Sprayway Nomad/Topaz (2015)

Features

The Sprayway Nomad/Topaz is a mesh-lined jacket with a 2-layer HydroDry waterproof and breathable outer, and so while this isn’t the most breathable material, that mesh helps manage the comfort better than an unlined jacket. There are two pockets, which are also mesh-lined, and the hood has a wired peak. But higher-priced jackets have more sealed pockets and other benefits, so this is a limited feature list. 3/5

Fit

The Nomad is available in men’s sizes S-XXL and the women’s Topaz comes in 8-18. The jacket has a shorter body than average with a relaxed fit so you can easily wear it over insulating layers. Movement in the sleeves is quite good. The hood’s wired peak is great, but fit and movement aren’t as good as others. 4/5

Comfort

The mesh lining ensures the Sprayway Nomad/Topaz is more comfortable than some other jackets. Its weight of 473g (size L) doesn’t really impact on comfort or performance for most hillwalkers. But the pockets are mesh-lined so water could creep inside through them. That hood isn’t ideal either. So overall this is tolerable, but other jackets offer more comfort. 3/5

In use

You can put maps in the two lower pockets but your access to them is severely impeded by a rucksack hipbelt. There are no other pockets so this really limits performance. The hood movement isn’t great, so when walking in rain it’s a little frustrating as you have to turn your whole body rather than just your head when looking around. 3/5

Value

The Sprayway Nomad/Topaz’s price is very good, but if you can pay more you will get a far better jacket. 5/5

Verdict

If this is your budget then the Sprayway Nomad/Topaz is a workable solution, but it has many drawbacks compared to higher-priced jackets. 3.6/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2015

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