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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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Rab Vapour Rise Guide Jacket (2014)

£160.00

Exceptionally comfortable and billed as the ‘original’ soft shell, Rab’s insulated Vapour Rise garments aim to be very warm yet extremely breathable. As such they are well-suited – and well-proven as such – to excelling in the British hills in seasons when you really don’t know what’s likely to be thrown at you. The Vapour Rise Guide Jacket is very ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Arc’Teryx Epsilon LT Hoody (2014)

£150.00

There’s a lot to be said for simplicity. It’s something Arc’Teryx is very good at: making products that seem minimalist but sport features that feel very considered. The Epsilon LT Hoody is fairly light, highly functional and understated-looking, with performance that is pitched just right for most regular conditions. So this is for those who prefer to have a basic, ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • 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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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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Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody (2014)

£170.00

Far and away the lightest soft shell we looked at in this test, the Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody, by its rather cocky name, has a lot to live up to. On paper it adds up: Gore Windstopper fabric provides premium protection from gales, while remaining relatively breathable. That said, you’ll still heat up if working hard, and for this there ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • 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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Marmot ROM (2014)

£160.00

ROM stands for ‘Range Of Movement’, and this selling point is achieved by an all-over two-way stretch fabric with four-way stretch breathable panels under and along the arms. The Marmot ROM is also a generously long jacket that isn’t prone to riding up. Both of these assets notwithstanding, the freedom of movement isn’t massively more striking than other jackets in ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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La Sportiva Trango Cube (2014)

£275.00

Reducing weight in many products is relatively easy, but when it comes to stiff mountaineering boots there are limits to what can be achieved. Or at least that used to be the case, before La Sportiva turned to modern technology for an answer. Mountaineering boots have to be stiff to allow them to take crampons, hold an edge when climbing ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mammut Base Jump Advanced II Pant (2014)

£150.00

Base Jump Advanced II Pants – the latest version of Mammut’s very popular trousers – uses stretchy and durable Schoeller fabric with a 3XDry treatment for fast drying. The fabric is an excellent weight for general hill use, making them a good option throughout the year until shorts are needed. The seat and ankle cuff are reinforced for extra durability, ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Haglöfs Rugged II Mountain Pant (2014)

£150.00

Made from a relatively heavy nylon canvas called Climatic, with triple stitching in many areas, Haglöfs Rugged II Mountain Pants are well-established, hardwearing trousers. There’s no stretch in the main fabric but there are waterproof stretch panels in the knees and seat. The waist has elastication and belt loops, and there is zipped ventilation behind the thighs, while the two ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vaude Crestone (2014)

£170.00

The 2.5-layer Ceplex Advanced fabric used in the Vaude Crestone meets the environmentally friendly Bluesign standards, while the pit zips and three pockets on the body will suit a wide range of user needs. The two main pockets are large enough for maps and they’re well-placed to maintain access while wearing a rucksack. These pockets don’t use mesh linings, but ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Marmot Artemis/Adroit (2014)

£200.00

This jacket is made from Marmot’s latest fabric, NanoPro Membrain, which boasts excellent breathability in the lab and in my experience is one of the best 2.5-layer fabrics available for controlling condensation on the hill. It comes in men’s and women’s version called the Artemis and Adroit respectively. The jacket has a good water-resistant zip up the front with an internal ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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OMM Aether (2014)

£260.00

The OMM Aether is made from 3-layer eVent fabric so you get the benefits of a 3-layer fabric – maximum condensation management – along with the top-end breathability and water resistance that this fabric is well known for. The Aether is available as a smock or the jacket design featured here. The style is slightly looser around the body than ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Outdoor Research Helium HD (2014)

£165.00

The Outdoor Research Helium HD is a very lightweight jacket, weighing in at 270g (size L) and made from 2.5-layer Pertex Shield+, a fabric that boasts top-end performance for breathability and waterproofness. The zip up the front of the jacket is a more water-resistant design than many around this price, but you don’t get an internal flap to impede progress ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Arc’teryx Beta SL (2014)

£230.00

The Arc’teryx Beta SL weighs in at 349g (men’s size large) and is made from Gore-Tex Paclite, which is designed to be the lightweight and durable option from the house of Gore. The jacket, which was a comfortable fit on me, has a short body with a water-resistant zip up the front. There is a small baffle on the inside ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rohan Elite (2014)

£225.00

A frequent favourite in Trail tests, the Elite uses Rohan’s own fabric, Barricade Elite, which offers performance that is equal to the best in the industry. I’ve been using the jacket for several years and find that on the hill it is just as impressive. At only 334g the Elite packs in a host of useful features for heading onto ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Aeon (2014)

£160.00

The Mountain Equipment Aeon boasts a wealth of hill-orientated features. Firstly the Drilite fabric features top-end waterproofness and breathability, while the ‘dry-touch’ inner treatment helps to manage condensation – although higher-priced fabrics may be even better. The fabric also feels a little softer than some options, which gives the impression of being less durable, but I think it will be ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Voltage/Electra (2014)

£200.00

The Berghaus Voltage for men and Electra for women feels nice and robust compared to other lightweight jackets and that makes it instantly appealing for hillwalking as it means it should be better able to trap air around the body than softer and more flexible materials. The fabric is Gore-Active Shell, a well proven development from the house of Gore ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Salomon Minim (2014)

£180.00

The Salomon Minim lives up to its name by tipping the scales at just 292g (size men’s large). It is made from a very thin Climapro fabric that is waterproof and breathable but does not boast the performance of higher-priced jackets, and that is why it has a lower price tag than some options. The main front zip is exposed ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Hardwear Stretch Plasmic (2014)

£170.00

Made from a stretch fabric to reduce any restriction in movement while allowing a closer fit, the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Plasmic uses a 2.5-layer Dry.Q Evap fabric that offers high performance; but, like any 2.5-layer fabric, condensation control is even better in 3-layer fabrics. However, there are pit zips provided for additional control of body temperature. The front zip get ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Kayland Titan K GTX (2014)

£170.00

The Kayland Titan K GTX is designed for general mountain hiking with a technical edge to allow it to cope well on a broad range of terrain. It has a synthetic and suede leather upper to keep the weight down, and this is protected by a large rubber rand at the toe for durability on scree and rocky ground. The ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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AKU SL Hike GTX (2014)

£170.00

The AKU SL Hike GTX boot is extremely robust and well-designed to provide practical performance on the hill for its weight of just 1398g (pair, size 11). The upper is made mostly of a synthetic material called AIR8000, which feels far more durable and supportive of the foot compared to most lightweight boots. There’s good stiffness too in the toe ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Zamberlan Gear (2014)

£155.00

The Gear is typically Zamberlan by design, as it’s very much a robust boot with stiffness and support to make light work of walking and scrambling over rockier ground. Compared to most boots in our test the upper is exceptionally stiff, not just at the heel cup or toe box but throughout. This makes them feel a bit stiff when ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid (2014)

£165.00

There is a slight bias with the Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid towards prioritising performance away from the valley and onto rockier mountain walks and scrambles. It weighs in at just 1488g (pair, size 11), which is remarkable for its performance. The boot has a synthetic and suede leather upper with lacing that extends further toward the toe than in many ...

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

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