The Montane Hydrogen Direct Jacket is a highly technical, breathable mid layer which is an ideal synthetic choice for alpine climbing, adventure racing, ski touring or for fast and light winter walking in the mountains. The outer fabric is constructed from an open structured Pertex┬« Quantum Air outer which enables the insulation to breathe fully. The lightweight synthetic insulation is Polartec┬« Alpha┬« Direct fleece which has a great warmth to weight ratio plus, as it sits next to the body the fleece offers a powerful wicking action helping to keep you cool and prevent you becoming clammy.
With the arms being articulated, the jacket doesn't restrict your movement and the hood is close fitting and insulated making it ideal to be worn under a climbing helmet. The zipped hand warmer pockets are concealed so they won't be uncomfortable when a harness is being worn and there is a handy left zipped chest pocket for keeping essentials close to hand. All the zips have glove friendly lightweight pulls on them, so you don't have to remove your gloves to access them. To further prevent heat loss the jacket benefits from stretch bound cuffs and an adjustable hem with a two sided drawcord.
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Lovely and light, feels great to wear, does everything the blurb says it does. I can't give it 5 out of 5 though because access to the pockets is restricted by hip belt, and also--much more important--the cuffs are elasticated and not adjustable. I suspect that when the weather warms up this is going to mean that my arms are going to get too warm inside the fleecy lining, making the jacket far less versatile than it could be if it just had the infinitely preferable hook and loop arrangement instead, which would allow air to circulate and allow me to roll the sleeves up. I really don't need Montane to tell me how tight my cuffs should be, I'm a big boy now and can decide for myself!
Brilliant. Think somewhere in between a buffalo/montane pile and pertex jacket and Rab's excellent vapour rise and you won't go far wrong.
Like pile and pertex it feels comfortably warm and dry across a range of temperatures and aerobic outputs; however it is lighter, thinner and less insulating in comparison. This has the advantage that I'm less likely to overheat when pushing hard and it packs away and layers considerably better than pile and pertex; giving it much greater versatility.
The alpha insulation and pertex quantum air combination breathes and wicks brilliantly (approaching vapour rise for moisture management) and stands up to moderate wind and light precipitation easily as a terminal layer. A very versatile and comfortable cold weather mountain mid layer.
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