Golite Malpais Trinity

An incredibly lightweight jacket and something that’s better suited to warmer weather use, with its incredible packability and great windproofing. The Trinity membrane which provides waterproofing and breathability works well enough in most conditions and does have a bit of a ruffled scrim layer on the inside to help draw moisture away. It works reasonably well, although the very thin nature of the fabric does mean that it still has issues with condensation on cooler days. There is some stretch to the fabric that does make the fit a little more comfortable, although this isn’t hugely noticeable when walking. The jacket is so lightweight, though, that you barely notice it’s on after a few minutes.

Materials: Trinity polyurethane membrane
Weight: 220g
Pockets: 3
Women’s version: No
Contact: 0800 917 5642; www.golite.com

GoLite Malpais Trinity Jacket 2011

GoLite triggered the move towards superlight gear when the brand first appeared in the UK back in 2000, and the Malpais Trinity is its lightest ever 3-layer jacket. GoLite is also one of a small group of brands that’s leading the move towards more eco-friendly gear, and the Malpais is made from recycled and recyclable materials, while GoLite’s Take-Back Program means you can give the jacket back to them for recycling if and when you no longer need it.
The jacket is made from GoLite’s own Trinity fabric, which in the lab does not perform quite as well as other materials; but on the hill, that 3-layer construction means condensation is easily controlled.
What I also liked was that the jacket was longer than any others here, so it provided much better protection when walking in rain. There are two OS map-sized pockets and while access to them is okay, it would be so much better if they were placed higher on the body. These pockets are mesh-lined too, which is great for increasing breathability but not so clever for keeping rain out.
Like many other lightweight jackets, the front zip of the GoLite Malpais Trinity is of the water-resistant variety without an external stormflap, but with a small internal flap to keep zip leaks under control.
The hood is a bit of a let-down, though. The peak is not stiffened, so when adjusted to fit it can develop into a pointy peak, and furthermore the hood does not turn well with your head. GoLite may have fuelled the move towards lighter and more ethical gear, but the design of this jacket is not the best for hill-walkers.

Price £180
Weight 216g (men’s L)
Fabric 3-layer Trinity
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes none
External pockets 2
Wired hood no
Contact 0800 917 5642; www.golite.com

Features 4
Design 2
Comfort 4
Performance 3
Value 4
Overall 3

The GoLite Malpais Trinity Jacket is good value and has decent condensation control thanks to the 3-layer fabric, but the hood’s peak and compromised visibility let it down.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2011

Golite Beartooth 650

A hoodless down top, this time with a 650 fill down, should make the Beartooth one of the warmest jackets out there. In practice, this warmth is not noticeably greater than others. The face-fabric feels a little heavier than some, although it adds negligible amounts of weight when worn and did seem to prevent feathers from penetrating through the fabric too much. All the external pockets have zips, which adds to the bulk of the Beartooth when it’s packed, but does make it the jacket more useful for general use, even if the asymmetric baffles make it look like a shirt with the wrong buttons done up. This is one of the few jackets that doesn’t stuff into a pocket, instead cramming into an included stuff-sack. When worn, the soft collar lining reduces chafing and the same lining has been used inside the handwarmer pockets to keep your hands toasty.

Sizes: S-XXL
Fabric: 100% polyester face with DWR
Insulation: 650 fill goose down
Weight: 523g
Women’s version available: Yes
Contact: 0800 917 5642; www.golite.com

Golite Tumalo 2010

The Golite Tumalo weighs 288g (size L); stretch Pertex Shield fabric is very breathable and very waterproof; front zip gets external stormflap; pit zip venting. But base pocket access is easily obscured by rucksack belts; no map-sized pockets; hood is very basic compared to others.

The Golite Tumalo uses excellent fabric, superb weight, reasonable price; but other jackets have better features for walkers.

