In October of last year I wrote a general review on the brand Guy Cotten, and as I already admitted back then the brand really got my attention. This happens regularly when I “discover” a new brand of rainwear with a rich history, a range of cool looking products, and tons of beautiful pictures of those products online. But with Guy Cotten it was slightly different, as it kept going through my mind from time to time and almost any other brand I wrote about afterwards I internally compared to this French brand with the funny little man in the logo. It took some time, but a few weeks ago I just had to admit to myself this feeling would not go away anymore and I bit the bullet by ordering myself a raincoat and rainpants of Guy Cotten. Now, after a few weeks of use, I would really want to share my opinion about the rainwear I bought, so sit back as this will be a long read which will hopefully be helpful in case you consider purchasing anything for yourself.
The items I bought are the X-Trapper jacket in the orange and yellow color combination and the Pouldo trousers (Nylpeche) in yellow. These products are not really intended as a set together as the X-Trapper jacket is from the “Fishing and Industry” range while the Pouldo trousers are from the “Yachting and Watersports” range. There is actually a bib pants which goes together with the X-trapper jacket, in the same color combination, but I already have a bib pants from 66North so I now wanted some normal rainpants. I was also afraid the orange and yellow would overpower too much with both the jackets and pants in these colors, while buying a completely yellow jacket would make the whole outfit just too yellow (yes, I can be difficult).
Both the jacket and pants are made out of heavy-duty PVC with a weight of around 480 grams per square meter. This weight is generally used for the commercial (fishing) industry as it is completely waterproof and can hold up against extreme wear and tear. Rainwear of this thickness might last you a lifetime, but the obvious downside is that it is very heavy to carry around and when wearing it you might feel completely enclosed and limited in your movements. That was exactly what I expected at least, but once I had put it on the material was actually pretty flexible and especially the rather oversized cut of the raincoat did not feel limiting at all. While wearing this raingear is in no way comparable to much thinner rainwear available for the general public, it was not nearly as limiting as I expected.
The feel of both the jacket and pants are unexpectedly nice. The PVC coating over the yellow material almost feels like a layer of wax, a sort of skid resistant coating, which is completely new to me and has a rather pleasant feeling. The overall shine and how light is reflected from this material gives it almost a 3 dimensional effect that makes it hard not to touch every time I pass the coat rack with the raincoat hanging there. The orange part of the jacket is noticeably different though, with a more matte finish and much less of a waxy feeling. This material is of similar weight but much more plain and boring in my view. With a different level of glossiness the combination of these 2 materials on the front of the jacket seems a bit strange, although the visual difference quickly disappears when the material gets wet and becomes shiny overall.
The inside of the pouldo pants have a similar waxy feeling which is very impractical. While putting on the rainpants is quite the effort already due to the thick material, the skid resistant lining makes it almost a chore to put on when your skin touches the fabric directly. This might not be a problem for people using these pants as workwear where they already wear fully covering clothes under it, but especially women wearing a dress, skirt, or shorts will have a struggle putting these pants on. And once on, problems arise with bending your knees to sit down or riding a bicycle. The difference between the smoothness of the lining of the Agu rainsuit reviewed earlier and this rainwear is day and night. Where the Agu rainwear feels like the fabric is caressing your skin with every movement this lining is almost actively trying to limit your movements when you bend your knees. For normal walking and going around it is of no problem though. Strangely enough the inside of the jacket is completely different and does not feel waxy at all.
Finally I noticed a slight color difference between the yellow material of the jacket and the trousers. I expected yellow to be yellow, but that is not the case and can probably be explained by the fact that the trousers are made of “Nylpeche” while the yellow parts of the jacket are made from “Cap Coz”. Keep this in mind when you want a perfectly matching rainsuit.
Needless to say both the trousers and jacket are completely waterproof. All seams are welded with a high-frequency technique meaning not a drop of rain will come through. And while both the trousers and the jacket are from workwear lines of clothing the finishing is excellent with little beautiful details coming to light when taking a closer look at the garments.
The zipper at the front of the jacket must be the biggest zipper I have ever had on a piece of clothing. With some jackets this will be weakest point in the construction but I am pretty sure this zipper will last me a lifetime as well.
While the real quality of the raingear is something that can only be proven over time, I am quite certain there will be no need for repairs or a replacement anytime soon.
The design of the Pouldo pants is quite straight forward and simplistic – it is the X-trapper jacket that deserves the attention here. There are design features incorporated at many levels and while some are impressively smart and innovative, some others are slightly disappointing and something you need to take into account when considering purchasing this jacket.
The most obvious things about the X-trapper jacket, and also the Rosbras jacket which is very similar, is the overall bulky design. While I have seen many pictures online of mostly the Rosbras jacket, it wasn’t till I received my own jacket that I realized how large it actually is. Taking a second look at the nicely crafted and highly professional pictures of models wearing the jacket it quickly became obvious the jacket is very bulky and should reach to your upper legs. At first I was not too happy with my choice of the “correct” size of this jacket, but I soon realized this actually makes the rain jacket stylish in its own way and maybe more of a jacket for general use than one with the specific purpose of giving cover only during the rain.
