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Mammut Kala Patar Tech (2014)

£110.00

Not everyone likes pockets, and if you have a hands-on approach to your outdoor activities, such as when scrambling and mountaineering or just due to using trekking poles a lot, then do you really need them? If the answer is no, then the Mammut Kala Patar Tech may be for you. It’s made from a combination of two fabrics: one ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Montane Sabretooth (2014)

£160.00

The Montane Sabretooth is a frequent winner of Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ award when reviewed as a soft shell jacket. However in our test, the drawbacks of a soft shell were compared with the benefits of a fleece. The Sabretooth is made from Polartec Powershield, which has a perforated laminated layer within the fabric. This provides far better wind resistance ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Shroud (2014)

£90.00

The Mountain Equipment Shroud is a jacket that I’ve been wearing regularly for four years and amazingly its price hasn’t changed in that time. It’s built around Polartec 100 fleece fabric, which for me provides just the right degree of insulation to wear year-round in the UK over a base layer or under a waterproof jacket. The fabric also offers ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Storm Shadow (2014)

£85.00

The North Face’s Storm Shadow is designed as a next-to-skin or mid layer fleece. To provide maximum comfort it’s a close-fitting top that’s extremely air-permeable while offering superior ‘wicking’ (moisture-removing) performance. All this makes it ideal when used under a waterproof jacket or when worn on its own during highly aerobic activities, or for scrambling or walking in non-windy environments.  ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Patagonia Piton Hybrid (2014)

£135.00

Although I’d always choose a fleece with a hood, some folk will prefer a non-hooded fleece that allows them to wear a separate hat. If that’s you then out of the jackets received for our test, the Patagonia Piton Hybrid was the best option in terms of its features and design. It is made from Polartec Windpro, which is four ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vaude Basodino Hooded Jacket (2014)

£75.00

The Vaude Basodino Hooded Jacket is made from Bluesign-approved fabric, which means the material is environmentally friendly. The fabric is also nice and stretchy and provides a good level of insulation, which makes it ideal for hillwalking. Put the jacket on and it instantly feels comfortable and really hugs the body, but without being restrictive. There are three pockets. The ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Shadow Hoodie (2014)

£135.00

The Rab Shadow Hoodie is made from Polartec Windpro, which is four times more wind-resistant than traditional fleece, but it doesn’t have a membrane inside – and so retains enough air permeability to allow water vapour to escape, thus preventing condensation building up. This fabric is therefore ideal for windier conditions, in places that will still necessitate a waterproof jacket ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Páramo Bora Fleece Hoodie (2014)

£100.00

The Páramo Bora Fleece Hoodie (men’s) and Zonda Fleece Hoodie (women’s) feature an over-the-head smock design, which won’t be to everyone’s liking but has distinct advantages over the more conventional jacket style. As there’s no front zip to get in the way, there’s a tunnel chest pocket that can be accessed from either side. This is ideal for warming hands ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mammut GoWarm (2014)

£60.00

Here we get a bit more athletic. This is a high-performance technical top and the tightest fit in the men’s group, although it adapted nicely to my body shape after three outings and careful washes. It’s a complex blend: a merino and polyester face fabric plus a polyester-only inner lining, which together offer great temperature regulation on hard climbs. There’s ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Zip (2014)

£75.00

At the top end of the price range, we find this: supremely comfortable merino wool, fitted but not clingy, a completely natural thermostat and easy to wash too. And as a bonus, it's muted enough to hide all its technical brilliance in a top that looks profoundly ‘normal’. I wore it on four separate trips without washing it, and it ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Outdoor Research Echo (2014)

£35.00

A comfy top which ticks most of the boxes for a great price. ‘Stripped-back’ is the word: it’s extremely lightweight, almost tissue-thin, with uncomplicated stitched seams; a lean top for those who like to move light and fast. It isn’t close-fitted at all, in fact it’s rather baggy and shapeless round the waist and at the wrists. This means it’s ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Paramo Grid Classic (2014)

£50.00

If you want a warm, clever and versatile top that doesn’t look too flashy, look no further than the Grid. It’s a relaxed fit, but it’s made with a thick, insulating fabric (almost like fleece) which is so comfy I was still wearing it as an outer layer in late autumn. The distinctive grid pattern of this Parameta G fabric ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Bastion (2014)

