Lowe Alpine Grand Teton (2015)

www.lowealpine.co.uk

Features

Using Triplepoint Eco, an environmentally friendly material, with a Sympatex waterproof breathable membrane, the Lowe Alpine Grand Teton jacket feels nice and stiff and robust to combat mountain weather. It has two main pockets and a useful third chest pocket that is large enough for maps. The Raptor Hood has a wired peak and great adjustment at the face and rear. 5/5

Fit

Available in size S-XL for men and 8-16 for women, this feels stiff at first, which I like as it protects against the high winds of a mountain day far better than a thinner, suppler jacket. The length covered my bum and the movement in the sleeves was stunning with no hem or cuff movement. The hood moves better than most with the head and has a great wired peak. 5/5

Comfort

The material is stiffer than most and the Lowe Alpine Grand Teton is heavier than most at 613g (size L), but it is that stiffness that improves comfort on a windy day as this jacket fends off the wind to keep you warmer inside. The waterproofness and breathability of Sympatex is well-proven, and as this is a 3-layer fabric any condensation is well-hidden. 5/5

In use

Most of this jacket, like the hood and sleeves and material, is perfect for the hillwalker who wants to get out whatever the weather. The one major problem is that the two lower pockets are too low, so their access is easily obscured by rucksack belts, although as this jacket is slightly longer than many you can sometimes get your hands into them below some sack belts. 4/5

Value

This is the best jacket we looked at for wild mountain days but you have to pay a little more for that level of protection. 3/5

Verdict

The Lowe Alpine Grand Teton is the only jacket in our test I’d want to use regularly in the wind and rain of the UK hills, but the weight and pocketing are not ideal. It wins Trail’s ‘approved’ accolade. 4.4/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine Spring 2015

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Lowe Alpine Wildfire (2014)

Features
The Wildfire is the latest release from the reintroduction of Lowe Alpine clothing. It features three external chest pockets with an additional zipped internal pocket and an internal stretch mesh pocket. The third chest pocket is small though and won’t take an OS map. There are pit zips for ventilation, while the hood gets a wired peak, as well as face and rear volume drawcords. 4/5

Fit
This is available in S-XXL for men only. A size medium (M) was supplied so it was naturally a closer fit than the size large (L) jackets here, but it still appeared fine and was of similar length to many others, meaning it only just protected my crotch. The hood and sleeves fitted well, though, and both allowed great movement. 5/5

Comfort
The Lowe Alpine Wildfire is built with 3-layer Triplepoint fabric featuring an eVent membrane, so it performs as well as other top-flight jackets we looked at in terms of waterproofness and breathability. Jackets with mesh linings are comfier and so are lighter, but this is good comfort for a jacket that offers the durability needed for mountain trips in all weathers. 5/5

In use
The Lowe Alpine Wildfire performs as well as many higher-priced jackets in our test. I’d like that third outside chest pocket to be large enough to accommodate an OS map though. But if you can live without that then the price and weight benefits are good compensation. The hood moves well with the head to allow easy vision, and the hem and cuffs don’t ride up when scrambling. 4/5

Value
The pockets aren’t perfect and there are lighter options, but if you can tolerate that then the price is excellent. 5/5

Verdict
The Lowe Alpine Wildfire is a good jacket at a very good price, but you may want to pay more for fine-tuning the details. It won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award.
4.6/5

www.lowealpine.com

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2014

 


Lowe Alpine Meron (2014)

A weight of 359g with a price tag of £130 and some good hill walking features makes the Lowe Alpine Meron very appealing. It is built from Lowe Alpine’s Triplepoint fabric in a 2.5-layer construction. This keeps weight down but does not handle condensation as well as 3-layer fabrics. The front zip is a good water-resistant design with a stiff internal baffle for extra protection. There are three pockets and the two at the hip are mesh-lined, so they may allow some water to pass through the jacket in this area. The pockets are map-sized, though, which is good, but on the negative side they are quite low on the jacket so a wide rucksack hipbelt easily blocks access to them. The chest pocket is better, as it is sealed to prevent leaks and well-positioned. The hood is well-designed too, with a wired peak and good movement. The hood can also be rolled down and secured at the collar. There are certainly jackets with better pockets and lower weights than the Lowe Alpine Meron, but if you want more affordable option then the £130 price tag of this jacket is very appealing if you cannot step up to £140 or £170 jackets for example.

