Montane Sabretooth (2014)

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 than a fleece, but is less breathable than fleece and not as warm when there’s no wind, so it doesn’t perform so well under a waterproof jacket as fleece. It also carries a much higher price tag than a fleece. However, it does resist wind and water well, which makes it ideal for walking or mountaineering in mist and light drizzle when a waterproof jacket is sometimes more than you need. In terms of design the Sabretooth is superb though. The hood has a face drawcord and rear volume drawcord adjustment as well as a wired peak. There are four huge chest pockets that can be very easily accessed while wearing a rucksack hipbelt or climbing harness. The cuffs also get Velcro tab adjustment. This design enhances the benefits of the fabric, by making the Montane Sabretooth ideal for all types of mountain activity. But a fleece may be a better option if you need something to wear under a waterproof jacket regularly.

Specifications:

Material Polartec Powershield
Men’s/unisex sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes none
Weight 562g (size L)
Hood yes
External pockets 2
Website www.montane.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Montane Sabretooth is the best soft shell jacket there is for mountain activity, but fleece has advantages in terms of insulation and breathability that are more important when choosing a jacket to wear under a waterproof shell.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2014