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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 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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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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Berghaus Cristallo/Teton (2013)

£160.00

The Berghaus Cristallo for men and Teton for women is designed for winter use and so it employs a heavier weight of Gore Windstopper fabric than some other jackets, with a thicker insulating layer on the inside to give it extra warmth. To further improve winter performance, the cuffs have an inner liner with thumb loops, and the hood is ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Montane Sabretooth (2013)

£160.00

A frequent winner of Trail tests, the Montane Sabretooth has everything a hillwalker, scrambler or mountaineer might need from a soft shell jacket. It is made from Polartec Powershield, a fabric that is water- and wind-resistant thanks to a membrane that is full of tiny holes. However the key benefit of this fabric is that it is not totally windproof, ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • 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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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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Mountain Equipment Bastion (2013)

£180.00

Slim and close-cut for activity, the Mountain Equipment Bastion, a new jacket, is very well-featured. Gore Windstopper Active Shell makes up the outer, cutting wind chill and increasing water resistance while retaining breathability. Mountain Equipment has catered closely for the British walker: the company’s own weather-resistant Polarloft fill looks after insulation; soft-shell cuffs make the fit around the wrists both ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • 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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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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Marmot Baffin Hoody (2013)

£150.00

The Baffin Hoody is a fine effort from US company Marmot – which is generally excellent at producing insulating products – that may appeal to the environmentally conscious as its proprietory Thermal R insulation is made from 100 per cent recycled fibre. It’s warm, too, and strikes a nice balance in terms of fit – that is, it’s generous enough ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Karrimor Sub Zero (2013)

£200.00

The Karrimor Sub Zero is a great all-rounder thanks to its features, which are well-designed. It is a midweight jacket with a good amount of down to ensure it is warm enough for general winter camping and resting on summits. The shell is nylon with very good water resistance, so you don’t have to panic as much about keeping dampness ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rohan Nightfall (2013)

£245.00

The Rohan Nightfall offers a superb degree of warmth for its weight, which makes it ideal for stashing in a rucksack and throwing on to watch the sunset from a summit or to keep the chill off an evening camp. The down quality is the key to its performance but you also get a lightweight shell fabric, which has a ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Hardwear Hooded Phantom (2013)

£270.00

Down jackets provide different levels of insulation, and the Mountain Hardwear Hooded Phantom sits between the ‘warm but heavy’ options and the very ‘light micro-baffle’ models, which makes it ideal as a mild winter jacket. The benefit of it not being quite so warm as others is that it is very light, so you won’t mind packing this into your ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Lightline (2013)

£170.00

Mountain Equipment’s Classic Lightline, a frequent winner of Trail ‘Best in Test’ awards, is now renamed the Lightline, although it remains otherwise unchanged this year. There is a good amount of quality down used so it feels genuinely warm, thus you can feel safe in the knowledge that it’ll beat the chill. The outer is Drilite fabric, which is waterproof ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Montane Featherlite Down Jacket (2013)

£170.00

‘Micro baffle’ down jackets have become very popular recently. These narrow horizontal baffles contain small quantities of insulation that are adequate for milder winter conditions, and as they are relatively light and pack down small they are also ideal for spring and autumn use. The Montane Featherlite Down Jacket is an example of the genre that is quite well-designed and ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Ascent (2013)

£180.00

The Rab Ascent is a very popular jacket that provides a similar performance to the Mountain Equipment Lightline but with some valuable additions. Firstly the hood gets a volume adjuster so it can be made to fit well, both over a helmet and on a bare head. It is packed with a little more down than the Lightline, and it ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Bastion (2012)

£180.00

Gore Windstopper Active Shell is the lightest and most breathable version of the Gore Windstopper range, but in addition it maintains the very high levels of water resistance of the other Windstopper fabrics. It is this combination of features that could make Gore Windstopper Active Shell ideal for use in insulated jackets. Mountain Equipment’s new Bastion jacket combines this fabric ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Brynje Arctic Double with Hood (2012)

£150.00

Norway has given us a very interesting departure from the norm here. Merino wool (220g/m2) is combined with a moisture-wicking inner mesh for a massive warmth boost as insulating pockets of air are trapped next to the skin. The merino, although thick, is not very wind-resistant, so for breezy days this jacket is best combined with a wind- or waterproof ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Radish Mid Layer (2012)

£155.00

A very durable option for hard mountain use, the The North Face Radish Mid Layer has reinforced shoulder and hip zones for increased protection from rucksack straps and weighs a very reasonable 410g (size UK12). The material is a wind-resistant, polyester hard-face stretch fleece with a micro-check brushed inner side (think tiny grid-like squares of fleece) that trap air to ...

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

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