Montane Winter 2010/11

Once again I got my passport stamped at the border and followed a trail of breadcrumbs to the secret Montane bunker in the Lakes. What was in there in glorious 3D Technicolour was the winter 2010/11 winter kit, including a bunch of all-new stuff. 

The eVent Evolution above that usurped the Super-Fly has been tweaked and stays in the range, and as you can see it sports the revised Montane logo and branding. It’s now embroidered and looks much better than the current printed version that does look a bit like a free temporary tattoo.
eVent is strong in the range, so scaremongering regarding its imminent demise should be read with a raised eyebrow for the time being.

Below we have the much revised and much improved Super-Fly XT. The old version had a great hood, nice big pockets, but I though it was a bit heavy and baggy unless you were layered up in abundance underneath it. This version is much cleaner, it feels smooth, uncluttered and lighter too, at 580g for the sample. It feels a little more “alpine”, and I don’t know if this is the influence of the new ex-Mountain Equipment designer, or just the result of tidying up the jacket, but it’s a good move I think.

Above we have the azure and steel versions of the new ladies eVent Venture shell, and below my mate Stuart Smith from Adventure in Mind who came along for the ride, sporting the new mens version in black.
I know the Venture has a lot of fans, but I have to say that while the fabric can’t be faulted, it does look helluva clunky. The new version is cleaner, lighter, has the same Hurricane 3-Layer eVent with the microtaped seams that Montane are using throughout the range, same two big chest pockets and now with a face you can take home to your mother. Unlike myself who is wearing the Moroccan Blue with orange zips version a bit further down.

Paul (who regular listeners will know as Montane’s man-in-a-hat) and Stuart are wondering how some pastry icing got onto the MRT version of the Super-Fly XT, and it wasn’t me I can tell you. It’s in Alpine Red with extra reflective detailing. I like reflecto on my gear, at camp and at night hikes it soon becomes vital (never mind how much it’s needed on MRT kit), and a recent conversation with a day-only person who saw no need for it at all reminded me about how many features are either lost in translation or misunderstood. “I don’t use/like that, so it’s rubbish” No, no, no.

Below is the eVent Angel jacket, the ladies cut of the Evolution and in a fine set of colours too. There’s a steel as well, but well, you know me.
It’s nice and long, and I like the hood. Montane’s hoods really are much improved these days. Try wearing one of the current, or even recent shells in a storm, then go back to a first generation Super-Fly in the same weather. You’ll cry.
Anyway, 375g for a jacket well able to fend off winter with three chest pockets is bloody good.

We all know of the imminent and inexplicable demise of Haglöfs LIM Barrier pullover, but  we also know that everyone and their donkey has produced their own model to try and fill the void. Most of them are very close on features and materials, Pertex or Pertex-a-like and Primaloft, so it may come down to fit and price. Montane go a little further though, still Pertex (Quantum Ripstop and Quantum Core), but the Primaloft is 40g ECO recycled and there’s no pocket at all. So the 240g Fireball Smock really is about as minimal as you’re going to get, a little lighter and a little smaller packing that the others, but just as warm.
It’ll be interesting to see the forum debates about “Do I need a pocket?” when all the new models hit the street later this year. I like it, it’s proper fast and light, stowable insulation with no penalties to endure when it’s in your pack. Double ended zip too for venting and getting at pockets without losing heat.

Above is the new Anti-Freeze down jacket. The sample is 410g and is filled with 170g of 93/7 Ukranian goose down, 800+ fill (US). The fabric is Freeflow Ultralite which has a decent water repellency.
There’s a Napoleon pocket on the left chest, drop tail, adjustable cuffs, neck and hem.
Below is the all-new North Star XT, the “Mountain Enforcer” version of the current and very successful North Star, which also stays in the range (ladies version in purple below).
The down and fabric details are the same as the Anti-Freeze above, but the XT adds Entrant V waterproof reinforcements to the shoulders, hips and forearms. Also as the Anti-Freeze it comes with a waterproof stuffsack, but adds water resistant zips.
It’s a bit beefier than the North Star at 685g, but the extra protection and less worry that it brings will probably prove popular. The good news is that it comes with that cracking black outer/red inner combo as well.

