MOUN­TAIN EQUIP­MENT ARETE HOODED £160

Down in­su­la­tion is ex­tremely ef­fi­cient, so is this lightweight jacket the best op­tion for stash­ing in your ruck­sack as a back-up jacket?

Trail (UK) - - INSULATED JACKETS - Tester Gra­ham Thomp­son

■ Ma­te­ria● 700 fill power down ■ Me■’s S-XXL ■ Wome■’s 8-16 ■ Weight 370g (M)

The use of 700 fill IT'S GOOD power down in­side this jacket en­sures that it is very lightweight. It also packs down small, and both of these fea­tures make it great for stash­ing in a ruck­sack just in case you need it on the top of the moun­tain. The level of in­su­la­tion is less than the heav­ier, syn­thetic Montane jacket fea­tured here, but more than fleece, mak­ing this a great gen­eral-pur­pose jacket for au­tumn and spring. And for me it is just about warm enough for mild win­ter con­di­tions too. The outer is a lightweight He­lium 20 ny­lon which fends off wind bet­ter than fleece and keeps some mois­ture away from the down. The hood and cuffs are only elas­ti­cated, but you do get a hem draw­cord so you can fine-tune the fit more eas­ily than some oth­ers. There are just two main pock­ets and these are placed low to make them good for hand-warm­ing. The price is also more at­trac­tive than some other down jack­ets you could con­sider!

For the depths of HOW­EVER win­ter you may need some­thing even warmer if camp­ing in snow or sit­ting around for long pe­ri­ods high on a snowy moun­tain. As the Arete uses down, lots more care is needed to en­sure this jacket stays dry, as its in­su­lat­ing per­for­mance drops off dra­mat­i­cally if it does get wet. Also, of course, this is not as breath­able as a more open knit fleece, so it’s not one for wear­ing while walk­ing. While the fit is okay, the hood dis­ap­points in this area and did not turn eas­ily with my head. Also some ad­just­ment on the hood and cuffs would be a real ben­e­fit. The pock­ets are okay, but again on other jack­ets these are placed higher or are big­ger or there is a third chest pocket. There are some nig­gles with this jacket and you can get low­er­priced fleece or syn­thetic jack­ets if cash is tight.

Ideal for stow­ing in a VER­DICT pack year-round just in case it gets chilly, but some lower-priced jack­ets are warmer or per­form bet­ter if damp.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.