Piper Oversized Raincoat Review

Hi, all! 

Well, after asking your advice on trenches for my upcoming trip to London several months ago and deciding on the blue....I have had second thoughts. 

Don't get me wrong. I love the blue trench. The colour is gorgeous. I love the classic style. BUT it has four serious downfalls as a travel coat. 

1. It is quite fitted, so difficult to layer under. 
2. It is not packable or easy carry for a day spent out and about. 
3. It is on the heavy side for the current temperatures -- I would be hot in it (and then would have to carry it...in and out of museums, shops, restaurants, etc. etc. for a full day or sightseeing). I find it awkward to spend an entire day with a (possibly damp) coat on my arm. Of course I can check it in museums and such but not while walking. 
4. It lacks a hood, so if it actually rains, I would get quite wet. I do have a packable umbrella and a rain hat, but the less I have to lug around with me most days, the better. 

So I started looking for packable raincoats. I tried several and promptly sent them back for one reason or another. Here is one I think I may keep. 

This is the Lole Piper Oversized Raincoat. https://www.lolelife.com/en-ca.....8;gad_sour

I have had very good luck with Lole coats. One of my first YLF purchases, way back in 2012, was a puffer coat from Lole. I  wore it up until last winter and the only reason I don't have it any more is that it is too warm for my current climate. I finally passed it on, in near-perfect condition, after 7 years of very heavy wear (daily for months on end) and several more years of lighter wear. 

(I also own a lightweight puffer jacket by Lole, purchased on major sale this year.) 

The colour is called "Abalone." It's almost exactly like the "oyster" puffer coat I own. A sort of cool greyish beige? Stone? Something like that. Not my best, but not (I hope) soul-sucking beige on me. (The coat comes in a lot of other neutrals and a few colours but this was the one that looked most promising for my needs.) 

It's basically an oversized anorak with extras. Much more casual than my classic Hobbs trench, but not without a bit of attitude and style. It is lightweight, seam-sealed, and lined, so it will be quite water-repellant (while not truly waterproof.) It has a high collar, a double zip (bottom and top), zippered pockets on the sides and one on the inside for a phone, a sewn on hood that is very adjustable, and adjustable waist and arms. 

It also packs away into its own little backpack. This is a very nifty feature! 

Because of the ties and the double zip, you can wear the sleeves and waist in different ways -- you can push the sleeves up to show your wrists or have the sleeves long. 

It is very oversized, BTW. I sized down. 

As I have said, I am inclined to keep this and use it on the trip and afterwards. I think it could prove quite a versatile piece. What think you? 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Roberta replied 2 months ago

    Well, I love it! I find that a light color jacket is really useful when traveling. You stand out in a crowd if someone is looking for you, and in a good way, if you know what I mean. Also, the features on that coat look very practical. You will stay dry with that length and that hood. A d the double zipper means it is easy to adjust the coat to changes in temperature. Cheers to you for finding it!

  • Angie replied 2 months ago

    I vote KEEP! The colour is GREAT on you, and it’s a super duper versatile piece for our climate, AND your trip :)

    BIG thumbs up for THE HOOD!!!

    KILLER FAB. Especially fabulous with the light coloured blouse and your hair!

    Practical and playful.

  • cat2 replied 2 months ago

    That looks like a great pick. I find my anoraks very useful, and this one has some fun details.

  • Sal replied 2 months ago

    I am an enabler too!  It is stylish and practical.  Coats like this have great longevity so I think a reasonable range is a good idea.

    I love the look of a trench but they are quite specific in their use - I have to keep reminding myself they don't really work for my life - whereas this type of jacket would get a lot of wear.

  • slim cat replied 2 months ago

    Looks like fun and practical at the same time ;-) ! I like how you styled it -  #5 and #8 especially !

  • unfrumped replied 2 months ago

    I love that color! My Marmot shell is very similar color.

    Fir travel, I think practicality & function are super important— style is great, for urban trips & sightseeing, & perhaps one way that fits in is having items in very good condition , that fit, flattering color. And know the right item for the climate.

    You’ve been very appropriately analytical- hood, weight. For layering and stuffing a tote or backpack, a jacket or raincoat has to be not too bulky. Warmth comes from a combination of layers.

    You’ve also hit on an issue with the sleeker trench coat looks. I swear they’re modeled on people wearing maybe just a tank top underneath! Same for fitted blazers. I look better in the ones that do have more fitted armholes & sholders, but often find that even a thin LS top underneath will bunch up or feel stuffed.
    Outerwear is worse when like that, & it becomes a struggle to get the topper off, especially if carrying something, or in a car or public transportation.

    I think the other consideration is, if you will also wear it a lot when back home, then it is a “ good fit” for lifestyle, and not languishing as travel- only garb. Then you can update , replace after having worn it a lot, according to whatever new fit or features needed at some future time.

  • Dee replied 2 months ago

    It looks great, nice colour, seems very versatile and so it should serve you well.

  • avicennia replied 2 months ago

    Much better! Lightweight, packable and versatile are musts for travel. Well done!

  • Bijou replied 2 months ago

    I love it and find that my anorak is my most worn coat - I took it on the recent Japan trip and found it very versatile. I love the colour and fit of this coat on you.

