Sprayway are still making great quality waterproof jackets and the Cape Wrath is no exception.
- Great price for Gore-Tex
- Good pockets
- Take time to ensure the hood fits.
- Could do with a mesh inner pocket for stashing gloves, etc.
- Difficult to use the stow pocket, especially in the field.
Incredibly we haven’t featured a Sprayway item since 2011! Considering they are UK based and even Northern that’s been pretty shoddy. So, we’re rectifying that and featuring the new Cape Wrath Gore-Tex jacket. Cape Wrath being one of the most northerly points on the UK mainland with notorious weather conditions. The Cape Wrath Trail is widely regarded as the toughest multi day expedition in the UK so does the jacket live up to its namesake?
The Sparyway Cape Wrath jacket is designed for lightweight journeys where weight and pack space are at a premium. So think a longer day hike, in summer where the forecast is dodgy or a multi day trek where pack space is critical (think the Cape Wrath Trail). The Sprayway Cape Wrath would fulfil all the requirements being simple in design, lightweight and made using Gore-Tex Paclite.
Talking of weight, the Cape Wrath weighed in at 416g stowed in the pocket on the trusty CGR scales. The stated weight is 400g so not too much discrepancy there and can easily be explained by my jacket being a size Medium. The outwear weave in 75D which is dense enough to provide a reasonable amount of abrasion resistance and will last longer than the lighter ShakeDry material. It is also made using recycled polyester so in keeping with many other premium brands.
The design of the Cape Wrath is minimalist with no extraneous features, so you only get the very essential features of a working hood, two pockets and hem cinch so pleasingly simple in design and relying on the the breathability of Gore-Tex to dispense with pit zips.
The hood is generous enough to accommodate a climbing or cycling helmet and is fully adjustable using the cinch ables at the sides and rear of the hood. You will have to fiddle to find the hidden cord locks but once located I found them easier on further use. I did notice on the Sprayway website that there was a complaint from a user about the hood so I decided to spend a little more time on it than I would usually do on a jacket review.
Having used hooded hardshell jackets for many, many years in a whole variety of weather conditions I have found that for me, using a hood with a peaked cap works best and it is a good idea to make your first hood adjustments at home in dry, still conditions and then keep it as it is. Of course, it may need changing if you decide to use the hood with a helmet then it will change but generally for most of your use the hood shape shouldn’t change expect maybe to readjust the wired peak. The wired peak is of a standard length and is a bonus, I’m a big fan or wired peaks and I found it worked fine with my peaked cap system. So, no real problems with the hood even in hard rain, yep I’m getting a little wet but it is a big hole so water will get in somewhere and that’s exactly the place I would expect water ingress.
There are plenty of other features that make the Cape Wrath a great jacket – I particularly like the storm flap for the main body zip. The full length YKK zip has performed well throughout the test and then lightweight zip tags make it easy to use with gloves on. The storm flap can be fastened into place with a with popper at the bottom and velcro at the top which is a well thought out feature as it means the top can be fastened quickly and easily in high winds or rain and there is just enough microfibre on the chin guard to keep the hood comfortable.
The large pockets are well positioned and free from harness or waist belt interference and at a comfortable height for walking with your hands in the pockets. Again, they have a storm flap and so not reliant on a waterproof zip. The zip tabs are useful for gloves and the right hand pocket acts as a stuff sack. The only time I ever use this type of feature is when I am travelling and I pack a jacket in my pack or case. There is always a trade off with this type of stow as in order for it to work properly you need to have a large pocket. Yes, you can stuff the jacket into the pocket but it was tricky getting the zip to close. It was very difficult in the field and I eventually gave up as it is a very tight fit. Finally the pockets are big enough to fit a laminated OS map in, but only just! My BMC Mountain Maps from Harveys were much better.
The last of the features (remember the Cape Wrath is a lightweight, functional shell so bare essentials only) is the easy to use hem cinch. It’s two handed so easy to equalise the waist cord and again easy to use with gloves and in windy or rainy conditions. Oh, and the soft sleeve adjustment tabs are a nice touch.
Finally the Sprayway Cape Wrath is given a premium uplift of having embroidered Sprayway and Gore-Tex logos and being a 2.5L shell the Paclite felt comfortable against the skin for when you need to throw it on in an emergency.
So, in conclusion the Sprayway Cape Wrath is a good jacket, light enough to always have in your pack, supple enough to wear all day and has high quality materials and build quality. The Gore-Tex Paclite should keep most of the weather out and the hood works well with helmets. The price point for Gore-Tex is excellent and to be honest, you could pay an extra £100 for a more Instagrammable Brand but you wouldn’t get any extra for that so save your money for adventures!
The Sprayway Cape Wrath comes in size S-XXL and 3 colour options.
It also comes in a female specific option with sizes UK 8 – 18 and 2 colour options
Disclaimer – CGR reviewers and writers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!