Above and below are the Bionic long sleeves baselayers. These come with a 62% polyester/ 38% merino mix fabric. I’ve used this fabric plenty and it works very well, and the long sleeve is an existing model in nice new colours, but the zip neck below is all-new.
The zip’s a good length for venting, the cuffs have reflective flashes for evening runners, and it’s a nice looking bit of kit. The ladies colourways are just doon below a wee bit.

The Dragonfly below continues as a good heavy base or light mid layer, or is that still “Expedition Baselayer” in common parlance? Whatever, an orange jumper is always worth a mention, and the other new colourways are neat.

Below is the ladies version, the Mayfly. As always we see the best colours of their side of the fence.

I’ve been wearing an Extreme Smock (which has changed my mind about several things), which I’ll review properly when winter’s done, and Montane has added more to the range for next year, with further plans for beyond I believe…

Above Stuart is confused by the heat generated inside the new Resolute Smock. The proper fixed hood. cordura reinforcements, weatherproof EPIC fabric and water resistant zips make this a step-up from the other Extreme kit. It’s Arctic expedition kit this, and whether or not you have a use for it you kinda feel like you want one. Just in case it goes all “The Day After Tomorrow”.
Below is the wummins version of the Extreme jacket. There are colour options across the range, the obvious black and olive sits with red, moroccan blue and the berry below. Demand such choice from your local emporium.

You can also have Extreme legs. The new Pants are above, big long double-ended leg zips for venting and easy on-off in the tent, multiple pockets and mighty reinforcement.
The Salopettes are below, the add full length side zips and handy chest pockets.
I can see why pro’s wear this stuff, if you’re hanging about watching a bunch of folk practising ice axe arrest or abseiling day after day, the toughness and warmth at rest is right on the money.

Also part of the Exreme range, there’s a welcome return of the Krypton name to the Montane line-up. This is a 375g Pertex outer/Dryactive inner mountain softshell. Think Vapour Rise.
Proper hood, chest pockets, wee sleeve pocket, adjustable cuffs and all-day wearability and comfort. There’s black and the red you can see on the table. This is going to be another “Is the Krypton better than…” on the forums when it comes out.

The Flux gets a new colour for the men, that dark green colour above, but the new woman’s Flux gets some cracking colours, the Red above and the two seen below. But girls don’t get the napoleon pockets. I’m assuming they’re seeing a conflict between biology and storage options here. It does bring the weight down to 450g though, 70g lighter than the mens.
The outer is an interesting mix of Pertex Microlight Mini Rip-Stop and Toray KUDOS XR, and I don’t know if I’ve seen the two manufacturers mixed on the same bit of kit before? The fill is Primaloft ECO 60g and 40g which I’ve found warm enough at rest, but also wearable on the move through winter on the colder days. And nights!
I’ve had a current season one on test for a while, it’s been well used and I’ll have an update soon. Great kit.

 

Above is the Chukchi Shirt for the girls. It’s a dead simple Polartec mircofleece pull-on. Great colours, 175g and altogether much nicer than the blokes version.
Below is the lovely berry coloured wummins Vixen Jacket. It’s in Polartec Thermal Pro High Void (the purple furry bit) and Dryacriv Stretch. It’s got a nicely fitted cut and it looks great. Aye, it’s still technical, but it’s nice to see something that makes you grin because its fun as well.

What the hell is that on my head? That’s the new Featherlite Mountain Cap, a Pertex Microlight Shell with a 40g Primaloft ECO fill, all quilted to keep the insulation neat and in place.
It’s got a proper peak, drawcord at the rear, neck loop, reflective detailing and weighs 45g. Yeah, I want one too.

