jacket has a functional backer textile inside offering exceptional comfort next to the skin.“
To test the huge claims of Galvin Green and the technology on show here I headed to Prestbury Golf Club in the most Autumnal conditions which saw me encounter all manner of elements: morning frost, wind, sunshine, and even some rain on the back nine. 18 holes of proper golf in everyday British conditions.
To really see how effectively the Shakedry performed in the wet, I also conducted the 'Golfalot waterproof test' - 1 litre of water poured directly onto the jacket over 10 secs. Simple.
Galvin Green Ashton Shakedry Jacket Review
Despite all the technology in the world, unfortunately, this is the area the Shakedry jacket will get talked about most. Galvin Green has never been a company to shy away from taking a risk when it comes to aesthetics, and you have to applaud it for that. However, with the Shakedry – it could be argued that it has gone a step too far.
Because the Gore-Tex membrane on the jacket sits uncovered on the outside of the jacket, the Shakedry has what can almost be described as a shiny and ‘plastic-looking’ finish, which will inevitably lead to many golfers thinking the jacket looks cheap. Based on first impressions, I can’t help but admit I thought the same thing. It no doubt has some serious shelf appeal, but whether that’s for the right reasons, I will leave you to decide.
To touch, the jacket feels crinkly and quite strange if I’m being honest – like nothing I have ever felt with golf waterproofs.
Once I had got used to the cutting-edge styling, I can’t tell you how wrong I initially was about the aesthetics. There is nothing cheap about this jacket. Once wearing it, I really quite liked the look of it and think this had a lot to do with the fit – which I have to say was brilliant.
On closer inspection of the Shakedry there is also a very subtle print which takes away some of the shine in my opinion and stops it looking too much like a bin bag – which is always a good thing.
I’d also like to mention the collar here, which I thought was brilliant and looked great. It has a really soft feel to it, with a slight bit of extra padding inside the lining of it just to take the chill off your neck on those extra cold mornings.
The chest pocket also added a nice finishing touch to the front.
As with most Galvin Green products, performance is the area in which this jacket comes into its own. I can’t rate it highly enough.
If you’re looking for a jacket that’s lightweight, durable, warm, waterproof and offering free-movement, then look no further. The Shakedry really does tick all of those boxes.
Modern day golfers want apparel that isn’t bulky or too heavy, you get just that with the Shakedry. Its super lightweight to wear and can be folded or rolled up to an incredibly small size taking up very little room in your golf bag.
The sleeves are specifically shaped for ease of movement and this is exactly what you get. The cuffs of the sleeves are also half elasticated, which stops them getting in the way when gripping a club. When swinging, you really do forget you’re actually wearing a waterproof jacket.
If you have a playing partner that constantly complains when they have to put on waterproofs that they can no longer swing, and it ruins their game completely (we all know one), tell them about this jacket and trust me, they will never utter another word of it.
The most impressive feature of the Shakedry is its ability to repel water from its surface. Although it may not look all that great to some people, putting the membrane on the outside of the jacket and losing the conventional face fabric really does work wonders.
When water hits the surface, if it doesn’t instantly bounce off, it beads together and then runs off the surface. The fact this jacket works so quickly has a numbers of benefits to golfers out on the course: there is virtually no drying time, the weight of the jacket is kept down because it will never absorb water, and there will be no chance of it getting cold to wear.
The Shakedry can be worn as well in summer as it could in winter. Although I tested the jacket in colder conditions, I can imagine this jacket being perfect on the wet days of summer with just a polo shirt. The super-soft inside feel to the jacket is comfy to wear directly on top of skin.
The jacket is breathable and lightweight enough to make sure you won’t get too hot if the temperature is warm but it’s still raining.
When testing the jacket, I did have to wear an extra mid-layer underneath it for extra warmth. This is one thing that this jacket does suffer from because it is so lightweight – keeping you really warm on those extremely cold days. However, the inside of the jacket sits well with a mid-layer so really there should be no issues, with the benefits outweighing the negatives here.
Galvin Green Ashton Shakedry Jacket Verdict
Taking everything into account, this is a great piece of golf outerwear and compared to the Galvin Green AL Jacket I reviewed also this year I think it offers more versatility at cheaper price. Galvin Green has used true innovation to really benefit golfers here which you have to applaud.
It can offer protection to the elements in both windy and rainy conditions and the water repellence has to be seen to be believed. You could fall in a water hazard mid-round and this thing would keep you dry.
If you can get past the stand-out, garish looks of this jacket, which eventually I could, you’re onto a winner. Unfortunately I fear that many golfers won’t be able to and will take the safe option based on looks and therefore avoid this jacket. Galvin Green is ahead of the grain here and unfortunately I feel most golfers aren’t ready for the Shakedry just yet.
Would I Use It?
Yes. Although the price-tag is a large one (£100 more than the similar, lightweight FootJoy HydroKnit), I think given it’s versatility, golfers will get regular, long-term usage out of this jacket so it’s well worth the investment.
- 100% waterproof in extremely wet conditions
- Ultra-lightweight and folds very small
- Ideal for layering given how thin and lightweight it is
- Very breathable so can be worn all year round
- No restriction of movement whilst swing in this jacket
- Warmer than it looks on first impressions
- Cutting-edge design will no-doubt divide opinion
- Some traditionalists will be put off by the feel and looks of the jacket
- Can be a little loud when swinging
- Very little room for storage in the jacket - lacks side pockets
- Some golfers will like to feel like they have more protection from the elements with a thicker jacket
- Colourways are very limited