Test of the best: down jackets under £200 reviewed

CHINGUARD
In cold weather, a soft panel of material at the top of the jacket zip to protect the chin is a really welcomed feature. Some jackets have a very wide panel of soft material, others a small strip of soft material and others have none.

INSULATION
All the jackets featured here incorporate down insulation, which is more efficient than synthetic insulation. The warmth of down is measured by its fill power. Fill power is a measure of the loft or ‘fluffiness’ of the down; for example, 800 fill power down is more fluffy and traps more air, and therefore you need less of it for the same insulation than a 600 fill power down. A lower fill power down will be heavier and more bulky to achieve the same level of insulation as a higher fill power. However there are other factors such as jacket construction and fit that effect how warm

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DRAUGHT EXCLUSION
To stay warm you need to trap warm air inside the jacket. But this is difficult if air can escape through the hem or around the cuffs or even blow through the front zip. So look for a baffle behind the main zip, drawcords at the hem and elasticated or ideally adjustable cuffs to trap warm air inside the jacket.

HOODS
To stay warm in cold weather you also need to protect your head from heat loss. Surprisingly it is often the hood design that divides the best jackets from the runners up, so it pays to try before you buy. Look for a hood that can be adjusted to fit without obscuring your vision and ideally this should move with your head when you turn to look around. A wired or stiffened peak is a welcome bonus to allow easy vision in the wind or spindrift.

WATER RESISTANCE
Down insulation loses some of its insulating ability when wet. To overcome this, down insulated jackets sometimes feature enhanced water-resistant outers or more recently the down itself is being treated to make it more water resistant, or hydrophobic (waterhating). As seams will leak, only a waterproof jacket with taped seams is guaranteed to keep the insulation dry, so you may need to wear a waterproof jacket over your down insulated jacket in


Sprayway Kimo/Nuna £130

  • Men’s S-XXL (Kimo)
  • Women’s 8-18 (Nuna)
  • Weight 379g (size L)
  • Packed volume 1.8 litres
  • Insulation 700 fill power duck down

IT'S GOOD As down jackets lower in price many become less warm, but this one manages to maintain a better level of insulation than most, so you could use it in a tent or bothy or for a quick brew stop on the hill. It’s a good weight at just 379g (size L) and packs down small so you can easily stash it in a rucksack. Unlike many budget jackets you get a hem drawcord and an internal flap behind the front zip to lock out the wind. There is even a small patch of soft material at the top of the zip to protect the chin, which is very welcome in cold weather. The two pockets are also zipped.

HOWEVER There is no hood so you need a good hat to wear with this. Also while it is warmer than most lightweight and low-price jackets if you pay a little more and can tolerate more weight and packed size then you get a really warm jacket that would be even better for colder nights in a tent, or a bivvy or during a Scottish Munro summit brew. The shell is made of polyester so it’s not as durable as nylon. Also some higher-priced jackets feature down that maintains better performance if damp and some have even higher spec down for lower weight. So there are drawbacks but for many walkers this is probably all you need.

VERDICT A relatively warm jacket for its price and weight. It does not have a hood, but it is still a good general-purpose jacket.

  • Features 3/5
  • Fit 5/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 5/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 84%
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Jack Wolfskin Neon/Selenium £150

  • Men’s S-XXXL (Neon)
  • Women’s XS-XXL (Selinium)
  • Weight 559g (size L)
  • Packed volume 2.1 litres
  • Insulation 700 fill power duck down

IT'S GOOD A great combination of features here make this ideal for many hillgoers. Firstly the price is great, but you also get a good amount of down insulation so this is a little warmer than many of the lighter jackets. The hood has synthetic insulation, rather than down, as well as a rear volume adjuster. Hem drawcords lock draughts out and there are two main zipped pockets plus a third chest pocket. Get it on and it feels warm enough for a brew on a summit or sitting in a tent. The hood fits closely and even moves with the head a little. This all makes this good for general hill use.