Those boys below are the Extreme Glove. Pertex 6, Dyactiv 2000 pile inner and Primaloft on the back of your hand.
Dexterity and fit is very good indeed, and the features include all the details you look for, nose-wipe, security/hang loops, adjustment,grip.
Not waterproof, at the temperatutres you’ll be wearing the they don’t need to be, and they’ll be much more breathable for it.

The Extreme Mitt above follows the Extreme Glove in terms of materials and design, but as a mitt it’s be toasty and great for well, extreme conditions. 130g a pair too.

Below is the Resolute Mitt. It’s a combo set-up with an eVent waterproof outer, Hypalon grip surfaces, nose wipe, cuff and wrist adjustment.
The inner is a Pertex 6/Dryactiv 2000 pile “lobster” mitt with an elasticated wrist. Modular systems for your hands are ideal so you’re not faffing around changing gloves, and this slightly different take looks like a good one. 250g for the whole set up.
The eVent outers aren’t down for being available separately, but I think they probably should be…

Stuart and I both tried to steal these, Powerdry Gloves. Simple Polartec liners with well shaped fingers and great articulation. The grips on the fingertips are little Montane logos and there’s reflecto on the back too.
Magic.

 The Pace Cap above is an eVent baseball cap with reflective trim, elastic drawcord adjustment, inner fleece headband and a weight of 45g.
The Knitted Beanie’s below are a 50/50 wool/acrylic blend and have a neat six-seam crown for smoothness in looks and under a hood too.
Nice, it’ll make a change from seeing the usual suspects logos on folks nappers on the hill. Or at the Tiso cafe.

That’s the new Mantra Jacket above. It’s in Polartec Powershield with three pockets, velcro cuffs, reversed zips for smoothness and adjustable hem and collar.
I like the mantra’s subtle grey zips, it contrasts well with the new sexed-up Sabretooth below. The new Sabretooth’s Powershield fabric feels tougher with slightly less stretch, not a problem as the articulation is already good. the hood’s had a tweak with a wired peak and volume adjustment now present and correct. It feels more like an outer layer now, rather than a midlayer that punches above its weight.
It also looks a bit like Gary Numan’s Telekon outfit, so it’s a win/win.

That’s the girls Mantra jacket above which i think looks brilliant. The contrasting stitching brings out the shape of the jacket and it’s just dead classy I think. Again Polartec Powershield, and all the same adjustments.
The weight is 430g which is fine for a softshell.

Last word goes to a classic, a legend you might say. The Terra Pant.
There’s been a lot of subtle changes to these over the years, detailing more than anything, but the belt not being trapped in that full length waist-channel was the best upgrade ever.
The guys get the two-tone midnight blue above, and the girls get chocolate and gray below. My initial reaction to the girls colours were that they were Star Wars uniforms, possible Hoth and Endor. I was assured this was not the case. I still have my doubts though. 

I can see a change running through the range. there is a new direction in there, albeit subtle. There’s also a confidence evident, from the range of accessories, to the use of alternative fabrics to the norm, to the colours and the “our way” attitude. Even things like the fit of the clothing, slimmer, less compromise.
It’ll be interesting to see where Montane are heading over the next couple of years.

126 thoughts on “Montane Winter 2010/11

  1. Well done, ptc*, and to cap it all, you’ve created a time-warp, so our posts are going in the middle of the conversation ‘earlier’ this evening.

    Cracking :-)

  2. Never mind. Either the two different time streams will merge at the original 23:33 this evening and we’ll not know we were in two parallel time streams, or we’ll continue in our parallel stream and the others will remain in theirs. That could prove interesting, we’ll be living about 2 hours in the past.

