UNIQLO Blocktech Parka Review

Before buying mine, I did try to look for a thorough review on the UNIQLO Blocktech parka but didn’t find any so here’s ours. Just putting our honest opinions out here.

We bought these in the Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur branch for our working holiday in New Zealand.

So we’ve worn them through winter and up to summer for 9 months.

It rains quite a lot in New Zealand (some places a lot more than others) and a good waterproof jacket is a must.

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Topics:

What you are paying for:

Features And Care Instruction

Retailing at RM249.90 / SGD99.90 with sizes XS until XXL (at least when we bought ours back in April 2018):

You’d definitely want to know if it does what UNIQLO claims it to do.

Here are the main features they’ve listed on the UNIQLO Singapore website:

  • Windproof
  • Waterproof
  • Water repellent – I really don’t know what the difference is between waterproof and water-repellent. Aren’t they the same thing?? o.O
  • Stretchy
  • Breathable

Care Instructions For The Uniqlo Blocktech Parka

The material is lightweight (it is 100% polyester) and there is a lining on the inside.

You almost feel like the jacket is easy to tear (but we haven’t torn ours yet and it’s been 9 months).

So try to hand wash your jacket with cold water.

Here’s the label information,

UNIQLO Blocktech parka for women (beige)- label information - full review is on www.travelswithsun.com
UNIQLO Blocktech parka for women beige label information

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Now on to the review,

UNIQLO Blocktech Parka – Appearance

The jacket comes in a limited range of colors. The availability of colors depends which country you’re in.

Men: Grey, Black, Brown, Red, Blue, Orange*, Olive*, Navy*

*Available in Singapore

Women: Light green, Black, Navy, Natural, Red

Womens Parka In Bright Red - Hidden Zip
Womens Parka In Bright Red – Hidden Zip

Of course, lighter colors get dirty easily. The ends of my sleeves are usually always edged with grey (e.g. can be easily washed off though). By contrast, the black doesn’t show any stains.

The parka is very basic with a classic silhouette:

Not too bulky or slim-fitting in my opinion. The zips are hidden and so are the pockets (kind of).

UNIQLO Blocktech parka for men (black) - A complete review by www.travelswithsun.com
Men (black) – length

We can layer the jacket over a thick hoodie and it’s still a comfortable fit.

UNIQLO Blocktech parka for men (black) - A complete review by www.travelswithsun.com
Men (black) – back

The hood can also be adjusted if you need it to hug your face more:

Yes, it might make you look like a swaddled infant but who cares when the wind and rain are getting in your face?

UNIQLO Blocktech parka (beige) with hood up and cinched - full review on www.travelswithsun.com
UNIQLO Blocktech parka (beige) with hood up and cinched

There is a flexible but somewhat stiff brim (not like those sun hats that joggers use) hidden at the top part of the hood:

I wouldn’t rely on the hood alone for defense against the sun’s UV rays though. Wear a cap underneath for added protection.

UNIQLO Blocktech parka (beige) with hood up - full review on www.travelswithsun.com
UNIQLO Blocktech parka (beige) with hood up
UNIQLO Blocktech parka for women (beige) - Full review on www.travelswithsun.com
Women (beige) – length
UNIQLO Blocktech parka for women (beige) - A full review on www.travelswithsun.com
Women (beige) – side close up

And at first glance, the design for both men and ladies look the same.

However, you may not notice these differences (scroll below):

Firstly, UNIQLO mentioned they updated the design to have snap buttons at the cuffs at the end of the sleeves instead of Velcro. This update was introduced with the beige color.

Why did they do that?

This is to prevent the Velcro from snagging everywhere. This was based on feedback they received from customers.

UNIQLO Blocktech Parka - Cuff detailing comparison
UNIQLO Blocktech Parka – Cuff detailing comparison

Also, the new version (based on the beige women’s Blocktech parka) has a hidden breathable mesh in the armpit of the sleeve.

Update (4 Dec, 2018) – It appears that the men’s jacket still doesn’t have the updated armpit meshes and cuff buttons that the women’s jacket has. I have sent a few emails to Uniqlo Malaysia and I get the impression they don’t know when the updates will be available for the men’s jacket. Surprisingly.

My guess is they will phase out the current version of the men’s jacket first before thinking of updates.

I’d also like to point out that the armpit meshes do not provide complete relief. Just a bit when the wind blows. And the velcro cuffs have so far, never given my partner any reason to dislike them anyways. We actually don’t use the cuff straps at all – button or velcro.

See the jacket in action in our video here (from the 3 minute and 17 seconds mark onwards).

Update (2020)The women’s parka seems to have gone through another design change – the cuff strap shape is now trapezoidal rather than just strips. And the zipper has an extra fold to hide it. Giving the jacket a more minimalist appearance!

Hidden Zip For The Womens Parka (Grey)
Hidden Zip For The Womens Parka (Grey)

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UNIQLO Blocktech Parka – Now Available For Kids!

They now have this jacket for kids at half the price of the adult parka!

Available in black, yellow and blue! The design of the kids’ parka follows the men’s parka with the exception of elasticized cuffs!

UNIQLO Blocktech Parka For Kids
UNIQLO Blocktech Parka For Kids – photo belongs to UNIQLO

At the moment, these are only available online. Check with the nearest store to you in case they happen to have stock you can try!

