The jacket in question, as you will no doubt have guessed from the title, is the North Face Women's Resolve Jacket from Outdoorkit.co.uk. I've got it in the lovely Grand Purple colour (new, apparently) which is very similar to the one above, but an ever so slightly more reddish tone to the purple.
I have to say my overall impression of this jacket is very, very positive. Looks-wise, it scores very highly and it's also very handy, being lightweight and very 'packable'.
My verdict: Overall score = 4.5 out of 5
My one line review of this jacket is lightweight, well-cut and weatherproof - a good everyday, waterproof jacket. That 0.5 off the score is only for very small criticisms, which you can read more about below.
So I realise that some serious walkers would probably frown at me for considering looks first, but I walk in London as well as in the country, and while function is obviously important in a waterproof, I don't think that means I should have to look rubbish! For me, this jacket definitely scores highly on the looks front. Unlike quite a lot of other waterproofs I've tried and owned, it's got a decidedly feminine cut. So much so, that one of my colleagues immediately asked me where I'd got it when I came in wearing it, because she'd been looking for a more flattering jacket.
I also love the colour I've got, and the fact that there is such a range of colours is great. Personally, I get really fed up with the number of women's waterproofs that only seem to come in black or pink. I don't always want black, as the visibility of it isn't great, but pink really isn't my thing. There's a colour for everyone in this jacket style, which I highly approve of.
My only slight criticism of the look of the jacket - and it is only slight - is the length. I would ideally prefer it to be maybe an inch longer than it is so that it comes down over my hips a little more. To be fair on someone a bit shorter, it clearly would do that, but I'm not unusually tall at 5' 7" so I think it could do with a little more length. That said, the length certainly wouldn't stop me wearing it.
In terms of feel, the jacket is very light and comfortable. As a top layer, I think it's got just the right balance, in that it feels durable enough to keep out the worst of the rain and wind, but it's not going to weigh you down and is very easy to move in and wear.
Fit-wise, although I'm now a size 10, I got a 12 so that I can fit plenty of layers underneath, and I'd say it's come up pretty true to size in that respect. As mentioned, even though it's a size bigger than my normal size, the cut is still flattering, and I've definitely got room under there to add base layers and fleece if needed.
In fact, in terms of the fit and feel I have very little to complain about. It was very comfortable on my walk up Moel Fferna and has served me equally well when doing my normal walk to work in London. Good work North Face is what I say!
Practicality and performance: 4/5
The lightweight nature of the jacket can of course be both a good and a bad thing. It definitely doesn't provide a huge amount of warmth, but then I don't think this is to be expected from this jacket. It feels like an everyday jacket, something to keep you weatherproof and comfortable.
A big advantage of the jacket from my perspective is that it packs down very small. My other waterproof feels a bit sturdier than this one, but actually comparing them I get similar protection from both and this one packs much smaller. I like this, as not only is it good from a hard core walking perspective - taking up relatively little rucksack space - but it's also really helpful for me, as I can carry it home from work in my 10L backpack (along with a few other things) with ease when I run home.
In terms of its performance as a waterproof, I've been very happy with it. Having worn it now in both snow and heavy rain it's proved very effective at keeping me dry and it hasn't let any water in as yet. I also really like the soft, brushed chin guard which stops the jacket irritating my face when I've got the hood up and the zip done up to the top.
It was also particularly welcome and effective protection from the wind when I was climbing Moel Fferna, which is certainly important for any jacket of this sort. I found that it worked well on that particular walk as it didn't overheat me when we were in the sun, but kept the wind and the worst of the chill off very well when we were in the shade and also on the summit.
Again, I only have a couple of slight complaints with the practicality of this jacket. One is that there is no internal pocket, only the two hand pockets on the outside. A small thing really, but I do like the internal pocket on my other waterproof, for the simple reason that it's a better place to keep things a bit more secure and dry - such as my phone. Shockingly enough, I often have the hand pockets unzipped to put my hands in, so in the rain this would cause issues for anything I want to keep dry.
The only other slight gripe is the hood - and this really is a very personal preference for me. I really like deep hoods, ideally with a wired peak so that it keeps the rain off my face as much as possible. While there is a shaped peak on the hood of this jacket, it isn't wired and it doesn't reach out that far. The hood also isn't very deep, so my face wasn't as sheltered by it as I would ideally have liked.
So, in conclusion, this is definitely a good jacket. I would place it firmly in the solid performer category with some really nice touches to the look and feel. Endurance wise, I suspect that it might fall down in particularly cold weather and torrential rain, but certainly for most of the weather you'd encounter in the UK for the majority of the year, it's going to stand you in good stead and keep you comfortable and looking good into the bargain! Highly recommended.