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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Karrimor X-Lite Helium (2012)

The Helium is made from Karrimor’s 2.5-layer Weathertite Extreme fabric. This is slightly heavier-duty than some other fabrics in our test, which is why this jacket tips the scales at a relatively weighty 395g (men's size L). The fabric performs well, but like other 2.5-layer fabrics it is clammier than the higher-priced 3-layer jackets made from Gore-Tex Active Shell for example. However the design of the Karrimor X-Lite Helium is great for running, biking and light hiking as it is relatively close and short (some might say athletic) yet it still has a good set of more general features. So you get a pair of large chest pockets that are ideal for maps, and as these are mesh-lined they also can be used for additional venting. The hood can be rolled to the collar and secured if it is not needed when running or biking but open it out and the wired peak is ideal for walkers, while the fit and movement will suit any user.

Weight 395g (men’s L)
Fabric 2.5 layer Weathertite Extreme
Lining none
Men’s sizes XS-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
External pockets 2
Roll down hood yes
Side/pit vents no
Website www.karrimor.com

 

Verdict
The Karrimor X-Lite Helium is an excellent jacket for walking, biking or running with a good price tag, although there are lighter options if low weight is a priority. It won the ‘Best Value’ award.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012


Fjällräven Back (2012)

The Fjällräven Back jacket is very lightweight and well-designed for general fast and light hillwalking. It is made from a 2.5-layer Hydratic membrane, which is nice and thin, supple and lightweight, but does not claim to offer the breathability performance of higher-priced jackets. Also as it is a 2.5-layer fabric it feels a little clammier than the higher priced 3-layer fabrics, but you do get side vents to compensate. However the features of the jacket are good as you get a stormflap over the front zip for example to keep wind and rain out, a feature that most lightweight jackets lack. Also there is a little more length in the body than some, so again it offers better protection. The pockets are large enough for maps and they’re placed high on the body so they can be easily accessed when wearing rucksacks. The hood is pretty good too, thanks to a stiffened peak and good fit and movement, although it cannot be rolled and secured at the collar. Overall the Fjällräven Back is more of a light hiking jacket than a running jacket, but you could use it when biking and it works well as a general mixed activity jacket.

Weight 370g (men’s L)
Fabric 2.5 layer Hydratic Membrane
Lining none
Men’s sizes XS-XXL
Women’s sizes XXS-XL
External pockets 2
Roll down hood no
Side/pit vents yes
Website www.fjallraven.com

 

Verdict
The Fjällräven Back is a well-priced jacket that is good for light hiking and biking, but the higher-priced options offer better fabric performance.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012


Marmot Mica (2012)

When moving fast and light every gram counts, and so in many ways the Marmot Mica £120 is the best jacket in our test as it is the lightest at just 204g (men’s size L), which is over 100g lighter than many of the alternatives. It is also half the price of some jackets we looked at, so it is superb value too. The Mica packs down incredibly small as well, so you can stash it in a bumbag if necessary, or the outside pocket of a small daysack. With all these benefits there has to be a drawback of course – and for the Mica it is that it lacks some of the features of other, higher-priced options. The material is Marmot’s own brand of PU laminate, which is called Membrain, and this works well but it is a little more clammy than other fabrics and also not as durable as heavier materials. Put the jacket on and the movement in the sleeves is not as good as that of higher-priced jackets. There are two pockets at hip height but when walking these are not as accessible as chest pockets. The hood is particularly poor compared to others here as it does not fit as neatly or move as well on the head.

Weight 204g (men’s L)
Fabric Membrain Strata
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes XS-XL
External pockets 2
Roll down hood no
Side/pit vents no
Website www.marmot.eu

 

Verdict
If low weight is your top priority the Marmot Mica £120 is the best option in our test and the price is superb too, but other jackets offer better features and performance.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012


Mountain Equipment Firefox (2012)

The Mountain Equipment Firefox is a well-established jacket that is made from Gore-Tex Active Shell, an extremely breathable and waterproof fabric. Unlike some other jackets the Firefox does not get extra reinforcement on the shoulders, but the benefit is a lighter weight (329g, men's size L). The jacket also features pit zips for extra venting when it is wet but warm, as even the best fabrics have their limits when it comes to condensation control. You also get two very large chest pockets that are mesh-lined for venting too. The hood is not quite up to the usual Mountain Equipment standards as it lacks a wired peak, but when on the head it fits and moves well, and the peak is still stiff enough to resist the wind and rain. The hood can also be neatly rolled down and secured at the collar to prevent it flapping about when running or biking. So functionally the Mountain Equipment Firefox is very good for fast and light action, but it does not fit quite as closely as other jackets and perhaps lacks some of the finesse of other designs that provide similar performance in a more stylish package.

