Páramo Torres Smock

This insulated jacket is the only smock we looked at, so if you have a preference for this style, it will certainly be a contender. It should also be considered if your normal hill-walking ensemble is the Páramo system, as the Torres smock is designed to work over other Páramo garments. Notable features include a fully adjustable hood with a wired peak and a large kangaroo-style pocket to keep hands warm. The smock has an extended front zip to assist ventilation and access. The cut is also on the generous side, so as to make overlayering easier. The Torres has one of the highest Tog values, making it ideal for colder weather. But if you don’t wear Páramo generally, you may find the fit draughty and rather shapeless, due to it being cut on the larger side to fit over the Analogy clothing system. There is also no method of storage offered and the bulkiness will no doubt put some off too.

Outer fabric Nikwax Windproof

Inner fabric Nikwax breathable

silky lining

Insulation Nikwax Insulation

Colours black

Sizes XS-XXL

Weight 753g (size XS)

Made in Vietnam

Stores in the UK 50

Tog rating 3.1

If you use the Analogy system it will be a super-warm addition.

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Montane Flux

This insulated jacket is a sound contribution from Montane, consisting of Primaloft fill and a jam-packed list of features. To start with, the Flux has one of the best hood designs. It not only draws in around the face and has a wired peak, but it also fits over a helmet and still cinches in at the neck. When the hood is not needed it can be rolled away. There are plenty of pockets, with two on the chest and two at the hip, one of which the jacket can be stuffed into. The neck is lined for extra cosiness, while the hem and sleeve cuffs use a drawcord and Velcro respectively to keep out draughts. But it’s another jacket not specifically designed for women and therefore it’s not as flattering as something like the Redpoint Optimus or Infinity Light. Those who prefer a stuffsack as their method of storage and a lighter, warmer jacket for the same price may want to try the Rab Photon Hoodie instead.

 Outer fabric Peaq Micro

Inner fabric Peaq Air

Insulation Primaloft

Colours black, legion blue, chilli red

Sizes XS-XXL (men’s)

Weight 528g (size S)

Made in China

Stores in the UK 100

Tog rating 2.1

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Haglöfs Barrier Q

This is a really simple, classic insulated jacket of the lightweight variety, and it only just loses out to models such as the Millet Hyperlite on weight. However, unlike the Hyperlite, you don’t have to worry about where you left its stuffsack, as the Barrier Q zips neatly into its own inside pocket (and where some jackets can make it feel like a battle of wills trying to pack it away, this takes around 30 seconds). Features include two external pockets with zips, a soft chinguard, and elasticated hem and cuffs. It includes a women’s cut, and at only £75 it offers the best value for money here. But more adjustment would go a long way as there’s no cinch on the collar and the hem is only elasticated. The elastication works fine, but a drawcord would give you more options. The cut is also fairly short, so those who like more protection for their posterior may want to try something like the Patagonia.

Outer fabric Performac 1001

Inner fabric polyester

Insulation Thermolite Micro 80g/m2

Colours black, deep red, spring green

Sizes S-XXL (men’s); 8-18 (women’s)

Weight 341g (size 10)

Made in China

Stores in the UK 125

Tog rating 2.3

A good lightweight jacket which has a lightweight price to match.

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Nike ACG Storm Fit Essential Jacket

The only jacket we looked at with its own snowskirt and an MP3 pocket; adjustable hood; plenty of pockets (internal and external, zipped and mesh); Velcro cuffs and drawcord hem adjustment. But it’s heavy at 1016g; it’s a ski jacket and thus better kept for the piste rather than the hill-walker.

Tog rating 2.6

It will no doubt be fabulous if you’re going skiing.

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The North Face TKA 200 Full Zip

This midweight fleece from The North Face is wonderfully soft and comfortable and a pretty good fit, although the collar is a little tight. The lightweight fabric and feminine design are great, but thicker cuffs would be good. Not as warm as some. The wind flap under the front zip is good, and the handwarmer pockets are nice and deep.

 

Colours: Eight including tapas red, windflower orange, jewel blue, white, black
Sizes: XS-XL
Fabric: TKA 200 (100% polyester)
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01539 738882, www.thenorthface.com/eu

Verdict: A fairly priced fleece that looks as good on the street as it does in the hills. The North Face’s own TKA fabric is very lightweight, but not as warm as some.