Roger Bisby reviews an affordable range of outdoor clothing.
As a keen rock climber I have known the Regatta brand for many years, and the fact that the company’s headquarters in Manchester is called Basecamp may give you some idea of its main focus. They offer a whole range of outdoor clothing that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
All too often a venture into the ‘Great Outdoors’ comes with a hefty price tag. Three hundred quid for a waterproof jacket is not unusual, so Regatta had a great opportunity to appeal to younger people who could simply not justify such an outlay.
The move into workwear follows the same logic of delivering quality at a sensible price, but they are mindful that it has to do the job. If you can design clothing that allows movement but keeps out the elements in extreme conditions then it is not that much of a leap to design clothing for work. The next step is to come up with a name for the range. Tactical Threads is the name they came up with and it is certainly memorable.
Interestingly, they did not choose to launch their range in dribs and drabs, but made sure that it is comprehensive. They have shoes, boots, socks belts, trousers, tops and jackets.
Their other mission was to bridge the gap between workwear and streetwear. This is something I have seen in other ranges and acknowledges the fact that young people don’t want to walk down the street looking like dorks. Hence the more streamlined, fashionable appearance.
I suggested to Regatta that perhaps their workwear would look better on someone a bit younger than me, and we came up with a father and son approach. My son is doing the wearing and I am using my years of experience to tease out the relevant points from his findings…
Thrust insulated bomber jacket
“Yeah, I like this. It is really lightweight and very warm. It has a good zip pocket inside for my phone and wallet and a couple of zipped outside pockets. I also like having a hood, it is somewhere to hide, but it doesn’t allow me to wear the hard-hat under it. Never mind, I can pull it up on my way home. I have to use the bus because of the congestion charge, and parking, so pulling my hood up at the bus stop is good.”
Heroic worker trousers
“What is a heroic worker? I don’t know, but they had to call them something. Good job that isn’t written on them. They are good trousers, with triple stitch seams, so they should hold up OK. I have bought some cheap trousers before, and the zips go and they split, so I don’t want to go for anything too cheap. On the other hand, I don’t want to spend £80.00, so these are a good compromise on price and it will be interesting to see how they are in six months of working. I can’t tell you that much from a few days, but they are comfortable and have knee pad pockets and Cordura panels just like top of the range trousers.”
Invective SPB tactical
“I love these boots. As soon as I saw them I thought they were the ones for me. If you have to wear safety boots then why not wear something that looks good. Best thing is I put them on and they are really comfortable. Maybe in the summer if it is hot like last year I am going to want some trainers, and they have some really nice ones. I just hope they don’t get trashed so quickly.”