The Big Test: Waterproof Jackets reviewed (2018)

Staying dry during a hillwalk can be a challenge, but pack the right waterproof jacket and you’ll be warm, dry and comfortable no matter what the mountain throws at you. We put six jackets to the test on the Lakeland fells.

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The Runners Up


Sprayway Santiago / Atlanta £90

Tester: Jon Bennett

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  • Materials 2-layer hydrodry with loose mesh lining

  • Men’s XS-XXXL (Santiago)

  • Women’s 8-20 (Atlanta)

  • Weight 606g (M) 

This jacket is made with 2-layer Hydrodry fabric. Although on paper this is not the most breathable fabric, the mesh lining on the inside very effectively managed condensation and kept me drier from condensation than the other lower-priced jackets. There are two handwarmer pockets and a map-sized chest pocket. The foldaway hood has face drawcords and rear volume adjustment. Compared with the other lower-priced options there’s a good length to the jacket and it felt warmer owing to the air gap provided by the mesh lining. However, although the hood protected my face it did not turn well with my head. The handwarmer pockets were also not easy to access when wearing a rucksack and the chest pocket was closed by Velcro, rather than a more secure zip.

Pros

Price, condensation management, lots of features and good protection in general.

Cons

Heavy compared to others and hood does not move with the head.

Buy it if...

You want a good all-rounder at a superb price and don’t need either the lightest or absolute best performance on the hill.


Berghaus Stormcloud £100

Tester: Graham Thompson

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  • Material 2-layer Hydroshell

  • Men’s XS-XXL  

  • Women’s 8-18 

  • Weight 324g (L)

The big advantages here are the price and weight, as both are very appealing. The fabric is a 2-layer Hydroshell, which kept the water at bay while scrambling up the gill but soon became very sweaty inside as there is no inner layer to hide or soak up the condensation. But importantly the pockets are not mesh lined, unlike some higher-priced lightweight jackets, so even if water entered the pockets I didn’t get wet inside. The hood fits quite close and did move a little with my head, but higher-priced designs offer better adjustment. When scrambling the cuffs and hem tended to ride up far too easily, which left my body more exposed to the elements than all the other jackets here. The two main pockets are both annoyingly small and too low to allow the optimum access while wearing a rucksack hipbelt. 

Pros

Price and weight are the main benefits here for hillwalkers.

Cons

Lots of condensation build-up, and not the best pockets nor the best hood design.

Buy it if...

You want a lightweight low-priced jacket for stowing in your rucksack and just wearing during short showers when any condensation will be tolerable.


Rab Ladakh DV £275

Tester: Tim Butcher

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  • Material 3-layer Event

  • Men’s S-XXL 

  • Women’s 8-16

  • Weight 604g (XL)

The Ladakh DV is made using the durable 3-layer Event fabric, which is superb at controlling condensation and keeping the rain out. The size XL is roomy and nicely long, with adjustment in all the right places, including waist and hem drawcords, plus longer sleeves, all of which kept out draughts and stopped the jacket riding up. The large hood is helmet compatible and has sufficient volume adjustment to keep it in place in wind and rain, and it moves nicely as your head turns to look for holds or take in the view from under the stiffened peak. With pit zips open and just a long sleeve base layer beneath I was never damp from condensation on scrambles or walks. The only design drawback is the lack of a decent third chest pocket, whilst some may consider it heavy in terms of weight and price for hillwalking.

Pros

Durable waterproof and breathable fabric, great pockets, great hood, great sleeves.

Cons

No third chest pocket, and others are lighter and lower in price.

Buy it if…

You want a durable waterproof jacket with generally great features and don’t require a third chest pocket.



The Top three


Montane Atomic £125

Tester: Graham Thompson

The low price and light weight make the Atomic instantly appealing, but how does it compare to higher-priced and heavier alternatives?

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  • Material 2.5-layer Pertex Shield

  • Men’s S-XL 

  • Women’s 8-16

  • Weight 331g (L)

It’s good

This light jacket packs down small, so you’ll hardly notice it in your rucksack. The weight saving comes from the use of 2.5-layer Pertex Shield fabric, and there’s no inner layer, just a printed surface to manage condensation. The fabric is quite thin and supple too. This all adds up to this being very comfortable. 

The sleeves don’t ride up badly when scrambling and the hood has good face drawcords and rear volume drawcord adjustment, so it was easy to see even as I moved my head around to look for good holds during scrambles. 

The two main pockets are well placed to allow access while wearing a rucksack, and both are large enough for a map too. These pockets are lined with mesh, which improves condensation control by allowing a means of adding airflow, while a pair of pit zips add further venting. So in many ways there is lots to like here and for general walking in warmer wet weather this is a superb choice.

However

Problems start to show themselves when you really challenge the material. Firstly this jacket is not as stiff as others and the fit is slightly closer than some, so in the wind it feels a bit chilly. Also as it is only a 2.5-layer fabric condensation develops easier than the 3-layer fabrics, so did get pretty clammy once I overheated. 

Those mesh pockets also allow water to pass right through the jacket, meaning I had to keep them closed properly during the gill scramble – not a problem you’d get with sealed pockets. 

Other jackets also have a useful third pocket for a guidebook or phone, but here you have just two. Of course all these small drawbacks could be reduced by adding features that would increase both the weight and the cost, so you need to decide if weight or comfort is your priority before parting with your money.

Verdict

The weight and price are great, and the design is ideal for milder conditions, but in really wet and windy mountain conditions you may prefer different features.

  • Features 4/5

  • Weatherproofness 3/5

  • Condensation 3/5

  • In use 4/5

  • Value for money 5/5

  • OVERALL SCORE 76%

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Paramo Alta III £295

Tester: Jon Bennett

Does Paramo’s unique fabric combination improve comfort to a level that overcomes any drawbacks of the design?

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  • Material Nikwax Analogy

  • Men’s S-XXL

  • Women’s XS-XL

  • Weight 832g (M)

It’s good

The unique Paramo fabric delivers far greater breathability and better condensation management than the other fabrics on test, and this is why I love wearing the Alta in cold, wet conditions.  