  3. all-new site! Cool…
    Now, can you please point me in the direction of your of stuff from spring/summer 10? I need cheering up with new stuff. It should be out soon eh? (I’ll allow myself 1 piece of kit). I’m meant to be on a shopping ban since Christmas but so far I’ve bought loads of thread & materials (eBay though so that’s allowed), 2 cycling tops, 3 t-shirts, a pair of cycling socks & 2 necklaces. Oh and a pair of gutties. :o)

  4. Aye I found that Haglofs post and remembered the girls Lute shirt (the check one). It’s lovely and different and I like it. I hope it’s available somewhere!
    Yeah I’ll spend a wee bit from my kit fund, it’s my birthday soon [21! :o) ], and hopefully the birthday fairy will be better than Santa! (I’m not holding out much hope though). :o)

  5. Is this here website experiencing a malfunction? I’m getting errors when trying to post. So I try to remember what I typed and then the first post I done appeared above, so if I end up with multiple posts that look the same just delete them.

  6. Got the minimus vest today and a bit of a shock tbh. I did want the ultra at first, i would have probably have fainted at the emptiness i could have been holding if i had bought that. The good old days of quality products being heavy and substantial to prove their value is long gone i know. I thought god it feels light and flimsy and devoid of feathers, so i weighed it and yes same as phd’s website, put my mind at ease. So are people who own one in the same position thinking like me or is this first bit of phd kit syndrome. It does seem sparse of feathers though, more so at the front, are they all like that or am i just flapping a bit? Put my mind at rest guys and girls

  7. I know what you mean, you unpack PHD kit and wonder if they’ve forgotten to put in the down.
    The only really “fat” bit of kit I’ve got from them is the Combi sleeping bag, but the kit is all warm, and it does fill-out visually when you use it.
    Let us know how you get on with it though.

  8. I love the way PHD kit arrives squished, looks pathetic when first released, then with the help of the occasional joggle gradually swells until its full glorious downy loft is revealed :-)

  9. Cheers for info. Sat in it on my pc now and it is mega warm, i will try it outside tommorrow. Kate have you got a Yukon jacket and what do you think of it as i have a Rab i may sell as it is too big for me now and get something that fits better, and that could be on my shortlist.

  10. Oh, it is!! :))
    I used mine today for lunch on Y Foel Goch, on the way up Glyder Fach… took the chill right off, quite toasty in it. Even the hood did its job well (I’m not a great fan of hoods but it kind of fell onto my head as I put it on :)

    Mine’s the smock in Drishell with the 800 fill down that comes up in the sale quite often (iirc it was about £140, a bargain). I know Kate has the same. It weighs about 540g, packs down to just over half fill one of those yellow Exped drybags, and reckons to suffice at -15C – I use mine in Norway too and I’m pretty confident that it would.

    If there’s anything to flag up at all, the detachable hood is a bit pointy and basic in shape, but still pretty effective. I know that one or two other jackets (Montane?) put a bit more construction into the hood shape. But that’s not something that bothers me.

  11. If you were recommending a full jacket with hood what would go for YUKON/HAGLOFS LIM DOWN/RAB NEUTRINO or owt else. I want something comfortable to about -10 to -15 that packs down smallish.

  12. Only 5 PHD down jackets/smocks/gilets (plus one Klattermusen) and 6 PHD bags at the last count… :))

    Of the tops only the Yukon was a sale purchase (just loyalty discount on most of the rest), but 4 of the bags were on sale or offer, and if they’d arisen in a different order then I may well only have 4 rather than 6.

  13. :o)

    Agree about the hoods, the one on my Minumus is a bit basic, plenty warm, but could do with a bit of updating.

    The Ran Neutrino hood is on here on the Creah Meagaidh post, its very good. The Haglofs LIM hood is huge and warm, probably sarcastically so for the UK!

  14. Pete is the Haglofs Lim down vest warmer than the minimus. Not overly impressed by the warmth of minimus tbh and am going to return it. Not noticably warmer, to me, than my Haglofs barrier jacket, so a little underwelmed to say the least. Is there anything other than the Lim you would recommend. Cheers again

  15. coops, I have a Lim down vest and can vouch for it’s warmth (like someone has turned the fire up full). I found it too warm when out walking in all the snow we have had recently. It feels a lot warmer than the Barrier Pullover, but I don’t have a minimus to compare them. Hope this helps. By the way, I’ve seen some good discounts on them out on the internet. So get one quick before they disappear, you could always send it back.

