The journey so far

Skapya means escape in Cornish. Escape is something we all like to do and, that is what we want to help with. It could be an escape to break records in exploration, it could be getting out into the fresh air and weather for a lunch time break and anything in-between.

Having spent more than 25 years working and travelling in extreme climates all over the world as a consultant geographer and conservationist – as well as exploring countries as a traveller in his spare time – Duncan MacRae had plenty of experience to draw on when it came to designing the perfect waterproof for outdoor use.

“I’ve had more than two decades of getting fed up with having to use kit which was never right and didn’t do what I needed it to,” he explains. “When I decided to invent my own, I knew exactly how essential it was to have a good quality, breathable fabric which didn’t leave you sweating underneath – but equally I knew how vital it was that when the rain stopped, you could take off your jacket or poncho and not have to carry it around with you.”

The Inspiration

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The multi-functional Skapya range was first designed by Duncan in February 2012 and went through a number of prototypes before arriving at the perfect model.

Duncan, who lives in Cornwall where he regularly makes use of the jacket to walk the family dogs, said: “I often can’t decide whether or not to take a jacket with me on a walk. I don’t want to have to carry a jacket or tie it round my waist, but the weather can be incredibly varied down in the South West.” I had the idea of designing a really comfortable waterproof made of a very breathable material that you could turn into a bag when you didn’t need to wear it – and made sure the bag still offered easy access to the pocket of the poncho or jacket, so it was easy to reach anything inside like a water bottle or mobile phone.”

Duncan engineered the Skapya range using GE’s specialist eVent material – arguably the most breathable fabric on the market today – as the central section of a three-layer design to ensure the garments were highly durable and comfortable to wear as well as being fully waterproof and windproof.

The cutting-edge range is made entirely by hand in the UK by Cumbrian manufacturers, using taping and stitching methods that have been tried and tested for 35 years to assemble the various components.

The Design

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The design journey has been focused on ensuring Skapya garments offer nothing but the best in every way.

Skapya sources premier fabric and peripherals from all over the world, from Japanese-made poppers to American buckles and British mesh, before UK manufacturers make each item by hand to ensure a high quality finish to the best possible standards.

Comfortable and dependable, the Skapya range means you can concentrate fully on where you are and what you are doing – whatever the weather.

“Cameramen are obessive with detail and quality. I saw the quality of the fabric and then went straight into the pockets (as stuff mine with camera batteries etc) to reveal the backpack pouch which is piece of genius. I can carry a water proof now on my back along with everything else and not rely on others to carry my kit for me.”

Jonathan Young, Documentary Cameraman

“Recommending a Pioneer Jacket from Skapya – one of my best bits of kit. A near perfect travel raincoat.”

Simon Reeve, TV Presenter

“The gear is sh*t-hot. The rucksack functionality is surprisingly useful”

Ash Dykes, Explorer