Mountain Hardwear Alchemy 2008

This soft shell jacket uses Gore Windstopper fabric, which has a membrane that makes the material very wind- and water-resistant, so it’s ideal for facing up to wilder weather. There is brushed lining too for a little extra warmth. The fabric feels tough and ideal for withstanding scrapes over rocks when climbing or mountaineering. There are stretch panels down the side of the body that provide a little extra freedom of movement when climbing and scrambling. The jacket has huge chest pockets that can be easily accessed while wearing rucksack belts or climbing harnesses. A smaller pocket on the chest is useful for a compass or GPS receiver. It’s a good jacket for Alpine mountaineers or general scrambling and backpacking over British hills. But at 616g this is not the lightest option, while the price tag of £150 is a little high when compared with the hooded options at this price. The design is quite short, and there is no hood (some mountain users will want one), while some adjustment at the cuffs would be useful.

Materials Gore Windstopper
Sizes S-XXL
Weight 616g (size L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 10

If you don’t want a hood then this is a good option for mountaineering as well as scrambling and backpacking.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2008