The incredible six pockets – two inside, two chest (one map-sized), and two handwarmer – are all useable when wearing a rucksack. The jacket is a good length and zipped upper-arm vents offer top ventilation. The wired hood also moved really well with my head, with excellent hood adjustment. The Alta is the warmest jacket on test, so when the others were reaching for extra layers at the summit I just zipped up. 

And good to know is that Paramo has strong ethical manufacturing standards, and doesn’t use environmentally hazardous polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).

However

While I love wearing the Alta in cold conditions, it can be overly warm in summer (although Paramo does now make a lighter version of its fabric for summer use). Consequently, the Alta is the warmest and heaviest jacket here, and would bulk up a ’sack if solely being carried waiting for a shower. 

Some care is also needed when leaning on wet rock during a gill scramble, as water can pass through the jacket under high pressure. The fabric dries exceptionally fast though, so I was totally dry during our waterfall adventures. 

There are cheaper jackets than the Alta, but if you sweat a lot then it will at least quickly pass through this jacket to the air so you’ll be dryer than in a cheaper one!

Verdict

Unique fabric ensures that condensation is managed far better than other jackets but the extra warmth, extra weight and extra cash are the main drawbacks to consider.

  • Features 5/5

  • Weatherproofness 3/5

  • Condensation 5/5

  • In use 4/5

  • Value for money 4/5

  • OVERALL SCORE 84%


Mountain Equipment Lhotse / Manaslu £350 

Tester: Tim Butcher

This is a well established 3-layer Gore-Tex jacket but is it really worth paying all that extra cash? And could this classic be even better?

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  • Material 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro

  • Men’s S-XXL (Lhotse)

  • Women’s 8-16 (Manaslu)

  • Weight 531g (XL)

It’s good

The Lhotse continues to be the benchmark against which other jackets are measured. Built of tough 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro it’s incredibly durable, giving armour-like protection in storms and high levels of waterproofness and breathability, so I was never damp on our final test day in Langdale, even with changing conditions. 

The design also delivers when it comes to practical features, providing both good body coverage and unrestricted movement, with sleeves and hems staying put when reaching for holds on the steep rock. The three external pockets are in just the right places, clear of rucksack straps, allowing ‘hands in pockets’ walking and a chest pocket large enough for a map or guidebook. 

Pit zips, which aren’t stiff under the arm, open easily to improve ventilation, and the hood with a well-stiffened peak and rear volume adjuster kept the wind and rain out without restricting vision whilst walking and scrambling.

However

With top-spec gear, the cons are often weight and price, and it’s not the lightest jacket available. It could be argued that it’s over-specced for most Lakeland days out, and a lighter jacket would suffice, but if you walk year-round in the UK as we do, and you’re looking for one jacket that’ll tackle everything, then the extra weight is worth it. 

Moisture management relies on having the right combination of base layers underneath, so in changing conditions it was fleece on/off a number of times to maintain ideal temperature and prevent overheating. 

However, I can’t fault the fabric or the design, and coming onto the summit of Harrison Stickle into a cold, rain-laden wind, with both test jackets in my pack, it was the Lhotse I instinctively reached for.

Verdict

A seasoned performer, with high-end fabric and brilliant design, I’d wear it with confidence in any conditions in the British mountains.

  • Features 5/5

  • Weatherproofness 5/5

  • Condensation 5/5

  • In use 4/5

  • Value for money 4/5

  • OVERALL SCORE 92%

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Five of the best lightweight waterproof jackets reviewed (2018)

There’s no need to be weighed down by a heavy waterproof jacket in summer, so here’s the best waterproof jackets that weigh less than 350g.

Weights

Manufacturers often give average weights or the weight of the medium jacket. All the jackets here were weighed when tested, so our stated weights may vary from manufacturers’.

Ventilation

Even the best waterproof and breathable fabrics allow condensation to form, so it’s important that you can increase ventilation. A front zip can be used for venting, as can pit zips, while mesh linings in pockets also increase airflow. Lightweight jackets are often fitted with mesh pockets but this may not be ideal for really wet weather as they may also allow water to pass through.

Hoods

The hood should fit snugly so it doesn’t blow off, but it must also move so you can see where you are going. The peak may become bent, so look for a wired peak that can be reshaped.

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Zips

Normal jacket zips aren’t waterproof, so are usually covered by a single or double stormflap, but these are often removed on lightweight jackets. Water-resistant zips are commonly used on high-priced jackets, and some of these are fitted with an internal flap to channel away any water that gets thorough.

Pockets

Big pockets are great for storing maps, guidebooks and GPS receivers, but they can also be used to protect your hands from wind and rain. Rucksack belts may obscure access to some pockets, so make sure they are well positioned to avoid this problem.

Fabrics

Higher-priced jackets will generally use the most waterproof and breathable materials available, so while there may be small differences between them this will be difficult to notice on the hill. Your comfort levels therefore will often be dictated by features such as hood, pocket and sleeve design. In contrast, lower-priced jackets generally have fabrics that are less breathable and may be less waterproof. Fabrics described as 2-layer or 2.5-layer tend to gather more condensation than fabrics described as 3-layer. Thin fabrics also tend to buckle in the wind, so they feel colder than stiffer fabrics that can trap warm air inside.


Rab Downpour Plus £130

  • Men’s S-XXL
  • Women’s 8-16
  • Weight 329g (size L)
  • Material 2.5-layer Pertex Shield Plus

It's good

This offers exceptional lightweight performance for the price. So you get excellent chest pockets that easily take an OS map while wearing a rucksack. They are also sealed rather than mesh-lined, so they won’t allow water to easily pass through the jacket. The 2.5-layer fabric has a Dry Touch treatment on the inside to help manage condensation, but you also get pit zips to allow extra ventilation. The hood is great too, thanks to a wired peak and great drawcords at the face and rear, all of which combine to allow great vision as you move your head.

However

This is not the lightest jacket you can get, and it also feels slightly cold and clammy compared to a 3-layer fabric that controls condensation even better. A third chest pocket would be useful, like many lightweight jackets, but at least the two main pockets you get are great. There is very little wrong here if you want a practical lightweight jacket for hillwalking, but some details are better on higher-priced jackets.

Verdict

 For £130 this is a superb lightweight jacket, but a bit more budget may bring a few benefits.