£190.00

Synthetic insulation cannot compete with down in terms of keeping you warm in the coldest of conditions, but it’s ideal when you need to stay warm while being active. The Bastion uses Mountain Equipment’s own Polarloft synthetic insulation and this is combined with a Gore Windstopper shell, which provides water and wind resistance. There are stretch side panels where there’s ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Ascent (2014)

£185.00

The Rab Ascent is a down jacket with an outer made from Pertex Endurance, which is water-resistant enough that the down is protected from melting snow and tent condensation. Inside the size L jacket is 330g of hydrophobic down, which is better able to maintain its performance when wet than standard down. The removable hood gets a volume adjuster so ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sprayway Reactor (2014)

£80.00

The Sprayway Reactor has a nylon shell and Inso/therm insulation, and comes with a fixed hood and two large chest pockets. The pockets are big enough for OS maps and can be accessed while wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt. The hood gets a volume adjuster and face drawcords, but it doesn’t turn with the head as easily as would ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Marmot Thermo Hoody (2014)

£100.00

The divisions between next to skin base layers, insulating mid-layers and waterproof outer layers are becoming ever more blurred as brands develop products to suit every style of outdoor activity and the specific needs of different types of users. The Marmot Thermo Hoody is a thin mid layer, but it could also be considered as a thick base layer. For ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Alpkit Filo (2014)

£120.00

Alpkit gear is only available directly from the manufacturer, but the price is stunning for what you get. The Filo is very warm thanks to a good amount of good-quality down, which is packed into a shell made of ripstop nylon with a water-resistant treatment. The detachable hood benefits from a wired peak, but there’s no volume adjuster and it ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sprayway Scorch Hoodie (2014)

£75.00

The Sprayway Scorch Hoodie is made from Exo/therm Stretch. This provides a medium level of wind resistant, similar to Polartec 200 Micro, but it has a closer knit on the outside to give it more abrasion resistance, while on the inside it has a more brushed appearance. The result is that it does not feel quite as warm as Polartec ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Pravatile Hooded Jacket (2014)

£75.00

There are a lot of hooded fleece jackets available but not that many under £100, so at £75 the Berghaus Pravatile Hooded Jacket does have some appeal. It is made from an attractive stretch fleece that offers a good level of insulation for general hillwalking. It is not very wind-resistant, which makes it ideal for wearing under a waterproof because ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Ramche (2014)

£300.00

The Ramche is one of Berghaus’s MtnHaus products, designed by mountaineers for top performance in the fiercest conditions. It features hydrophobic down, which resists water better than normal down, so it’s better able to retain its insulating performance when wet. Offset baffles reduce heat loss from the body core, while square baffles on the upper arms and stitched-through baffles under ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Grid Jacket (2014)

£120.00

Made from Polartec’s ‘Monkey Fur’, this jacket looks wonderfully comfortable, and as soon as you put it on it really does live up to that image. This fleece is wonderful at trapping air, so this feels very warm in still air or under a wind- or waterproof jacket. The fabric does allow a lot of air to easily pass through ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Montane Prism (2014)

£100.00

Synthetic insulated jackets are ideal as year-round garments, and the Montane Prism is one of the best all-rounders out there. It uses PrimaLoft Eco synthetic insulation that includes 50 per cent recycled fibres. The shell is made from Pertex and when combined with the insulation you get a very lightweight option at just 423g (size L). That weight includes a ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Alpine Project Hybrid Hoodie (2013)

£170.00

The guides at Glenmore Lodge (the Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre) will be wearing the The North Face Alpine Project Hybrid Hoodie during summer 2014. It has been designed as a versatile layer and it’s made from a thinner version of Gore Windstopper than other jackets in our test, which puts it in the mild spring/summer/autumn bracket rather than being ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hoody (2013)

£170.00

Arc’teryx describes the Gamma LT Hoody as a jacket for everyday use that is ‘equally at home in the mountains or around town’. I think this sums up the jacket quite well: it’s very much an all-rounder that doesn’t excel in either environment. On the hill its feature set is slightly spartan compared to others, with just two pockets, no ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Trojan Hooded Jacket (2013)

£160.00

Not all Gore Windstopper fabric is the same, and the version used in the Mountain Equipment Trojan Hooded Jacket is a lighter weight without added insulation inside – and the result is a more general-purpose garment that is slightly lighter in weight than some options. The Trojan offers the wind- and water-resistant qualities of other jackets, but has a softer ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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