* Prices may differ from that shown
When it comes to competing I like to have everything near and tidy whether for my horse or for myself. Therefore, I try to keep various items separate. For example my competition clothing needs to be kept in pristine condition so the easiest way for me to do this is to keep it (my jacket and white breeches) in a garment bag. Once my horse is all tacked up and ready to go I can then quickly grab the garment bag, get changed and get on my horse and my clothes are still perfectly clean. I had been using a garment bag for a number of years and although it had served me well it needed replacing and it was the perfect excuse to treat myself to a nice new one.
Despite the equestrian world having hundreds upon thousands of items for both horse and rider the choice of luggage type items is actually quite limited so there isn't much of a choice. However, the garment bag I chose and purchased was the Ariat Show Garment Bag in black and tan. Ariat is a global brand known for their high quality products but of course with high quality tends to come high prices and Ariat is a brand not for the budget conscious. I had seen this garment bag a few months before I purchased it and to make it easier I did set aside a small amount of month a month so when handing it over all in one go it didn't harm my bank balance too badly.
The Ariat Show Garment bag has been specifically made for those that compete and need to protect their show attire whether a county showperson or a BSJA showjumper regardless of discipline you always want to keep your clothing clean. The garment bag is no different to those that you can get for travelling with it just happens to be made by an equestrian manufacturer. The Show Garment Bag comes in either black with tan detailing or navy with red detailing. I opted for the black version simply because I preferred it, it looks smarter and the colours are quite a classic combination and are very much Ariat staple colours.
To look at the garment bag like I said above looks exactly the same as a 'normal' garment bag. It is made from poly canvas which is incredibly durable so ideal for storing in a horsebox/trailer or even at the yard as it meant to be tough to withstand yard life. It has a full length zip right down the middle of the garment bag which is cleverly concealed. The bag's dimensions are 40"L x 25"W making it an ideal size to carry my show jacket as well as a pair of breeches with room for more. Of course it doesn't come with it's own hanger so you will need to use your own - it simply slots out of the top of the bag for easy hanging. On the front of the bag you will also see the small 'Ariat' logo.
On the inside of the garment bag the Ariat signature lining is black with images of small snaffles (horse bit) which is made out of soft nylon material and is in keeping the black/tan theme. The nylon material also helps keep your clothes clean and smooth (although I wish it managed to keep them crease free!). To help carry the bag there are durable webbing handles at either end of the bag which are tan in colour and the garment bag itself can easily fold in half for easy carrying with the aid of the handles. On the outside of the garment bag there are two pockets which are ideal for keeping items such as ties, stocks, broaches/pins and other show related items which are small enough to keep in the pockets.
Despite being made from a type of canvas material the garment bag is still incredibly lightweight and easy to carry. Obviously the more you try to fit in the heavier the bag will be to carry but for what I wear it certainly does the job well. The handles are not adjustable so it is a case of having to carry the bag by hand as you can't have it over your shoulder should you want to (I have heard a few people moaning about this point). Although it isn't advised to put this in a washing machine I have found that any marks I have got on the bag do come out incredibly easy with a damp cloth and a bit of soap and this hasn't left any marks behind. But being black it does have a habit of showing up dust or dirt easily.
I have had my garment bag for a little over a year now and it is used on a very regular basis due to me competing regularly and it certainly does manage to keep my jacket and breeches spotless. I don't over fill my garment bag simply because I don't need to and that I don't want to have to carry a heavy bag to and from a horsebox. The poly canvas used for this garment is definitely durable and it feels just a little rough to the touch but considering it needs to last then this is definitely the best type of fabric to use as it is soft enough to be lightweight but tough enough to withstanding constant use and I can safely confirm it will withstand being dragged around the floor by a very nosey horse who couldn't resist pulling off where I had it hanging and dragging it around by his feet!
As said above my bag is constantly used and despite this is still looks in near perfect condition apart from the odd mark or pull in the canvas. I do love the overall style of this garment bag and the black and tan does make it look like quite a classy contender to all the other garment bags available. Now, not only can I recommend this show garment bag to those that need it for equestrian use but also for those wanting a decent, hardwearing and good quality garment bag should you frequently travel as it will do the job just as good. It will certainly last for me a good few years and it does make the price tag definitely seem worth it. Would I recommend? Yes, definitely! A big 5 stars from me.
~ Useful Information ~
Availability: Derby House
Colour(s): Black or navy