Looking to update your autumn wardrobe? Jonathan Taylor has put the Abacus Grove hybrid jacket to the test
Abacus was established as a golf clothing brand back in 1991, aiming to combine Swedish design with high-performance fabrics, with clothing made for the active golfer in mind. Here we review the rather smart Grove hybrid jacket.
Abacus Grove hybrid jacket review: NCG Summary
This is a really smart jacket that is particularly suitable for cold and/or windy conditions. It comes highly recommended.
- Warm and comfortable.
- Smart appearance.
- Premium construction.
- Useful zippered pockets.
- Slightly bulky to stow away.
- Doesn’t work in the wet.
A crucial component of an outdoor layering system is the insulating layer. For the golfer, this will typically be a sleeved mid-layer or gilet. As far as jackets are concerned, I have always associated them with waterproof functions. But the jacket (with or without a hood) is becoming a more popular option for the golfer, so I was keen to test out the Grove hybrid jacket from Abacus, the premium Swedish brand.
This garment looked and felt to be a quality piece of kit straight out of the box. I tested the navy/grey version, which was essentially navy with some grey piping at the collar and base to add some visual interest. This is one of seven colour options on offer from Abacus, so you’re sure to find a colour to suit. Some of the other colours, such as sunset, are more of a two-tone style.
There is a seamless, quilted and padded windproof fabric to the front and back with side panels, shoulders and sleeves constructed from stretchy fleece, which is brushed on the inner aspect for additional comfort. There is a full-length zip with a protective chin guard and two roomy zippered front pockets.
A fairly unobtrusive Abacus ‘Count on it’ logo sits on the lower right front, just beneath the pocket. There’s also a small logo on the right upper sleeve. The overall appearance is of a well-constructed, smart and warm piece of kit.
I tested the Grove over a number of rounds of golf, generally in cool and windy conditions. I’m about 173 cm tall and weigh 74 kg with an average (ie non-athletic) shape. The large size fitted really well. I normally like a drawcord hem, but this jacket sat really nicely without one. The garment felt extremely cosy, and there was no restriction of movement when swinging.
The level of insulation meant that I usually just wore this over a polo shirt or a base layer, such as the Abacus Tenby long sleeve top, but I found that I could easily add a mid-layer in colder weather if required because the garment is so nice and stretchy.
The only issue I have with the Grove is when the weather gets wet. The material is stretchy and windproof but lacks any waterproof function. So that means having a waterproof to hand when the rain starts to fall. And although it’s possible to put a waterproof on top of the Grove, it can all start to feel a bit hot and restrictive. What I have tended to do is leave this jacket in the car if there’s any likelihood of rain and wear a gilet instead.
The zip was of high quality, with a windproof flap, and the collar was just the right height. It was comfortable if zipped all the way up because of a soft chin guard, but did not interfere if it was partly open.
The two zippered front pockets were a decent size and, therefore useful. In some similar garments, the front can sag forward a bit, which is particularly noticeable when putting or chipping. There was none of that with the Grove, whether or not the pockets were open or closed.
The 19th hole
I really enjoyed wearing the Grove jacket, and I have to say that this another excellent product from Abacus. It is perhaps somewhat limited in that it didn’t work for me when the weather got wet, and it’s a little bulky to stow away in a golf bag.
I have already found myself wearing this jacket for other activities including dog walking and just going out and about, because it’s so comfortable and good looking.
Fit: True to Size/Small/Large
Out of Box Comfort: 9.5/10
Value for Money: 8.5/10
Sizes: UK S-XXXL
Colour options: Black, Navy/Light grey, Navy/Harvest, Sunset, White/Navy, Dark cobalt/Black, Black/Anthracite.
Abacus Grove hybrid jacket review: The Details
More info: Abacus website
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