Montane Dyno Jacket

Just in for test in Montane’s new Dyno Jacket. This impressed on a showroom visit a while back and I’m glad to say the production version looks plenty nice and large is a nice fit. Oh I hate having to wedge myself into a size medium sample…

What have we got? Well, on the face of it, a General Issue softshell with regulation features such as hood and two chest pockets. But as ever, there lurks within, facts and features at which one can raise an eyebrow, purse lips,  even place a hand upon the hip and throw ones head back to the sounds of a theatrical laugh.

The fabric they’re using is a good talking point, it’s Pertex Equilibrium ECO. It’s got great moisture management, whether it’s coming from inside or outside, and decent wind resistance with a little bit of stretch. But that ECO tag means that’s it’s both recycled and recyclable, surely the way forward for any “man made” fabric?
There’s more here than a green stamp of course, it’s got the no-frills practical spec that you expect from Montane too.

Those chunky red YKK zips are nice for a couple of reasons. All we seem to get these days are the water resistant types, or fine toothed/coiled reversed zips, so a change is good, and it’s the sound they make too: ZZZZZRRRRRPP! They say “I’m a big zip, get oot ma face” without apology. Refreshing to see and reassuring in the hand.
The cut is good, Montane are increasingly dialing the whole range into an athletic fit, I hope this follows through to the older models like the Featherlite. I’m no Hen Broon, but slimmer fit is always better, and lighter too mind.
The hood below has a wired peak, so the Dyno is intended as your all-day outer layer. It’s a good hood, nice fit with good protection, good adjustment around the face, a wee velcro tab for volume adjustment at the back of the head (which really should be a drawcord these days) and it rolls away , secured with a velcro tab.
A lovely wee touch is the soft lycra patches against your wrist. It feels nice and gives a close fit without any pressure as well.

I haven’t weighed it yet, but Montane’s 375g doesn’t sound over-optimistic, and at £90 I reckon this is going to put the frighteners on a few folk whose similar models are well past the ton.
It’s got the new embroidered logo too. Aye, much better.

More later.

45 thoughts on “Montane Dyno Jacket

  1. Now THAT is how to build a softshell. A hood (and a proper one at that), no membrane and a decent fabric. Round of applause for Montane. Everyone else please take note. Brilliant. I’ll be having one.

    Pity they’ve released it a few months too late, I could have done with it at the beginning of winter.

  2. I’m not sure any softshell really finds a place in my kit – it would have to sneak in between the simple windproof and a Paramo Velez Adventure Light and I’m not sure there’s really a gap… but if I did want something I can see the appeal of this one – Holdfast summed it up with “a hood, no membrane and a decent fabric” :)

  3. I used to be of the opinion that a jacket considered to be a shell needed to have a hood, now having tried a softshell with a hood and one without I’m not convinced that a softshell needs a hood at all. IMO when it’s cold enough or wet enough that beanie/mountain cap or whatever can’t cut it you more than likely need something more waterproof than a soft shell anyway.

    I see softshell functioning like a thin windproof fleece rather than a more breathable alternative to a waterproof layer, something that means you don’t need a windshirt rather than something that means you don’t need a waterproof.

    Coincidently my hoodless softshell is similar to the Dyno, it’s a Montane softshell from a while back, might have been a Dynamo or an earlier version of the Dyno. Made from IBQ Thermaskin and with a chunky zip just the the new one.

  4. I’ve been looking for a soft shell for a while. I sweat loads and find wind shells run out of puff on the breathability stakes, leaving me a lot wetter on the inside, but I still need to keep the wind off.
    How robust is the fabric? I’d be looking at using it scrambling too.
    I love chunky zips, get fed up of those fine ones pulling apart.

  5. Softshell is quite a devisive subject isn’t it? It’s never really found a spot to stick it’s flag in and say “That’s me”.
    So I try to take each sample on it’s own merit, and this does seem like a tough mountain jacket, of which we will find out more soon enough.
    The hood thing is interesting, I’ve got an Arc’teryx softshell in for test (first look tomorrow) which is hoodless, so I’ll be running them agaisnt each other and I have a feeling it won’t make any difference to me. Most of the time I’m going about wearing a battered cotton camo cap and a buff!

