Published on May 30th, 2012 | by Greg0
Roots Kootenay: Solid Outerwear From Our Friends Up North
When you think of Canada, fashion might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But if you're in need of outerwear or leather goods, it makes sense to look north of the border, and especially towards a company based in Toronto and famed for their commitment to the environment. One of the most valuable brands from Canada, Roots makes a wide range of apparel for men and women, as well as footwear and leather goods. Though you may not have heard of them, you can find their gear at a growing number of locations, including the NBC Experience store in Rockefeller Center here in Manhattan.
We've been testing out the Roots Kootenay Tech Jacket, an absolute godsend a few weeks ago when rain would appear without warning, and temperatures would shift drastically. While a little warm for summer, it was the perfect coat for a spring in a climate where nights can get chilly, especially in the wind. This is not your average piece of technical apparel- it's far too stylish for that- and they call it a transition jacket, which seems appropriate. But you wouldn't guess it from the buttons, which offer an extra layer of protection over the front zipper. We loved the quantity and size of pockets, as well as the solid zippers.
Elastic drawcords on the hood and the waist allow you to adjust to fit, and keep out drafts or random splashes of water (from, say, the taxis that tend not to worry much about drenching pedestrians). Velcro on the wrists help as well. The hood is not detachable, nor easy to hide away when not in use, but works quite well- some hoods are too large or small, but this one fit quite well, offering just the right level of shielding against the elements. The Kootenay was remarkably water repellent, but didn't rate quite as well in breathability; users reported feeling a bit humid. But they also reported looking good- the grey, textured look is flexible and the darker accents strike the right balance between modern and classic.
Sizing felt true to fit, and the coat is also available in a darker black mix. Expect to spend around $140, online and in stores. Worth every penny, for this lovely business casual, multi-purpose piece of quality outerwear.