Specifications:

Fabric 2.5-layer Triplepoint

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes 8-16

External pockets 3

Stowable hood? yes

Side/pit zips no

Weight 359g (men’s size L)

Website www.lowealpine.com

Verdict

The hood and weight of the Lowe Alpine Meron is good, but I’d like better access to the pockets when hillwalking but if you can tolerate this then this is great for the money.

Review by Graham Thompson

Just missed out on featuring in Trail magazine July 2014

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Lowe Alpine Teton (2103)

The Teton signals Lowe Alpine’s return to the clothing sector of the outdoor industry. The jacket is made from Triplepoint Eco, a 3-layer laminate with a recyclable Sympatex membrane inside to keep the rain out. This has a robust feel, which protects the user well in wind and driving rain. The jacket is slightly longer than average (though the Berghaus Hurricane is longer), which means you can just about get your hands in the base pockets; but access is not as good as longer jackets while wearing some rucksack hipbelts. The chest pocket is also a little small, so it won’t take an OS map easily. But you do get an external stormflap over the main zip and the sleeves are well-designed not to ride up too easily when clambering over stiles or scrambling. The hood is reasonable too thanks to a good fit that allows it to move easily with the head. The hood peak is wired, which is good, but it is rather small so it does not offer the protection of larger peaks provided on other jackets. The Lowe Alpine Teton weighs in at 571g (size L), which is slightly lighter than similarly priced jackets and this is a benefit, but the pocket design needs improving to make it perfect for the hillwalker. For the price it is a good option though.

Weight 571g (size L)

Fabric 3-layer Triplepoint Eco

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes 8-16

External pockets 3

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents no

Website www.lowealpine.com

Verdict

The Lowe Alpine Teton’s price, weight, hood and longer body length are all good for hillwalkers but the pocket position and design need a bit of a rethink to make this a ‘must buy’.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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First test: Lowe Alpine Teton (2013)

It’s been a topsy-turvy few years for Lowe Alpine, with changes of ownership resulting in the brand ditching its clothing while maintaining its well-established range of rucksacks. The Teton marks the brand’s return to the waterproof clothing market; but with so many manufacturers’ products in outdoor shops across the country, does this jacket have the staying power?

The Teton is made from Triplepoint Eco, Lowe Alpine’s own brand of waterproof and breathable fabric with a 3-layer laminate that incorporates a recyclable Sympatex membrane. The design is a fairly classic style with three pockets, a hood with a wired peak, a front zip and a longer back length for protection. On first appearances this is not the most inspirational jacket I have reviewed; and I was certainly expecting a few more fireworks to mark Lowe Alpine’s return to waterproof clothing. But perhaps there is more to this jacket than appearances suggest...

I recently took the Lowe Alpine Teton to Scotland for a trip up the Lochnagar Munros. It weighs in at 571g (size men’s L), which is similar to many modern waterproof jackets; but what I noticed is that the fabric feels a little stiffer and a bit more robust. This is important as that extra stiffness prevents the jacket from hugging your body too closely in the wind, and this in turn allows it to trap small pockets of air inside, improving insulation and managing condensation.

Get the jacket on and it is noticeable that the Teton is slightly longer than the current trend of shortening the hem of jackets to make them good for climbing and moving fast. Those extra centimetres meant that I didn’t need to put on overtrousers quite so readily to protect my nether regions during showers, while the jacket was not too long to restrict movement when scrambling.

The cuffs are nice and wide so you can fit them over gloves when it’s cold or just allow some airflow in warmer weather. In inclement conditions the cuffs are easily battened down with Velcro tabs. The sleeves allow excellent freedom of movement, again ideal for scrambling or just climbing over a stile without the cuffs or the jacket hem riding up.

The front zip gets an external stormflap – something of a rarity these days, but so important for keeping water out when battling through driving rain. The pockets are conventional with two at the hip and one on the chest. The hip pocket access is not ideal, as a wide rucksack hipbelt will partially block access; although as the Teton is longer than many jackets, I was just about able to get my hands into the pockets below some rucksack belts; I’d prefer easier access, though. The chest pocket is too small for a standard OS or Harvey map, which is a real let-down for a jacket designed in the UK. The hood is well-designed however, with a wired peak and excellent fit and movement, which allowed me to see easily when moving my head.

All that for £200 is good value, but I hope Lowe Alpine can build on this ‘safe’ return to the waterproof market with something a little more inspiring in the future.

Verdict
Lowe Alpine’s return to waterproof clothing is not as stimulating as I would have liked; but the Teton is a reasonably good waterproof jacket for general hill and mountain walking, just not the best option out there.

