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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Patagonia Torrentshell Plus (2014)

£140.00

The Torrentshell Plus is the heaviest jacket in our test, but it has the lowest price tag and also boasts some pretty good hillwalking features. It is made from Patagonia’s H2No 2.5-layer fabric, which gives top-end lab results for waterproofness and breathability; but like all 2.5-layer constructions it doesn’t manage condensation as well as 3-layer fabrics. Like some other jackets ...

  • 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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Lowe Alpine Meron (2014)

£130.00

A weight of 359g with a price tag of £130 and some good hill walking features makes the Lowe Alpine Meron very appealing. It is built from Lowe Alpine’s Triplepoint fabric in a 2.5-layer construction. This keeps weight down but does not handle condensation as well as 3-layer fabrics. The front zip is a good water-resistant design with a stiff ...

  • 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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Mountain Equipment Vector (2014)

£150.00

What sets the Mountain Equipment Vector apart from many of its lower-priced lightweight counterparts is that here you’re getting a much higher-spec fabric, which means it should remain waterproof for longer while also being more breathable. It’s only a 2.5-layer fabric, though, and 3-layer fabrics and jackets with mesh lining will control condensation better, although there are vent holes under ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Target Dry Element/Odyssey (2014)

£110.00

It’s so hard to find a jacket that has a decent length on the body, so when you finally discover one it really is an uplifting experience. The Target Dry Element (women’s version is the Odyssey) jacket is long enough to nicely protect my groin from getting wet in the rain when I’m not wearing overtrousers, which is really useful. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Hardwear Plasmic (2014)

£100.00

The Mountain Hardwear Plasmic is one of many jackets costing around £100 that weigh about 296g (size men’s L). The big difference though is that the Plasmic has a ‘normal’ fit on the body, so you can wear a fleece or other insulation underneath without all the air being squashed out. Also the pockets on the Plasmic are sealed, so ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Craghoppers Kiwi Long/ Madigan Long (2014)

£100.00

One of the most common requests we get at Trail is for more reviews of longer waterproof jackets. So here goes! The Craghoppers Kiwi for men and Madigan for women come in a ‘standard’ version (£90) and the Long version featured here at £100. A damp derrière is a thing of the past when you are wearing this jacket – ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sprayway Hydrolite II (2014)

£110.00

A weight of 578g (size men’s L) makes the Sprayway Hydrolite II instantly appealing. I also like the location of the pockets as they can be easily accessed while wearing a rucksack. The hood gets a wired peak so it can be moulded to provide a really good visor, even if you’ve just unstuffed the hood from the collar or your ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Pursuit (2014)

£140.00

The The North Face Pursuit is a lightweight jacket at 364g (size M), and it’s made from 2.5-layer HyVent fabric. Like other 2.5-layer fabrics it tends to show condensation a little more easily than 3-layer fabrics or jackets with mesh lining, but the benefit is low weight and bulk. The Pursuit costs more than some other lightweights, but the fabric ...

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

£110.00

If you want low weight and minimal cost then the £110 Montane Atomic, which tips the scales at just 328g (size L), is a winner. The fabric is Pertex Shield, which – while it can’t boast the lab test results for breathability of jackets twice its price – does offer more than most around the £100 mark. It’s a 2.5-layer ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Fastrack (2014)

£120.00

The Fastrack jacket is designed for ‘high-octane trail sports’, according to Berghaus, although at 547g (size L) it’s quite heavy for moving fast. The fabric is Berghaus’s own AQ2, a material with good waterproof and breathability lab results, although higher-priced jackets do offer better performance in this respect. There’s a mesh lining and pit zips to help manage condensation. The ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vaude Birch Rain Pants (2014)

£55.00

Like many Vaude products the Birch Rain Pants are made from Bluesign-approved fabric, so they’re guaranteed to be made from sustainable materials and use resource-friendly production methods. The fabric is a 2.5-layer Ceplex Active, which is a PU-coated nylon. Like all 2.5-layer fabrics this can feel clammier than 3-layer fabrics or trousers with mesh linings, but with modern synthetic trousers ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Helvellyn Pant (2014)

£100.00

The Berghaus Helvellyn Pant is made from Gore-Tex with a mesh lining. This fabric is generally more comfortable in the long term than some lower-priced materials, due to Gore-Tex having higher waterproofness and breathability performance. As there’s a mesh lining, any condensation that does appear is held away from your clothing, so overall they’re more comfortable than most lower-priced options. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lowe Alpine Triplepoint Pant (2014)

£80.00

Using Lowe Alpine’s well-established Triplepoint Ceramic fabric, these trousers offer top-level waterproofness and breathability at a good price. They have a mesh lining as well to mask any condensation and improve comfort. That lining does mean you need more care when putting them on, though, as it tends to snag more than unlined alternatives. In terms of design you get ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Marmot Precip Pant (2014)

£75.00

As with the new Precip Jacket, Marmot is using its new NanoPro waterproof and breathable fabric in these trousers. Although this fabric is a 2.5-layer design, I’ve been really impressed with its performance and feel it’s the best 2.5-layer fabric I’ve used. These trousers are pretty light at 383g (size L), although not quite the lightest option. In terms of ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Quechua Forclaz 300 (2014)

£45.00

If you think lower-priced gear will be short on features, look again. The Quechua Forclaz 300 overtrousers are bursting with technical delights. The waist area is high at the back, elasticated, lined with microfleece and has two press stud fastenings as well as webbing adjustment. You also get braces to ensure they stay up when scrambling about on the hills. ...

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

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