Looking at my kit the other day, I realised that I have 5 items of Montane kit – four which I use on a regular basis. I have added to my original purchase of an Atomic DT jacket on a regular basis , with good reason because they are well made, reliable, lightweight garments – ideal for UK conditions.
This a lightweight waterproof jacket weighing only 295g and made from Entrant fabric – a waterproof material which has unique inner surface treatment so does away with a 2 layer coated fabric and lining combination or a 3 – layer laminated material making the garment considerably lighter. In use it has been very waterproof, but you can get some moisture inside the jacket, with strenuous exercise. I solve this by wearing the Montane Lite – Speed windshirt underneath.
Whilst this jacket is not going to be as breathable as an eVent product it is considerably cheaper and lighter and in reality it has not been that much of a problem.
The jacket features an adjustable roll away hood with a reinforced wired peak. It has fully taped seams and two large zipped chest pockets which helps with venting (mesh lined) when not raining too hard.
The jacket has a full length 2 way zip with an internal storm flap and velcro adjustable cuffs.
I have worn this jacket a lot over the last two and half years whilst backpacking and doing day walks and I have yet to observe wear on the shoulders. I have cleaned it and reproof it once and it’s still going strong.
Montane Lite – Speed Hooded Windshirt
This could be my favorite piece of clothing. Made from Pertex Microlight, it is extremely lightweight, versatile, windproof, has a hood, full length zip , a big chest pocket big enough for an OS map and weighs just 165g! and packs to nothing. I take it with me on every trip – just great, I don’t think I need to say any more.
Montane Flux Insulated Jacket
This is the one piece of Montane clothing I don’t wear as much as I use to. Not that it isn’t a good bit of kit, but I now own a PHD Down jacket and there is no comparison in pack size and weight. The Flux weighs 520g and the PHD 360g . The Flux has an excellent hood with a wire peak, one of the best I have seen, two excellent chest pockets and two zipped hand warmer pockets. The fleece lined collar is very comfortable. The insulation is Primaloft used at different fill rates with arms, back, top of hood, side panels, lower front panel using 60g and 40g in the sides of hood, front panel with 2 layers of 40g surrounding hand-warmer pockets.
Where I use this now is on cold rainy days or wet snow days where a down jacket might be susceptible to moisture and compromised.
What I have found is that the jacket is windproof, I remember a particularly windy day on Cross Fell wearing this jacket over my base layer and feeling toasty warm, thinking the hood offer excellent protection from the biting wind. The water repellancy is good and the length of the jacket with the extended tail cuts out draughts. All in all a good jacket, but a bit heavy compared to down, however good when cold wet and windy.
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Sadly, old chap, you’ll have to get in line for the title of “Montane Freak”. Terra Pants, Terra Shorts, Venture pants, Litespeed, Bionic T and Prism 2.0 (sent to me to test by Montane, so at least I did not buy it) and I have been the cause of others to be beguiled by these masters of the light. Just found, almost without me noticing, that Montane just always seemed to make what I wanted. Nice company to deal with too. What do you think of the Flux? Have you seen my reviews of the Prism (414g)? Mac E has purchased one to replace his Flux and seems to see it as being much lighter. I like my Nano Puff as well (260g) for quicker, lighter, less inclement days.
Maz – not far behind you ! See post for my thoughts on the Flux. Montane products are excellent. Good review on the Prism – might be a possible addition/replacement for me. Nano Puff looks good – I have never looked at Patagonia products.
Did you ask Montane for the Prism to test, or did they approach you ?
I’ve had my eye on a Montane Pertex windshirt for a long time. How well does Pertex really breath?
Philip – sorry for the delay in replying – your comment went into spam for some reason. I find Pertex pretty breathable. This is a great windshirt – a number of us in the UK backpacking/walking blogging scene have one – I don’t think you will regret the purchase.
As Maz says I’ve had a Flux for over a year and rate it very highly indeed. Not light compared to a down jacket but so versatile I wear mine every day. I did order a Prism 2.0 but unfortunately they e-mailed me to say they didn’t have Steel Black in stock so I asked for a refund.
I can’t claim to be a Montane fan though, I have a Venture which although it’s a fairly good jacket has an absolutely awful hood, the drawcord doesn’t go all the way around and I find that if I pull the drawcord tight enough to stop it being loose at the forehead it pulls the shoulders up rather than pulling the hood down. I also bought a windshirt (Featherlite Jetstream) that believe it or not suffers from condensation more than my Marmot Essence wayerproof jacket.
I find that Mountain Equipment suits me better, Combin and Ibex softshell trousers, Xero and Lightline duvet jackets and 2x 20 year Ultrafleece jackets.
Yes – I would agree with you on the Flux – great jacket – a little heavy compared to my PHD down jacket. Hood is better on the Flux than the PHD. I guess as with most things, personal preferences will mean that we will agree and disagree on choice of kit – otherwise we would all be wearing the same stuff !!
Totally agree Mark apart from things like fit we all have likes and dislikes. Of course the strength of the Blogging community is that it’s largely free from serious commercial interest so if something is rubbish we can say so without needing to sugar coat it, the flipside of which is if something is recommended then we can be pretty sure that it’s deserving of praise and as we get to know each other’s preferences we can make ever more informed choices.
Long May it Continue.
Yes – I have only been blogging for a month, but I am surprised how much I have learnt from fellow bloggers. Thanks for answering my question on stoves today – I am leaning towards the Spider.