Price £200
Material Triplepoint Eco
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); 8-16 (women’s)
Weight 571g (size L)
Website
www.lowealpine.com

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2013

 





Lowe Alpine Storm

A nicely styled jacket made from Lowe Alpine’s own Triplepoint XC fabric. The fairly roomy cut covers the hips easily and there’s a high collar to bury your face into in bad weather. It’s mesh-lined throughout, which adds weight and bulk, but improves breathability and offers some insulation too. The hood is excellent – nice and big, with a full range of adjustment and a stiff peak to keep rain off your face. Comes with five really useful external pockets, all of which are mesh-lined for venting.

VITAL STATS
Sizes
: S-XXL
Fabric: Triplepoint XC 2-layer
Weight: 600g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01539 740840; www.lowealpine.com


Lowe Alpine Flash 2010

Lowe Alpine’s Triplepoint Dynamic appeared in the autumn of 2009, and now it is pretty well-established as a great fabric. It has antimicrobial properties too, therefore it should not get so smelly when left damp in a rucksack. It is also very soft and flexible. But the real bonus of the Lowe Alpine Flash is the price, as this makes it exceptionally attractive when you consider the great fabric and the useful features. The Flash has a fairly standard layout of two chest pockets and a front zip, plus there is a mesh pocket inside too. The main front zip and the pocket zips are protected by a double stormflap on the outside, which I like for really wet weather. The hood fits well over a helmet or head, and it moves pretty well when you turn and look to the side or up a crag. The pockets are mesh-lined, so they allow some extra breathability too.  But as the pockets are mesh-lined they are not as watertight as they could be. The Lowe Alpine Flash is a little shorter than some other jackets, so you might need to don overtrousers more readily with this jacket. Movement in the sleeves is perhaps not quite as free as some others either. Some other jackets here have four chest pockets, while this has just two. All minor points really, but they may affect your decision to buy here or look elsewhere.

Outer 3-layer Triplepoint Dynamic
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 600g (men’s L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 75

The Lowe Alpine Flash is a superb jacket for hill and mountain action at an incredibly competitive price for the performance. It won the ‘Best Value’ accolade in our review.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2010


Lowe Alpine Velocity 2010

The Velocity multi-activity jacket makes use of Lowe Alpine 2.5-layer Triplepoint fabric, which is rated as very waterproof and very breathable. The style is short, which is ideal for running and biking, while the double stormflap over the front zip helps to lock out driving rain – and this is a feature that very few jackets have these days. The two large pockets can easily take an OS map They are mesh-lined too, so they add some extra venting if you’re moving fast and overheating. The hood can be rolled down and secured at the collar, so it is ideal for biking for example, while the fit and movement are ideal when worn on the head. The hood has a stiffened peak with a wire so it can be reshaped if it gets distorted. All that for £90 sounds pretty good, making the Lowe Alpine Velocity ideal for those on a tighter budget. But the pocket access is easily obscured while wearing rucksack belts, which is a drawback compared to other options, although it will depend on how much you use pockets of course. Some reflective piping would be good for night-time activity too. Better fabric performance is available from higher-priced jackets. So not a lot wrong but perhaps enough to warrant spending more cash.

Outer Triplepoint 2.5 layer
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness very waterproof
Fabric breathability very breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 356g (men’s L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 100

The Lowe Alpine Velocity is ideal for biking, running and fast hiking, but better pocket access is available with similar jackets at higher prices.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2010


Lowe Alpine Storm 2010

The Lowe Alpine Storm general-purpose jacket weighs 672g (size M); 2-layer Triplepoint XC with mesh lining; two hip and two chest pockets; map pocket under main zip stormflap; main zip gets double stormflap; hood with wired peak rolls to collar; longer body than some. But pricier fabrics offer better performance; mesh pockets can allow leakage; hood movement is not quite the best; access to hip pockets may be obscured by rucksack belts.

The Lowe Alpine Storm is a good jacket with a mesh lining that is fine for valley and general walking.

First published in Trail magazine November 2010


Lowe Alpine Omega

breathable and waterproof Triplepoint XC fabric. The fairly roomy cut covers the hips easily, and there’s a lovely high collar. It’s mesh-lined throughout, which improves breathability and offers some insulation too. The hood is ample in volume, but the peak has no stiffness and there’s not enough adjustment. The pockets are mesh-lined for venting, and are just about large enough to store a map.

