Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Grid Jacket (2014)

Made from Polartec’s ‘Monkey Fur’, this jacket looks wonderfully comfortable, and as soon as you put it on it really does live up to that image. This fleece is wonderful at trapping air, so this feels very warm in still air or under a wind- or waterproof jacket. The fabric does allow a lot of air to easily pass through it though, which is perfect when worn under a waterproof jacket for example as airflow is essential to control condensation. But it does mean that when worn without a windproof it is going to be feel pretty chilly in anything other than still air as there is virtually no wind resistance. However that is not the main issue with the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Grid Jacket. The problems are the pockets, like so many jackets, as they are not ideally designed to be accessed while wearing a rucksack. Put on a rucksack with a hipbelt and access to them is easily obscured and any item placed in them drops to the hem of the jacket, making it hard to retrieve if wearing a rucksack belt. The small chest pocket is okay however for GPS units or a compass. The hood is a reasonable fit, although it does lack any adjustment so it is worth checking this fit before parting with cash. At £120 this is not a terrible jacket for the price but you can get better optiond around this price. 

Material Polartec High Loft Monkey Fur
Men’s/unisex sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes XS-L
Weight 435g (size L)
Hood yes
External pockets 3



The Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Grid Jacket uses superb fabric for wearing under a waterproof or windshell, but as it has virtually no wind resistance, it is not so great without an additional layer. The pockets are the main drawback though. So at £120 it is not as good as some other options.

Review by Graham Thompson
Just missed out on being in Trail magazine March 2014