  • Features 5/5
  • Fit 5/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 5/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 92%

Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra £165

  • Men’s XS-XL
  • Women’s 8-16
  • Weight 202g (size L)
  • Material 2.5-layer 20-denier Pertex Shield with stretch

It's good

The 2.5-layer fabric is stretchy and very thin, which shaves off some weight. I found this jacket fitted closely while still providing very good freedom of movement without the hem or cuffs riding up. There are two main pockets with mesh linings, which are easily accessed while wearing a rucksack belt and just about take an OS map. The hood is elasticated at the back and has face drawcords as well as a wired peak. A nice touch is a section of soft brushed fabric at the chin behind the zip. The weight is very impressive for what you get too.

However

Those two pockets are mesh-lined, so water can potentially creep through this jacket, but also it is a tight squeeze to get an OS map into them. Also the cuffs are elasticated rather than having Velcro adjustment, so you cannot control their fit as well as others. The hood fit and movement is acceptable, but it does not move as well with the head as others. Finally, the fabric feels more cold and clammy than stiffer 3-layer fabrics.

Verdict

A lighter jacket with stretchy material – but the cuffs, pockets and hood are not perfect.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 3/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 76%

Alpkit Balance £175

  • Men’s S-XXL
  • Women’s 8-16
  • Weight 338g (size L)
  • Material 3-layer laminate with nylon face and PU/PTFE membrane

It's good

The 3-layer fabric feels a little tougher than lighter jackets, and also it benefits from a thin bi-component knit backer to manage condensation better than some lighter jackets. You get two good-sized pockets that take an OS map easily while wearing a rucksack. The pockets are mesh lined which reduces cost, weight and increases airflow for condensation control. The hood is very good thanks to a wired peak and excellent fit and movement. There is reasonable movement in the sleeves too. All that for this price and weight is hard to beat for hillwalking and backpacking.

However

It would be great if the pockets were sealed rather than mesh to help keep water out. Also a third pocket on the chest would be really useful. While the fabric is thicker than other lightweights, it still buckles easily in the wind more than heavier jackets. A slight niggle is that you do get a little movement in the cuffs when raising your arms such as during a scramble. There are lighter and lower priced jackets.

Verdict

The hood and 3-layer fabric set this jacket apart from others, but the mesh-lined pockets may let water in.

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

Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow £190

  • Men’s XS-XL
  • Women’s XS-XL
  • Weight 309g (size L)
  • Material 2.5-layer H2No 30d stretch nylon

It's good

Having a third chest pocket sets this jacket apart, and can be used for a GPS receiver while the two, larger main pockets can store OS maps or used as handwarmers. All these pockets are sealed rather than mesh, so water can’t creep through them easily. There are also pit zips for added ventilation. The main fabric has stretch, the body is slightly longer than others and there is good freedom of movement. The hood gets rear volume adjustment, fits very closely and moves well with the head.

However

That third pocket is a little small, so won’t take chunky guidebooks or maps, and access to the lower pockets is easily obscured by rucksack belts. While the hood does fit and move with the head well, it leaves the head more exposed than others as the peak is very small, and the sides of the hood don’t come very far forward. Finally, the material is a little colder and more clammy than stiffer 3-layer fabrics.

Verdict

Well-featured jacket with Patagonia’s eco-credentials, but some minor details could be better.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 5/5
  • Comfort 3/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 80%

Rohan Elite £249

  • Men’s S-XXL
  • Women’s XS-L
  • Weight 303g (size L)
  • Material 3-layer Barricade

It's good

This is a 3-layer nylon fabric with high levels of waterproofness and breathability, but equally important is that this jacket has sealed rather than mesh pockets as well as a stormflap behind the front zip, which all adds up to more water resistance than many other lightweight jackets. Importantly it still has a good weight and the two pockets easily take an OS map, and you can access those pockets reasonably well while wearing a rucksack. The hood has a wired peak and also a great fit and movement with the head. So for general walking this is pretty good.

However

The fit is quite baggy compared to others, and also we noticed the hem and cuffs tended to ride up more easily than others. So this is fine for walking but less ideal for scrambling. The main two pockets are nice and large, but items tend to sink to their bottom, which places them below a rucksack hipbelt, so retrieval is not ideal. There are lighter and lower priced options.

Verdict

Good 3-layer fabric with sealed rather than mesh pockets but the fit is not ideal.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 3/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 76%

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Montane Atomic Jacket Review 2016

Features

The Montane Atomic is made with Pertex Shield, which has a waterproof, breathable coating applied to the material rather than using the more durable laminated construction of Pertex Shield Plus. The material is 2.5-layer rather than 3-layer so condensation control is not ideal. The jacket has two large mesh-lined pockets and a hood with a wired peak. It weighs in at a very good 319g (size L), which is appealing. 3/5

Fit

Men’s sizes are S-XXL and women’s 8-16. The body is a little shorter than others so your bum is less protected. The fit is quite close, though, and there isn’t any movement in the cuffs or hem when raising the arms. The hood fit is very good and easily adjusted. This is virtually perfect, but others are slightly longer and offer very slightly better movement. 5/5

Comfort

This 2.5-layer garment does feel a little clammy compared to 3-layer jackets; also jackets using Pertex Shield Plus feel more comfortable against the skin. But this is stiffer than others, meaning it does not feel as cold in the wind, so in winter the Montane Atomic is a better option for hill-goers. The fabric does not stretch, but it does not restrict movement either. 4/5 

In use

You can warm your hands in the two chest pockets or stash a map for access on the go. The pockets are mesh-lined, though, so they can allow water to pass through into the jacket if you are not careful in a downpour. The hood is great, as is the sleeve movement, and I like the fact that this is a little stiffer for windier conditions. But I’d ideally like some more length and a third pocket. 3/5

Value

For just £120 you get a very lightweight jacket that competes well with higher-priced options so this is great value for money. RRP £120. 5/5

Verdict

The Montane Atomic is a very good jacket for its price if walking in milder conditions, but it’s worth paying more for better protection. It wins Trail’s ‘approved’ accolade. 4.0/5

Montane Featherlite (2015)

Features

The Montane Featherlite uses a lightweight eVent fabric called DV Storm with a 3-layer construction but a slightly different outer face fabric than the Rab Muztag, leading to a slightly lighter jacket at only 296g (size L). The fabric is 20 per cent more breathable than standard eVent and you get two good chest pockets with a wired peak on the hood. It looks outstanding on paper. 5/5

