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