It scrunches up to about the size of an apple, so this thing is understandably light on features. You get a semi-elasticated hood and cuffs, plus a fully elasticated hem. The quarter-length water-resistant zip has a protective inner storm flap. There aren’t any pockets, but it has a little mesh stuff sack.
Sizes: XS-XL (unisex) / Aqua Pro Lite 2.5L fabric / Pre-elasticated trail hood with stiffened peak / ½ length YKK AquaGuard reflective front zip with internal storm flap / Shaped cuffs with partial elastication / Elasticated hem / Stuff sack.
Selected for the Outdoor 100 2020/21. Here’s our full Montane Podium Pull-On review.
Montane Pac Plus XT
Best for: Three-season hillwalking, climbing, scrambling, mountain trekking
Key attributes: Light, packable, Gore-Tex performance, recycled face fabric
The new Montane Pac Plus XT is a cracking example of a light and packable jacket that doesn’t skimp on useful mountain-ready features whilst still tipping the scales at an impressive 375g (in a men’s size medium).
There’s two-way YKK Aquaguard pit zips, a helmet-compatible hood with three-way adjustment and a stiffened peak, 3 useful external pockets (including two map-sized, mesh-lined hand pockets with YKK Aquaguard zips), adjustable cuffs and hem, and a full-length two-way YKK Aquaguard front zip with internal storm flap.
Crucially, however, you’ve got that waterproof-breathable Gore-Tex membrane that’s protective enough to keep you dry even in sustained downpours. This 40-denier nylon face fabric is also made from completely recycled materials. That’s a tick for sustainability and for lifetime durability too.
As the latest evolution of Paclite, Paclite Plus also has a special dry-touch backer rather than the raised print used to line most 2.5-layer shells. This makes it more comfortable and less clammy than many competitors, although it does sometimes feel a bit slick compared to a 3-layer shell.
Men’s S-XXL, women’s UK 8-16 / three-season use / stuff pocket / Gore-Tex Paclite Plus waterproof-breathable membrane / 40-denier recycled nylon face fabric / two-way YKK Aquaguard pit zips / three-way adjustment helmet-compatible hood with stiffened peak / articulated arms / 3 external pockets / adjustable cuffs and hem / full-length two-way YKK Aquaguard front zip with internal storm flap / slim fit / Hydrostatic Head in excess of 28,000mm / MVTR of roughly 10-15,000g/m2/24hrs / dry-touch backer.
Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2021/22 – Here’s out full Montane Pac Plus XT jacket review.
Patagonia Storm Racer
Best for: Trail running, ‘fast and light’ hiking
Key attributes: Durable, useful features
Unlike many other jackets primarily designed for trail running, the Storm Racer employs a fairly tough face fabric with impressive waterproof qualities. As such, it can deliver the goods even with a pack on, making it a viable option for lightweight hikers too.
The pretty unique, two zipped design is designed for use with a trail vest. The twin zips allow you to fold down the front collar of the jacket, improving ventilation and providing access to your hydration flasks. The jacket has also been built with a loose fit to accommodate this, so there’s no need to size up.
The jacket uses Patagonia’s own H2No three-layer fabric, with a 30-denier recycled nylon face. That and the double zippers adds a little extra weight to the Storm Racer, which comes in at a weight of 173g. While this is still an extremely lightweight option, that doesn’t quite match the 100g Montane Podium or Rab Phantom.
Sizes: S-XXL (men’s), 32-46 (women’s) / Ceplex Advanced 2.5 layer waterproofing / two handwarmer pockets with waterproof zips / two-way front zip / underarm zips / adjustable hood / drawcord hem / Bluesign approved.
Rab Phantom Pull On
Best for: Trail running, ‘fast and light’ hiking
Key attributes: Ultralight and packable
The Rab Phantom Pull On is part of a new collection called Skyline which is made specifically for trail running. It’ll suit both competition racers and casual trail runners. It weighs a remarkable 90g, and no, that isn’t a typo. Utilising a 2.5-layer Pertex Shield construction, it features a membrane laminated to a 7D micro-ripstop shell fabric, with a sprayed-on PU backer on the inside.
You get a simple elasticated hood with a lightly wired peak, an elasticated hem and partially elasticated cuffs. There’s also a ¼ length zip backed with an internal storm flap and a mini stuff sack. Lastly, a small valuables pocket on the inside of the chest completes the feature set.
Sizes S-XL (men’s only) / 2.5-layer Pertex Shield fabric / 1 zipped pocket / ¼ length front zip / elasticated hood, cuffs and hem.
Selected for the Outdoor 100 2020/21. Here’s the full Rab Phantom review.
CimAlp Storm 2 Pro H
Best for: High-intensity activities, mountain walking, climbing
Key attributes: Lightweight, breathable, great value
As you’d expect from a jacket that’s been born in a close proximity to the Alps, the Storm 2 Pro has been designed with fast and light activities in mind. It uses a lightweight three-layer Ultrashell membrane that CimAlp claim offers 20,000g/m2 waterproofing along with 80,000g/m2 breathability – if that’s true, it’s crazy stuff.
As is standard with designs made with fast and light activities in mind, it has an athletic fit in order to minimise waste fabric and give the wearer a more aerodynamic feel. Complimenting this, there’s also a stretch built into the fabric which gives complete freedom of movement at high tempos.
A slim-fitting hood adds to the athletic design as well. CimAlp have made use of a magnet that holds this hood down to avoid it flapping about whilst running and thumb loops have been used to keep the cuffs around the wrists. There’s also a single chest pocket which will take a power gel and mobile phone.
Three-layer Ultrashell membrane with 20,000g/m2 waterproofing and 80,000g/m2 breathability / low weight wet weather protection at 320g / athletic fit / stretch built fabric / slim-fitting hood with magnetic hold / thumb loops on cuffs / chest pocket.
Salomon La Cote Flex 2.5L
Best for: Hiking and hillwalking
Key attributes: Comfortable, good articulation, well-featured, water-resistant front zip
There’s a lot to like about the Salomon La Cote Flex 2.5L waterproof jacket. It offers fantastic waterproof and windproof protection thanks to the 2.5-layer waterproof fabric, while also feeling comfortable and allowing you to move completely unrestricted on your hikes and hillwalks.
The two-tone design looks quite cool (although there’s a plain black version if you prefer a more understated look), and you get a comprehensive feature set for your £130. The two zipped external pockets have a mesh lining for increased airflow, the hood and hem have adjustable drawcords, and the cuffs can be tailored to your wrists with adjustable Velcro tabs.
The fit is long enough to comfortably cover your waist with space for extra layers underneath, and the material has an impressively soft and rustle-free feel to it. The weight is starting to creep up slightly compared to others in this test, but it still feels very lightweight and packable for storing in your pack on spring and summer days. An excellent hiking jacket.
Sizes S-XXL (men’s), XS-XL (women’s) / 2.5-layer waterproof fabric / two zipped pockets; water-resistant zip / adjustable hood, hem and cuffs.