You only have to think about Volvo and Saab cars to realise that Sweden is famous for products that are built to last while providing supreme performance and comfort.
So when the Swedish outdoor brand Haglöfs gets its head down to create a jacket for the British hill-walker, you’d expect it to be tough and practical.
The new Haglöfs Cirque jacket is designed specifically for the British hill-walker who thinks nothing of battling through rain while rubbing shoulders with mud, scree and rock. So it comes with all the bells, whistles, tweaks and tucks that you’d expect.
It’s made from Gore-Tex Pro Shell, which is well-established as a proven performer thanks to its high levels of waterproofness and breathability. More importantly, there’s reinforcement at the shoulder, sleeves, back and hips so that the jacket does not wear out when used with harness or rucksack straps.
But for me the big ticket features are the four chest pockets, which allow maps to be stashed or hands to be warmed. The two main pockets take an OS map easily, while the two Napoleon pockets are a notch small for a map, which is shame, but they are still ideal for stashing guidebooks, compasses or GPS receivers on the move.
The other great feature is the hood, with its deep wired peak. It enabled me to wear this jacket in strong, wind-blown rain and still see where I was going – something that is essential on a typical British mountain day.
There are a host of other great features here too, including pit zips and a double stormflap over the main zip. Perhaps as you would expect from a Swedish brand, all these features work well and this jacket really does do what it says on the label. But, as you can see from the price tag, such quality does not come cheap.
Outer 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s Cirque); XS-XL (women’s Cirque Q)
Weight 610g (men’s L)
Made in China
Stockist details – tel. 0845 602 7343; www.haglofs.se
The Haglöfs Cirque is designed for the British hill-walker and it is ideal for the kind of conditions that the British hills throw at you – if you can live with that rather steep price tag.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2010