HOWEVER There are drawbacks as this is a little heavier than others and slightly bigger when packed down than the smallest, but it does offer a good middle ground as it is not too big or too heavy to take on the hill. The cuffs don’t get any adjustment other than elastication and on me they did not fit very closely, so this area is chilly. The hood is not quite as warm as the heavier jackets, but it is okay for general conditions. For really extreme conditions, such as winter camping on the hill, I would want a little more warmth and some better details but for valley camping and summit brews this is great.

VERDICT A good all-round general-purpose hillgoers insulated jacket. It is not the lightest, nor the warmest, but it does offer a good overall package of benefits.

  • Features 5/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 84%
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Alpkit Filo £160

  • Men’s S-XL
  • Women’s 8-16
  • Weight 629g (size L)
  • Packed volume 2.6 litres
  • Insulation 650 fill power Nikwax hydrophobic down

IT'S GOOD This offers much more warmth than lighter jackets making it far more suitable for staying cosy when camping in winter or lingering a little longer on a winter summit. It also benefits from hydrophobic down so it should maintain performance a little better if it gets slightly damp. The hood is removable and benefits from a wired peak and face drawcords and it is also very well insulated. You get two very deep zip pockets, a hem drawcord and elasticated cuffs. Get it on and there is a little more length to the body than some and the hood fits well. Overall this is very cosy and great for colder conditions particularly when camping, bivvying or sitting on summits.

HOWEVER This is heavier than other jackets and has a large packed volume, so it will take up more space in your rucksack. The outer is made of polyester rather than more durable nylon used on other jackets, so it needs treating a little more carefully to maintain performance. The down is just 650 fill power, rather than 750+ and that is in part why this is more bulky and heavier than others, but also why it has a lower price for so much more warmth. A slight niggle is there is no volume adjustment on the hood and also the hood does not turn with the head as well as higher priced designs.

VERDICT A good price for a very warm jacket that is ideal for tent use, but it is heavier and more bulky than others.

  • Features 5/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 5/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 88%
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Mammut Whitehorn IN £165

  • Men’s S-XXXL
  • Women’s XS-XL
  • Weight 680g (size L)
  • Packed volume 2.2 litres
  • Insulation 650+ fill power duck down

IT'S GOOD There is really only one big benefit to this jacket and that is how warm it is. It is warmer than others featured here and that makes it great for throwing on in a tent or during a summit brew or when visiting a bothy. It is also designed to be reversible so you can choose to have a different colour on display if that is important to you. Apart from that benefit, though, there are few other features to talk about. You get a front zip and a well-insulated collar. The hem and cuffs are both elasticated. It is also a good price for the level≈of insulation it provides.

HOWEVER There are lots of reasons to think twice about investing your hard-earned cash in this jacket. It is relatively heavy and bulky and does not include a hood, so you need a good insulated hat to wear with it. Also, annoyingly, there is no hem drawcord to lock out draughts and you don’t even get a baffle behind the zip to block out the wind; there is no soft brushed area at the chin, either. The outer shell is made from polyester, which won’t be as durable as a nylon option. So there’s a lot to question here for sure, but that level of warmth it offers may just outweigh the drawbacks it presents.

VERDICT A well-priced, very warm jacket that is great in a tent or bothy but it has no hood, it’s relatively heavy and bulky and lacks some finer details..

  • Features 3/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 76%
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Montane Featherlite Down £180

  • Men’s S-XXL (Kimo)
  • Women’s 8-16 (Nuna)
  • Weight 467g (size L)
  • Packed volume 2.0 litres
  • Insulation 750+ fill power HyperDry Eco down

IT'S GOOD This is packed with goodies, starting with a price, weight and packed volume that are competitive and then adding down insulation that benefits from a little more water resistance than standard options. You get plenty of great details too such as a hem drawcord, three front zipped pockets and a hood that has a stiffened peak, along with face and rear volume drawcords. The shell is Pertex Quantum like other quality jackets. Get it on and the fit is close and the hood fits well, and while not quite the warmest it’s pretty good for short summit breaks or bothy use. The down is also certified as being responsibly produced and you even get a soft chinguard area.