First published in Trail magazine November 2010

GoLite Badlands Trinity 2010

The GoLite Badlands Trinity general-purpose jacket weighs 528g (size L); 100% recycled polyester Trinity stretch fabric is very waterproof and breathable; long side zip venting; hood fit and movement are good. But main zip or side vents do not get external stormflaps; pocket access easily obscured by rucksack belts; hood does not roll to collar; a wired peak would be better.

The GoLite Badlands Trinity is reasonably light but others have better basic features for valley and hill-walking.

First published in Trail magazine November 2010

Golite Tumalo Pertex 2.5 Layer Storm

The Tumalo is amazingly light and packs down into a tiny ball, but lacks the extremely bad weather protection of better jackets. The Pertex-based fabric kept water out well, but it was noticeably less breathable than some, and it’s also quite delicate. The hood does a reasonable job, but doesn’t close around the face like the best hoods, and the peak’s quite flimsy. The elasticated cuffs lack the versatility of Velcro, and the pockets, which double as underarm vents, are a little on the small side.

Sizes: S-XXL
Hood: Fixed
Weight: 275g
Women’s version: Yes
Contact: 0800 917 5642; www.golite.com

GoLite Virga 2009

The GoLite Virga multi-activity jacket weighs 230g (L); Alchemy 2.5 layer is extremely waterproof and very breathable fabric; two mesh hip pockets; external stormflap over main zip; hood with peak; longish body. But no hood adjustment; hood cannot be rolled away; fabric does not control condensation as well as higher-priced options; pocket access is not ideal when wearing rucksack hipbelts or climbing harness; no reflective material.

Verdict: The GoLite Virga multi-activity jacket is lightweight with a low price, but features limit usefulness


First published in Trail magazine November 2009

GoLite Spectre 2009

The GoLite Spectre weighs 391g (size M); Paclite; extremely waterproof and breathable; two hip pockets; extended pit zips; large peak fixed hood; excellent fit and movement of hood; longish body; good sleeve movement. But other fabrics control condensation better; hip pockets easily obscured with rucksack belt; no external stormflap; no wired peak.

Verdict: Other jackets are lighter than the GoLite Spectre, with better condensation control and pockets.


First published in Trail magazine November 2009

Golite Phantom

The Phantom is for the true minimalist at only 275g. It’s cut quite short and the fabric is noisy and rather clammy. The Velcro cuffs don’t allow much room for adjustment and are rough against the skin, and there isn’t much of a collar. It has a small fleece chin guard, but the hood isn’t big enough for ladies with lots of hair. Disappointingly, the zip is stiff and fiddly to do up with cold hands. It performed well enough with Gore-Tex to keep you dry, fair breathability and mesh pockets and pit-zips for venting.


Sizes: XS-XL
Hood: Rollaway
Weight: 275g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01827 60282; www.golite.com

GoLite Gamut 2008

The GoLite Gamut multi-activity jacket weighs just 472g (men’s L); very waterproof and very breathable Trinity fabric; stretch fabric; two hip pockets; hood movement is good. But no map-sized pockets; hip pockets access easily obscured by rucksack belts; no peak; drawcords distort hood shape around face.
The GoLite Gamut multi-activity jacket has good, stretchy fabric but poor hood and pockets.

First published in Trail magazine November 2008

GoLite Phantasm 2008

The GoLite Phantasm lightweight jacket weighs just 273g (L); Gore Paclite offers good performance; two pockets; hood can be rolled down and secured; full-length front zip. But the pockets are not large enough for maps and cannot easily be accessed while wearing rucksack belts; elasticated rather than Velcro cuffs; more condensation than Gore-Tex Pro Shell; hood fit and movement are not ideal.
The pockets and hood of the GoLite Phantasm let down this very lightweight jacket.

First published in Trail magazine November 2008

GoLite Gauntlet 2008

The GoLite Gauntlet jacket has a Gore-Tex Performance Shell with a mesh lining; double stormflaps on all zips; longer than most; good movement in the sleeves; four chest pockets; rollaway hood is a removable with a wired peak. But 896g (men’s L); hood does not fit quite as well as others.