    The Dyno is nice on though, I like gear that you pull on and it doesn’t impose upon you, it’s just there.
    I wonder if that’s a lightweight thing as well?

  6. It’s ordinary production as far as I know, it came with the regular swing tags and labels.
    A lot of my kit scome with Salesman Sample Not For Re-Sale all over it :o)

    The colours look pretty good on my monitor, maybe just a shade dark if that helps?

  7. It is devisive and what you’re saying is right. It’s hard to define just where it sits, even the manufaturers don’t seem quite sure which is probably why in comes in so many forms. Maybe they (or we) just expect too much from one garment.

    I think windshirts are starting to suffer from the ‘jack of all trades’ syndrome, they used to be only windproof but very very breathable, now they’re trying to make them showerproof as well and like Chasetrailbuilda I find some of the more technical Pertex fabrics used in windshirts aren’t breathable enough or more accurately because of various DWR coatings allow moisture to bead, even on the inside and stay wet rather than letting it spread and dry.

  8. Well you could always consider it a deluxe wind shirt :) Sort of to replace wind shirts when you’ll be wearing them much of the time/can afford the extra weight as a day trip or something.

    Having just ordered myself an alpine pull on (as a deluxe wind shirt) I doubt I can justify this too, although they do seem to be somewhat different breeds of Equilibirum :)

    They do certainly make powershield etc look very pricy.

  9. “Will my softshell fit the conditions?” That’s the big issue as they’re wear-all-day items, and the best will be able to do that, having a balance between protection and comfort when you’re not in amongst the weather.

    Incidentally, I’ve got some windshirt stuff coming up, I’ve been all impressed by one in particular!

  10. Martin, thats exactly how I’m using my hoodless softshell and it works much better than I expected, I’d go as far as to say I’m impressed.

    New windshirts? you’re impressed by one in particular?

    Sounds interesting, if it’s lighter or the same as a Montane Jetstream but more breathable then I’m very interested.

  11. I bet those 12g difference are expensive grams ;-)

    What would really interest me is if you can place it over a glass of hot water without water beading on the inside….

    That would definitely get my attention :-)

  12. If you look at softshell in the market place, and that doesn’t include windshirts etc, and totally removed it would you really miss it. It seemed to appear from knowhere and is everywhere now but although i like the pants the traditional layering system for your top half still gets my vote for versatility/performance.

  13. It’s a good point coops. That’s why I think the best ones are wearable across a range of temperatures and conditions.
    The Dyno will be great on the hill right now and on a walk on a misty spring morning. But a Windstopper monster with a helmet hood is too specific for me and what I get up to.
    Like you say, versatility is the thing.

  14. I had a ME Windstopper job for 2 years and wore it a handful of times, barely used. Cost a lot of mullah. Here’s the thing started Winter Climbing this year, and I finally get it! It’s just not hillwalking gear in my opinion…

  15. I’ve got the Cirrus which is the plain pull-on, there’s a full zip version and a full-zip roll-away hood version called the Nimbus which might be the one?

    It really is a case of Rab meeting Montane after school for a square go :o)

  16. The nimbus does seem to be a hooded microlight thing. 235g though? Did they get Montane to weigh it for them or something?!

    At that weight really can’t see why you’d get one and not an Alpine. (or a lightspeed!)

    I actually found some Alpine pull ons to try on in Go Outdoors but I’m ordering one through my local independent :) I suppose the climbers shop etc will likely get both in to try soon enough.

  17. Hmm, this looks nice. Similar sort of fabric to the Haglofs Viper, perhaps? Be interesting to see how they compare.

    Softshell gets knocked around a bit, but part of that is just forum fashion and most of it’s just confusion. Some stuff is there just to be a stretchy and slightly more breathable alternative to a hardshell (arc’teryx venta SV, the old Haglofs Sharkfin hood, etc). Certainly I never pack overtrousers with my sharkfin pants no matter how bad the weather. Some stuff there is as a stretchy, more water resistant and more abrasion resistant alternative to a windshell jacket/trousers (my ME Combin pants, this new Lizard top from the Haglofs wizards. I WANT ONE). Admittedly there’s a lot of stuff in them middle, some of which fails the “what’s the point?” test, but it doesn’t take much imagination to work most stuff out there into your layering system.

