So, when I splurged on the Gersemi jacket and vest I really was thinking ahead to next winter. However even though we have been spared all the totally craptastic weather that the rest of the country seems to be getting hammered with, we've got a bit of a cold snap here and I used it as an excuse to bust out the new jacket for my lessons this week.
In full confession I also thought that the jacket would be primarily used for working around the barn, grooming, tacking up, etc. as I typically shed my outer layer prior to mounting up and rely on the big mare to warm me up in short order.
However, the last couple days have been in the low-mid twenties which is either balmy warm for some of you or hideously cold. For me it really just means that it's cold enough that I leave my jacket on when I ride, and in this case it was the new Dalia Jacket from Gersemi.
This may be the best cold weather riding jacket I've ever owned. I was keen on a lot of its features for the hanging-around-the-barn job I thought it would have, but I'm really impressed how well it works in the saddle.
First off, the length is optimal for me. Ideal barn jackets cover your butt which somehow keeps you about 80% warmer than hip-bone length coats. This coat hits me in the perfect spot to stay a bit toastier, but doesn't go so low that it restricts movement or is a pain when squatting down low, picking hooves or anything else you're liable to do around your horse.
Secondly, the high collar is lifesaving.
I've always enjoyed high collars. They are helpful to shrink into like a turtle when you're trying to catch a horse out in the wind, and I prefer a high collar to the bulk of a scarf when I'm at the barn. If you know me in real life you know that I adore scarves and wear them pretty much all the time in my non-horsey ventures year round, but something about them just bugs me at the barn. High Collar is preferable for me.
Said collar also does a great job of folding down in the front so you don't get everything all steamy when you're actually breathing hard, while still standing upright in the back and keeping your neck warm.
Pockets. The two flap pockets are generously sized and positioned so that when you are sitting the trot your cell phone isn't thwapping up and down obnoxiously. It's also hard to see but there are two additional slash pockets up higher for hand warming (complete with fuzzy liner).
Yesterday when I actually got on, I used the two way zip to open up the bottom of the coat a bit to allow for sitting in the saddle, but today I realized that Gersemi also built in two additional zippers on the side that each open up a 2" gusset to expand for riding. They are sewn in on a seam and the zipper is nearly hidden so they are pretty much invisible when not in use. I like that.
Finally, the overall fit is great for not looking like a total marshmallow in the saddle. The jacket is roomy enough (in a size L for me) to still have a thin pullover and vest underneath, but fitted enough that someone can still tell what the heck your body is doing under all those layers.
I guess I should also mention that the Dalia Jacket is lined with that silver-meshy stuff which is probably what helps it stay so toasty warm without too much bulk, while still keeping the whole thing darn breathable.
Today I was definitely huffing and puffing and sweating during my ride, but i suffered no post-ride-sweat-chills when I hopped off.
Honestly, for $130 (on sale), this is one of the best values on barn wear that I've gotten in a while. For being an attractive, well tailored coat, I am certainly impressed with the attention to detail that makes it so functional in the saddle.
Two big thumbs up from over here.