With a name like Storm Protector, I had high hopes for this softshell jacket. And since it’s from from Walls, I wasn’t let down. That’s because Walls is a name long associated with durable work wear. So their move into the outdoor market was supported by their years of experience in materials, design, and workmanship. They’re the brand for folks more concerned with how a garment works, than simply what the label says.
While the Storm Protector is one of two jackets Walls sent for review, this one is more “sporty” of the two. Although it’s cut like a hoody, the ripstop polyester and Spandex mix give it more shape. Of course, that also gives it more flex. Plus, it repels rain and snow. And inside the pockets, there is a warm and soft fleece lining. So really, the only thing it has in common with your cotton hoody is its shadow.
Taking a look at the details, I found some good and one maybe not so good. Inside, there is a pocket, listed as a map pocket. I’d call it my snack pocket, as it’s also perfect for an energy bar. On the outside are two front pockets, plus a chest pocket. As mentioned, the front ones are lined with fleece, and keep your hands warm. If you wear gloves, or are out in cold weather often, you’ll appreciate the zipper pulls too. Another nice touch is the bit of reflective trim on the chest pocket.
For the best fit, Walls added velcro to the cuffs, so they can be adjusted. I’m not a fan of velcro, so this might be my least favorite (not so good) feature. But it’s mostly a “set it and forget it” option too. Thankfully, they made up for it by giving the Storm Protector one of the better hoods I’ve seen, especially at this price point. It’s made up of multiple panels, which alone makes for a nice fit. Then they gave it dual toggle adjusters. So you can wear it loose in the rain, or snug it down in the wind. When you’re out in the snow, just wear a baseball cap under it, and you’re set.
Since I mentioned fit, I have to point out that Walls sizing is pretty generous. Sadly, some brands make me go up to a 2X, due to my stocky (5’10”, 200+ pounds) build. But Walls seems to size their clothing for the working man, not the skinny athlete. Whichever group you fall into, keep in mind that your usual size may not apply here.
After a couple of months of trading back and forth between this and my other Walls jacket, I have no clear favorite. For more active outdoor use, and in rain and snow, the Storm Protector is great. Despite being light and breathable, it’s quite warm for all but the coldest days. Looking at the long-term durability, I have confidence that it will live up the Walls name. That makes sense from a company with the motto “Classic design with work in mind”. And even if it’s not your style, you can find similar features in some of the other great jackets at Walls.com.
*Note that I have included stock photos from Walls. If you’re wondering why, it’s because current production has orange zipper pulls, rather than the black ones on my review sample.
I’d like to thank Walls for sending out their Storm Protector for this review. Utah winters are a great way to test all the features of a jacket like this. And it did not disappoint.