The Mountain Equipment Changabang Jacket is a tough and fully featured technical hardshell designed to provide ultimate protection against whatever the mountains can throw at you. Suitable for any mission, be it mountaineering, climbing or skiing.
Constructed from Three layer Gore-Tex Pro throughout, it is super durable and will keep you fully protected from the elements. Designed with intense activity in mind the fabric features high levels of breathability, ideal in situations where you're working hard. All the features on this jacket have been designed with Storm Construction protecting you from the worst of mountain weather. Therefore, the hood is fully adjustable with Cohaesive cordlocks, is helmet compatible and features a seamless face panel to enable maximum comfort when the weather becomes challenging. All the main zips on the jacket are water resistant YKK Aquaguard this assists in keeping the weight down, the weather out and sealing you safely inside the jacket. There is no shortage of pockets on the Changabang, so its ideal for keeping your essential items close to hand. Two-way YKK reversed out coil pit zips are super handy for dumping excess heat.
The jacket also features ME's Mountain Fit, this allows your layering system to move with you and gives you a greater freedom of movement with articulated and pre shaped sleeves. Dual tether hem drawcords assist with keeping the jacket in place and the laminated cuffs are adjustable so they can be worn over or under your gloves, depending on the conditions. There are also a couple of ski specific features on this jacket, such as an internal zip-out snow skirt and one zipped ski pass pocket on the left sleeve, making it a versatile jacket that you can simply do it all in.
For more information on Gore-Tex fabrics please read Gore-Tex fabrics Explained.
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I purchased a Changabang in 2012 and I`m writing my review now as I shop for its replacement.
I have used the Changabang for extensive ski touring (up to 40 days per season), ice climbing, mixed climbing, hiking, skiing (piste) and paragliding. It is my "go to" robust shell jacket.
After all this time, the jacket is in good condition: Zips - like new; taped seams - only one taped seam beginning to come away this season; velcro - like new; colour - has aged nicely :-); waterproofing - needs maintenance; closure studs - bottom zip stud came away a couple of years ago; adjusting cords - like new.
Maintenance: In the last 4 seasons this jacket has responded well to reproofing. I do this at least twice a season. It is never as good as brand new.
Robustness - It has had heavy use and it owes me nothing after all these years. I use a lighter gore-tex often, but this is my preferred outer layer for bad conditions or higher altitude. The body and shoulders (remarkably) has no wear from rucksack or harness.
Design - Overall this is excellent. My feedback after using it (top down); The hood is excellent, especially how the adjust loop works; it is secure on a helmet or a bare head, in the worst conditions in the Alps this has been superb. The body zip comes up beyond the throat for excellent protection in bad conditions. Coat Hook - the jacket doesn't have one, you can use the velcro for packing away the hood but I would have preferred a proper hook (I have found the jacket on the floor in a hut on more than one occasion). Outside Pockets; all good here but I rarely use the hand (or outer) pockets, just the chest pockets. Internal pockets; I have no need for these, in my experience, if you are putting this jacket on, you already have two or three other layers on which have keep the internal type pockets stuff secure. Ski pass pocket - all good. Arm vents - all good, double zip works well. Arm cuffs - I would prefer larger opening in the arms cuffs, perhaps gloves have got larger but sometimes its hard to get the arm cuffs over gloves. Also, I would have preferred larger cuff velcro, similar to the velcro for the hood), this isn't a big issue but in cold environments with a little moisture, these really fine velcro tabs just clog up too easily with ice and snow. Packing; neatly folds into the hood.
Sizing: I have this one size up. Everything else I have is S, but I find when I have the shell on its normally over 4-5 layers. In the summer thunderstorms this is huge on me, but for me this is 95% winter equipment. Perhaps a little short when worn with a harness.
Recommendation: Without hesitation, Mountain Equipment have done a great job here and its huge value for money.
Replacement: I am shopping for a replacement only because of an accident; the jacket is torn.
The best of all jackets for hiking and here at a good price. Lightweight, waterproof, wind cheater, a very good outer layer of clothing. Cooling zips under arm and large enough around the wrists to allow in cool air.
The Changabang is undoubtedly a top-notch product, crafted superbly and with an impeccable finish. The quality of the shell is high and definitely in the same league with that of the other market leaders. The jackets seems that is made to last and withstand the vagaries of the weather for years. It looks robust enough, hard-wearing and the construction of the seams exudes an air of prowess and attention to detail.
While the actual dimensions are - according to my preferences at least - true to the nominal size and the overall cut nice and athletic, the product provides noteworthy flexibility and room for a base and a mid layer underneath. I have tested it under inclement weather (torrential rain) and I deem that the waterproofness is more than adequate. It will definitely satisfy a seasoned amateur as I am in everyday use as well as in demanding outdoor activities. I found the colour combination (electrum/marmalade) particularly matching and marvellously evocative of mountaineering expeditions in harsh and unforgiving conditions.
The external pockets are strategically placed and offer a lot of space. Apart from that, the overall functionality gets a respectably high score too; the drawcords, the hand cuffs, the underarm vents and the detachable snow skirt all work well. The hood is very comfortable and easily adjusted to the measurements of an individual's bare head (I have not yet and, generally speaking, I do not intend to wear a helmet) - in my opinion it certainly counts among the very best and could even set the benchmark of the branch. Other sweet touches include the ski-pass pocket and the soft brushed insert inside the collar which gives a snug feeling to the chin and the face.
As far as the drawbacks are concerned, I think that, given the hefty price of the article, the following features are missing or necessitate remedy on behalf of the manufacturer.
I am a enthusiastic hill and mountain walker. After buying the Mountain Equipment Changabang Jacket I found it was a fantastic Goretex Pro waterproof jacket while walking in the Peak District on a rainy day, its tough lightweight and breathable with lots of large useful pockets that have really durable zips. The quality of this jacket is immense, the seams of the jacket are tidy and well sealed, the higher wear points of the jacket such as the shoulders are a thicker material to withstand the worst of downpours.
I really like this jacket! Thumbs up to Mountain Equipment to making it, and thumbs up to Facewest for providing fantastic prices and service. 100% recommend this jacket.
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