Slim and close-cut for activity, the Mountain Equipment Bastion, a new jacket, is very well-featured. Gore Windstopper Active Shell makes up the outer, cutting wind chill and increasing water resistance while retaining breathability. Mountain Equipment has catered closely for the British walker: the company’s own weather-resistant Polarloft fill looks after insulation; soft-shell cuffs make the fit around the wrists both neat and comfortable; the roomy hood is adjustable; and you get three zip-up pockets (none of which can take an OS map, tut tut), an adjustable hem and excellent arm movement. Fit is on the lean side, so if you want a jacket principally as an over layer for stops rather than a mid or outer layer, you’d do well to bear this in mind when selecting your size. That said, this is probably the jacket most viable as a stand-alone outer layer; I was really impressed with the Bastion's ability to cope with quite persistent rain, and this – coupled with breathability, and all-over warmth that isn’t excessive – makes the Mountain Equipment Bastion both the best-featured and most versatile jacket here. These features do come at a price, though; if the general spec works but the price doesn’t, the Berghaus Ignite should be your second choice.
Weight 429g (size S)
Outer fabric Gore Windstopper Active and Windstopper X-Fast
Insulation 80gsm Polarloft Micro (100% polyester)
Stuffsack/packable? stuffsack (+13g)
Adjustable hood? yes
Men’s sizes S-XL
Women’s sizes 8-16
Superbly featured, comfortable and versatile, the Mountain Equipment Bastion insulated jacket is a pricy option – but you’re getting a lot for it. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.
Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine March 2013