HOWEVER It is not quite the warmest, although it is warmer than the jackets that are lighter. But for camping in winter or snowholing I’d want something warmer. Like most jackets here you don’t get cuff adjustment apart from elastication, but you’d have to spend quite a lot more to get that feature. The fit is slightly too close for me compared to other jackets of the same size, particularly under the arms which I found caused the sleeve cuffs or hem to ride up a little too easily. So you may want to consider trying a size up from normal just in case it’s a little too snug.

VERDICT Good level of insulation for summit and bothy use and a great hood and general set of features, but sizing is a little snug compared to others.

  • Features 5/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 84%
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Criterion Activity Ultralight Down £185

  • Men’s S-XXL
  • Women’s none
  • Weight 344g (size L)
  • Packed volume 1.8 litres
  • Insulation 850 fill power goose down

IT'S GOOD A very light jacket that uses a high quality 850+ fill power down which you don’t generally find in other jackets at its price. That adds up to less weight and less bulk. A win-win. You also get a Pertex Quantum shell, which again is very light and something more often restricted to higher priced products. The hood gets a drawcord at the rear while the face is elasticated and there are two zipped pockets. To keep wind out you get an internal baffle behind that front zip, which is a feature not all lower-priced items have. So for throwing in a pack and wearing on the hill for short stops during a summit brew this is great.

HOWEVER This is not the warmest jacket available, so for chillier weather or long spells of use, you may need something warmer. There is no womens’ option and you don’t get a hem drawcord or cuff adjustment. Some higher-priced jackets also have a face drawcord and a soft chinguard at the top of the zip to increase comfort. Finally some jackets may be heavier but benefit from a shell that is tougher and perhaps is more resistant to water. You can also get more water-resistant down. Of course, all those little details would add cost, weight and bulk so they are not necessarily essential at all.

VERDICT Exceptional weight and performance for this price and ideal for stowing in a pack and throwing on for short breaks, but it’s not the warmest option.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 3/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 76%
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Rab Microlight Alpine £190

  • Men’s XS-XXL
  • Women’s 8-16
  • Weight 416g (size L)
  • Packed volume 2.0 litres
  • Insulation 750 fill power hydrophobic goose down

IT'S GOOD Weight and packed size are good here and you get a hydrophobic down, so it is less affected by moisture than standard down. If that was not enough you get Pertex Quantum shell material, with its low weight benefit. So on paper this looks great. Get it on and it is not quite as warm as heavier or bulkier jackets, but you do get a hem drawcord and a hood with face drawcords and it’s fine for carrying in a pack and throwing on during a summit or bothy break. There is also a small patch of soft material at the top of the zip for more comfort at the chin, plus there is an additional chest pocket. 

HOWEVER The hood is a little disappointing as while it has face drawcords and a stiffened peak, which are big ticks in theory, it does not have a rear volume adjuster and I found it did not fit or move with the head as well as others. This jacket is not the warmest as mentioned, so for camping or bivvy nights I’d go for something warmer in winter, but its fine for milder situations, of course. You don’t get cuff adjustment other than elastication either. You can get lighter options and lower-priced jackets, but if you find the hood fits your head this is then a very good general jacket for hillgoers.

VERDICT Weight, packed size and price are all competitive and you even get hydrophobic down but the hood and insulation level will not suit all.

  • Features 5/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 84%
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Mountain Equipment Skyline / Lightline £200

  • Men’s S-XXL (Skyline)
  • Women’s 8-18 (Lightline)
  • Weight 474g (size L)
  • Packed volume 2.5 litres
  • Insulation 700 fill power duck down

IT'S GOOD There is more warmth here compared to many lower-priced jackets and this is instantly noticeable. It also uses a Drilite Loft 20 denier outer, which has a little more water resistance and a little more durability than some lighter options. The down is audited for animal welfare via the brand’s Down Codex programme. Nice touches include the hood that has a rear cord volume adjustment and the hem also has a cord adjuster. There are two pockets with zips and the cuffs are elasticated. A good baffle behind the front zip blocks draughts. All that for 474g is great. The nearest women’s option is the Lightline which is slightly warmer as it has more down insulation.