Size

This is only available in men’s sizes S-XXL. It is designed for alpine climbing so the fit is neat and precise, and closer than some others, particularly around the armpit. I noticed some movement in the cuffs and hem when raising my arms though. But the hood fit is superb and it moves really easily with the head. 4/5

Comfort

The underarm area seems slightly too close and some larger folk may find it uncomfortable. But the fabric is great in terms of condensation control, though as it is quite thin and a close-fitting design it can’t trap warm air inside so well, thus the Montane Featherlite isn’t the warmest option. The pockets aren’t mesh so they keep you dry. 4/5

In use

Used for hillwalking, this jacket feels superb. At just 296g it can easily be stashed in a pack. The two large pockets take maps or warm hands very easily while wearing a pack, and while a third would be good that would increase weight. The hood is outstanding. 5/5

Value

The price is higher than some other jackets at similar weights and designs so it isn’t the ultimate in value, but it’s still acceptable. 3/5

Verdict

The Montane Featherlite is not absolutely perfect, but the weight combined with what you do get is a great option for hillwalking and backpacking. It wins Trail’s ‘approved’ accolade. 4.2/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2015

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Montane Minimus (2015)

Features

At just 265g (L) the Montane Minimus is exceptionally light, and the features are minimalist to reach that goal. The main weight saving comes from the Pertex Shield + fabric, which is very thin and feels quite delicate. Also the three pockets have mesh linings, to save weight. But at least you get all those pockets, and the hood has a wired peak, so this has some important features. 4/5

Size

This is available in sizes S-XL for men and 8-16 for women. The fit is quite close with an average length. The sleeve movement is very good with no movement in the hem or cuffs when raising the arms. The hood also fits exceptionally well with excellent movement, and the wired peak is superb. 5/5

Comfort

The close fit combined with the very thin fabric makes the Montane Minimus feel quite cold in a strong wind as any warm insulating air is easily squashed out. Also the pockets are mesh-lined so water can creep in through them. The close fit means there is less space for extra insulation underneath. 3/5

In use

The weight of 265g (L) means you’d barely notice the Montane Minimus in a rucksack. The hood is great and all three pockets take an OS map, but they’re mesh-lined, so water can get in. Also, lower pocket access isn’t great with a rucksack. The weight and hood are the benefits. 3/5

Value

The price is appealing and it is a very lightweight jacket so it compares well to those with higher price tags, but it has drawbacks too. 3/5

Verdict

Buy the Montane Minimus for the low weight and you will love it, but it inevitably has drawbacks that some hillwalkers will not want to tolerate. 3.6/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2015

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Montane Atomic (2015)

Features

The Montane Atomic is made from Pertex Shield fabric, which boasts good waterproofness and breathability but isn’t as good as Pertex Shield + used in the Montane Minimus, although it does feel more robust. The two mesh-lined chest pockets would be better if sealed, but they have good access; and the hood gets a wired peak with face and volume adjustment. 4/5

Size

Available in men’s sizes S-XXL and for women in sizes 8-16. The body is typical of all these lightweight jackets in many ways, but with a slightly closer fit. The cuffs and hem move a bit when the arms are raised but not too much. The hood is exceptional with a great fit and superior movement to allow easy vision. 4/5

Comfort

This version of Pertex Shield is stiffer than Pertex Shield + fabric used on the Montane Minimus, so while not as light, it is warmer and comfier. Condensation builds up on the inside more than with Pertex Shield + though. The pockets are mesh-lined so good for venting, but water can creep in through them. 3/5

In use

The Montane Atomic’s weight is good and the two pockets large enough for OS maps while allowing access if wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt. The hood is ideal for hillwalking thanks to that wired peak and great movement. My niggles? The pockets are mesh-lined, so water can creep in, and condensation can be a problem. 4/5

Value

The Atomic’s price is very good and as it has a great hood and large easy-to-access pockets, this is the best option we looked at under £150. 5/5

Verdict

I’d like the pockets not to be mesh; but apart from that the Montane Atomic is an excellent lightweight jacket for hillwalkers who can’t extend their budget beyond its price tag. It wins Trail’s ‘approved’ accolade. 4.0/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2015

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Montane Atomic (2014)

Features
The Montane Atomic has two great map-sized main pockets that are mesh-lined for extra venting and to reduce weight, but you don’t get a third pocket or pit zips. The result is a good low weight of just 328g (size L), which is ideal for lightweight hillwalking and backpacking. The hood gets a wired peak along with good rear and face drawcord adjustment. 4/5

Fit
The Atomic comes in men’s sizes S-XXL with women’s sizes 8-16. The fit is slightly closer and shorter than the Mountain Equipment Aeon, which some will prefer. Sleeve movement isn’t quite as good either, though the cuffs and hem barely moved. The hood fit is excellent, with its wired peak allowing great vision, so worth trying on to be sure this is perfect for you. 4/5

Comfort
The fabric is Pertex Shield, which offers great breathability and waterproofness. But as a 2.5-layer fabric it is a little clammier than some 3-layer options. However, it is very light and supple, making the Montane Atomic really comfy when stashed in your rucksack or when worn in summer. It has mesh pockets so in really wet weather they could leak, and also it’s so thin and supple it can feel chilly in battering winter gales. 4/5

In use
This is a good jacket thanks to its features working really well. You can easily stuff maps in the main pockets and you can easily see where you are going with the hood up. It’s compact enough to stash in a pack too. I’d prefer sealed pockets for wild weather, but used in the right situation the performance is great. 4/5

Value
Competes well with other lightweight jackets and while not perfect at £110 it’s a bargain. 5/5

Verdict
The Montane Atomic is a superb jacket in terms of weight and price.
4.2/5

www.montane.co.uk

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2014

 


Montane Alpine Endurance (2014)

Features
Designed for alpine-style mountain trips, the Montane Alpine Endurance comes with four large pockets on the chest, an internal zipped pocket, an internal stretch pocket and pit zips. The hood is designed to be helmet-compatible, and benefits from a wired peak as well as a rear volume adjuster and a collar drawcord. There’s also a sleeve pocket and extremely robust cuff adjustment tabs. 5/5

