Barbour Solway on cover of 1967/68 catalog (via Thornproof)
I stopped receiving Barbour print catalogs several years ago. Browsing the online web shop, I have a hard time tracking the ever shifting Barbour lines (Beacon, Sporting, Gold Label, Heritage, Lifestyle, Ladies, etc). Favorite styles are disappearing behind new Barbours with printed linings, updated silhouettes and Steve McQueen plotlines. Many of the Barbours made from the original, "thornproof" 8 oz waxed cotton have been discontinued. Missing from the Barbour line for several years is one of my all time favorites, the Solway Zipper Jacket.
Solway in Barbour 1967/68 catalog (via Thornproof)
In its day, the Solway was one of Barbour's flagship models. Here's a nice illustrated summary of the Solway's principal features which include three outside patch pockets, inside game pocket, wind cuffs and a buckle belt.
The Solway zip was designed as both a shooting and "fowling" jacket. It was quickly adopted for for general country wear.
Per the 1964/65 catalog patter, the Solway is well suited for use in cold, damp conditions: "The quest for the ideal coat is over, invincibly waterproof, able to stand up to endless hours of rain and not let one drop through." Of all the Barbours, the Solway appears to have inspired the most testimonials. My favorite is the story of the gent whose Solway protected him from an enraged Zebra.
The buckle belt adds a dash of style
In 1961, the Solway zipper jacket had spinoff models including the Solway Smock
Here are a few historic examples of Solway Zipper jackets captured from ebay:
There seems to be a disturbing trend towards having the belt and belt loops removed on Solway jackets. Recent ebay auctions list this as a garment feature. Since this is a signature feature of the Solway, I strongly advise against this practice.
I missed this special close out sale on Solway jackets via Sierra Trading Post. Ignominious end to a coat that once graced a catalog cover.