Weight 329g (men’s L)
Fabric Gore-Tex Active Shell
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XL
Women’s sizes 8-16
External pockets 2
Roll down hood yes
Side/pit vents yes
Website www.mountain-equipment.co.uk

 

Verdict
The Mountain Equipment Firefox is an ideal jacket for fast and light hillwalking and backpacking, but the baggier style means it is not so great for running or biking, even though the hood can be rolled down and secured.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012


Berghaus Velum (2012)

The Berghaus Velum is made from Gore-Tex Active Shell, an extremely light and breathable version of Gore-Tex that is specifically designed for fast, active use when condensation control and weight are the priorities. One of the drawbacks of the material is that it is not as durable as other Gore-Tex fabrics and so Berghaus has reinforced the shoulder area to improve long-term performance. The fabric is wonderfully soft and flexible to wear. I have been using one of these jackets since autumn 2011 as my main light hiking jacket and it still performs very well. It’s got a very short body, which is great for fast action; but the hood cannot be rolled down and secured, so when biking or running it is necessary to stuff it away as best you can. When walking though the hood is excellent, thanks to a good stiffened peak and superb movement with the head. The two main pockets are also ideal for walking and scrambling, but if biking and running they are less useful and just add to the weight. So as an all-round multi-activity jacket the Velum is not perfect – but it is perfect for fast and light hiking.

Weight 359g (men’s L)
Fabric Gore-Tex Active Shell
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-18
External pockets 2
Roll down hood no
Side/pit vents no
Website www.berghaus.com

 

Verdict
The Berghaus Velum is a superbly designed jacket for fast and light hiking and backpacking, but for biking and running other jackets have advantages.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012


Haglöfs Endo (2012)

The Endo is part of Haglöfs’ Intense Series, which is designed for ‘high pulse’ activities such as biking and more specifically running, and to that end the jacket is minimalist to keep the weight down. The material is Gore Active Shell, the current popular and well-proven lightweight and breathable version of Gore-Tex. The fit is closer than others, which is ideal for running and biking, while the thumb loops in the cuffs provide a good weather-resistant barrier. The back is scooped slightly to protect the bum a little more, while freedom of movement in the sleeves is exceptionally good, especially considering the closeness of fit of the jacket. The Haglöfs Endo has just one pocket, but that is enough for biking and running as it can be used for a folded map, compass or GPS. The hood on the Endo fits well and moves well with the head, but it has a large unstiffened peak, so it cannot be reshaped when deformed by packing or the wind. Also it has not been designed to be rolled down and secured at the collar, so you have to stuff it inside the collar to prevent it flapping about in the wind between showers.

Weight 318g (men’s L)
Fabric Gore-Tex Active Shell
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes XS-XL (Endo Q)
External pockets 1
Roll down hood no
Side/pit vents no
Website www.haglofs.com/en-us

 

Verdict
The Haglöfs Endo’s fabric and design of the body and sleeves are ideal for running, biking and fast and light hiking, but the hood could be better for all these activities.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012


The North Face Apparition Anorak (2012)

Having a full-length zip is not always a great idea as more often than not if the jacket is on and you are moving fast the front zip is only going to be opened to the chest area, because if opened further the jacket will billow in the wind. So a smock with a short chest zip is ideal for fast activity and has the benefit of decreasing weight as there are fewer zips and seams, while increasing breathability down the front. The North Face Apparition Anorak makes good use of the smock design and also benefits from a tunnel pocket across the waist area that can be accessed while wearing a light pack. There are also pit zips for added venting, and when this design is combined with Gore-Tex Active Shell fabric you get a very comfy fast and light multi-activity body to the jacket. The hood is a little less impressive however as it does not have a wired peak and so if the peak gets creased it is hard to straighten it. The hood cannot be rolled and secured at the collar either, but the hood fit and movement are very good. The women’s equivalent of this jacket is the £250 Alpine Project, which uses Gore-Tex Active Shell and weighs 387g (women’s size M).