Verdict: The GoLite Gauntlet is a superb general walkers’ jacket if you like a longer design, want lots of pockets and can tolerate the weight.

First published in Trail magazine November 2008

GoLite Spectre 2008

The GoLite Spectre general-purpose jacket weighs just 436g (men’s M); Gore Paclite is extremely waterproof and very breathable: pit zips aid ventilation; fixed hood with volume adjustment. But front zip does not get external stormflaps; pocket access is easily obscured with rucksack belts; Paclite does not control condensation as well as Gore Pro Shell or event.Verdict: The GoLite Spectre is a superb weight, but £200 is a high price for a Paclite jacket with poor pocket access and not the best hood.

First published in Trail magazine November 2008

GoLite Phantom

This general-purpose waterproof is a modern classic lightweight jacket and it really shook the marketplace up when it arrived in the UK from the US a few years ago. Everything GoLite produces is exceptionally lightweight and the Phantom is no exception. It is made of Gore-Tex Paclite, the lightest of Gore fabrics. To reduce the amount of condensation forming you get long side vents and mesh lining pockets. The pockets are Napoleon style chest pockets and they easily take an OS map. They are also positioned high enough to remain accessible while wearing hipbelts, There is good arm movement too. The hood is a simple design with peaks and drawcords that give it a good fit. If you are travelling light, then this jacket has lots of advantages over others purely due to its weight. But the PacLite fabric does not control condensation as well as other fabrics, so expect some condensation to form. The Napoleon style chest pockets are not good for warming the hands. The mesh pockets and unprotected zips mean that leakage is more likely compared to jackets with stormflaps and  sealed pockets. The hood peak is not stiffened and was already out of shape before use.


Outer: Gore-Tex Paclite
Inner: none
Fabric waterproofness: extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability: extremely breathable
Sizes: S-XXL (men’s); XS-L (women’s)
Weight: 362g (men‘s size L)
Made in China
Stores in UK: no info provided

Verdict: A dedicated lightweight jacket for those who place minimal weight at the top of their requirements.

GoLite Spectre

This lightweight waterproof weighs 400g (women’s size L); Gore Paclite fabric offers good performance; excellent movement in sleeves without hem or cuffs riding up; two small hip pockets with mesh lining; pit zips; hood with peak. But peak has no stiffening, so not ideal in wet and windy weather; pocket access is easily obscured by rucksack hipbelts; Paclite does not control condensation as well as others.

Verdict: Okay if you can tolerate the pocket access and hood.

GoLite Virga

This multi-activity jacket weighs just 234g (women’s size M); two hip pockets; fixed hood; front zip with single stormflap; waterproof and very breathable fabric. But pocket access is easily obscured by rucksack belts; hood has no adjustment on it so it either fits or it doesn’t and you can’t roll it away either; higher price brings higher fabric performance; no reflective piping.

Verdict: Low price and low in weight, but pockets and hood let it down.

Golite Phantasm

This lightweight waterproof jacket from Golite is a loose fit, but a good length in the arms and hem. The cuffs offer just about enough adjustment and the collar is fairly comfortable, even without a fleece chin guard. A lovely, simple design with minimal features. Light and a little flimsy, but will keep you dry even in big storms. The hood’s good, and the Paclite fabric breathes well. Mesh-lined pockets double up as vents.

Verdict: If you want minimal and light, this could be the jacket for you. It has a no-frills design that offers the bare essentials, but comes with a good hood and mesh venting pockets.

Colours: Grape, lip, smoke and citron

Sizes: S-XL

Fabric: Gore-Tex Paclite

Key features: Two welded mesh hand pockets, watertight zips, adjustable hood with reinforced visor, cord lock at waist

Weight: 300g

Men’s version: Yes

Contact: 01250 873863; www.golite.com