Mountain Equipment’s Classic Lightline, a frequent winner of Trail ‘Best in Test’ awards, is now renamed the Lightline, although it remains otherwise unchanged this year. There is a good amount of quality down used so it feels genuinely warm, thus you can feel safe in the knowledge that it’ll beat the chill. The outer is Drilite fabric, which is waterproof to 1500mm of hydrostatic head – which in simple terms means that the down will stay dry even when the snow or ice melts or the jacket comes into contact with some condensation inside your tent. The hood is removable, which is ideal; and it fitted me okay too – although I’d like some volume adjustment to make it a slightly snugger fit. The Mountain Equipment Lightline’s sleeves are not as shapely as some but they are acceptable, and you get Velcro adjustment at the cuff to lock in the warm air. The two zipped hip pockets are positioned just high enough up so you can access them with a rucksack on if needed. Nice extras are a wired peak and a brushed polyester chinguard at the top of the zip.
Insulation 316g of 675+ fill power 90/10 down
Weight 769g (size L)
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
The Mountain Equipment Lightline is the down jacket that sets the standard for general purpose winter insulation, and it remains hard to beat for the hillwalker. If in doubt just buy this and head to the hills knowing that it’s a proven classic! It won the ‘Best Value’ award in our test.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine February 2013