Fit
Sizes are XS-XXL for men and 8-16 for women. A waist drawcord meant this fitted slightly better than some. The body just about covered my crotch, so this is the same length as most other jackets we looked at. The scooped tail adds protection. Cuff adjusters mean you can easily ensure a great fit around the wrists, while four adjustment options allowed the hood to fit very easily while maintaining great vision if I moved my head. 5/5

Comfort
eVent 3-layer fabric is used in the Montane Alpine Endurance, and it’s a proven performer in terms of waterproofness and breathability. A 2-layer jacket with mesh is more comfortable, however, and so is a lighter jacket, but when you want durable comfort then this is as good as it gets – making this an ideal option for mountain travel in wild weather. 5/5

In use
You can access all those chest pockets easily while wearing a rucksack, and the hem and cuffs don’t ride up when scrambling. The sleeves provide great movement, and that hood fits and moves well with the head so you can see where you are going. The jacket is a little heavier than similar models at this price being 658g, but you do get all those pockets.  5/5

Value
Great for regular hill trips in bad weather but casual users will find the price hard to justify. 3/5

Verdict
Hard to fault, ideal for regular foul-weather trips – but not everyone will want to pay the price.
4.6/5

www.montane.co.uk

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2014

 


Montane Atomic (2014)

If you want low weight and minimal cost then the £110 Montane Atomic, which tips the scales at just 328g (size L), is a winner. The fabric is Pertex Shield, which – while it can’t boast the lab test results for breathability of jackets twice its price – does offer more than most around the £100 mark. It’s a 2.5-layer fabric, so it’s a little clammier than 3-layer jackets or 2-layer jackets with mesh linings, but that’s the price you pay

for the minimal weight. The front zip is exposed and doesn’t have the water-resistant coating of some jackets, but you do get a wide flap on the inside with a gutter to funnel leaks away. I found the cut quite close for a size large – indeed the manufacturers say it’s designed to be closer-fitting – therefore it’s a little more restrictive than some others, so I’d go up a size personally, but you do get good sleeve movement. There are just two pockets and they’re quite high so you get good access

while wearing a rucksack. Those pockets are large too and easily swallow maps. The pocket lining is mesh, however, so it’s not the best option for keeping water out. The Montane Atomic’s hood is exceptional as it fits and moves really well with the head and has a good wired peak. The hood can also be rolled down and held in place at the collar with a Velcro tab.

Weight 328g (size L)

Fabric 2.5-layer Pertex Shield

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes 8-16

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit zips? no

Website www.montane.co.uk

Verdict

The Montane Atomic is a very good lightweight jacket for the price, but you might want to check the body size as the fit is closer than average.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine Spring 2014

montane-2.jpg

Montane Alpine Endurance (2013)

The Montane Alpine Endurance is designed for alpine-style mountaineering, where a climber is belaying his mate one minute and then taking the lead. It is made from a good version of eVent, so it has proven waterproofness and breathability performance, but it’s also sturdy enough not to buckle in a breeze or tear when rubbing shoulders with rock. The length is typically short, but the rear is extended so your bum gets some extra protection. If you raise your arms over your head the cuffs and hem don’t budge, which is essential. A nice detail is the cuff adjustment, which is neat while allowing the cuff to be worn inside or over gloves. The front zip is a chunky design, so it is better able than some to resist snow and grit from impeding its action. There is no external stormflap, which is not ideal, although there is a good internal flap to act as a gutter to funnel any water away. There are four chest pockets and all are ideally designed with large zip pulls, and a nice addition is a small mesh vent at the top of the inner lining of the pocket to allow a little airflow. There are also pit zips for extra venting. The hood is helmet-compatible but it also fits the head superbly well, even when the face drawcords and front zip are not adjusted properly. But the Montane Alpine Endurance’s weight (642g, size M) is a drawback.

Weight 642g (size men’s M)

Fabric 3-layer eVent

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes none

External pockets 4

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.montane.co.uk

Verdict

The Montane Alpine Endurance is a superb jacket for mountaineering but the weight is a drawback.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

montane.jpg

Montane Super-Fly (2013)

At 400g, it’s a jacket you’ll want to wear more than carry, but the fabric is soft and quiet, totally waterproof and very breathable. There’s a useful array of pockets with waterproof zips, including an easily accessible map pocket on the chest and an internal security pocket. The arms are articulated for easy movement and the Velcro cuffs are soft against the skin and offer a wide range of adjustment. Top marks for its deep, swivel hood for total protection from rain, and there’s a fleece chin guard inside the collar to prevent raw skin.

 

Sizes: 8-16
Fabric: eVENT® Hurricane
Weight: 400g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: www.montane.co.uk

 

* Review from Country Walking magazine, May 2013.


Montane Air (2013)

The Montane Air has been a popular ‘fast and light’ waterproof for a few years in Trail reviews, and it remains a benchmark product. It’s built around a 3-layer eVent fabric, which provides well-proven performance in terms of moisture control as well as durability. The fabric does feel a little stiffer than some other fabrics though. The Air weighs just 315g (size L), in part due to its minimalist design, as it has only the bare essentials. So you get just one large chest pocket, but at least this pocket is huge – easily big enough for map. But if you like pockets for your hands then this jacket isn’t for you. The Montane Air’s hood is a superb design too, thanks to it having face and volume drawcords, so you get a good fit and once adjusted it moves well with the head. The wired peak adds extra protection in driving wind and rain, and means it doesn’t matter if the peak gets twisted in your pack, as you can easily reshape it. The hood can also be rolled down and secured at the collar with a Velcro tab if needed. Like many lightweight jackets the front zip doesn’t have an external stormflap, but there’s an internal flap to keep draughts and any water leakage under control.