  16. Hi coops, they’ve gone fast! I only looked last week. XS, L and XL here: http://www.ultimateoutdoors.co.uk/item/Haglofs_HaglofsLIMDownVest_0_11_29082_1.html I have a list of usual suspects but all the offers are gone. You could keep an eye Outdoor Warehouse and see if they discount it http://www.outdoorwarehouse.co.uk Sorry, I know how you feel, I missed out on the Barrier Pullover last season. Someone else might have an idea of somewhere to get a small at a reasonable price.

  17. ??? Hi Peter, do you have a block on links? I’ve just submitted a post reply to coops but??? It’s disappeared.

    coops After a quick look at all my usual suspects they have sold all the Lims on offer in your size. Try ultimate outdoors – They have xs, l and xl in stock. Outdoor warehouse have them in stock but no offers, but they do discount from time to time, so it could be one to watch.

  18. Thanks Kiff, noticed the Outdoorwarehouse one and may try and get a bit off, if no joy elsewhere. There is a recession on after all, but never on anything i want :0(

  19. Poast with more than one link sometimes get flagged up as potentially dodgy and I have to OK them, nothing personal :o)

    I have to say the LIM vest is the fattest vest I’ve used, th new OMM Finch vest is going to be similar, but it’s months away. PHD
    That’s a bummer that you don’t fancy the PHD, and it is very hard to rate or even describe how warm a vest is.

    These are the last LIM’s in grey and yellow remember!

  20. A bit gutted tbh Pete. It was an item i umd and ahd over for a while and not what i was expecting after getting it. Still the balance of kit purchases is well into the positives as more of the things i have got recently have been way over my expectations so i am happy on that score. So your still winning about 10-1 on recommendations pal.

  21. Ordered a Haglofs Lim down vest from a place i recommended last year after getting great service and great discount on some haglofs gear. They are back up and running after having website issues. So if you want some good Haglofs stuff cheap they will order in for you and you can return it if its not right give them a look. I dealt with a guy called Scott. P.S i’ve nowt to do with em just like good kit cheap.
    http://www.rvops.co.uk/clothing-eyewear-78/haglofs-94/

  22. “There is an awful lot of black gloves with white logos out there”.

    Agreed, can we have the gloves in the blue and orange from the Montane logo?! Just imagine…

    Is the wee genius loop that is evident on the middle finger of the Extreme Gloves (and on my Baltoro’s) also on the Extreme and Resolute Mitts? Hanging your gloves from your rucksack the right way up is mighty dandy when it’s dumping snow!

  23. I though i had found my product nemesis the down vest, hence no. I have ended up with and XS (don’t laugh) last years grey model from ultimate outdoors (ta for the link Kiff). The sizing is very generous as i am not a twiglet, compared to other Haglofs gear. I want to wear mine over just a base layer and microfleece and under maybe a primaloft or goretex top. I know some people prefer the other way round but this is my preferred way. So at last got one that fits and its yellow inside, but i bet it won’t stay that way so thats why they’re black now, lol. I would say i prefer the neck on the PHD minimus though, a bit tighter and that microfleece lining is comfier. Might get one sewn into this if i can get it cheapish. Any links to where may accomadate that idea guys. Thanks

  24. I think I’ve got a Dyno coming in? Hopefully the brighter of the two colour schemes :o)

    Good job coops!
    The wider neck is common oh Haglofs insulation, it lets you zip it right up when you’re wearing hooded layers underneath, once you get used to it you really miss it on other brands kit.

  25. Had it on this aft, tremendous. Do Haglofs make a duff product, i think not. Everything i have got is excellent. Their product range consists of a wide range of gear and to consistently make top stuff covering many differing items & with their manufacturing quality is superb. Cheers Pete for introducing me to this make as its all i seem to buy at the mo and you know its all top quality before you hit buy.

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