HOWEVER The price is not the lowest and also it is not the lightest or most compact option, so you need to decide if those benefits are really needed. There are not many drawbacks here, though. However you can get jackets with a higher fill power which would make it lighter and more compact for the same level of insulation, but that would increase the cost. Also you can get even more water resistance. A soft chinguard would be nice too as would adjustable cuffs – to get all these features you may have to pay more though.

VERDICT A great general winter down jacket with a good level of insulation for camping or summit use at a reasonable price and weight.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 5/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 5/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 88%
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Patagonia Down Sweaty Hoody £200

  • Men’s XS-XXL
  • Women’s XS-XL
  • Weight 454g (size L)
  • Packed volume 2.1 litres
  • Insulation 800 fill power goose down

IT'S GOOD There is a good combination of features here that sets this apart from some others. So you get 800 fill power down and this is produced to limit animal welfare concerns. You get a hood with a rear drawcord that extends around the forehead and this did fit and move with my head exceptionally well. I also like that you get a large soft chinguard at the top of the zip for more comfort. There is a hem drawcord too. The cuffs are elasticated and the pockets zipped like others. So, overall, this is ideal for general winter use I would say, being small and light enough to stash in a pack but also reasonably warm.

HOWEVER There are still drawbacks here as this is not quite as warm as some others, so for longer periods in colder conditions more warmth will be needed. It is okay for short cold snaps though. Also you still don’t get adjustment at the cuffs, which comes on higher-priced jackets. If you pay more you also can get more water resistance from either the shell material or the down itself. Annoyingly, the baffle behind the front zip is quite small, and while this is not a major issue it could allow a little more wind through here than a more substantial design. The main drawback is that this is not the warmest option which limits its use a little.

VERDICT A good down jacket for carrying in a rucksack onto the hill, but its not the warmest and so not ideal for longer periods of use in colder weather.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 5/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 84%

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Mammut Nordpfeiler / Westgrat (2015)

Features

The Mammut Nordpfeiler / Westgrat offers high abrasion resistance with stretch thanks to Gore Windstopper fabric (its membrane will help fend off wind and water). Pit zips add ventilation while the hood has a stiffened peak. There are three pockets on the body, which can all be accessed above climbing harnesses or rucksack hipbelts. But the weight of 728g is quite high. 5/5

Fit

The Nordpfeiler comes in men’s sizes S-XXL while the women’s version – the Westgrat – comes in sizes XS-XL. The Nordpfeiler is slightly longer on me than some other soft shell jackets we looked at. The cuffs are only elasticated and I noticed they tended to ride up easier than others when raising the arms. Hood fit was not ideal either. 3/5

Comfort

The fabric is relatively soft and stretchy and as the Mammut Nordpfeiler / Westgrat isn’t as highly insulated as other jackets it feels a little comfier on. But the cuffs don’t fit as closely, so draughts are possible here. As this is a Gore Windstopper fabric it traps warm air quite easily and fends off wind and rain well. But under a waterproof it won’t be as breathable as more open-weave options. 4/5

In use

The hood has no volume adjustment and its peak has no wired stiffening, so this resulted in the face drawcords being too close to my eyes and the peak being distorted in shape, which wasn’t great. The women’s Westgrat has well-placed pockets; but the Nordpfeiler has pockets that are slightly lower, so a climbing harness or rucksack hipbelt will impede access a little. 3/5

Value

The price is higher than other jackets that have better-designed features, so it feels expensive by comparison. 3/5

Verdict

The Mammut Nordpfeiler / Westgrat is designed for mountain use but it’s hard to justify paying the price as it isn’t as well-designed as lower-priced options. 3.6/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine September 2015

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Mammut Rime Pro Jacket (2014)

Features
Being able to wear a warm jacket over a waterproof can be a real advantage in some situations, and the Mammut Rime Pro Jacket is designed to do just that. It has a hood with a wired peak, and drawcord adjustment at the face and back of head. But all three outside pockets are a bit small for OS maps. However, it has Velcro cuff adjustment, which few jackets here offer.
4/5

