The first waterproof tweed shooting coat I saw was in the 1960’s and was designed by an American Air Force Officer based at USAF Lakenheath. He was a keen Shooting man and thought the English shooting coats that were then available, were totally impractical; they didn’t keep you warm and dry! Since then there has been massive improvement in the specification of these coats, which are stylish precisely because they don’t look too techy and are very comfortable to wear. A fully waterproof membrane lies between the woven tweed outer and the padded inner lining. Generally, as they get used, they wear in and are great for shooting when it is cold and/ or wet. Many people like the fact that they can be matched up with breeks and a cap. They look traditional and often have quite a lot of “give” in them which can aid Gun mount.
By contrast, technical coats are standalone items, usually green and have either (and this is quite a recent development), a waterproof outer layer or a water repellent outer “skin” with a waterproof membrane which can be GORE-TEX® or similar inside. Generally, the material they are made of is not particularly warm, but they are windproof and additional warmth can be created by “layering”, such as wearing thermals, a body warmer or a fleece. Sometimes the later can be zipped in such as with Schoffel’s Ptarmigan Interactive. There is now a massive choice of high quality technical Shooting coats, but each manufacturer sizes differently and often the deciding factor will be how comfortable they feel to shoot in, what sort of collar you like, their weight and colour and perhaps the feel of the outer “skin”. Again the waterproof membranes can be GORE-TEX® or a number of other equally waterproof and durable linings. Please remember, nowadays, there are many such linings used by different manufacturers as good if not better than GORE-TEX®.
Personally (and I would say this wouldn’t I!), I have a tweed shooting coat (William Powell of course) to shoot in on all but the wettest of days. Under those conditions, the tweed does become a bit heavy, but I still much prefer the ease of movement and comfort of a tweed shooting coat. When it is really raining but still warm (early season Grouse), I opt for a very lightweight technical coat and when it is colder and more miserable, I wear the best technical, waterproof shooting coat I can find. Fortunately there are now lots to choose from. William Powell sells so many different types of waterproof Shooting coat, take your pick!
Introducing the Musto Macnab – Fabric that looks like tweed but isn’t!