Scotland is the ultimate testing ground for outerwear. With FINDRA’s Borders heritage there was never any doubt that their new Stroma jacket would be up to the task. But I was excited to test it to the max and see just how good it could be…
The innovative FINDRA Stroma jacket is made using recycled plastic bottles and repurposed coffee grounds. Cool, eh? But it’s not a gimmick to make you feel good, it is part of a performance fabric with 10,000mm waterproof rating alongside being breathable and wicking the moisture away to keep you dry. Definitely cool. In the cosiest kind of way.
My first wear of the jacket was the inaugural Gleneagles Adventure Race that I competed in as part of Team FINDRA in 2019. A great way to start! So it got a big tick for fit and flexibility paddling a Canadian canoe across Loch Earn (unfortunately it didn’t help improve our terrible canoeing technique), for breathability whilst hauling myself up and down Ben Vorlich in a combination of sun and snow, and for cosiness on and off the bike after a long and exhausting day.
Since then I’ve just found myself wearing it for pretty much everything… I’ve tested it on disgusting winter mountain bike rides in the pouring rain and spraying mud, and it’s kept me as dry as my lightweight Gore-Tex jacket over several hours. I’ve worn it for long runs in the wind and snow and stayed cosy. I’ve worn it running in cold but clear winter conditions, those beautiful days where you sweat in the sun but are cold as soon as you catch the wind, and it has wicked away the sweat. I’ve taken it on cycle touring trips. I’ve worn it snowboarding. I’ve worn it commuting on my bike. I’ve worn it camping. And round town. And to meetings (and then realised it’s got mud from biking all down the back). It’s fair to say it’s my go-to jacket – the one that never makes it into the cupboard as I’m always using it. To me, that is the ultimate sign of a great piece of kit.
As well as the performance of the fabric, there’s lots of nice features that make it such an awesome jacket. As with most FINDRA kit it is cut long in the body which I love – it means you stay cosy whatever the activity and to be honest it just looks so much better! It sounds silly as it’s about performance rather than looking cool but it’s really nice to feel good in your kit. The hood fits really well and stays on in the driving snow whilst out running. There’s cosy thumb-loops in the cuffs to keep your hands tucked in and warm. The pockets are deep and useful. I’m really pleased too that FINDRA thought to reinforce the shoulders as this has been the first point of failure for other waterproof jackets I have regularly worn with a rucksack. And it is super light, so perfect for tucking in a bag just in case.
In summary: I love this jacket. It’s uses eco-friendly tech, it performs and it looks nice. It has taken a Scottish winter in its stride. What more do you need?