Unusual in looks and unusual in construction, the Corbet is a unique garment. The fairly thin sleeves, side and back are made from a blend of synthetic fabrics and merino wool. The outside is smooth and mostly synthetic with the wool on the inside for moisture and odour control.

The front and collar are completely different. They consist of a windproof outer divided into small compartments containing a wool/ polyester fill. This insulated layer is lined with merino wool. The result is a surprisingly warm garment with the insulation concentrated over the body’s core but without the bulk of many insulated garments as the stretchy material over the arms and back is close-fitting.

The Corbet is comfortable and in still air and light breezes can be worn as the outer layer as long as it’s not raining – the front has a DWR finish but even the lightest rain goes straight through the rest of the garment. The same applies to wind. The front may be windproof but my arms soon felt cold once the wind picked up. Worn under a shell the Corbet is comfortable but I found it quickly too hot in moderate temperatures (above +8°C). In winter it should be fine.

The handwarmer pockets are roomy but cut off by a pack hipbelt. The chest pocket is small – just big enough for a compass or phone. There’s a snug stand-up collar and thumb loops on the extra-long sleeves. I like the Corbet and the wool fill is interesting and different. I’m not sure just where it fits in my outdoor wardrobe though.

smartwool.com

Reviewed in November 2015 issue

Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: warmth, windproof front

Cons: only insulated on front

  • Price: £145
  • Weight: 415g
  • Fabric: outer arms and back: 48% merino wool/44% polyester/8% Elastane; outer front: polyester panels with 75% wool/25% polyester fill; inner: 56% merino wool/44% polyester
  • Hood: No
  • Front closure: Full length zip with inner flap
  • Pockets: 2 hem, 1 chest
  • Cuffs: plain, thumb loops
  • Hem: Elasticated
  • Sizes: men: S-XXL, women: XS-XL
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