  • Jaime replied 2 months ago

    Definitely keep! Your reasons for not taking the blue make perfect sense and it seems this one answers all those concerns. Plus it looks fab! The fit at the waist and wrists add a lot and even the hood looks well designed.

  • Suz replied 2 months ago

    Thanks for the pleasant enabling! I felt quite pleased with myself for finding this, to tell you the truth. Many coats that are advertised as "packable" turn out not to be. Others are packable, but made in an awful crinkly fabric. And others don't fit so well, or don't include practical details like a two way zip. The Cole Haan signature packable raincoat, for example -- I tried it but could not get it in my size in a colour I liked, and I thought the zipper and fabric were cheap for the price they were charging. 

    I would highly recommend this coat to others looking for a similar type of item. I have rainproof (truly waterproof) GEAR coats; I have rain resistant coats that I love but that are a bit too heavy, but I don't have a crossover piece like this that seems to work even with dressier combos (in a kind of "fun juxtaposition/ tension" kind of way). 

    Jaime, the hood is SO well designed. Actually, everything is. The hood has toggles on the front but also a back adjustment cord so you can make it shorter or taller, and it has a brim so water does not course down your face. 

    The seams are all completely sealed. It's quite beautifully made for the price. The zippered pockets are also a really nice touch for travellers. 

    Of course I don't yet know how rain resistant it will prove to be, but I'm sure it will keep me dry enough in showers. 

    But DO size down if you are ordering it! 

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 2 months ago

    It looks fantastic. I hear you on the trench being not a great travel option for this trip. I debated taking my trench coat with removable lining to Spain in February. I thought I might need the warmth. Then the weather forecast turned less chilly and I ended up taking a packable coat instead. It worked well.

  • Mirjana replied 2 months ago

    Beautiful, definitely you keep it. I have similar but dark green, and i can tell you the most wearable item for that kind of weather. I wear very rare the classic trenchcoat for the same reason as yours. Enjoy wearing, gorgeous on you.

  • RobinF replied 2 months ago

    Ooh love it! A good raincoat is a bit of a HEWI for me, for a lot of the reasons you listed. I do have a long trench with a hood which I wore to London a few years ago and it worked well. But it wasn't light and packable and I did get too warm in it sometimes. Now I am off to check out this brand....

  • cjh replied 2 months ago

    Great choice! This is what I would choose over a trench any day.

  • Suntiger replied 2 months ago

    Yes, keep! The big loop ties on the arms and waist bug me though, so I'd try to tuck them in somehow.

  • lyn67 replied 2 months ago

    Love the shade  and the very dramatic collar+hood-wow-KEEP IT!

  • BrieN replied 2 months ago

    I really like this coat! Thank you for the excellent write up. I have been looking for the perfect packable raincoat for a while now; I may order this to see if it works for me.

    Could you comment a bit on the front of the collar when zipped? I have a shorter neck and am particularly sensitive to a coat that has a tall collar that hits the bottom of my jaw…. any info you could share there very appreciated.

  • ChristelJ replied 2 months ago

    I love everything about this coat. Not only does it look fantastic on you, shape and color-wise, but the careful design details make it high quality, it seems. That it comes with its own bag is fun and useful. I have a coat with a bag it packs into and it's very handy when traveling.

  • Janet replied 2 months ago

    That looks great, Suz! Seems like a very useful piece. I bought a long, lightweight packable Montbell shell while in Switzerland last summer, and it’s so very useful! Packs down into nothing and stows away in my handbag, dries quickly, and layers over other pieces to adapt to cooler weather, while still functioning well as a summer raincoat in moderate climates. It was not cheap but it’s perfect for me, so I went for it. It’s hard to find good rain jackets that have a little length to them!

  • Suz replied 2 months ago

    Janet, you are so right about the length issue. Why oh why so many rain jackets? Except for gear, who needs a jacket? You want your legs dry, too....Good to know you were happy about your rain purchase last year. 

    BrieN, it's hard for me to guess about the neckline. I have packed the coat now for my trip, so can't measure, but I would say the actual collar of the coat when done up is about an inch and a half? Not entirely sure. My neck is not super long but also not short -- on the longer side. But I also have a very long face. The collar doesn't interfere with my jaw. The fabric is really soft. Not "crunchy" the way some raincoats are. 

    Suntiger, I wondered how I would feel about the ties. I get that they are a very distinctive design detail not to everyone's taste. I thought I might feel as you do but in person, I quite like them -- they are a statement. You can't tuck them away. You could -- possibly -- alter the coat so the ties wouldn't show, but that would make it a different coat. The ties are what give it a little difference in style. 

  • BrieN replied 2 months ago

    Thank you Suz! I appreciate the information. Let us know your thoughts if you have occasion to wear it. Have a great trip!

  • MsMary replied 2 months ago

    Fantastic! Keep!

  • DonnaF replied 2 months ago

    FWIW the Lole Piper is on the Nordstrom website as is the Lole Element which is a streamlined style that is also described as packable, not that I’m in the market for a packable raincoat.

  • Suz replied 2 months ago

    Donna, it's a different coat. The Element is not the same style as mine. It's a less oversized item. https://www.lolelife.com/produ.....rce=yR7p%2

    And here's the Piper: https://www.lolelife.com/produ.....L0086-G920

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