Montane Sabretooth Jacket (2014)

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 level of the rucksack belt, a helmet-compatible hood with a wired peak, and a reversible zip with an internal stormflap. The fabric is premium Polartec Powershield, which is tough and light, blocks out wind and holds a decent amount of stretch. I’ve found it also keeps the worst of the rain at bay if frequently washed with a cleaner that restores DWR (durable water repellent). The Montane Sabretooth Jacket is very light and abrasion-resistant, and – being neither too warm nor too cool – strikes a pleasing balance for the changeable rigours of the UK climate. It isn’t perfect: the back length is on the short side, and consequently the jacket was prone to riding up; wired peaks are love-’em-or-hate-’em affairs; and the build quality and fit lack a certain finesse around the edges that nudge this out of contention as the most comfortable jacket here, but then that does depend who you are. It’s also a big negative that in a jacket this established there is still no women’s equivalent on the rail. But overall it’s a terrific choice.

Specifications:
Outer fabric Polartec PowerShield
Weight 530g (size M)
External pockets 4
Internal pockets 0
Hood? yes
Pit zips? yes
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes none
Website www.montane.com

Verdict

The Montane Sabretooth Jacket is a jacket well-suited to the UK hills that would find a justifiably welcome home in most rucksacks.

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine September 2014