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Craghoppers Pro-Lite (2015)

£50.00

It’s rare – very rare – that our reviews could start and finish with the cheapest item, but Craghoppers’ new Pro-Lite really does give you the whole story of a soft shell jacket in a nutshell. It’s lightweight, sharply-cut, very breathable and completely windproof. It works up a mountain, in a country park and on the high street, and it ...

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Black Diamond BDV (2015)

£160.00

Black Diamond are probably better known in this country for accessories (in particular their walking poles) than clothing. But you will see more and more of their jackets hitting UK stores this spring, and the BDV (which stands for Black Diamond Vertical) is a perfect example of their innovative approach. It’s a robust, slim-cut jacket that feels fantastic as both ...

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Paramo Bora Smock (2015)

£80.00

The Bora takes a different approach to soft shell. It is essentially a thickened-up, over-the-head windshirt, so it is exceedingly light (just 178g) and very packable. By itself, it is highly windproof (the peaked hood is especially good) and very breathable, thanks to two vertical venting zips up the abdomen. But the Bora has more to it than that. It ...

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Patagonia All Free (2015)

£110.00

This jacket was originally designed for climbing, but walkers can get a fair bit out of it too. Freedom of movement is great, as you might expect given its roots, and it stretches beautifully. It’s very lightweight, and water just glides off it, even when subjected to a ruthless water-bottle dousing. The neck is high and snug with no danger ...

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Musto Evolution (2015)

£119.00

Cocooned. It’s a comforting word, bringing to mind snugness, warmth and security. All the things you’d want from a product that is intended to protect you against the wind, the wet and wild weather in general. ‘Cocooned’ popped straight into my mind on donning this, one late winter’s day. The inner is traditionally soft and fleecy, and immediately warming, while ...

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Regatta Nebraska (2015)

£40.00

I’d forgotten the price when testing this and was so surprised post-walk that I had to triple-check the figure. Surely there’s a ‘one’ missing before the ‘four’? Nope. A simple £40 it is. It was already praiseworthy, but in light of that, it’s hard to beat. The Nebraska performs wonderfully. On a late winter walk it proved resistant enough to ...

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Helly Hansen Challenger 2 (2015)

£130.00

The Challenger is modelled on a running design, but walkers can benefit from its breathability and ease of movement too. Where the Regatta jacket prioritised weather protection, this  takes a lighter approach. The front is made from standard soft shell polyester, hardy enough to beat off wind and rain, while the back and underarms are made from lighter, stretchier material. ...

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Fjallraven Pro-Lite (2015)

£170.00

Even though it’s called Lite, this is a full-on, heavy-duty soft shell that is so robust it actually crinkles. The first thing you might notice are the colossal but cleverly-placed pockets. The zips run vertically up both sides of the upper torso, making the pockets accessible even with a rucksack on and big enough to take an OS map (each!). ...

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Mountain Equipment Scorpion (2015)

£135.00

FeaturesI would always choose a fleece with a hood, but if you don’t want one then the Mountain Equipment Scorpion is the best option around. It has two large main pockets that can be accessed while wearing a rucksack, plus a third smaller chest pocket for GPS receiver, guidebook or compass. There is also added abrasion resistance in key areas ...

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Regatta Breaktrail (2015)

£25.00

FeaturesThe Regatta Breaktrail’s biggest benefit here is the price of just £25, but at such a low cost it isn’t surprising to find that hillgoing features are limited. There’s a short front zip, only one pocket and no hood. But the zip does have an inside baffle to block wind and prevent chin scraping. The pocket is large enough for ...

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Mammut Eiswand Tech (2015)

£175.00

FeaturesThis jacket from Mammut’s Eiger range is designed for alpinism and climbing, but it also works really well as a hillwalking and scrambling fleece thanks to its ‘alpinist’ features. So you get two large chest pockets, a hood and a close fit to allow active movement without riding up. There is no third chest pocket, though, which is a surprise ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
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Columbia Fast Trek II Full Zip (2015)

£50.00

FeaturesWith the Columbia Fast Trek II Full Zip three pockets. You can fit OS maps in the hip pockets and a small guidebook in the chest pocket. The two lower ones are easily obscured by a rucksack belt, but at least you have a more accessible chest pocket. You also get a drawcord at the hem to block out the ...

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Sprayway Cerberus (2015)

£75.00

FeaturesThe Sprayway Cerberus has instant hill appeal, thanks to a hood and two large pockets on the chest with easy access even when wearing a rucksack with a wide hipbelt. The front zip is full-length and gets a baffle on the inside to block draughts while the top of the zip is protected to prevent chin scrape. Thumb loops are ...

