Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Looking at Kit (4) - Montane Gear

Its been a very busy week at the Centre again & I've not been out since Monday.

Now that the new group are in & well set - thought I'd have an evening looking at kit again. 

The Centre has been buying Montane gear for staff for years and on any day around here I'd say you would be certain to see members of staff wearing at least one item of Montane clothing. Overall, the feeling is that the equipment is first class.  This post takes a closer look at two items I've been using myself for just short of a full year now.
Relative Size / Packability


I've been using this jacket since last December, its seen: 
- fell running in the coldest winter for decades
- evening fell walks in bitterly cold North Easterly winds in March / early April
- torrential downpours on humid "summer" days
- extended days in persistent fine drizzle

Findings:

Water "Proofness" - despite Montane's relatively conservative description I've never got wet in this jacket across the range of conditions described above

Windproof: I think the jacket comes from  "windproof" ancestors, absolutely no complaints in this department

Breathability: I've never found a jacket that keeps me totally  dry on the inside when I'm running up Skiddaw or even when working hard just walking with a pack up a steep incline (maybe I just sweat a lot!?) & this one is no exception. It seems to work well for me under moderate conditions but if the work rate is high enough the condensation begins to appear.

Other thoughts: I bought the jacket as a light weight waterproof principally for running & it is certainly light (on my scales it comes in at between 210-220g in the stuff sac - others report the Large version at about 185-190g). Maybe my scales are a bit dodgey but I can't get excited at this discrepancy - it is light. The "packability" (see photo) has led to me taking the jacket on every mountain day that I do, its proved invaluable both to me & as a spare, on my last day out one of the leaders forgot their waterproof so I was able to pull this very functional "spare" out of my bag!

My conclusions: great value; water proofness has never let me down; windproof; light; packable. I do get a bit sweaty in it when working hard but overall a good go anywhere 3 season piece of kit.


I bought the trousers at the same time as the jacket & have used them under the same conditions as above with the added important extra that I never took them off throughout the  expedition phase of my Mountain Leader Assessment (except for the very few hours when sleep was possible!)
Finding / conclusions:

Jacket & Trousers
I can cut out all the words on these trousers - for all round balance:

Water proofness; windproof; breathability; durability; weight; pack size; fit - the best over trousers I've owned, I love 'em.

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