Lightweight, durable, and protective layers are essential for taking on a range of fast-paced adventures in the mountains. Our range of athletes know this only too well and are, more often than not, found exploring a range of challenging environments.
So who better to ask for their Montane gear picks this season? Here are the Montane jackets they will be packing on their adventures this season.
I’ve been using the Phase Nano waterproof since April, l when I received it just in time for the Great Lakeland 3-Day Event. I was able to give it a proper good testing, in some very Lake District-type weather! It performed as I expected - fantastically! It was light, packable, breathable, and highly waterproof.
When you're off disappearing into the mountains for a full day, you need to take a substantial waterproof with you, and for me, it’s now the Phase Nano. I also used it at the Pinnacle Ridge Extreme Race in July, when it hammered it down all day and I was really glad I had the jacket with me. My favourite feature has to be how light and packable it is, you get maximum protection and you don’t feel bogged down with extra pack weight.
I can’t wait for Scottish winter and to put this jacket through its paces. I think it would also be great for cool temperatures in the Autumn and Spring, so could span three seasons and be a versatile piece of outdoor clothing. The synthetic insulation is ideal for the cold, wet climate encountered in the UK.
Initially, I thought the jacket was down with its feel and how packable and lightweight it was, it was only when I read about the jacket I realised it was made of synthetic insulation. The jacket’s fit is great, the hood generous and the pockets are deep. Bring on Scottish winter climbing!
The Alpine Lite 850 boasts impressive warmth for its weight and, combined with a nicely shaped hood, was something I found myself reaching for a lot on my recent climbing expedition to Greenland. The jacket is light enough to clip onto the back of a harness, or stuff in a rucksack as an added extra, but remains a substantial piece of kit when unpacked.
I found it very warm even when it was just worn with something light underneath, but when combined with a mid-layer like the Protium XPD it created an adaptable system that could take on anything. Obviously with a piece this lightweight the concern is normally durability, but I found there were no signs of wear on this jacket after a full expedition of abuse on the coarsest of Greenland granite. Overall, I was really impressed!
The Tour du Mont Blanc was the perfect testing ground for this packable-lightweight Goretex waterproof jacket. One thing I didn't expect is how much we used the Phase Lite as a windproof, as well as a waterproof.
At 2500m the temperatures can be much cooler and some of the high passes like Col du Bonhomme and Col du Seine, were particularly chilly. The Phase is pretty lightweight and packs down small, so it worked perfectly as a waterproof and a windproof.
When you’re heading out running and hiking with minimal space in your bag, you need your kit to be both effective and also to be able to squash down as much as possible! The Anti-Freeze Packable Hooded Down Jacket is toasty, but with its minimal weight and pack down-ability. I was even able to wear it under two small waterproof jackets whilst working in Scotland in the rain at an event!
Generally, am a pretty cold person, and tend to always carry a down jacket layer with me. The jacket has so far worked well in a few different conditions, in the cooler drier evenings in Chamonix and in the wet weather in Scotland. Whilst I wouldn’t suggest that you use this as an outer layer in the wet (there are much more effective Montane Waterproof Jackets for that use), the fact that the outer layer is water-repellent, means that I didn’t have to worry when using it as a mid-layer under a shell jacket. The hood is also a good size with a stiffened peak that sits underneath a waterproof jacket hood too!
After hours of running through the Welsh mountains during the Dragons Back race, the Icarus Lite was the ideal jacket to throw on at camp each night. Once the blazing sun disappeared, temperatures dropped and the Icarus Lite gave me the perfect amount of comfort and warmth that I needed.
I love the stretchy sides making it more breathable and can’t wait to take it out hiking and fastpacking. It will certainly be my go-to insulated jacket for long active days in the hills this autumn and winter!