Fabric eVent
Lining none
Men’s sizes XS-XXL
Women’s sizes none
External pockets 1
Stowable hood yes
Side/pit zips no
Weight 315g (size L)
Website www.montane.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Montane Air is a very good jacket for fast and lightweight activity in the hills, but it only has one pocket and the fabric is quite stiff.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2013


Montane Atomic (2013)

One of Montane’s stable of thoroughbred jackets, the Atomic is a well-proven performer. It is made from 2.5-layer Pertex Shield, so you tend to notice any condensation that forms on the inside a little more easily than jackets with a mesh lining or 3-layer jackets. But the benefits are low weight and small packed size, which make this ideal for stashing in a rucksack and travelling light. Get it on and it is a bit short, but it does have a scooped tail to protect the bum a little more than its length might suggest. The front zip doesn’t have an external stormflap and it’s not one of the more water-resistant zips, but there is an internal stormflap to catch leaks through the zip. The Montane Atomic isn’t the best solution for driving rain, but it’s a good compact lightweight choice. The main chest pockets are easily accessed while wearing a rucksack and again there’s an internal flap on those zips to keep water out (but the pockets are mesh-lined, so if water does encroach you’ll get damp). The hood is particularly good with a wired peak, neat drawcords and decent adjustment to allow a snug fit.

Weight 332g (size L)
Fabric 2.5-layer Pertex Shield
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
External pockets 2
Wired hood yes
Side/pit zips no
Website www.montane.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Montane Atomic good option if weight and packed size are your priorities, but one of Montane’s 3-layer jackets will provide better performance for year-round abuse. It won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award. 

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2013

 

 

waterproofs    

general

men’s

 

Craghoppers Hsuki 2013

Price £120

Our rating 4

 

The Craghoppers Hsuki is made from a very soft and slightly stretchy fabric with a loose mesh lining, which makes it instantly more comfortable to wear than many waterproof jackets in our test. Like many jackets it is a little short and the two hip pockets are easily obscured when wearing a rucksack, so it could be much better. But you do get two Napoleon chest pockets that are map-sized and very useful when hillwalking for maps, guidebooks or a GPS receiver. There are pit zips too in case you should overheat. The main zip isn’t protected on the outside by a stormflap but it is a water-resistant zip and there’s an internal flap to funnel leaks away. The zip-off hood fits well and moves well with the head. The peak is stiffened but not wired, although it still provides a good degree of protection. A nice addition is the brushed lining to the collar, which further adds to the comfort – and all that for £120 is a good deal.
But it is a bit heavy.
 

Weight 661g (size L)
Fabric Aquadry polyester ripstop
Lining mesh
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes none
External pockets 4
Wired hood no
Side/pit zips yes
Website www.craghoppers.com

 

Verdict

The Craghoppers Hsuki is a good hillwalking jacket at a good price that’s particularly comfortable, but some others have better-designed features.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2013

 

 

waterproofs    

general

men’s

 

Berghaus Vinson 2013

Price £120

Our rating 4

 

The Vinson is made from Berghaus’ own-label AQ2 fabric, which is a 2-layer material. It doesn’t claim to be as breathable or as waterproof as Gore-Tex, but it is a much more competitive price. The Vinson is a notch longer than some others here, but it’s still pretty short. The main zip gets an external stormflap to keep the rain out, but you have to open the zip to access the large internal chest pocket, while other jackets make this pocket accessible without having to open the main zip, which is clearly more useful in the rain. There are two main pockets and they can be accessed while wearing a rucksack, although the bottom of the pocket does drop beyond any rucksack belt. The hood is the main drawback of this jacket, though, which is a pity as Berghaus provides superb hoods on many of its jackets. The Vinson’s hood is quite small, has a soft and large peak, and doesn’t move very easily with the head – which means it isn’t ideal in really testing weather, though it is adequate in easier conditions and is still better than lots of other hoods.

Weight 539g (size L)
Fabric 2-layer AQ2
Lining mesh
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes none
External pockets 2
Wired hood no
Side/pit zips no
Website www.berghaus.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Berghaus Vinson is a good design for the price, although fabric performance isn’t the best and there are better hoods available if you’re heading into wild weather.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2013

 

 

waterproofs    

general

men’s + women’s

 

Adidas Terrex Swift Climaproof Storm 2013

Price £120/145

Our rating 4

 

Adidas isn’t the first brand I’d think of when it comes to outdoor gear, but this product proves they know a thing or two about heading to the hills. The jacket is made from a 2.5-layer fabric so it isn’t ideal for condensation control, but it gives a healthy tick in the box for low weight and packability. Comfortingly for such a lightweight jacket, the Terrex Swift Climaproof Storm is also longer than most so you get a little more protection below the waist than many lightweight jackets. The front zip isn’t a water-resistant design and doesn’t get an external stormflap – just an internal one – so this isn’t the most water-resisting opening for a jacket. You get venting from pit zips and the two main pockets are mesh-lined too, which is great for venting; but of course if water gets into the pocket you’ll get wet. The two chest pockets are map-sized and can be accessed while wearing a rucksack belt, and there’s an additional chest pocket that’s great for a GPS receiver. The hood is excellent, thanks to a wired peak, superb fit and great movement.

Weight 334g (size 40/42)
Fabric 2.5-layer ripstop Climaproof Storm
Lining none
Men’s sizes 32-54
Women’s sizes 6-20
External pockets 3
Wired hood yes
Side/pit zips yes
Website www.addidas.com/outdoor

 

Verdict

The Adidas Terrex Swift Climaproof Storm is a superb lightweight and packable performance with particularly good length to offer more protection than most lightweight jackets.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2013

 

 

waterproofs    

general

men’s

 

Keela Cumulus MR Pro 2013

Price £140

Our rating 4

 

The Keela Cumulus MR Pro is designed as a 4-season jacket and it was developed in partnership with mountain rescue teams. On paper it sounds great and there are some instant boxes ticked in terms of its design. Firstly it’s made from Keela’s waterproof and breathable fabric, which has a wicking liner that rapidly moves moisture away, and this works well. You get four main external body pockets, plus a dedicated map pocket under the main stormflap and a small sleeve pocket. Only the dedicated map pocket is map-sized, while the two hip pockets have limited access when wearing a rucksack and the two chest pockets are a touch small for a map. The hood is pretty good, though, with a wired peak and good movement when adjusted. The body length is about average, but there are plenty of good longer jackets available. The major downside is that the Keela Cumulus MR Pro is quite warm and heavy, meaning in winter when it is worn all day it is good, but on a mild, wet day it may be too hot and when it is stashed in your pack its 900g weight (size L) will make a significant difference to your rucksack.

