i have had this jacket for just over a year now and its been through just about everything i can throw at it and it has successfully shrugged off wind, rain, snow and ice the Windstopper insulated shell is a very repellent shield against the elements and with 80g POLARLOFT® Duo insulation it does give a little more warmth than say a soft-shell.
Whats it for?
Mountain Equipment bill this Jacket as a single layer alternative for athletic activities, and when working hard and for this it does perform well
Does it work?
it does perform well and the none insulated softshell wind stopper side panels do help vent a lot of heat when you are working hard up those hills. This feature is a double edged sword because due to the lack of protection from the cold on the side you do struggle to keep warm in this jacket when not working this can be helped with a fleece or extra warm layer to combat this. Other features that let this item down are the poor hood construction and the pointless size of the inside pocket I am led to believe these have been changed in the 2015 model making the hood more articulated and giving it a much needed peak but on the one I own its hood is a bit of a let down as when you are not looking straight a head you are looking at the inside of a hood. Another feature is the cuffs that are stretchy but don’t adjust this needs some consideration also as getting them over your gloves is tricky if needed.
Despite these flaws it does work well when you are smashing out those hills and the hood is very warm and rolls up nicely. From a none technical angle it does look great and has been cut to a decent length and feels great to wear.
This as you would imagine coming from mountain equipment is a solidly constructed shell and it is great for keeping out the elements but the features of this jacket such as the hood let it down and move it from something technical to something closer to a jacket that is closer to a fashion item for a wet dog walk or trip to the pub. this soft-shell side side panels are a cool looking feature but i feel the same would of been achieved with a vent zip and this would maybe prevent the inside pocket filling with condensation when you are really working. this is a piece of kit that is just ‘ok’ at everything you need it for when considering the price at around £190 a pop should be giving you a lot more grunt for your money.
I am aware that the newer 2015 model does have a fully adjustable hood and does have some great new feature but as this one i use is for the 2013/14 model i can only review what i have used. If you have a newer model or this one please let me know in the comments section
Tips for better Winter Walking
Check your Gear
Winter is hard on your body and hard on your gear so before you pull that down jacket off the hanger and dust off those winter boots make sure are they are fit for purpose. Give any down products a fluff up in the tumble dryer and check that your boots have not suffered in storage make sure they are proofed and clean ready to go. Decent preparation is key for any time of the year start making it a habit before a day out on the hills.
A bigger rucksack
More warm kit means you need more room to store it try a slightly bigger pack to accommodate it all. Spare gloves, hat, winter mitts and a cosy down jacket you will need the room and nothing give a boost to your morale more than pulling a big warm jacket out of your bag while you light your stove for a brew. Also the room is needed for all those extra calories try to pick stuff that will still be edible when frozen, frozen solid cheese sandwich? not for me thanks.
People who say they don’t like warm drinks have never been really cold. So if you are one of those people ignore what you feel like drinking sat in your living room and imagine what you want to drink when you are freezing cold and the heat and comfort of home are miles away the only thing you have is a stove or flask for a warm drink. For me it’s almost always a stove but when I do carry a flask it’s always wrapped up in my warm gear in my bag so when I stop I can get them both out and the flask also gets a little extra insulation. If you are carrying water on the outside of your pack and the temp dips below freezing keep your water bottle upside down this will prevent ice blocking the mouth piece as ice will usually start first at the surface.
Check the weather
It’s cold its winter we know that! but how cold? How wet? What do you need to pack? How much daylight have you got? All the information is at your finger tips and there are some great apps to help you get the conditions anytime you need them.
Try http://www.metoffice.co.uk who also have a handy phone app or http://www.mwis.org.uk that lets you down load forecasts to you phone both are free and very handy.
Pay attention to the details
The small things we can often forget can add up to a big problem down the line, bits of kit like lip balm face cream, good sunglasses or a set of goggles are always welcome or that all important spanner to adjust your crampons when using them the first time after lending them to a mate. Things like wet gloves can be a nightmare so packing those extra pairs is always worth it. Maybe a spare battery for your phone as the cold runs them down fast. Its these little tips and hacks that make hard conditions more bearable remember if you are not prepared the cold can be a brutal master so be smart and prepare well. .
If you have any tips or hacks for better winter walking please feel free to comment below otherwise i hope you found this helpful and have a great winter and stay safe on the fells and mountains
Autumn is once again calling us out to the fells lakes and rivers to give us all a taste of its beauty and crisp smells all garnished with a reminder that winter is on its way and that summer was once here.
As the leaves turn and we watch the county side shifts from green to red and golden browns the county side becomes more of a visual treat and the cold begins to snap at us warmer kit is taken off the shelf and got out for the oncoming winter season and something i will be taking off the shelf this autumn ready for the cold snap will be the excellent buffalo mitt
What are they for?
They are mitts you put them on your hands! Now the obvious is out of the way let’s get down to the nitty gritty Buffalo are a company born and bred in…
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9 Ways to Transition from Summer to Fall
As summer is coming to an end, its time to put our bathing suits away and bust out the warmer sleeping bags to prepare for camping in the Fall. With cooler weather, shorter daylight, and more sight seeing, here are 9 ways to transition from Summer to Fall:
Experience warmer climates- Camping in the desert may be too extreme the summer but with the temperature dropping, Spring and Fall are the ultimate seasons to go camping in warmer climates.
Sip hot cocoa-Cooler weather means colder nights and what better way to warm up than with hot cocoa around the campfire!
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