What We Like About The Uniqlo Blocktech Parka

  • It does keep out the wind and rain runs off the jacket. Mind you, just light to moderate rain. Update (22 Nov, 2018): it works in heavy rain too, to an extent.
  • It’s lightweight and takes little room in the suitcase
  • It is breathable – no sweating under the pits even if you have other layers on
  • Pockets – who doesn’t love pockets and these can fit your phone, gloves, car keys or wallet easily. The zip will ensure your precious belongings stay in your pocket.
  • That brim thing in the hood – helps a bit with the rain.
  • It looks good. Slimmer than your average rain jacket. A classic style that can go with many outfits.
  • Hood is adjustable
  • The detailing is well done – zips work well, seams are mostly hidden and secure, no loose threads, etc
  • Seasonal – After 9 months in New Zealand, we can say that we wore this jacket almost every day, all year round. With the exception of the coldest days (below 8°C) where we switched to our winter down jackets. We got away with wearing our jackets on our ski trip in Queenstown on a sunny day, too!
  • Dries fast! In less than 15 minutes in a room with a heater or directly under the sun. A blowdryer would probably work real good too.
  • Doesn’t look wet even after the rain (at least for the black parka). The beige will get spotty. The spots will clear as the jackets dry. No worries.
  • Cheaper than other brands we have in Malaysia that are known for quality (and their prices!) – like Kathmandu, Northface, Universal Traveller, etc
  • Great quality – No loose threads or failing buttons and velcros and despite it’s flimsy appearance and feel, the jacket has lasted for all our adventures in New Zealand for 9 months. Undergoing a few washes (only hand wash, mind you). Mine is starting to bobble (i.e. looks like well-worn old cotton t-shirt) but only at the edges. Possibly because I get a little enthusiastic when scrubbing off the dirt.

What We Don’t Like

  • That price tag!!
  • It doesn’t actually keep you warm on a cold day. You need to layer up with a hoodie or knit sweater.
  • Needs to be hand-washed. (We haven’t attempted to throw these into the washing machine yet)
  • Depending on what color you get, it can be high maintenance to maintain the lighter colors (i.e. they get dirty easily but are just as easy to wash).
  • After having this jacket (and using it almost daily) for 9 months, we’ve noticed some slight bobbling and slight flaking of the lining (around the hood and sleeves).

Warning: Friends of our friends reported that the zip is not waterproof. In a heavy downpour, their phone was damaged because water had seeped into the pocket where the phone was being kept via the zip. We did not have this problem even when we stayed at the coast of south island, New Zealand for 3 months experiencing frequent rain (and hail) showers during spring.

The Final Verdict (Conclusion)

This is a good quality water-repellent jacket for autumn or spring.

Mind that these don’t go past your hips so you do need to invest in a pair of rainproof pants!

And the jacket won’t be enough to shield you from a full-on downpour or hurricane (and definitely not Niagara falls).

It does however, give you enough time to scramble for a roof or your car before you get completely drenched.

It helps that it doesn’t take up much room (or weight) in the suitcase too.

But,

Don’t think you can get away with this jacket once the temperature goes well below 10°C:

Because at that point, you’ll need to switch to a proper winter jacket or have several inner layers.

Would you buy this jacket for your travels? Have a better (and affordable) option instead? Leave a comment below.

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Review of the UNIQLO Blocktech parka by www.travelswithsun.com
Review of the UNIQLO Blocktech parka by www.travelswithsun.com

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11 Comments

    1. Hello Nic,
      Thanks for your comment. We are currently not in Malaysia (and have limited internet) so we can’t check the stores ourselves but we suspect that the men’s jackets don’t have the new features yet. Will try to inquire with Uniqlo and get back to you on this. In the meantime, we’d love to know if you learn or observe anything else.

      Thanks,
      Janice

      1. Hi Nic,
        Just an update. I sent a few emails to Uniqlo and I get the impression they don’t know when the updates will be available.

        My guess is they will phase out the current version of the men’s jacket first before thinking of updates.

        I’d also like to point out that the armpit meshes are not fully effective. They just provide a bit of relief. The velcro cuffs have so far, never given my partner any reason to dislike them. We actually don’t use the cuff straps at all.
        Hope that helps.

        Thanks for your feedback. Will update the blog post accordingly.

  1. Hi Janice!

    Decided to buy one because of your recommendation 🙂 Just a question, did you wash the jacket only with water or did you use any detergents? I washed mine once using powdered laundry detergent handwashed. Is it bad for the jacket?

    Thanks and Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi Jason,
      Be careful when you wash the jacket. Too much friction can make the lining flake. We wash ours very rarely. Probably only twice after 9 months of daily wear in New Zealand.

      We use laundry detergent for sensitive skin and cold water. The soap is a local brand (Ecostore or something like that) here in New Zealand. We hang our jackets to dry on a clothesline. Note: we have never machine-washed our jackets or put them in a dryer.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Merry X-mas and Happy New Year to you~
      Janice

    1. Hello Shira,

      I don’t do anything special. I’ve never had any stains on mine other than the cuffs where they get a little dirty. My jaacket is beige so it gets dirty pretty easily. I just handwash in cold water with any mild soap. No rubbing or other harsh movements like squeezing. I do rub a little at the cuffs for my jacket. But mainly just dunking into a bucket water, changing the water after a few dunks. Repeat 4 times until all the soap is gone. Then hang it out to air-dry. I guess if you have a red one, don’t hang it in direct sunlight. It’ll probably fade if you do. Hope that helps.

  2. I wore this jacket during my winter trip in Iceland! ofcoz I layered up with 2 heattech (1 extra warm & 1 ultra warm) and a fleece jacket. Keeps me toasty warm =)

    1. Funny, my September trip to Iceland with my Blocktech proved that this jacket is indeed not waterproof. Light-moderate rain, sure, but next to the falls and I was soaked underneath my coat. 🙁

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