Weight 375g (men’s L)
Fabric Gore-Tex Active Shell
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XL
Women’s sizes n/a
External pockets 2
Roll down hood no
Side/pit vents yes
Website www.thenorthface.com/eu

 

Verdict
The North Face’s Apparition Anorak is generally an excellent smock design for fast and light multi-activity mountain use, but a slightly better hood would make it perfect.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 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


Rab Infinity

This jacket uses man-made Primaloft One insulation instead of any natural down filling, with the immediate result being that it is not as warm as down equivalents. For general use it’s fine, although you will want to keep moving when it’s truly perishing. The thinner grade of insulation also makes it more versatile and useful for a wider range of conditions as it can easily be worn as a mid-layer below a waterproof jacket when it’s colder without becoming stuffy. It also has excellent windproofing qualities although a strong icy wind on the Kent coast managed to push it to its extreme. The Pertex Quantum GL fabric is incredibly lightweight and as a result does feel a bit fly-away and fragile with a semi-transparent look. Fragility isn’t a problem at all however, as it is incredibly tear-resistant. The highly technical look might not be for everyone, though.

Sizes: XS-XXL
Fabric: Pertex® Quantum GL 10d
Insulation: 60g Primaloft® One
Weight: 327g
Women’s version available: Yes
Contact: 01773 601 870; www.rab.uk.com


Berghaus Chulu II

The Chulu is a synthetic insulated top, with a midweight fill made from 50% recycled materials. The cut is fairly simple with no hood, and only a slight drop at the rear to cover your backside as you move. The medium-weight insulation gives it versatility, allowing it to be used as a windproof insulating outer layer, or a mid-layer under a waterproof shell when the weather’s wet and cold. Having said that, it isn’t quite as breathable as some – noticeably so when used as a mid-layer during heavy exertion. And the water-repellent DWR coating isn’t the best, saturating fairly swiftly in rain. On the plus side, the face-fabric is pleasant to the touch, with a matte surface and not too much rustle when moving. A good option as a town jacket, too.

Sizes: S-XXL
Fabric: AquaFoil
Insulation: Primaloft® Eco
Weight: 483g
Women’s version available: Yes
Contact: 0191 516 5700; www.berghaus.com


Mountain Equipment Arete

The Arete is noticeably very warm, making it suitable both for the coldest days and less strenuous winter walks. It’s pitched as a mid-layer replacement for your fleece, but it will need to be a fairly icy day for you to avoid being too warm if you’re wrapped in the Arete under a waterproof shell layer. The jacket feels well padded with insulation, especially around the collar, which helps to keep the wind out. As a functional item of clothing the Arete performs well, with an internal zip pocket and two zipped handwarmer pockets. This adds to the jacket’s bulk a little, but also boosts its practicality. Its construction also minimises down-leakage, with fewer feathers poking through the baffle stitching than with rival jackets. Overall, it wins because it manages to balance its light weight with durability, and the practicality of zip pockets.

Sizes: S-XXL
Fabric: He30.rs
Insulation: 675 90/10 pure down
Weight: 435g
Women’s version available: Yes
Contact: 0161 366 5020; www.mountain-equipment.co.uk


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


Outdoor Research Transcendence Hoody

A down jacket with a hood, and it’s insulated too, which really adds critical extra warmth when needed. There’s a decent amount of cinch adjustment on the inside of the collar as well as at the back of the hood itself to help achieve a good fit and seal out the wind. Elasticated cuffs also assist with the seal, but strangely, there’s no cinch adjustment around the hem, and so the wind can billow in from underneath. Down-leakage wasn’t too bad, although lofting did noticeably drop from around the forearms after some prolonged use and stuffing/unstuffing into a rucksack. Inside there are a couple of mesh stash-style pockets suitable for holding gloves, although the lack of a zip means you wouldn’t really want to tuck away anything too valuable.

