50 plastic bottles sitting on the wall... and if 50 plastic bottles should accidentally fall you’ll have one Haakon jacket sitting on the wall. Ski Club's Sophie Mead reviews Picture's Haakon jacket in Patagonia. 

“The fight against climate change is more than just a point of view. It is our obligation” - Picture

Picture Organic Clothing has been protecting the planet since before it was cool. As ‘greenwash’ sweeps the fashion industry and every man and his dog claims to be saving the earth in one way or another, Picture has been proudly creating organic clothing since 2009. We took a look at their Harvest jacket recently, and now I am switching my attention to what is available for females. I have previously been prone to buying unisex snowsports gear, but it can’t be denied that a design custom-moulded to your body prevents restriction and helps you do more and ski harder. This year Picture has sixteen jackets in the women’s range, and I took the Haakon model to Chilean Patagonia to put it through its paces both on and off the piste.

Features

The Haakon jacket is part of the expedition line, designed for backcountry adventures in the wilderness. But despite its weighty responsibility as a top layer, it is surprisingly light. Opening the jacket, there is a large panel with a silver honeycomb design spanning the full back and powder skirt. It looks like a back protector but is actually Coremax lining made from recycled polyester micro-fleece panels to enhance warmth and breathability. The powder skirt has two sets of buttons to prevent any snow or wind chill creeping in and the inside of the jacket has a loose pocket and interior breast pocket to store the essentials.

But it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts. On the exterior, the Haakon has two spacious breast pockets which are perfect for phones, wallets and small valuables, with a handy goggle wipe attached to one side. This wipe is also ideal for cleaning water droplets from a phone screen when you absolutely MUST capture something for the ‘gram. Underarm pockets allow for tactical ventilation when you’re working up a sweat and there is a ski pass pocket on the top of the left arm. For enhanced protection against moisture, the sleeves have adjustable cuffs with integrated wrist gaiters. For your noggin, the hood is large enough to fit over a helmet and is adjustable two-ways, enabling temperature regulation and freedom of movement which is crucial for outdoor activities.

Technical

Let’s start with those glamorous underarm vents shall we. The fabric is dual-density and uses a patented knit construction called ProKnit which is also used along the body for maximum breathability and stretch. Picture won the ISPO 2017 award for this technology when it developed the world’s first multi density knitted outerwear. Woven fabric is used on the shoulders, back and torso for high abrasion resistance which helps if you are using a backpack or harness. It is made from two layers including a DRYPLAY 20K waterproof-breathable membrane which enhances temperature regulation.

One important environmental feature is that Picture jackets are PFC free. What the heck is PFC? I hear you cry, confused about yet another unknown eco-trait. Waterproof jackets, non-stick pans and car wax all contain perfluorinated compounds (PFC) which make them water and oil resistant. The problem with these compounds is that their strong molecular bonds make them very hard to break down in the environment. So, it’s great to know that these compounds cannot be found in Picture clothing. The lack of PFC does not compromise on water-proofing, however. Fully-taped seams help to keep moisture out.

Always putting the planet first, Picture use recycled plastic bottles to create 67% of the polyester in this technical line, reducing CO2 processing emissions by 55%. It takes 50 bottles to make one jacket and eco-conscious design is woven into the full process. As soon as Picture start designing, they imagine their approach to recyclability, second life and end of life. Products are made with the intention of wearing them as long as possible and the company works with several repair centres worldwide to offer this service.

Design

What I love about the jacket in this design is that from the outside, it’s deceptively technical. The understated floral print makes it suitable not just for outdoor activities, but everyday use too. Muted maroon, camel and gold shades blend together in a rose pattern which gives the jacket a feminine touch, whilst also giving a nod to the environment the brand strives to protect. The cut is also comfortable and flattering. I’m not a fan of skin-tight designs and this jacket fits well without any restriction. It is also available in several vibrant designs including dark blue and almond green. The jacket tail has a lower curved dip which is a small feature but one I really like.

Activity

This jacket is specifically designed for ‘expeditions’ but the type of expedition is up to you! I decided to take it on a few adventures to test its durability during different activities. Firstly, as a hiking jacket, it has all the warmth and compartment storage needed for a trek of a few hours. The high zip helped to keep the howling Patagonian wind at bay and protect my face against the harsh sunlight. On board a boat, wind protection was once again needed, and I utilised the draw-string toggles to tighten up the hood so that only my eyes were exposed. The wrist gaiters are a fantastic feature in the cold as they help to keep your hands cosy – you always have gloves available! The Haakon jacket served me well horseback riding and also mountain biking, where my temperature was maintained at a comfortable level as I could unzip to cool off whenever needed.

And finally, as expected the jacket performed perfectly in its natural habitat of ski slopes. It joined me off piste in the Chilean ski resort of Corralco where several tumbles in the snow meant I needed a tough outer shell. It won’t protect your eyes from the scorching southern hemisphere sun though… you’re on your own when it comes to eye protection. Take note!

By the end of the trip, this jacket had become part of my skin, having kept me warm, dry and feeling great throughout a month of extreme conditions. If you are looking for a jacket which ticks all the boxes and helps the planet at the same time, this might be the one for you. 

For – A reliable, technical and stylish jacket which is worth investing in for the future

Against - Front pocket zips are a bit too close together and I confused where I put things. Built-in wrist-gaitors won’t suit everybody.

RRP £282

Buy it from Picture here