The Lowe Alpine Quantum is the least wind-resistant garment here, which means it allows air to pass through easily so it’s ideal when wearing a soft shell under a waterproof hard shell.
The green fabric used in the Lowe Alpine Quantum is Polartec Powershield, but compared to other jackets that use this fabric it is far less wind-resistant, which means it is far more breathable. The fabric is also quite soft. The black areas feel more like other Polartec Powershield products, and these areas are ideal for adding durability where rucksack straps rub. The hood is interesting as it is a stretch polyester design that is very simple and does not have the wired peaks and volume adjustment of others. It is thin enough to easily wear under a helmet or other hood though. It can also be rolled away into the collar. There are two hip pockets and a single Napoleon chest pocket.
On the hill
I really liked this fabric combination as I could actually feel a slight breeze through the green material. The fabric is warm enough and windproof enough to keep you comfortable, but when this is worn under a waterproof it just feels more comfy than most as it allows some airflow. The cut of the Lowe Alpine Quantum is similar to others and is ideal for active use in general with good movement in the sleeves. But the hip pockets are poorly placed, so access to them is easily obscured when wearing a rucksack or climbing harness. The hood is ideal for whipping on quickly to stay warm or wearing under other hats, hoods or helmets. But the hood is not water-resistant at all, so it’s really only of use in cold, dry weather.
The 0.7 TOG rating means the fabric offers similar insulation to others, but it is the air permeability that sets the Lowe Alpine Quantum apart. The green areas are 5.27cm3/s/cm2 and the black areas are 2.79cm3/s/cm2, which means this jacket is far less wind-resistant than others. This makes it more breathable and better for use under
a waterproof jacket.
Fabric Polartec Powershield body; stretch polyester hood
Weight 650g (size L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 30
Stockist details – tel. (01539) 740840; www.lowealpine.com
The Lowe Alpine Quantum has extremely breathable fabric; good hood to wear under waterproof hats; excellent sleeve movement; average warmth. But it is not especially windproof; not as stretchy as some; hip pocket access is easily obscured with rucksack belts; hood is not as water-resistant as others. Overall, good fabric for general outdoor use in mixed conditions, but the pockets are not ideal and hood is not water-resistant.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2010