  18. I’m glad the Alpine Pull-On made it to production Martin, I liked it. It’ll be good to see how you get on with it.

    ACS, you’ve kind of spelled it out there. Membrane Softshell as your outer layers, and woven if you’re expecting to layer.
    I rarely take softshell tops on overnighters, I think I subconsciously expent them to not be as warm at camp and still be damp in the morning.
    I shall test that theory shortly.

  19. Found the green one – so is there a black one too, or is there now black trim on the green one? Don’t like the green. Don’t like green in general. I got traumatised going to a school with a green uniform :-(

  20. Ah but what the new site does say (mouse over the fabric symbols) is: Abrasion resistance 20,000+ at 12.5k PA (BS EN ISO 12947-2). Now I have absolutely no idea what that means :) However microlight seems to be twice that. (air permeability figures/fabric weights etc too.).

    So you wonder over to Haglofs site and see the viper II is 76% Cordura and so presumably rather tough.

    Really handy sites really. Its a shame that not every manufacturer seems to like being so helpful on their websites :)

  21. I’m always banging on about how all Polatec 100’s aren’t the same etc, and the two sites you mention are one of the few manufacturers sites where you can see the differences without digging.
    Some of the info on some of the big brands websites is atrocious.

  22. the info i posted was on the hikelite website. i found that value to be , uh, somewhat low, so i checked it against the female version they also stock. they female dyno has a durability value of 7/10. i’ve emailed them about the discrepancy and am waiting to hear back from them.

    with a value of 4, just looking at it should cause it to unravel!

    the haglofs viper, as martin mentions, utilizes cordura which probably also accounts for the 150+ gm difference between the two jackets!

    have you worn the dyno out into the wilderness yet, pete?

    martin, have you found a place that stocks the red RAB alpine pull-on? also, do you know how tough the fabric is?

  23. The durability issue is an interesting one with the Pertex Equilibrium fabric. I have an earlier Montane softshell (Terra Stretch Shirt) which uses Stretch Equilibrium (plus another fabric reinforcing the shoulders), and also a pair of trousers in the Stretch Equilibrium fabric. On experience with these over a number of years I’d say the fabric is less durable than most. It is primarily cosmetic, bobbling of the fabric by hipbelts or other areas of abrasion. My Montane Litepeed windshirt has seen vastly more use but has been much less susceptible to damage.

    The stretch fabric may be more prone to damage that the non stretch version?

    As far as the softshell debate goes with these items, personally I’m not sure its a one size fits all conditions for the Dyno. For example, the Stretch Equilibrium fabric (presumably similar to the Equilibrium ECO) is moderately wind resistant, so under some conditions (strong cold wind) a simple windproof would actually be warmer. So, in practice I tend to use it dependent on conditions, and carry it as my mid layer in the warmer months of the year (because it has less insulation than a 100 weight fleece).

  24. I’d forgotten about the Terra shirt!

    That all makes sense rp610.
    And when you mention about the wind going through the fabric? There really is no sensation quite like the point where a softshell reaches the limits of it’s protection, the cold comes straight through and no amount of pulling up zips and fastening pockets will help you.

  25. I think softshell wins hardshell every time for high intensity exercise out in cold wet weather. Your going to get wet from either sweat or rain, so it’s a matter of moisture management and from my experience softshell keeps me warmer, dries out quicker and it doesn’t flap around in the wind.

    I’m currently using the Haglofs Halo jacket and it has a good mix of Flexable (like the Lizard) and stretchy Windstopper on the front, great for when your running against cold windy rain! It hasn’t failed me yet and the DWR is spot on. Well designed for it’s purpose, but would I wear it for fell walking? I’m not sure… I would normally take a windshirt and micro fleece.

  26. Aye, keeping the speed up in a wet wind shirt and a base layer is always surprisingly comfy.

    I’ve had a Halo on test for ages and I love it, it’s the most uncomromisingly technical clothing piece I’ve used I think.

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  29. It’s a nice garment it, will always be in my pack for 3 seasons and wildcamping for the lightness.

    Quick question though, does anyone else find that the bottom zip can ride up an inch or two whilst walking? Find it a tad annoying.

  30. I can’t remember if mine did that or not, but it is something that happens with a few doubled ended zips, annoying like you say and makes you look untidy!

    btw, visited Montane a couple of weeks ago, I’ll have a feature up this week. Hopefully.

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