Sizes: S-XXL
Fabric: Ultralight 20D recycled polyester
Insulation: 650+ fill down
Weight: 437g
Women’s version available: Yes
Contact: 0191 296 0212; www.outdoorresearch.co.uk


Salomon Minim

A very light down jacket, the Minim feels a lot lighter than its actual figures. But it is remarkably warm despite its weight. The lightness is in part due to the Pertex Quantum face-fabric used, as well as an absence of zips on pockets and other bulk-boosting additions. Only one chest pocket has a zip closure, with two handwarmer pockets going without. In an effort to save bulk, deliberately slimline zips have been used and as a result, their durability is compromised, especially when stuffing the jacket into the chest pocket. Unfortunately, the fine weave of the Pertex and the additional stitching used in the jacket’s construction pushes up the price, while feather-loss through the stitching and even through the fabric was noticable. After a day wearing a light pack, in the snow, it did feel a little like it was shedding in preparation for an early summer.

Sizes: S-XXL
Fabric: Pertex® Quantum
Insulation: Down
Weight: 358g
Women’s version available: Yes
Contact: 01773 601 870; www.salomon.com


Berghaus Mount Asgard Smock 2011

With outdoors clothing, it’s on-the-hill performance that really counts when you’re battling against the conditions to reach the summit of a mountain. But it may come as a surprise to hear that not all outdoor gear is actually designed with performance high on the agenda, as price and fashion can be what determines if a product is a hit or a miss with the buying public.
So it is great that Berghaus has introduced the MntHaus range, which focuses on innovation and is ‘designed to push the boundaries’. The MntHaus range currently comprises of just three products, which were developed by a bespoke team at Berghaus. Multiple prototypes were made and tested before the final designs went into production. The result is the Octans 40 adventure racing pack, the Extrem Yeti Pro gaiter and the Mount Asgard Smock, featured here, which was developed with climber Leo Houlding over a period of 18 months.
Weighing in at just 290g (size L), the Mount Asgard Smock is a tidy garment. It is made from Gore-Tex Pro Shell and is designed as an emergency shell for climbers. Despite the low weight it has a helmet-compatible hood that is said to automatically adapt to the wearer’s head.
I took the Berghaus Mount Asgard Smock out into the Lake District for some climbing, and first impressions were that it has the best freedom of movement in the sleeves that I have ever experienced. This movement is coupled with a close fit and a no-stretch fabric, which just proves the power of the MtnHaus design process.
There are two drawcords for the hood, and these provided a close fit that again allowed unprecedented levels of movement. I also liked the fact that you didn’t have to zip up the short front zip to encourage the hood to fit, so I could vent the jacket and have head protection at the same time.

Price £220
Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell, with microgrid backer
Inner none
Sizes S-XXL
Weight 290g (size L)
Made in China
Stockist details – tel. (0191) 516 5700; www.berghaus.com

The Berghaus Mount Asgard Smock is a definite hit that’s comfortable, and has great freedom of movement in the arms and a well-designed hood. It will appeal to climbers and weight-conscious scramblers.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2011





Paramo Alta II

Páramo makes some of the most breathable waterproofs on the market, so if breathability is your biggest concern, the Alta II could be the waterproof for you. The Analogy fabric is almost rustle-free and so comfortable and breathable you’ll feel happy wearing it even if it’s not raining. The fabric is really easy to move around in, is totally waterproof, and if you need extra ventilation there’s a two-way front zip and two upper arm vents to provide a flow of air. It comes with a lovely deep hood that swivels easily when you turn your head and it has a good wired peak too. Five decent-sized pockets, including one that will easily take an OS map, are really useful for hats, gloves and snacks.

VITAL STATS
Sizes
: XS-XL
Fabric: Analogy Waterproof by Nikwax®
Weight: 675g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01892 786 444; www.paramo.co.uk 


Montane Venture

The Venture stands out from most of others, not only because of its technical performance, but because it is lightweight and very packable too. It’s a great looking jacket, made from lightweight yet reassuringly durable fabric. There’s a high collar to bury your face into when the weather turns nasty, with a soft fleece lining under the chin. And most importantly, the eVENT fabric breathes well and keeps water on the outside where it should be. Two really large pockets are well-placed for access when wearing a pack, although for those that like a bit of extra venting, note that the pockets aren’t mesh-lined and there aren’t any pit-zips

VITAL STATS
Sizes: 6-16
Fabric: eVENT® Hurricane 3-layer
Weight: 350g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01670 522300: www.montane.co.uk