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  #1  
Old 14-03-2008, 04:25 PM
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Default Barbour - as good as it used to be?

I've been using Barbour products for a good few years and remember the Solway Zipper and the heavyweight Northumbria jacket, but is their stuff as good as it was? You can probably guess my view, or else why would I raise this point. I've currently got three Barbour jackets on the go at the moment, a waxproof, a breathable fishing coat and a general purpose breathable jacket. While I am pleased with these coats I have to point out that I've had them some time. I recently visited a Barbour shop to see if they still had the heavyweight, waxed, bike jacket that was similar in design to the Solway Zipper. Now I find it is 'another' lightweight jacket and available in as many various bright colours and designs you would normally see in a high street branch of Laura Ashley. A look round the shop left me needing a pair of very dark sunglasses and still no joy in finding a coat that you could walk through brambles with or even do a bit of rough shooting/fishing with without it coming back in shreds. Why this sudden attack on Barbour?
I had some Barbour footwear which I started to wear over this winter. The boots lasted about 15 - 20 outings before they had both split. Not having a receipt or proof of purchase to return the product I instead sent an e-mail to Barbour customer services. This was over two weeks ago and I am still waiting for a reply. I thought that I should share this experience with other forum members as only pressure from us, the customers, will bring back a previously good company with functional, hard wearing products.
Rant over, thanks for your time and please respond with any views you may have, I would like to think this is a one off occurence and not a sign of Barbours sliding standards.
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  #2  
Old 14-03-2008, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geordie
I've been using Barbour products for a good few years and remember the Solway Zipper and the heavyweight Northumbria jacket, but is their stuff as good as it was? You can probably guess my view, or else why would I raise this point. I've currently got three Barbour jackets on the go at the moment, a waxproof, a breathable fishing coat and a general purpose breathable jacket. While I am pleased with these coats I have to point out that I've had them some time. I recently visited a Barbour shop to see if they still had the heavyweight, waxed, bike jacket that was similar in design to the Solway Zipper. Now I find it is 'another' lightweight jacket and available in as many various bright colours and designs you would normally see in a high street branch of Laura Ashley. A look round the shop left me needing a pair of very dark sunglasses and still no joy in finding a coat that you could walk through brambles with or even do a bit of rough shooting/fishing with without it coming back in shreds. Why this sudden attack on Barbour?
I had some Barbour footwear which I started to wear over this winter. The boots lasted about 15 - 20 outings before they had both split. Not having a receipt or proof of purchase to return the product I instead sent an e-mail to Barbour customer services. This was over two weeks ago and I am still waiting for a reply. I thought that I should share this experience with other forum members as only pressure from us, the customers, will bring back a previously good company with functional, hard wearing products.
Rant over, thanks for your time and please respond with any views you may have, I would like to think this is a one off occurence and not a sign of Barbours sliding standards.
For outdoor working clobber (including fishing) it's all gone to Hell in a Bucket! The overtrousers with the British Millerain lining/membrane used to be so good I could kneel in puddles without getting wet knees. The current offering from Barbour is rubbish, only lined with a cheap plaid cotton and no good at all at keeping water out. My new Northumbria lost a press stud (the worst one to lose i.e. the second one down from the top) in only a few months!!! Try finding the serious clothes on their website! You go round in circles with fashion wear until you could spit feathers. I was a stalwart for Barbour but not anymore. I wish Filson would move into the UK...