Fit
Sizes are men’s S-XXL only, and the fit isn’t as loose as the other jacket here designed to fit over a waterproof. The hood fit is particularly good though. Also, the adjustable cuffs mean you can get a great draught-blocking fit.
4/5

Comfort
The Mammut Rime Pro Jacket is very comfortable when worn over a fleece or waterproof, but it’s quite heavy at 552g (size L) – so rucksack comfort will decrease if you’re carrying it around all day. The hood drawcords are comfortable too, as are those wrist adjustment tabs. A great choice for sitting around a chilly campsite in winter.
4/5

Insulation
This jacket is warmer than the lighter jackets by a noticeable degree, making it better for use in the winter than in the summer. The insulation is Ajungilak OTI Climate, which is a polyester, and that’s protected by Pertex Endurance nylon.
5/5

Value
The Mammut Rime Pro Jacket is relatively pricy, but a warmer jacket with more features than most so not bad value.
4/5

Verdict
The ability to fit over a waterproof and more warmth than most jackets make the Mammut Rime Pro Jacket ideal for chilly winter camping, but it’s a bit heavy to carry in a pack.
4.2/5

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2014

 


Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody (2014)

Far and away the lightest soft shell we looked at in this test, the Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody, by its rather cocky name, has a lot to live up to. On paper it adds up: Gore Windstopper fabric provides premium protection from gales, while remaining relatively breathable. That said, you’ll still heat up if working hard, and for this there are pit zips under the arms to avoid condensation. You get a gadget-sized pocket in the chest (with an inner earphone hole for music on the move if that’s your thing), two hand-level pockets, a hood and a good zip with a generous windproof stormflap behind it. The material is very soft, and there are decent hooks for hanging and drying, which are always welcome (but not always present) on outdoor jackets. It does have a few quirks that may or may not put you off, though. The sleeves don’t have a whole lot of room in them; it’s hard to imagine them fitting over a thick base layer on even fairly muscled arms with space to spare, and not everyone will like this ‘closer’ feel. Wear the Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody with a T-shirt-style base layer, and then the feeling of the cold pit zips on your arms isn’t the nicest. The pockets sit quite low, extending below hipbelt level. And while the cuffs are the non-adjustable type and are okay, the elastic is quite thin and so not the most comfy. There are also thumb loops, which are take-it-or-leave-it additions. The hood is non-adjustable and unwired, so either fits or doesn’t, and it would be nice if the branding was a bit bolder. Presumably if you’re spending £170 on a Mammut jacket you’d like to shout about it.

Specifications:
Outer fabric Gore Windstopper
Weight 316g (size M)
External pockets 3
Internal pockets 0
Hood? yes
Pit zips? yes
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes XS-XL
Website www.mammut.ch

Verdict

Lightweight and boasting great quality, but the Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody’s fit and versatility suffer for being stripped to the basics.

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine September 2014

 


Mammut Kala Patar Tech (2014)

Not everyone likes pockets, and if you have a hands-on approach to your outdoor activities, such as when scrambling and mountaineering or just due to using trekking poles a lot, then do you really need them? If the answer is no, then the Mammut Kala Patar Tech may be for you. It’s made from a combination of two fabrics: one with a waffle backing to provide insulation, while the other has a more durable outer to prevent pilling. The more durable fabric is around the hood, hem and body sides, and under the sleeves. The more open weave waffle areas are great for allowing better airflow under a waterproof jacket. There’s a flap behind the main zip, which should keep draughts out of this area. The design is close-fitting, with elasticated cuffs that also have thumb loops, so it works well over a base layer and under other mid layers, soft shell jacket or waterproof layers. The hood has no adjustment but it provided a close fit on me, although it did come a little too close to my eyes to be comfortable. Overall the Mammut Kala Patar Tech is a useful mid layer to incorporate into a clothing system. The downside is that for this price you could get a very good pocketed fleece jacket that’s warmer.