VITAL STATS
Sizes:
XS-XL
Hood: Rollaway
Weight: 420g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01539 740840; www.lowealpine.com


Low Alpine Flash 2010

Lowe Alpine has used more waterproof and breathable fabrics than most other brands put together. My first Lowe Alpine Mountain Cap back in the early Nineties was made of Gore-Tex. Next Lowe made everything from Triplepoint, before switching to eVent for a couple of seasons. Then they swapped back to Gore-Tex again while retaining some Triplepoint waterproofs within their range. Now the company has added another new waterproof fabric to its range, this time Triplepoint Dynamic. The question is, how does it compare to Gore-Tex and  eVent?
I’ve been trying out the new Lowe Alpine Triplepoint Dynamic throughout the autumn of 2009 in the form of a Flash jacket. The Flash has been a Lowe Alpine classic for many years: it was once made from Lowe’s Triplepoint Ceramic coated fabric with a mesh lining, then the mesh lining was removed. This new version has no lining and the new Triplepoint Dynamic fabric is a laminated construction, rather than a coating. A laminate is when a waterproof and breathable layer of material is sandwiched between an outer that has a durable water repellency and an inner layer that transports condensation.
During the wet Lakeland autumn the Flash performed well. As there is no mesh lining I can throw it on without fear of the lining getting snagged. But more importantly the inner scrim of the laminated fabric can soak up any sweat that develops, so it controls condensation as well as other popular materials like 3-layer eVent and Gore-Tex Pro Shell.
But there are other benefits to the new Triplepoint Dynamic fabric. The laminate includes silver powder, which claims to increase thermal retention while offering the antimicrobial benefits that silver has already brought to many garments. So the Flash jacket should smell less after sitting wet in your rucksack and it should keep you warmer.
I cannot tell if bacteria-killing benefits have proved themselves, other than to say that the jacket does not smell mouldy yet. The thermal benefits are harder to notice as we lose heat from clothing by conduction, radiation, convection and evaporation. I tend to get too warm in waterproofs anyway, so I am not sure I want a waterproof that will keep me even warmer and therefore sweatier. I have not noticed this jacket to be any warmer than its counterparts.
Whatever the material is, to my mind it is a garment’s design that is more often than not the deal-breaker. Fortunately the Flash is well-designed for mountain travel. I loved the two large chest pockets, the helmet-compatible hood with its wired peak and the general functionality of this jacket. It is perhaps a little shorter in the body than I would like. Also, the cut is quite close as there is stretch in the fabric, but I would prefer a slightly looser fit as it is not quite stretchy enough to overcome the restriction in movement of the closer fit.
Then there is the price – which, when compared to other jackets, is outstanding value for what you are getting.
The Lowe Alpine Flash in Triplepoint Dynamic is certainly a jacket that is going to rewrite the league tables and head straight into the top ten. Now that is dynamic!

Price £200
Outer 3-layer Triplepoint Dynamic
Inner none
Waterproofness extremely waterproof
Breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 610g (men’s size L)
Made in China
Stockist details – tel. (01539) 740840; www.lowealpine.com

Verdict
The Lowe Alpine Flash is an outstanding price for what you get; top-quality fabric performance; great design for hill and mountain trips. But it has a closer, shorter fit than some similar designs. Overall, it’s a superb jacket for hill and mountain activity at an incredibly competitive price for the performance

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2010





Lowe Alpine Velocity 2009

The Velocity is a popular low-priced, lightweight multi-activity jacket that is made from Lowe Alpine’s own Triplepoint 2.5 layer material. The fabric is rated as very waterproof and very breathable, and it doesn’t have an annoying mesh lining to snag and get in the way. The style is short, which is ideal for running and biking. There is a full-length front zip with a double external stormflap to keep the rain out, while the pockets also get an external stormflap to help prevent water entering them. The pockets are mesh-lined to increase venting and they can just about be accessed while wearing rucksack belts. The hood can be rolled down and it benefits from a wired peak to protect the eyes in all weathers. Superb arm movement adds to the functionality when biking or climbing. At the price this offers excellent value and is ideal for those wanting to carry a little less gear in a variety of fast outdoor activities. But the pocket access could be a little better as the lower part of the Lowe Alpine Velocity’s pockets is obstructed while wearing rucksack belts. The hood fit and movement were not quite as good as some others. Also, a dash of reflective piping would help to improve visibility at night. Higher-priced jackets are made with material that should control condensation better.

 

Outer Triplepoint 2.5 layer
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness very waterproof
Fabric breathability very breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 366g (men’s L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 100

Verdict: The Lowe Alpine Velocity multi-activity jacket is ideal for biking, running and fast hiking, but the hood, pockets and condensation control are better in higher-priced options.

