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Mountain Hardwear Hueco Hooded Jacket (2014)

£150.00

Brand new for this autumn/winter, the Hueco Hooded Jacket joins the future classic Super Chockstone Jacket among traditionally high-end Californian manufacturer Mountain Hardwear’s hillwalker-relevant products. It’s warm, featuring plush fleece lining and a full-weight, helmet-compatible hood beneath a proprietory face fabric called Airshield 3L, designed by Mountain Hardwear to be breathable before the clammy effects of exertion kick in. The ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Outdoor Research Alibi (2014)

£190.00

Here’s an impressive jacket from Seattle-based Outdoor Research, a brand that – despite being massive Stateside – is still a relatively rare sight in the UK hills. The Alibi has a hybrid construction, utilising waterproof panels in the hood and shoulders to give protection where the ‘weather hits hardest’. This does work for short showers or snow, but it’s no ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Montane Sabretooth Jacket (2014)

£165.00

The Montane Sabretooth Jacket is in many respects the one to beat here, having previously won both ‘Best in Test’ and ‘Best Value’ awards in Trail tests. There’s no denying that the Sabretooth has been designed with the British hillwalker firmly in mind. Features-wise, you get four pockets – two big ’uns on the chest plus two others above the ...

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

£200.00

There’s something retro about this new jacket from Mountain Equipment. With its chunky zips and vintage colour, from a distance it’s easy to mistake the Vulcan for the old-style fleece jacket that in a way it spiritually replaces. Thick and soft, it has the feel of a drysuit and the Gore Windstopper’s impressive DWR (durable water repellent) continues this illusion. ...

  • 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Rab Baltoro Alpine (2013)

£150.00

As the name suggests the Rab Baltoro Alpine is designed for Alpine climbing, so it should also be ideal for winter scrambles and mountaineering in the UK. It is made from a heavier weight of Polartec Powershield than the Montane Sabretooth for example, and is generally a very strong construction with triple seams throughout and an incredibly robust feel. The ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Haglöfs Geko Hood (2013)

£150.00

The Haglöfs Geko Hood is Bluesign-approved, which means 95 per cent of the materials used meet the environmental standards set by Bluesign (a Swiss-based body of private textile experts), so in short it is better for the environment than most other jackets. The fabric is Haglöfs’ own brand of soft shell material, which allows a little more air to flow ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Fjällräven Abisko jacket (2013)

£150.00

Like many Fjällräven jackets and trousers, the Abisko is made from G-1000 polyester cotton, which the manufacturer recommends users treat with Greenland Wax to make it water-resistant. One important benefit is that the Greenland Wax can be applied where necessary, so you can make the shoulders more water-resistant than the front of the jacket for example, to maximise breathability. To ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Salomon Darbon Light Jacket (2013)

£100.00

A lightweight and sporty-looking jacket made from stretchy, double weave soft shell. It behaves much like a wind shirt, so it works best as an outer layer in any kind of dry weather. It’s got a soft, high collar to trap warmth, but the elastic cuffs are way too loose – they’ll pull up easily when you want to spill ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sherpa Tseten Jacket (2013)

£100.00

A tough and full-featured jacket made from quite thick, three-layer fabric. It has a grid fleece lining inside which means it’s much warmer than others out there, and it feels bulkier and stiffer – great in cold weather but too warm in summer. Performance in the hills is great in cold weather, with a fleece-lined collar to trap warmth (shame ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Jack Wolfskin Activate Jacket (2013)

£80.00

A really great-looking jacket with a flattering, contoured fit. The fabric is soft, light and supple, with lots of stretch and articulated elbows too, so it feels fantastic to walk in. The close fit and high, fleece-lined collar trap warmth brilliantly, helping it feel surprisingly cosy in cool weather. Breathability and wind resistance is excellent, and the zip is covered ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Iodin Jacket (2013)

£100.00

Brand new for spring 2013, this is a lightweight and really stretchy jacket. The fit is simple and flattering, with hidden hem adjustment in each pocket for fine-tuning the fit, and fuss-free cuffs that rely on stretch for adjustment - they pull up really well, but check the fit because if they’re too long they’ll slip down over your hands. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mammut Ultimate Advanced Jacket (2013)

£200.00

This is an awful lot to pay for a soft shell, even one as good as this. It’s cut from Gore Windstopper: a stretchy membrane fabric that blocks wind and keeps a fair bit of rain out too, but it doesn’t breathe as well as some. Lengthy pit-zips and good-sized venting pockets go a long way towards compensating for this, ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Craghoppers Track (2013)

£50.00

A top-notch value-for-money soft shell that features a warm, fleecy backed fabric that offers a fair bit of insulation and does a good job of keeping drizzle at bay. It’s got plenty of stretch in it, which makes it very comfortable and easy to move in and it’s also got Velcro adjustment at the cuffs and a drawcord at the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Patagonia Simple Guide Jacket (2013)

£100.00

A light but effective soft shell that ticks all the boxes. Made from eco-friendly recycled polyester, the fabric feels light and stretchy – ideal for those that move fast – yet it keeps out wind, breathes well and repels a fair bit of drizzle thanks to the Deluge DWR. Low bulk means it slots easily beneath a shell but it ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Ignite Hoody (2013)

£150.00

Probably the best-featured jacket in our test, the Berghaus Ignite Hoody offers great value for money considering what you get. It’s the only option with a two-way zip – important if considering using it with a harness, or as a belay jacket – and it also has a soft chinguard, a fully adjustable hood, premium Primaloft One insulation, a water-resistant ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Columbia Premier Packer Hoodie (2013)

£140.00

The Premier Packer Hoodie’s comfortable fit and simple functionality make this decent effort from Columbia a solid if curious contender. The scaly, shimmery Omni-Heat treatment – thankfully confined to lining the body and not on show inside the hood – gives this a bit of a ‘disco’ look when unzipped, but the principle of thermally reflective dots does work, and ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Arc’Teryx Atom LY Hoodie (2013)

£180.00

The Arc’Teryx Atom LY Hoodie is a comfortable, very light jacket that is warm and well- (if not exceptionally well-) featured, and cut to fit for maximum movement with stretchy, microfleece-lined sides. Arc’teryx puts a lot of emphasis on fit; if the clothing suits your body shape, it will fit you like it was made for you – helped by ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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