Gore Windstopper Active Shell is the lightest and most breathable version of the Gore Windstopper range, but in addition it maintains the very high levels of water resistance of the other Windstopper fabrics. It is this combination of features that could make Gore Windstopper Active Shell ideal for use in insulated jackets.
Mountain Equipment’s new Bastion jacket combines this fabric with Polarloft insulation, and at 474g (size L) it looks on paper to be the ideal piece of kit to stuff in your pack for summit brews or for use when cold-weather hillwalking thanks to the versatility of the fabric and design.
The Mountain Equipment Bastion jacket comes supplied with a tiny stuffsack so you can easily squash it down into a corner of your pack. The cut is large enough to fit over a fleece mid layer yet compact enough to be worn under a waterproof jacket. So it can be used as either a mid layer or an outer layer.
The fit and comfort of the Bastion are enhanced through the use of Gore Windstopper X Fast panels that extend down the sides and under the arms. There is no additional insulation in this area, which in part is why this jacket is not too bulky to wear under a waterproof as well as functioning well as an outer layer.
This X Fast fabric is also used at the cuffs, which gives this area a neat and water-resistant seal. However the fabric is not very stretchy and as there is no cuff adjuster the fit may not be ideal for everyone, so you may want to try before you buy.
The Bastion’s hood has drawcords around the face but there is no rear adjustment. On my head the hood came a little too close to my eyes and so a volume adjuster at the back would be a benefit to make the hood fit perfectly for me.
There are two pockets, placed slightly higher than on most insulated jackets, meaning they can be accessed to warm the hands if the Bastion is worn with a climbing harness. Equally those pockets are great if you slip this jacket on during a summit brew and want to keep it on for the descent.
The Mountain Equipment Bastion jacket has a unique set of materials and features, and while the use of Gore Windstopper Active Shell will grab the headlines, the main story is that this is an excellent piece of kit for keeping hillgoers warm while active. Better still it is light enough and compact enough to provide year-round back-up insulation. What the Bastion has is versatility – and it is that that sets it apart from most other insulated jackets
Material Gore Windstopper Active Shell, Gore Windstopper X Fast
Insulation Polarloft insulation
Sizes S-XL (men’s); 8-16 (women’s)
Weight 474g (size L)
Stockist details www.mountain-equipment.co.uk
The Mountain Equipment Bastion jacket is an extremely versatile insulating layer that is ideal as a back-up for year-round hillwalking as well scrambling in winter or simply enjoying a brew on your favourite summit.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2012