richard
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  #3  
Old 14-03-2008, 07:17 PM
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Barbour is another one of those british makes I am affraid that have become De-reger on the football teraces and a 'to be seen in' label by young 20 yearolds in the local pub. It now can be put along side burberry , aquascutum, Lyle and scott and pringle who have also fell foul of this trend. I think when they seem to hit the mass market like this these companys loose their stature and I think the qualtity goes with it.
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Old 14-03-2008, 07:23 PM
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I inherited a Barbour coat last year off a relative who passed away. I don't know what model it is (not a waxed cotton one, its a sort of peached outer, with waterproof/breathable membrane), although it'll be a good one as he wasn't short of a bob or two and didn't do cheap. Hugely unimpressed! Looks to me like its more use as a City overcoat, rather than for serious foul weather - cuffs are cr*p, hood rubbish, collar too baggy, lots of places for water to get in even though the coat itself is reasonably (but not brilliantly) waterproof. Compare that to my 10 year old Helly Hansen which I got half price for about £50, still going strong, no leaks whatsoever even in the heaviest of storms.
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Old 14-03-2008, 07:41 PM
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I regret to say that Barbour waxed cotton jackets were never as waterproof as the modern quality materials.

It used to be the case that they were the best option, there was nothing to touch them - but if you remember, wherever they creased - elbows, shoulders etc water would soak through. If it was cold you'd be hard pressed to bend your arm and re-proofing involved a tin of 'goop' and skillful application of a hairdryer. Also ( a minor consideration) they smelled!

Years ago, I spent weeks fishing in Sutherland, coming home round shouldered with the weight of rain on my shoulders - and every night, a sodden Barbour Solway Zipper would be placed in the drying room - and every morning a 'crisp' Solway Zipper would be manouvered into the car park and beaten with a stick until it was pliable enough to put on!

Give me a modern fabric waterproof any day!
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  #6  
Old 14-03-2008, 07:57 PM
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Always bought Countrywear waxed jackets as they were about 20 quid a pop
I had to beat them with a stick the next morning too but I could walk through anything and not feel it but you should have seen my legs
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  #7  
Old 14-03-2008, 08:45 PM
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Default Barbour

I still have a couple of Barbour waxed jackets, one has a few loose threads and a bit of fraying but doing well for twenty years old. I have always waxed my own jackets, even from new, simply because I don’t think they treat them properly. Mine aren't stiff and don’t let in the water or wind.

In order to get away with them, and much other outdoor clothing, you’ve got to layer your clothing properly.

Have thought I had a few good gortex jackets but the membrane never lasts.
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  #8  
Old 14-03-2008, 08:57 PM
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I have had various jackets and trousers from them over the last 35 years,, I think its a two edged effect,,, no they arent as well made as they used to be as they are trying to be a fashion item. But I think modern hi tech breathable fabrics are so good they would have shown up any of the older barbour stuff...
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  #9  
Old 14-03-2008, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardw
For outdoor working clobber (including fishing) it's all gone to Hell in a Bucket! The overtrousers with the British Millerain lining/membrane used to be so good I could kneel in puddles without getting wet knees. The current offering from Barbour is rubbish, only lined with a cheap plaid cotton and no good at all at keeping water out. My new Northumbria lost a press stud (the worst one to lose i.e. the second one down from the top) in only a few months!!! Try finding the serious clothes on their website! You go round in circles with fashion wear until you could spit feathers. I was a stalwart for Barbour but not anymore. I wish Filson would move into the UK...

richard
As Richard says, if you want real waxed clothing for work or field, you need look no further than here:

www.filson.com

Look at the oil finish coats and jackets.

I absolutely defy you to wear out Filson clothing. If you do, you're working too hard or having too much fun. BTW, I wouldn't get the Tin Cloth for use in the UK unless you need serious briar and thorn protection. The name says it all, it's like armor. I wore a pair of Tin Cloth trousers for weeks of commercial forestry work in the winter where I was on my knees in the snow and mud for 10 hours a day and two weeks later the trousers still weren't broken in. It took about a year of hard field wear, and I (ah-hem) outgrew them before they were really well broken in. I think the Shelter Cloth is a better bet for most.

Grouse


Grouse
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  #10  
Old 14-03-2008, 10:38 PM
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I dont know if the wax jackets have got any better or worse but i think all the other waterproof kit is getting better, this makes the wax jobs look bad,
now if you go out in a downpour with the new type jackets just leave them anywhere and they still keep well, do this with a wax one and they go mouldy
and stink,
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