Specifications:

Material Fieldsensor
Men’s/unisex sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes none
Weight 431g (size L)
Hood yes
External pockets 1
Website www.mammut.ch

 

Verdict

The Mammut Kala Patar Tech is a useful mid layer garment for fast-paced activities like climbing or mountaineering if you don’t want pockets, but it isn’t as warm as thicker fleece jackets and so its price leaves me cold.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2014

 


Mammut Ultimate Advanced Jacket (2013)

This is an awful lot to pay for a soft shell, even one as good as this. It’s cut from Gore Windstopper: a stretchy membrane fabric that blocks wind and keeps a fair bit of rain out too, but it doesn’t breathe as well as some. Lengthy pit-zips and good-sized venting pockets go a long way towards compensating for this, but it still gets a little clammier than most. Reinforced shoulders protect your investment from pack straps and thumb holes help keep wrists and hands warm. The cuffs roll up easily and the collar is high and comfortable.

Sizes: S-XXL
Fabric: Gore® Windstopper® soft shell 3-layer
Weight: 480g
Women’s version: No
Contact: 01625 508218; www.mammut.ch

Published in Country Walking magazine, April 2013


Mammut Gipfelgrat (2102)

Some soft shell jackets are fully waterproof, and the Mammut Gipfelgrat is one example. It is made from Polartec Neoshell, which itself comes in many forms; and in this jacket the microporous membrane is sandwiched between a heavy, robust face fabric and a soft inner lining. The membrane has tiny holes in it to allow water vapour out, thus preventing condensation building up inside from a hard-working sweaty body, but these holes are small enough to prevent rain from entering the jacket from the outside, so the result is that you should stay free of condensation and dry from rain. The seams are taped too so no water will enter the jacket through stitching, so this is a waterproof jacket – even though it is (and is called) a soft shell. The jacket is part of Mammut’s 50th Anniversary Eiger Extreme range, so its design is very much mountaineering-orientated and to that end it is ideal, with nice large chest pockets, a great hood and pit zips. The benefit of the Gipfelgrat over a waterproof hard shell is the durability and stretch the fabric provide, and it is this that makes this soft shell ideal for more abrasive mountaineering situations when a normal waterproof would get torn and be too restrictive due to a lack of stretch and its general cut.

Material 3-layer Polartec Neoshell
Sizes S-XXL
Weight 788g (size L)
Website www.mammut.ch

 

Verdict

The Mammut Gipfelgrat is the best choice for alpine mountaineering among the soft shells jackets we looked at.

 

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine August 2012


Mammut Ultimate Hoody (2012)

This is a midweight jacket, yet still one of the most technical on the market. Gore-Tex Windstopper fabric has been used to block out the breeze, which really increases the warmth-to-weight ratio. With membrane technology, the fabric can get a little warm, but there are a couple of huge vents running right up the sides. The inside is mesh-lined, as are the well-positioned pockets, so moisture is drawn away from the body. Opening the pockets also helps to vent heat too. There is a decent amount of stretch in the fabric and this, coupled with the athletic cut, means the jacket stretches well with the body. Thumb loops help to keep the sleeves in position and small but perfectly located panels protect key areas of wear.

Sizes: S-XXL

Fabric: Gore-Tex Windstopper Soft-Shell 3-Layer

Weight: 541g

Women’s version: Yes

Contact: 01625 508218; www.mammut.ch

 

*Published in Country Walking magazine, Spring 12


Mammut Zip Long Sleeve All Year (2012)

This is a top base-layer and another using a mix of merino and polypropylene to give benefits of both materials. The top uses ‘body-mapping’ techniques – using different construction in different places to help retain warmth and draw away moisture where necessary. Underarm and back sections are built to draw moisture away quickly with thinner material. The front uses a slightly thicker fabric that insulates a little more. The polyester material used under the arms does mean that the top isn’t as neutral in the smell department as a wool version, though. The whole cut of the top is quite athletic, with a good deal of stretch to aid movement, and there’s a great deal of venting with a zip that almost stretches down to the navel.