This observation is confirmed by what I would call a design mistake which is the extremely stiff Velcro band in front of the zipper. The idea behind this design feature is obvious: keeping water from reaching the zipper which is the least waterproof part of this jacket. But due to the stiffness of the Velcro the jacket loses a lot of general flexibility. By itself you will not notice this, but it becomes especially apparent when sitting down with the jacket closed. While the heavy-duty design of the rainpants will maybe add 10lbs of visual weight to your lower body, the jacket adds an easy 25lbs with the zipper closed when you sit down. Other brands solved this problem by using buttons which will give a less secure result but much more flexibility to the front of the jacket. One could point out this is done because the X-Trapper jacket is pure workwear, but the Rosbras jacket has the same feature and is often presented as a normal rain jacket for a much larger audience. This whole design feature is negated when you leave the zipper open, making this more a jacket for general use than one specific for the rain.
A really impressive part of the jacket is the patented MAGIC hood. Simply put you can put this hood on and still be able to look left and right when turning your head as the hood moves along with you. This is one of the major drawbacks I see in rainwear aimed at cyclists or runners: the hood limits your vision so much that joining traffic with the hood on can be dangerous.
And the final feature worth mentioning are the elastic cuffs. The elastic cuffs are hidden in the sleeves leaving a smooth silhouette but still protecting your arms from water splashing up. While practical, the greatest benefit for me is one purely based on the feeling of safety and protection it gives me when I am able to have the elastic part at my wrist while the sleeves extend further to go over part of my hand. For some reason I just like curling up my fingers and holding the ends of the sleeve while wearing this jacket.
Based on the size chart from Guy Cotton I was lucky enough to be able to pick a size that nicely covered my measurements expecting both the pants and jacket to be a perfect fit. From experience I know that this raingear is meant as workwear and will therefore fall a bit bigger. Add to that the overall oversized model of the jacket and I am actually quite content with the size I picked. There is no access space around the neck for rain to come in and the sleeves are just long enough to give complete cover and a feeling if safety without them being too long. The pants on the other hand feel a bit small. The crotch is hanging relatively low but when I pull up the pants further the ends of the legs will come up too much and I might end up with wet socks. With hindsight I would have wanted to try out the jacket a size smaller and the pants a size bigger for comparison, but neither item is sized so odd that I have to return them. Below a picture with me pulling the coat tighter with one hand to show what it would look like in a smaller cut or much smaller size.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Guy Cotten has a relatively large range of rainwear products on their website, but unfortunately the availability is pretty low in most countries. The few workwear stores that do have some of their products only have a limited selection and of course you will have to order it online and hope that the products match your expectation. Wouldn’t it be great if they had a sort of flagship store in every region with most of their products just hanging there, so you can have a look and feel, and determine which size fits you best, before having to place and order and deal with returns?
The price of the items I bought were quite affordable, especially keeping in mind that I regularly use rainwear and that the X-Trapper jacket is useful for more weather types than just in the rain. The trousers were around 40 euro’s and the jacket was around 75 euro’s. But because I had to order them from abroad there were a lot of shipping costs added which turned this into a purchase I had to really think about before finishing it through.
In my view these prices are acceptable as the products are produced in France and are made with great care. Compared to other brands producing similar rainwear Guy Cotten is on par with their prices or a bit on the higher side which can be explained by the fact that the products require more production time than the average simplistic heavy-duty fishing smock.
The overall look of the Pouldo pants are great with their deep color yellow, and they combine absolutely perfect with my black pair of Hunter boots. The overall look is a bit baggy, as you can expect from workwear, so I can jokingly add that wearing the pants ads an easy 10lbs of visual weight to my lower body.
The jacket has a great overall look that goes further than just rainwear. The model of the jacket is much closer to a normal jacket and the design features mentioned previously make this a great overall jacket. There are two earlier mentioned downsides though, the Velcro on the front of the jacket and the matt finish of the orange parts of the jacket, that keeps this jacket from reaching absolute perfection in my eyes.
The combination of the two items was a successful gamble for me: by having solid yellow pants the amount of orange in the complete rainwear outfit is limited which makes for a better look than combining it with the X-Trapper bibs.
Obviously I am completely in love with this Guy Cotten outfit. The pants combine perfectly with my black rainboots and the jacket gives me a completely secure and invincible feeling wearing it in the rain. The weight of the outfit does not bother me at all and I actually feel pretty light and flexible wearing both the pants and jacket.
Another great thing about the pants, something that might come across as rather strange in a rainwear review, is the sound they make while walking. I cannot explain this much further but it gives such a great feeling hearing how solid and nice it sounds when the material moves around me.
So far I have worn my new raingear whenever I had the opportunity, but due to the season this was still quite limited. The jacket I used a few times as a regular coat and actually got some positive feedback from people who liked the overall style and look. Maybe the Rosbras jacket, in solid yellow, would be liked even better but I tried to avoid a rainsuit combination of yellow with even more yellow.
As you can imagine I will be making many more pictures of this raingear over the coming period and will change the pictures used in this review with better ones when possible. As this can take some time I recommend you to follow me on social media where I will post new pictures regularly.
Finally thank you for making it this far, it has become a long review. Sometimes I just keep going when I really like something. Now I am only wondering what you think of this brand, their products, and the overall look and style of their raingear. Do you have any yourself or are you considering buying some? Curious to know what everyone thinks, so leave a comment here or hit me up in an email.