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Páramo Bora Hoodie (2015)

£100.00

FeaturesOver-the-head smock designs such as the Páramo Bora Hoodie do have real advantages, as they allow a large chest pocket to remain easily accessible while wearing a rucksack. Here you also get a hood and a third small chest pocket. There’s also a lot you don’t get though, including adjustment on the hood, a long zip for ventilation and no ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Craghoppers Pro Lite (2015)

£40.00

FeaturesThe Craghoppers Pro Lite is a low-priced fleece jacket with a hood and three pockets is a good option for many hillwalking situations. This one has no baffle behind the front zip, though, so it can be draughty and there’s no chinguard for the top of the zip. There are no adjustment cords at the cuffs, hem or around the ...

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Mountain Equipment Shroud (2015)

£80.00

FeaturesThe Mountain Equipment Shroud has been a favourite of mine thanks to its combination of a hood and two large chest pockets that can be easily accessed while wearing a pack with a wide hipbelt. It has thumb loops and a hem drawcord, and the front zip has a baffle inside to keep draughts out as well as a chin ...

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Rab Shadow Hoodie (2015)

£140.00

FeaturesThe Rab Shadow Hoodie has almost everything you could dream of with its hood, two huge chest pockets and highly abrasion-resistant material. There is no external third smaller chest pocket, but you do get an inside chest pocket which is very large and could be used for compass, GPS receiver or phone. The drawback is all that extra weight if ...

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Regatta Breaktrail (2015)

£25.00

The Breaktrail is part of Regatta’s Point 214 range – named after the 214 Lake District fells listed by guidewriter Alfred Wainwright. This tells you that it’s firmly designed with British hillwalking in mind, rather than anything more extreme. It’s all one fabric (the dark panels under the arms look like they should be a light fabric for venting, but ...

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The North Face Glacier 100 (2015)

£50.00

A small red triangle logo on your fleece will bump up the price, but as a quick visual guarantee, it is hard to beat. It’s the logo of Polartec, and when it comes to making a fleece warm, breathable and stretchy, Polartec is about the best option on the market. It’s at the heart of this excellent all-rounder fleece, making ...

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Montane Volt (2015)

£100.00

The Volt is a joy to wear. It’s called a ‘zoned’ jacket, with the zones being separate panels of material stitched together to make a jacket that moves naturally with you, while keeping the heat where you want it. It uses the warmest version of Polartec, Thermal Pro, which has a honeycomb design that creates air pockets within the jacket ...

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Mammut Aconcagua (2015)

£130.00

If you’re a serious hillwalker and you plan on spending a lot of time in deep cold conditions, the Aconcagua (as you might expect from the name) is a perfect choice. There’s Polartec here again, but this time it’s the advanced Power Stretch version which prioritises stretchiness. So it’s incredibly athletic, adapting to your movements smoothly, although it’s not as ...

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Rohan Nightfall (2015)

£245.00

FeaturesThe insulation is a hydrophobic down that absorbs 30% less water than normal down and dries 60% faster. The down is 800+ fill power and is made of 95% down and just 5% feather, which all adds to the warmth of this jacket for the minimal weight. The hood is also removable but the peak isn’t stiffened or wired; however ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Infinity Endurance (2015)

£285.00

FeaturesInsulation is provided by Nikwax Hydrophobic Down with a fill power of 850+ while the outer is a Pertex Quantum GL ripstop nylon, and this ensures the jacket offers a very good level of insulation but is also very light for its performance. There are three pockets and the hood gets a wired peak, with the lack of cuff adjustment ...

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North Ridge Elbrus (2015)

£120.00

FeaturesThe North Ridge Elbrus is filled with a 650+ fill power 70/30 duck down, which is less efficient than higher-priced options, and so this jacket is not the warmest, but it is light – in part because there is also no hood. But you do get Velcro cuff adjustment and a nice brushed collar area. The outer is also quite ...

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Mountain Equipment Lumin (2015)

£200.00

FeaturesThis jacket uses water-resistant 675+ fill power 90/10 down, production of which is audited via Mountain Equipment’s Down Codex scheme to ensure it does not include live plucking. The outer is a lightweight ripstop nylon. The hood gets a wired peak, volume adjuster and face drawcords, and it can be rolled down and secured at the collar. 5/5 FitThe Mountain ...

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