 

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2009


Lowe Alpine Wilderness 2009

All the most important features of a functional general-purpose jacket are built into the Lowe Alpine Wilderness. Firstly it is made from Gore-Tex Performance Shell fabric, so it has high performance levels. There is a mesh lining inside for extra comfort too. The jacket is relatively long in the body so it provides better protection in wet weather than many modern, shorter designs. There are four external pockets and they can all be accessed while wearing a rucksack, thanks to the extra length of the jacket. There is a dedicated map pocket too under the double stormflap that covers the main front zip. The hood is particularly good as it rolls into the collar when not needed but also has a stiffened peak and is free of annoying flappy bits that can drive you mad in windy weather. Use this for general walking and it is sure to be a comfy option. But there are fabrics that offer higher levels of breathability, such as Gore-Tex Pro Shell for example. There are jackets with lower price tags than the Lowe Alpine Wilderness, and also lighter options that may be of benefit when carrying the jacket in a rucksack. Some people may prefer the wraparound face design of other hoods... not me, though!

 

Outer 2-layer Gore-Tex Performance Shell
Inner polyester mesh
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability very breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 754g (men‘s M)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 200

Verdict: The Lowe Alpine Wilderness is an ideal jacket for hill and valley walking in wet and windy weather.

 

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2009


Lowe Alpine Velocity

Despite its reasonably low weight, and very decent pack-down size, the Velocity is a longish jacket, with a rugged main zip and good storm flap. It has a great hood: deep with plenty of adjustment and a stiff wired peak; and the pockets, which double as vents, are well-placed and plenty big enough to take a map. The cuffs are fastened by Velcro and the hem is adjusted with drawcords, so no problems there. Up in the hills,  the Triplepoint fabric did an excellent job, keeping out yukky weather, even in driving winds; but it didn’t breathe as well as some, meaning a few damp patches did appear on more strenuous walks. It looks good – modern but not hi-tech – and is versatile enough for cycling or running. A snip at £90.

 

Sizes: S-XXL
Hood: Fixed
Weight: 360g
Women’s version: Yes
Contact: 01539 740840; www.lowealpine.com


LOWE ALPINE CHAMONIX

Review: We really liked the soft feel of the two-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric, which is mesh-lined. The hood isn’t as deep as some but it’s easily adjustable and comfortable and doesn’t rustle too badly. The lower pockets are covered up by a rucksack belt, the top ones are a bit high for easy access and there’s no map pocket. It did keep the rain out, though, and also stayed quite dry on the inside courtesy of that lining.
VITAL STATS
Colours: Two including Patriot Blue/black, gunmetal/black
Sizes: S-XXL
Fabric: Two-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Weight: 805g
Women’s version: No
Contact: 01539 740840, www.lowealpine.com

Lowe Alpine Arête 2009

While fashion says shorter jackets are the ones to be seen in, if you want to stay dry a longer jacket is best. The Lowe Alpine Arête is longer than most jackets here so you are well protected. It has four external pockets too so there is plenty of storage space. Add on a helmet-compatible Swivel Hood and this could be the most comfortable and practical jacket here.

Design
The Arête uses Gore-Tex Pro Shell with a mesh lining for top-of-the-mountain waterproofness, breathability and comfort. The extra length in the body not only means you are better protected from the cold and wet, but also there is space to have base pockets below the waistline. These are mesh-lined too for extra comfort and breathability, while stormflaps help keep the rain out. A fifth pocket behind the double stormflap protects the front zip. The hood can be rolled down and secured with a Velcro tab. Open it up and the hood has a wire peak and volume adjustment, with a loose lining for added comfort. The extra length allows for a drawcord to be fitted at the waist as well as the hem, for a double barrier against draughts. A nice smidgen of luxury comes from the brushed polyester chinguard. This is a functional and comfortable design.

On the hill
I loved the extra length of this jacket instantly. I could put my hands into the base pockets while wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt too. Also I didn’t have to get overtrousers out so often as the jacket was so much longer. I found the mesh lining a little irritating, as it tended to cling to wet hands and would poke though the cuffs when I first put the jacket on. Also, if wet items were placed in pockets, or I left the pockets open, water easily seeped through the mesh and thus into the jacket. The chest pockets were a touch smaller than some others too, but at least I could still get a map in them. The hood is particularly good, as I could wear it over a helmet if needed and also tighten the volume adjuster to give a snug fit on my head. The wired peak coped well with a particularly wet day on the Coniston Fells when horizontal rain questioned my sanity.

