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 fabric, so it’s a little clammier than 3-layer jackets or 2-layer jackets with mesh linings, but that’s the price you pay
for the minimal weight. The front zip is exposed and doesn’t have the water-resistant coating of some jackets, but you do get a wide flap on the inside with a gutter to funnel leaks away. I found the cut quite close for a size large – indeed the manufacturers say it’s designed to be closer-fitting – therefore it’s a little more restrictive than some others, so I’d go up a size personally, but you do get good sleeve movement. There are just two pockets and they’re quite high so you get good access
while wearing a rucksack. Those pockets are large too and easily swallow maps. The pocket lining is mesh, however, so it’s not the best option for keeping water out. The Montane Atomic’s hood is exceptional as it fits and moves really well with the head and has a good wired peak. The hood can also be rolled down and held in place at the collar with a Velcro tab.
Weight 328g (size L)
Fabric 2.5-layer Pertex Shield
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
External pockets 2
Can hood be rolled down? yes
Side/pit zips? no
The Montane Atomic is a very good lightweight jacket for the price, but you might want to check the body size as the fit is closer than average.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2014