Sizes: S-XXL

Fabric: 22% merino; 78% polyester

Weight: 195g

Contact: 01625 508 218 www.mammut.ch

Review from Country Walking magazine, January 2012.


Mammut Ultimate Advanced 2011

The Mammut Ultimate Advanced jacket is a good example of what’s possible with Gore Windstopper fabric, which has a microporous membrane sandwiched between the outer and inner layers to make the fabric windproof and breathable while also allowing it to shed light rain. It doesn’t feel quite as warm as other fabrics, but this could be an advantage as you can always wear an extra base layer or microfleece underneath.
There are pit zips to provide venting if you overheat, which makes this a good jacket for a wide range of walking conditions.
There is no hood, so if you get caught in a gale you’ll need to grab a hat from somewhere to keep your head warm and dry. For me, not having a hood lets this jacket down a great deal.
That aside, the chest pockets are superb as they’re mesh-lined and can be used for extra venting. Also, I like the addition of external abrasion-resistant panels on the shoulders to prevent wear under a rucksack.
I still think the Mammut Ultimate Advanced’s price tag is pretty high compared with other jackets, but for general hill use this soft shell jacket is a good option.

Material Gore-Tex Windstopper
Weight 522g (size men’s L)
External pockets 2
Internal pockets 0
Hood no
Pit zips yes
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes none
Website www.mammut.ch

Large chest pockets and ample venting make the Mammut Ultimate Advanced ideal for a wide range of conditions, although the price tag is less appealing.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2011


Mammut Ultimate Pro

Definitely one of the most technical jackets on test but just look at its price tag. It looks like the kind of top you would see on a foreign mountain guide somewhere high up a rockface. Even for our purposes it still performs incredibly well. The fabric may make it look like a 1980s tracksuit top, but it’s far more technical than that. Windstopper technology has been used and really helps to cut out the breeze, thereby delivering a feeling of warmth. On crisp wintry walks on dry days this proved to be one of the better tops, with the thumb-looped cuffs and pullcord cinches on the hem and collar really helping to trap heat inside. The thumb loops also help the jacket stretch with you, preventing the sleeves from pulling up. Overall, it’s an excellent jacket and specially useful on colder days, when used as a mid- layer.

VITAL STATS
Sizes:
S-XXXXL
Fabric: Gore Windstopper
Weight (tested size): 425g
Women’s version: Yes
Contact: 01625 508218; www.mammut.ch


Mammut Broad Peak II 2011

The Mammut Broad Peak II weighs 366g (men’s L); 110g of 750 fill power 90/10 goose down; Pertex Quantum shell; jacket can be stashed into chest zip pocket; two non-zipped hip pockets. But no hood, so additional hat required on cold days; no cuff adjustment; not as warm as heavier options.

The Mammut Broad Peak II is exceptionally light; good for milder conditions and as a backup when hill-walking, but others are better for really cold winter mountain rests.

First published in Trail magazine February 2011


Mammut All Year Long-Sleeve base layer

Quite tight-fitting (size M), the All Year both wicked efficiently and dried extremely quickly. The tight fit didn’t adversely affect movement as the fabric is very stretchy, but it did make it a bit full-on for casual wear or in the pub after the walk. The merino content helps limit odour retention, making this one of the more sociable tops, whilst the polyester makes it a bit more wash-resistant than some wool tops.

VITAL STATS
Sizes: S-2XL
Fabric: Polyester/merino
Features: Anti-microbial treatment
Contact: 01625 508218;
www.mammut.ch


Mammut Longsleeve All Year Base Layer 2009

The Mammut Longsleeve All Year Base Layer weighs 148g (men’s S); closer fit; uses three fabrics (including merino wool) on key zones and vulnerable areas; rougher seams on outside; excellent wicking; quick-drying; feels durable; zip version £60. But closer fit than many others, and fabric has little stretch, so ensure freedom of movement before buying; styling may scare some off.

(01625) 508218; www.mammut.ch

Verdict: The Mammut Longsleeve All Year Base Layer is well-engineered and wicks excellently, but is very snug and quirky.

 

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine October 2009