In the lab
The hood leaked around face and the lining encouraged moisture to move into the front of the shoulders and down to the collarbone area on the inside of the jacket.

Outer Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Inner mesh
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 792g  (men’s L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 70
Stockist details – tel. (01539) 740840; www.lowealpine.com
Verdict
I’d like the Lowe Alpine Arête better if it had sealed pockets and no mesh lining (the lining adds comfort but doesn’t aid functionality). But the length, pocket layout and hood are ideal for walkers.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2009


Lowe Alpine Arete

Good high collar and fleece chinguard, while the waist drawcord ensured a close fit. Adjustable peaked hood is great. The Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric was a bit rustly, though. Although fairly heavy, the Arete was a joy to walk in. Four outer pockets means you can stow hat and gloves easily, while still having room to keep your hands warm. The Pro Shell fabric offered good breathability and, teamed with an internal mesh lining, will keep you dry inside and out.

VITAL STATS
Colours: True red/ruby, deep cobalt
Sizes: XS-XL
Fabric: Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Key features: ‘Swivel Sight’ hood with volume adjuster, four external pockets, chest map pocket, drawcord waist
Weight: 680g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01539 740840, www.lowe.alpine.com
Verdict: A classic walking jacket that’s well-suited to year-round use. Breathable and durable and will keep you as dry and comfy in the hills as it will on the street.

Lowe Alpine Velocity 2008

The Lowe Alpine Velocity multi-activity jacket replaces the Lowe Alpine Rush jacket, which was very popular in previous years. The new jacket weighs in at 366g (men’s L), which makes it light enough to pack in a rucksack. The fabric is a 2.5 layer material (like Gore-Tex Paclite) and is rated as very waterproof and very breathable. The style is short, which is ideal for running and biking, while the double stormflap over the front zip helps to keep out driving rain. The two pockets are map-sized and the jacket is designed to pack into one of these (and there are loops so it can be hooked to a belt). The hood can be rolled down and secured at the collar, while the fit and movement are ideal. It gets a stiffened peak too so the worst of the wind-driven rain can be shielded from the eyes. Superb arm movement adds to the functionality. But the Lowe Alpine Velocity’s pocket access is easily obscured while wearing rucksack belts, which is the only real drawback to this jacket. However a dash of reflective piping would be good to improve visibility at night, and higher-priced jackets are made with material that should control condensation better.

Outer Triplepoint 2.5 layer
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness very waterproof
Fabric breathability very breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 366g (men’s L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 100

Verdict
The Lowe Alpine Velocity is ideal for biking, running and fast hiking, but for other users the poor pocket access may be a drawback.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2008

Lowe Alpine Peak 2008

The Lowe Alpine Peak  lightweight jacket weighs just 436g (men’s L); low price; Triplepoint is very waterproof and very breathable; Napoleon chest pockets are map-sized; back-of-arm vents; hood with stiffened peak rolls to collar; comfy collar lining; front zip gets double stormflap But Napoleon pockets cannot be used to warm hands; very high chin protection obscures vision.Verdict
The Lowe Alpine Peak is a great price and weight, but pockets and chin are not ideal for walkers.

First published in Trail magazine November 2008

Lowe Alpine Climb Pro 2008

Designed specifically for Alpinism, the Lowe Alpine Climb Pro winter jacket packs down to just 560g so you won’t mind carrying it in your rucksack or wearing it while climbing. It’s built with Gore-Tex Pro Shell, so it is about as good as it gets for condensation control. You get a pair of large chest pockets that can be easily accessed while wearing a rucksack belt or harness. Also the hood has a good stiffened peak. Hood movement and fit are excellent, thanks to a volume adjuster. There is extra venting behind the upper arms too, via a pair of water-resistant zips. Brushed polyester around the chin and collar add some welcome comfort on a cold day. This is definitely a great jacket for the hill-walker. But like many jackets the Lowe Alpine Climb Pro’s zips are not protected by external stormflaps, so in the wildest of winter weather they may leak more easily than zips with external stormflaps. Others have more pockets too and in some cases are a little longer.

Outer: 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell with Micro Grid Backer
Inner: none
Fabric waterproofness: extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability: extremely breathable
Sizes: S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight: 560g (men’s M)
Made in: Far East
Stores in the UK: 40

Verdict: The Lowe Alpine Climb Pro Lowe Alpine Climb Pro is a lightweight jacket with large pockets and a great hood that is ideal for Alpinism, but others are better for wet winter UK mountain walks.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2008