The first thing to notice about the La Cote Stretch is the price (nearly halved from £160 recently). The second thing to notice is the 340g weight rating, which is equally impressive. So far, so good. In terms of features it carries an interesting mixture, with two hand-warming-friendly pockets, a rear-adjustable hood, a hem adjuster and ventilation zips. Unfortunately the all but one of those are slightly nigglesome in their own ways. The hood has good size adjustment and decent articulation, but its peak is very small which – as the neck below cannot be tightened – means that water tends to drip off it and onto your chest. The hem adjuster works when set but needs two hands to operate. The zipped vents, meanwhile, are useful for accessing pockets on an inner garment but tend to pull open slightly when the hem is cinched tight. The Advanced Skin Dry fabric is pleasingly stretchy, and effective enough as a barrier (although the cut is short), but tends towards feeling cold and clammy in damp conditions.
VERDICT: A keenly priced jacket let down by some irksome design flaws.
BEST FOR: Budget-conscious, general users.
Review by Dan Aspel @