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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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
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Quechua X-Light (2015)

£30.00

FeaturesAt just 409g (size M), something must be missing, and there is less insulation inside the Quechua X-Light than in the other down jackets we looked at. What sets it apart is the price, but to achieve that there is no adjustment drawcords on the hood, only two pockets, no cuff adjustment and no soft brushed lining at the chin. ...

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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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Alpkit Filo (2015)

£120.00

FeaturesThe Alpkit Filo features 675+ fill power 90/10 duck down – not quite the spec of higher-priced jackets – which is why it’s a little heavier. The outer is ripstop nylon, again a slightly heavier option than pricier jackets, but you do get a removable hood, which benefits from a wired peak. The cuffs only have plain elastication rather than ...

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Montane North Star (2015)

£240.00

Features The outer shell is more water-resistant than most, which is good as the down used does not have the water-resistant treatment some jackets offer. The hood gets volume adjustment, face drawcords and stiffened peak, and can be rolled down and secured at the collar. The cuffs have tab adjusters. All that for 565g (size L) is impressive. 4/5 FitThe ...

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Berghaus Ramche (2015)

£340.00

FeaturesThe big story is the 850+ fill power 90/10 hydrophobic down, which maintains its performance when wet better than standard down. You also get Pertex Quantum GL outer fabric to keep the weight down to a very acceptable 516g (size L). The helmet-compatible hood has face drawcords and a wired peak while the two pockets get zips. 5/5 FitThe Berghaus ...

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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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Montane Chonus (2015)

£280.00

FeaturesThe down is held in box wall construction throughout, which means there are no cold spots as found on most jackets at this price, which are generally stitched-through designs. The 800+ fill power 90/10 down is certified not live plucked, but it isn’t water-resistant. You do get a helmet-compatible hood with a stiffened peak though. 4/5 FitThe men’s Montane Chonus ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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First test: Sherpa Nangpala Down Jacket (2014)

£250.00

The traditional and well-proven choice for top-quality insulation has been down, gathered from geese. However, as down loses some of its insulating performance when wet, synthetic fibres are often used instead, which perform better than down when wet, but are heavier and less compact. This is not ideal, say when carrying an insulated jacket in your rucksack. So over recent ...

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Rohan Icepack (2014)

£125.00

FeaturesThe Rohan Icepack lacks a hood but has other benefits. A soft fleece collar adds comfort, although the fleece doesn’t extend to the chin area. You also get Velcro tab adjustment on the cuffs to lock out draughts. The two main outside pockets are OS map-sized and they’re placed high enough to allow access while wearing a rucksack hipbelt (although ...

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Montane Primino (2014)

£60.00

FeaturesNew this autumn from British brand Montane, the Primino is an unflashy zip-neck top with minimal features (on a base layer, though, so you may not want them!) and clever fabric that’s useful for standalone use in autumn/spring and as a layer in winter. A women’s fit is available. 4/5 FabricA clever idea (common to several other brands), the Primino ...

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