Spring & Summer Reviews

LL Bean Primaloft Vest

Carson Shirtjac from Toad

Just in time for spring riding season, we’re putting together an interesting and varied collection of reviews from and for horse and outdoors-y gals.

In the coming weeks, Katrin Silva, Julie Kenney, Amy Skinner and Maddy Butcher will review quality gear from Toad & Co., LL Bean, and Patagonia. Check out what’s coming:

Rain jacket options:

LL Bean’s Trail Model Rain Jacket – redesigned to be tougher and more weatherproof. It’s affordable and comes in zippy colors.

Here’s what Katrin Silva has to say about it:

It’s more than just a pretty shell. This raincoat actually does what it’s supposed to do. As a horse trainer and ultra runner, I spend lots of time outside, in all sorts of weather. This jacket helps me do it in comfort. It keeps me dry on stormy spring days at the barn, and it’s light enough to stash in my hydration pack when I’m taking off on a run with dark clouds hanging low in the sky.  The hood stays on, even when I’m moving. The Velcro closures at the wrist and a drawstring at the neck allow for on-the-go adjustments. And unlike some rain jackets, this one is actually fitted instead of baggy, which is great for New Mexico’s windy conditions. Wearing this jacket on a gusty day makes me feel more like an athlete and less like a ship with billowing sails.

Patagonia’s Calcite Jacket, helmet friendly, made from recycled

Calcite Jacket

materials and in stylish colors, for when you really cannot afford to get wet. UPDATE: Maddy Butcher reviewed this jacket and loved it although it is temporarily unavailable from Patagonia.

Although it may not be ideal for riding, it’s perfect for quick downpours or long, rainy days if you also have Muddy Creek rain chaps. The sleeves are slightly long, allowing hands to stay dry and warm. The hood is adjustable, with a firm visor. The fit is to size, trim and not oversized (like so many rain jackets).

Muddy Creek short coat

We’re reviewing two styles from Muddy Creek, a small company founded by Nancy Blystone over a decade ago. Nancy was on a rainy, cross-Michigan trek with her horse when she dreamed up her new company  and a solution to her rain-soaked condition.

We tested Muddy Creek’s Long Coat  and Short Coats.

Above all, the short coat pictured at right is sturdy and built with many features that make it ideal for trail riding in the wet backcountry: a generous hood, roomy pockets with flaps or zippers, snap gussets for ideal comfort and coverage when riding (as well as being stylish). Like the long coat, sizing runs big. Order down one or two sizes. If you usually wear a medium, an extra small may suit you well.

Read long coat review. 


Vibe Tank

Patagonia’s Rainshadow Jacket – also helmet-friendly, this jacket is light, stretchy, and packable. A rain jacket that’s stretchy? Yes! Read Julie Kenney’s review here.

Tops for a variety of temperatures and conditions:

From Title Nine, the Grace Long Sleeve Top. Made to handle whatever the day throws you. With StinkStopper.

From Title Nine, the Double Time Tank Top. Pretty and pretty functional, with a batik-y design.

Read more about tanks from Title Nine here.

From LL Bean, the Herringbone Full Zip jacket, a flattering yet practical performance jacket, and the Primaloft Packaway Vest. (Who doesn’t need a vest anytime, any where? This one’s made with Primaloft Gold, even warmer than past models.) Read review.

From LL Bean, the Vacationland Seersucker shirt. Soft and classy.

Western Snap Shirt by Patagonia WorkWear

From Toad & Co. the Carson Shirtjac, stylish, made of organic cotton with a tad of stretch, and the Recycled Denim Pullover, in an array of muted colors consisting of denim and polyester blends.

From Patagonia, the Capilene Cool Trails Shirt, quick drying and super soft, with a flattering scoop neck. Read review here.

And from Patagonia WorkWear, the delightful Western Snap Shirt, soft and tough, made of hemp.

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  1. Does not mention if these rain jackets cover the saddle? I am wondering who decides which companies are reviewed. For equestrian rain gear I suggest checking Muddy Creek. Designed by a rider for riders.

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