A few months ago we were contacted by someone from clothing retailer Scruffs, a workwear company specialising in stylish togs for hard working tradesfolk. They wanted to know if we would be interested in reviewing some of their gear the next time we had some hard work to do in the garden.
We’re not shy of a bit of heavy duty labour on the allotment, and we’re not frightened of fashion. So we each picked an item to review and got stuck in.
Fast forward two months. We’ve braved the plunging temperatures and the Scruffs gear has been put through its paces. We’ve dug, chopped and sweated, and are ready to deliver our verdict. Here’s our reveal-all conversation in full…
Nick: “What item did you plunder, Rich?”
Rich “I’ve got a Classic Thermo Parka. I wanted one in red but my wife said it would make me look like John Craven, so I heeded her better judgement and went for a black one instead”
Nick: “I would’ve gone for red as well. The colour of champions. But black looks smart. Looks warm, too – have you tried it out in this recent blast of Arctic weather.”
Rich “I took it out for a trial on Bonfire Night, as it happens. A rigorous test for the coats thermal properties as – if you recall – it was FREEZING that evening. I took my youngest to a fireworks display at the local rugby club. A twenty minute walk, followed by an hour wait in the cold whilst they presumably looked for the matches. Incidentally, if anyone from BANES council is reading this, the safety procedures at this event consisted of a bloke holding a pint of lager, shoo-ing kids off the pitch before they lit the fireworks.
“Happy to report that I stayed toasty for the duration. What I would say is that the hood is absolutely voluminous. To stop it from falling over your eyes, you’d really need to wear a baseball cap. Unless, of course, you’ve got a head like ET. I liked the plethora of pockets (nine external and two internal) and the knitted cuffs are a nice comfy touch. What did you wrestle from the Scruffs shop, Nick?”
Nick: “I didn’t go out on Bonfire Night. Spent the evening doing the same as the previous and subsequent ten evenings – helping the dogs hide from the firework noise.
“I opted for some tough ‘Cheviot’ boots. Wellies are good for most gardening activities but sometimes, particularly this time of year when the path gets icy and there are serious wood chopping activities to negotiate, something sturdier and grippier is required. And these looked comfortable enough to extend their remit to muddy dog walking, now the fireworks have ceased.”
Rich: “I hope the boots live up to their name. I know from experience that the Cheviots is a formidable, uncompromising landscape. I was once sucked into a peat bog just below Windy Gyle. Did I ever tell you about that?”
Nick: “There’s nothing more I need to know about your windy gyle.
“The boots are great. They’ve got a reassuringly hefty aluminium toe but overall they’re remarkably light and flexible. I’ve been marching around the garden in them and haven’t really noticed I’m wearing them. Previous big-boot experiences have felt like I’ve been carrying the potato harvest on my feet but not these. They’ve also got an ‘S3 safety rating’ which I think means they’re pretty tough all over so I’ll be confidently putting them through their paces this winter.
“My wife is a bit more fashion-fussy than me and suggests I don’t wear them out and about, but I’ve got a woodland ramble with the dogs tomorrow and the forecast is for hard frost, so I’m ignoring her ‘advice’ and will be wearing them in public. Besides, I quite like the orange and black livery. You wouldn’t be ashamed if I turned up at a cider pressing in the Cheviots, would you?”
Rich “Nope, you’ve worn worse things. That red fleece hat, for instance…
“I’m not sure I’d wear my coat to a cider pressing – I’d get too hot I think. I’ll lend it to you. You tend to do a bit more sitting around, watching other people working.”
Nick: “Outrageous lies. Just you remember whose new boots have the reinforced metal toe cap…”
Rich reviewed the Classic Thermo Parka, 100% polyester with a waterproof rating of 4,500mm and a detachable hood. Price £84.95
Nick review the Cheviot Boots with heat resistant sole, nubuck uppers and an S3 safety rating. Price £51.96
For the full range of Scruffs clothing visit scruffs.com
*Prices correct at time of publication