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Salewa Fanes Wool Powertex waterproof jacket review: a smart, softer, different-looking fabric for a waterproof

A versatile waterproof for urban and mountain wear, the Salewa Fanes Wool Powertex is made from an innovative technical material

Salewa Fanes Wool Powertex waterproof jacket
(Image: © Salewa)

Our Verdict

A great-looking, high-performing jacket that’s comfortable, stylish and practical in the hills and mountains.

For

  • • Great fabric
  • • Weather protection
  • • Good looks

Against

  • • Expensive
  • • One color only

Salewa Fanes Wool Powertex: first impressions

Salewa is aiming to break the mould with their technical Salewa Fanes Wool Powertex Jacket. It’s designed for versatility and has enough cold weather hiking credentials for mountain wear, but also boasts a smart look that makes it perfect for urban, about-town use as well. 

The Powertex polyester-wool yarn blend has a three-layer laminate construction, which is waterproof and breathable but also feels soft to the touch. 

Further practical details include welded main seams, an eco-friendly PFC-free finish, waterproof zips at the front and on the two hand pockets. A tailored rear-adjustable hood has an integrated storm collar for extra protection, plus the jacket has an elastic hem adjustment that can be used with one hand. 

Additional features include velcro cuff adjustments, ergonomically shaped sleeves and extra inner stretch mesh pockets.

But how did the jacket perform under test conditions for our best waterproof jackets buying guide? Read on…

Specifications

RRP: $400 (US) / £380 (UK)
• Materials: Salewa’s technical Powertex Wool 3L 15k/10k Eco181 (90% Polyester, 10% Virgin Wool)
• Waterproofing: HH >15,000mm
• Breathability: MVTR is 10,000 g/m²/24h
• Weight: (Men’s) 440g / 15.5oz
• Sizes: S / M / L / XL / 2XL / 3XL
• Colors: Blue
• Compatibility: Hills, mountains, high streets

Salewa Fanes Wool Powertex: on the trails

Salewa Fanes Wool Powertex waterproof jacket

The Powertex polyester-wool yarn blend has a three-layer laminate construction (Image credit: Fiona Russell)

It is the fabric and the look of this jacket that makes it so different from the others on test. The denim-color and soft-feel outer fabric means the jacket looks really smart. I have worn it to work meetings and the pub as much as I have out in the hills and mountains.

While the design is good looking, it is also highly practical. The fabric is waterproof and breathable enough for most spring, summer and fall hikes in the hills. 

I would be looking for a waterproof rating of more than 15,000mm for full-on protection in winter conditions in Scotland but, to be honest, we can face tricky conditions at higher altitude even in summer and every time I’ve worn the Salewa Fanes jacket it has given me great protection.

I like the fit of Salewa products. I am tall and slim (UK10) and the Fanes is perfect for colder weather wear. I have a size small and I can still fit a few baselayers, including a medium-weight insulated jacket, underneath (because layering is important).

The length in the torso and arms is really good and the hood is roomy but easily adjustable. 

The hand pockets are well located, higher up the jacket, so I can use them while wearing my best hiking backpack. I am not sure about the usefulness of the inner stretch pockets and I would rather Salewa had designed in a zipped inner security pocket.

Again, I wish brands would add a two-way front zip because I find that really useful. The Salewa zip is a bit sticky and you need to focus on making sure it zips smoothly and this isn’t always possible while wearing hiking gloves in tricky conditions in the mountains.

The jacket is pricey and comes in only one color, but the brand makes really high quality products and I trust in its durability. 

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.