Evie ButlerEvie is a UK-based adventurer, personal trainer and traveller. She can be found out hiking in the hills, skiing or snowboarding on the mountains, swimming in open waters and running around new cities. You name an activity, and she’ll happily get stuck in. An avid outdoorswoman with a passion for veganism, sustainability and exploraration.
This week, H&M launched its latest collection in the Move range, a line of high-performance outerwear with an affordable price point that aims to bring the many benefits of outdoor activities within easy reach. The key message behind the collection is ‘the outdoors is for everyone’ – whether you’re reconnecting on woodland runs, recharging on mountain hikes, or exploring a new city.
Trusted BASE tester Evie B took H&M’s newly-released StormMove 3-Layer Shell Jacket for a spin in her homeland, enduring typically Scottish conditions to find out how the fashion brand’s outdoor offering would hold up on rainy adventures in the city and beyond.
A versatile, stylish jacket for a metropolitan person looking to get into the outdoors. An adjustable hood and hem allows comfortable coverage for stormy days in the city and out on the woodland trails.
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3-layer shell in StormMove™ functional fabric, adjustable drawcords and anti-chafe chin guard, zipped pockets, shaped cuffs, taped and bonded seams
Stylish fit and colour
Adjustable hem and hood
Works as an everyday jacket for city life too
Not as durable for longer extended downpours
Wouldn’t recommend for more demanding conditions
WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR
I’m after a versatile jacket, that’s breathable, stylish and waterproof but also affordable for an everyday consumer.
I’d like a lightweight jacket that is easily packable and I can roll into my bag. Ideally, I’d like a fashionable style that I can wear for everyday life – but that easily transitions into adventures out and about on the hills too. It needs to be durable and waterproof for when the Scottish weather decides to throw torrential downpours my way every 10 minutes, but that still looks stylish on the streets.
It’s a good-looking jacket, not your typical outdoorsy style, but rather they have chosen the more fashion-conscious route of the oversized fit. Fit wise – myself being a size 14 – I ended up going with a medium, and it certainly fits well around the body. It’s not too tight around the hips either, it’s longer in the arms but zips well and also includes hem adjusters.
The colour is subtle, you certainly won’t be standing out on the mountains with this one, you might even blend in with the sky on a rainy and misty day. It certainly is stylish though, I can see an appeal with the colourways – and as much as I do love a bit of colour, I would also consider this colour set for future jackets too.
At first I didn’t know what to expect from a fashion brand like H&M launching into the outdoor clothing industry
I put the jacket to the test in three main contexts that reflected what I’m looking for in a jacket of this type: waterproofness, packability and the environment.
One thing I will say, I certainly felt stylish in this jacket. With the structure and the colours, it definitely made me feel cool, and I would be happy heading into town in the rain with this jacket. I can certainly see the rationale behind H&M’s move into more cost-effective and accessible outdoor wear for to everyday consumers.
Living in Scotland, you are often subject to sudden downpours, and often you need to just whip your jacket quick out to keep you completely dry whilst the heavens open. It was easy enough to throw on, but I felt like the arms soaked through fairly quickly. Moving about in torrential rain, I could see the material starting to get wet rather than repel, and although it didn’t come through to the inside of the jacket, if I had been out in the rain much longer I believe it would have started to really soak through. This definitely would, however, be a good jacket for those out on drizzly dog walks, woodland trails or minor rain showers in the city.
I tested the jacket for ease of packing into bags and use in more challenging conditions by taking it up onto the hills of Scotland. I really wanted to feel like I could hike, run and jump in this jacket, but it was quite stiff to wear and I didn’t feel like it had much movement in its structure. It’s also a bit on the bulky side when it comes to packing away into a bag – I found that it took up a lot of space, no matter how much I folded and rolled. Perhaps this stiffness in the material will allow more durability against wear and tear – I can see where they are going with it, anyway.
A hood is an important feature for me on my jackets, especially if they allow enough material to cover the whole head and neck too. Including the adjusters in the hood is a really smart idea, as this allows for a closer fit around your face. I didn’t feel like any part of my head was going to be getting wet as I was able to adjust the fit precisely.The StormMove 3L Shell was breathable, and for the most part, comfortable to wear. With the addition of the pit zips, I was able to quickly air out and continue comfortably on my way when the temperature changed.
WHO IS THIS JACKET FOR?
This jacket is definitely designed to create a lower price, cross-functional jacket that will open up a range of outdoor opportunities for the everyday consumer.
This feels like it’s a jacket for simple outdoor activities, but maybe isn’t is suited to those who go for more adventurous activities or who require technical apparel. It’s well suited to those looking for an affordable waterproof jacket for showers in the city, light hiking and walking the dog on rainy days.
WHAT STANDS OUT?
This water-resisting element can often be forgotten in the design process, especially among fashion brands, so it’s could to see this included.
I often find it hard to get a women-specific jacket that has pit zips. Perfect for ventilation for changing conditions, it also means you don’t have to completely de-layer in order to cool off a bit.
Large mesh-lined pockets with plenty of room for your essentials.
Adjusters on the hood and hem allow you to change the shape and fit of the jacket, offering flexibility for all types of weather.
VALUE FOR MONEY
At £139.99, this does come up at quite a cost for shoppers on a tight budget. It certainly is a good start for H&M making their mark in the outdoor industry, but I do feel like you can access more moveable, packable and waterproof jackets at a similar price point – they just might not look as stylish!
BASE BOTTOM LINE
It certainly is a well-made jacket, and there are design features that I was surprised and impressed by, such as the hood and hem adjusters, sealed seams and the StormMove technology. I think there needs to be just a bit more freedom of movement to the material so it is easier to pack down and fits into a bag without taking up too much space. Hardcore hikers might find this jacket a bit limited in terms of functionality in the mountains, movement and adaptability to harsher weather.
For its intended purpose, it’s a really nice, stylish jacket. The StormMove 3-Layer Shell is an accessible option that opens up a range of activities for the everyday consumer and those dabbling in the outdoors. For entry-level adventurers looking to make the most of the woodland trails and city skylines – it definitely fits the bill.
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