The Fjallraven High Coast is a stylish windbreaker that does a great job of being that extra layer between urban winds whipping between buildings and your carefully crafted outfit. We love the slight feminine cut, functional pockets, and surprising utility of this waxed cotton jacket. Though it's not a technical layer and won't protect you from much more than a few minutes of spring showers, it's perfectly at home walking into your office building after a bike commute.
High Coast Jacket Updated
Fjallraven has made slight updates to this model since our last test cycle. Get the details below.
100% nylon ripstop with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment
95% polyester, 5% spandex
2 hand, 1 chest
Stuffs Into Pocket
No; stuff sack
Safety Reflective Material
Reflective front logo
Reflective logo on front and back
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Updated High Coast
Fjallraven tweaked some aspects of this jacket since we last tested it for this review. It's now made with recycled polyamide and organic cotton, and the hood was tweaked to be a bit snugger. The logo has also been updated. Otherwise, the jacket we tested (below, left) is virtually identical to the updated version (below, right).
The Fjallraven High Coast is a zippered, hooded windbreaker made of waxed cotton/polyamide. It features a feminine cut, full-sized hand pockets, and a zippered chest pocket.
Unlike any of the other models we tested, the Fjallraven High Coast is made of waxed cotton/polyamide. The waxed fabric does a pretty good job at blocking wind and can be strengthened by adding additional Greenland wax. It has a well-fitting hood with the ability to cinch it closed, and elastic sleeve cuffs to help block a stray breeze. The bottom hem does have a cinch on it as well, but we couldn't get it to stay tight because of the thickness of the fabric. However, the feminine cut and full-sized hand pockets help keep you warm on a chilly day. The zipper also features a wind flap inside, and the collar zips up enough to cover your chin.
The High Coast isn't our first choice for high-output activities. The waxed cotton/polyamide is thick and not overly comfortable for excessive motion - a bit like a thin canvas feel. Like most jackets we tested, the High Coast has no vent. However, the fabric does breathe better than the models we tested with a DWR finish to keep out water and is about right for a bike commute or long walk.
Weight & Packability
This is one of only three jackets we tested that doesn't pack into one of its own pockets. The waxed material isn't particularly compressible, and at 10 ounces, this is the second heaviest option we tested. It's much better suited to hanging in your closet than being stuffed into a backpack. Though if you wore it to work in the morning and don't want it for the bicycle ride home in the afternoon, it isn't too bad to stuff it into the bottom of your bag.
As a non-technical jacket, we don't strongly recommend this option for your next backpacking or climbing trip. However, if it's all you have, it could work in a pinch for more relaxed outdoor endeavors. It has more pockets than many jackets we tested, including full-sized hand pockets and a single chest pocket. The double zipper feature is handy for sitting and helps keep you comfortable on the bus or in the car. And though we wouldn't make this our first choice for extreme outdoor adventures, it provides a level of style that we think is unmatched by any other windbreaker we tested. While most of the technical jackets look a little out of place in a professional office building, the High Coast blends right in over the cute outfit you carefully picked out that morning.
This is the least impressive feature of the High Coast. It stands up okay in a simple shower or a few minutes of light rain, but the waxed cotton-polyamide can only take so much before it gets soaked. More than almost any other windbreaker we tested, this one gets wet very easily. The thicker fabric also takes a lot more time to dry — we found that when the outside looked dry, it still felt a bit damp, which makes us think the inside of the material is still holding onto water for even longer. You can increase the water and wind resistance of the High Coast by adding more Greenland wax, though this process is much more time-consuming than the simple tech-wash solution of many other windbreakers.
The High Coast is one of the most expensive jackets we tested. If you want a windbreaker that works well without making you look like a gearhead, this may be a price you're willing to pay. However, if you're in the market for a technical piece or a windbreaker for strenuous exercise and intense activities, this is certainly not worth its price.
The Fjallraven High Coast is a stylish windbreaker that does a good job keeping you warmer in a cool wind without making you look too technical for a professional setting. What it lacks in technical features and extreme functions, it makes up for with everyday utility and style. While not the cheapest jacket we tested, if you like the look of this flattering option, we think you'll also appreciate the protection and style it provides.
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