When we started Battenwear in 2011, it was with the intention of making clothes we had always dreamt of wearing but hadn’t yet been able to find in stores. For example, we love vintage outdoor clothing and have a healthy collection of old parkas and other gear, but find that the fit of most items is outdated, making it less suitable (aka stylish) for everyday city wear. We also greatly admire the more recent trends in outdoor gear, and the technological advancements that have been made in the field, but when push comes to shove, many of the high tech fabrics and sleek designs are just not quite to our taste. Finally and most importantly, we believe love is in the details. We want smart, well-thought-out pockets, stitching details that allow a garment to move with its wearer, and flaps and straps and brims designed to keep a body comfortable and protected from the elements. The relationship we develop with a garment should be like a true friendship, and it should only get better with time.
The Travel Shell Parka was the very first item we made for Battenwear and it stands for everything we set out to accomplish by launching the brand. It’s a jacket that’s perfect for hiking but also stylish enough to wear to a bar after the hike (which means you have one less jacket to pack for your next trip!). It has excellent construction details to help protect from the weather and allow for greater movement of the wearer. It has wonderful pockets that will store all the components you need for your next adventure. And it’s made in a fabric that has a prime position in the rich history of outdoor clothing, feels great on, and provides excellent wind- and water- repellency.
1. Map Pocket on Back:
The map pocket on the back of the Travel Shell Parka is a traditional carry over from vintage mountain parkas. Before GPS and cell phones, everyone used to hike with paper maps, and would tuck them into this back pocket for relatively easy access . . . while also allowing the map to serve as added insulation during chilly hikes. We don’t have as many paper maps in our lives as we’d like, but we often use this pocket when bringing a newspaper to read on the subway.
2. Chest Pocket:
The angle zip chest pocket is positioned to allow easy access to valuables and things you wish to keep handy . . . without having to open up your jacket and allow in the cold.
The hood is designed with three panels to best fit the curve of the head. At the front, there is a slight brim to shield the wearer’s eyes from rain. The hood can be adjusted loose or tight around the face via the drawstring. We use a leather stopper on the hood drawstring. We prefer leather to plastic because it ages well and complements the 60/40 fabric.
4. Interior pockets:
The two interior pockets at the inner waist are the best place to put valuables like your passport or wallet. They have snap closure flaps to keep cargo in place when you take your Parka off.
5. Other body-front pockets:
The three snap flap pockets on the front of the Travel Shell Parka are designed with a three dimensionality to allow as much cargo as possible. At the waist, the pockets' back side opens up so that you can tuck your hands. We love hand pockets.
6. Pleated elbows:
We added pleats at the elbows to allow for greater articulation of arm movement. A small but major detail in the comfort of the Parka.
7. Chin flap:
The flap underneath the zipper at the neck is there to protect the sensitive skin at and under your chin from the teeth of the zipper.
While the shell is made of 60%Cotton, 40% Nylon, the interior lining is made of 65/35 cotton/nylon blend to give an even smoother feel to the skin. This makes the Travel Shell Parka as comfortable to wear with a short sleeve shirt as it is with a long sleeve.
9. Waist adjusting drawcord
This drawcord at the waist provides the ability to tighten and change the look of the jacket depending on your needs and how much/little you are planning to layer under it.
10. Two Way Zipper:
We use 2-way zippers in as many of our jackets as possible because we like how you can open the jacket from the bottom to access your belt or shirt or the interior pockets without letting a lot of cold air in. We like YKK zippers the best, so that's what we use.
Scovill makes a superior snap, so we asked them to make us a custom Battenwear logo version. On the Travel Shell Parka, we include a snap closure flap over the zipper at the front. At the cuffs there are 2 snap options to adjust tightness at the wrist, depending for example on whether you will wear gloves or not.