Not too long ago I took it upon myself to stock my wardrobe with Jackets for the Monsoons. I wanted something that was functional and fun - something that wasn't run of the mill and yet relatable. So my mind immediately went to two brands - Caterpillar and Columbia. They seemed to meet both criteria. Given below is my experience with brands which deal with waterproof wear in the city of Bangalore. For reasons of convenience I have visited showrooms housed in malls to explore such products in person.
The CAT logo was one of the main reasons why I wanted one such jacket. Its cool and elegant. The Caterpillar company is the world's leading manufacturer of construction equipment and has since expanded into apparel and footwear. Most people would admit to wanting one of those yellow CAT dump trucks as a desk ornament.
After a few minutes at the store I found that only one jacket ever had the fun and functional combo. Was waterproof up to 4000 mm and was light, sleek and had a lot of lapel like pockets. And of course the CAT insignia was the cherry on the cake. But the fit was questionable, the cost was around 6000 INR and was a "maybe" at best.
This company makes sportswear for athletes and outdoorsy folk. Its pretty established and has an insignia that stands out too ( although it sounds like a place or hospital). They had a lot of jackets on offer with good water proof features. It looked good and cost around 5000 INR. Could've gone for it, but felt I should look out for more options.
3. Adidas's, Nike, Reebok
You can't hunt for a jacket and not visit these brands! But the more I browsed, the more disappointment I faced. It's like they focus on just one aspect for each product. If the look is right, it's only water resistant. If the water proof feature is great, it's too bulky. If its water proof and fits great, the price tag is unrealistic.
This brand was slightly better than the ones mentioned above. But it's way overpriced for its styling and range. But on a different note I did but a waterproof laptop bag cover for only 300 INR. And made a note of other interesting accessories.
There aren't many left in Bangalore who haven't strolled into one of their massive stores and walked out with something they didn't know existed!!!
Decathlon is a French Sporting Goods retailer. They can best be described as a disruptive presence in the global sporting goods space.
This store can be summed up as 'Zor ka Jhatka Dheere se laga'. You come for totally different shopping experience, you stay for function, fit and price. And you keep coming back for the impossible levels of quality and functionality at low prices.
An hour at this place and I was walking away with two jackets under 3000 INR, with exceptional fit, function and quality. One was a Sailing Jacket and the other a biking Jacket.
The other Day I picked an OVERPANTS set which keeps your pants bone dry while riding in the rain. Who knew anyone made such stuff!