Weight 900g (size L)
Fabric Innovation 8 with System Dual Protection
Lining polyester mesh
Men’s sizes XS-XXXL
Women’s sizes none
External pockets 6
Wired hood yes
Side/pit zips yes
Website www.keela.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Keela Cumulus MR Pro is a great winter jacket, although extra length and improvements in the pockets would make it even better. The drawbacks are the weight and excessive warmth.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2013

 

 

waterproofs    

general

men’s + women’s

 

Rohan Atlas 2013

Price £140

Our rating 4

 

At last, I hear you cry, a jacket that’s long! Yes: the Rohan Atlas is longer than most waterproofs. It is in fact long enough to cover a suit jacket when in town, and long enough to protect your butt and groin when walking in the hills. The other advantage of all that extra length is that you can put your hands in the base pockets as they sit below the area where a rucksack hipbelt sits. There is a chest pocket too that’s ideal for maps, guidebooks or a GPS receiver. The hood has a wired peak and when adjusted this fits the head closely and moves really well with the head. The fabric is Rohan’s own Barricade with a mesh lining, which has breathability and waterproofing performance that’s up there with the best. So what’s the drawback? The sleeves do ride up a little when you reach up to clamber over rocks or a stile, the jacket is a little heavier due to all that extra length, and it is perhaps less ‘mountain fashion’. But for hillwalking, trekking and bagging British peaks it’s great. When walking into the eye of a storm, the Rohan Atlas provides more protection than any shorter jacket.

Weight 790g (size men’s L)
Fabric 2-layer Barricade
Lining mesh
Men’s sizes S-XL
Women’s sizes S-XL
External pockets 3
Wired hood yes
Side/pit zips no
Website www.rohan.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Rohan Atlas is a long jacket that offers more protection below the waist and benefits from a great hood, but it’s heavier to stash in your rucksack.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2013

 

 

waterproofs    

general

men’s + women’s

 

Sprayway Nyx/Eos 2013

Price £150

Our rating 4

 

The Sprayway Nyx (men’s)/Eos (women’s) is a former winner of a Trail ‘Best in Test’ award in Spring 2012, and it’s still a great a jacket. It’s made from Gore-Tex Performance Shell, which isn’t as breathable as the higher-priced versions of Gore-Tex but it’s still perfectly good and just as waterproof. There’s a mesh lining to add a bit more comfort, although this does increase the weight a little. Get the jacket on and it is quite short, which isn’t ideal. The front zip gets a double external stormflap to keep rain out, and the zip runs nice and smoothly. You also get a traditional map pocket inside that stormflap, which is ideal for a map, GPS receiver or guidebook. In addition there are two cavernous main hip pockets, which are great for protecting hands and stashing gear, but access to the base of these pockets is easily obscured when wearing a rucksack belt, which is very annoying. These pockets are mesh-lined too, so if water gets inside them you get wet. The hood is the best feature of this jacket, though, as it fits well and moves with the head, and the wired peak provides great protection.

Weight 574g (size L)
Fabric 2-layer Gore-Tex Performance Shell
Lining mesh
Men’s sizes S-XXL (Nyx)
Women’s sizes 8-18 (Eos)
External pockets 2
Wired hood yes
Side/pit zips no
Website www.sprayway.com

 

Verdict

The Sprayway Nyx/Eos is a good jacket at this price with a superb hood, but the length and pockets could both be better for regular mountain use with a rucksack. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2013

 

 

waterproofs    

general

men’s + women’s

 

Bergans of Norway Super Lett Jacket 2013

Price £150

Our rating 4

 

The Super Lett from Bergans is a lightweight jacket at 435g (size men’s L), but what makes it better than many lightweight jackets is that it is made from a 3-layer fabric, so you get less clammy when wearing it. The price is a bit higher than other lightweights, but you do at least get a proper hood, unlike many lightweight jackets, and that’s what sets the Super Lett apart from many of the other contenders here. The hood has a wired peak, fits well on the head and moves well when you look around, while providing far more protection for the face than the cutaway hood designs of many lighter jackets – handy in the British hills! The front zip gets an external stormflap, which keeps rain out better than the exposed zips used on other lightweights. There are also pit zips for venting. Sadly the Super Lett’s pocketing isn’t so great. It has base pockets large enough for a map but access to them is easily obscured by rucksack hip-belts, and this is a problem with lots of the lightweight jackets. Unfortunately the price is fairly steep for what you get, too.

Weight 425g (men’s size L)
Fabric 3-layer Toray Dermizax
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXXL
Women’s sizes XS-XL
External pockets 2
Wired hood yes
Side/pit zips yes
Website www.bergans.com

 

Verdict

The Bergans of Norway Super Lett Jacket is a 3-layer garment with a great hood and a good weight, but the pocketing and price could both be better.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2013


Montane Venture (2012)

The 3-layer eVENT fabric is light yet soft and comfortable, and it’s extremely breathable. It’s also reinforced at the shoulders. It has an excellent hood: deep and super-adjustable with a decent wired peak. And this combines with a high, soft collar. The pockets are a good size and well-positioned, and the cuffs are spot-on, with Velcro adjustment and elastic. The storm flap is quite flimsy but the waterproof zip doesn’t need as much protection as some.

Sizes: S-XXL
Fabric: eVENT lightweight 3-layer
Weight: 460g
Women’s version: Yes
Contact: 01670 522300; www.montane.co.uk


Montane Superfly (2012)

The Montane Superfly is the only jacket on test to use eVent waterproof fabric, which has a well-proven high level of waterproofness and breathability, although some people find it needs to be looked after more carefully to maintain its performance. Highly breathable, it is great for moving fast through the mountains, and at 442g (size UK12) it is light given the huge amount of excellent features it packs in. These include easily adjustable cuffs, zip pulls easily grabbed while wearing gloves, a double-stormflapped two-way main zip, stormflapped two-way zipped Napoleon chest map pocket, two water-resistant zipped side pockets high enough not to be obscured by a hipbelt, and an internal mesh pocket for valuables (although you’d be wise to waterproof any gadgets kept in this). The Montane Superfly’s hood is fantastic – very well-fitting, easily adjustable, helmet-compatible and with a wired peak. When fully battened down, the brushed cotton stormflap is comfortable against the chin, and when not raining you can roll the hood down and Velcro it away out of the wind. The arms come up a bit short on me – though they might suit others – and are fully articulated to allow a wide range of movement for scrambling. There are no pit zips, which saves weight but also reduces venting.

Weight 442g (size UK12)
Material eVent lightweight 3 layer
Women’s sizes UK8-16
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Pit zips no
Wired hood peak yes
Stowable hood yes
Website
www.montane.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Montane Superfly is well-specified for mountain walking, scrambling and mountaineering at a great price (indeed, it won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award).

Review by Claire Maxted
First published in Trail magazine November 2012


Montane Air (2012)

The Montane Air is made from 3-layer eVent fabric, which is a well-proven favourite among hillwalkers and it feels far more durable than the Gore-Tex Active Shell fabric for example but is also stiffer and therefore a little less comfortable. The Air weighs in at a very respectable 317g (men’s size L) due to its minimalist design, as there is just one chest pocket, and as this is very large and easily takes a map it is very useful. The hood fits and moves with the hood very well and also has a wired peak so it is easily shaped to protect the face no matter how badly you packed it in your rucksack or how windy it is. Better still the hood can be easily rolled to the collar and secured with a Velcro tab, so between showers it does not flap about in the wind. Like most jackets the front zip does not get an external stormflap to keep rain out, but there is an internal flap to act as a gutter to allow water to drain away. The only niggles with this jacket are that the fabric is stiff and rustly, and the price is creeping up.

Weight 317g (men’s L)
Fabric eVent
Lining none
Men’s sizes XS-XXL
Women’s sizes n/a
External pockets 1
Roll down hood yes
Side/pit vents no
Website www.montane.co.uk

 

Verdict
The Montane Air is virtually the perfect jacket for wide range of fast and light activities from running and biking to fast hiking and light backpacking, except for the price and stiff fabric. It received the ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012


Montane Atomic (2012)

The Montane Atomic has been around for some years, but it is now made from Pertex Shield, a very thin and lightweight laminated fabric with a print finish on the inside. This jacket packs down small and is very light, but with the drawback of not being quite so comfy as one using 3-layer fabric such as the eVent used in other Montane jackets. The Atomic has single zip up the front with an internal rain gutter. The pockets are mesh-lined to reduce weight and improve ventilation, and they are placed on the chest so as to allow access even when wearing a rucksack. The hood has a wired peak plus volume drawcords at the back and face drawcords at the front, and these are all easy to use and neatly designed not to flap in the breeze. The hood can also be rolled down to the collar and secured with a Velcro tab. For normal hillwalking I’d prefer a 3-layer jacket for better condensation control and a longer cut to keep me drier in a storm, but if weight is your priority the Montane Atomic is excellent and it is well-priced too.

Weight 322g (men’s M)

Fabric 2.5 layer Pertex Shield

Lining none

Men’s sizes XS-XXL

Women’s sizes 8-16

External pockets 2

Wired hood yes

Side/pit vents no

Website www.montane.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Montane Atomic has great features, and ideal for fast and light hiking or biking, but Montane’s 3-layer eVent jackets are better if you want a rugged year-round waterproof for hillwalking.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine Spring 2012


Montane Venture 2011

The Montane Venture has been a popular multi-activity and hillwalking jacket for many years. It is a relatively stripped-down design, which means it is lightweight at 452g (men’s L). The low weight is due in part to this jacket only having two chest pockets, rather than three or more. Also it is quite short compared to others, and all this helps shave a few grams off the weight – but of course it means the Venture offers less protection to the user.
The zips are exposed on this jacket, so the front zip may leak more readily than those that have an external stormflap to keep rain at bay. But the jacket does have easy access to the large chest pockets and the hood has a wired peak, which helps it provide good protection in wet and windy weather. For extra durability there is some tough fabric on the shoulders and hem, two areas that normally wear more rapidly than the body of a jacket.
The Montane Venture is a lightweight option with good basic features, but you may want more from your jacket. It comes in a men’s and a women’s version.

Price £220
Weight 452g (size L)
Fabric eVent
Lining none
Sizes men’s XS-XXL; women’s 8-16
External pockets 2
Wired hood yes
Side vents no
Website www.montane.co.uk

Ratings
Features 4
Design 4
Comfort 5
Performance 4
Value 4
Overall 4

The Montane Venture is ideal for hillwalkers who prefer a lighter design with minimal but well-designed features and don’t mind that the body is relatively short.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2011


Montane Minimus Jacket 2011

Weighing in at just 220g (men’s L) and packing down into its own apple-sized stuffsack makes the Montane Minimus Jacket a true ultralight option. Much of the weight saving comes from the fabric, which is Pertex Shield, and in the lab it gives top-end breathability and waterproof performance figures. And it does all that for an incredible £120, making it around half the price of some of its competitors here.
On the hill the Pertex Shield fabric doesn’t handle sweat quite as well as some other jackets, which just goes to prove that staying dry in a waterproof is not only about fabric breathability but also about having an inner lining that effectively disguises any condensation. The Montane Minimus feels a notch more clammy than other jackets we looked at. Like them, you get a full-length front zip with an internal flap to deal with any water that gets through – it’s funnelled down the flap and out the bottom.
The feature set is particularly good for fast action including biking and running. Firstly the hood can be rolled away and secured at the neck to prevent it flapping around. Also, there’s reflective material for night use, and when on the hill, the wired peak of the hood and the superb fit means you can pretty much just get on with walking rather than trying to prevent the hood from flapping around.
There is only one pocket, on the left of the chest, but it’s reasonably large so you can drop an OS map in there with ease or let your GPS nestle safely. The fit of the Minimus is quite close – which again is ideal for running and biking – and the slightly scooped rear helps protect your lower back and bum.

Price £120
Weight 220g (men’s L)
Fabric 3-layer Pertex Shield
Lining none
Men’s sizes XS-XXL
Women’s sizes S-XL
External pockets 1
Wired hood yes
Contact (01670) 522300; www.montane.co.uk

Ratings
Features 4
Design 5
Comfort 3
Performance 4
Value 5
Overall 4

The Montane Minimus Jacket offers incredibly good value, impressive weight and the features you get are well-designed, but not the best fabric for comfort.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2011