Cortazu Mountain Hardshell | Deep Dive - Outdoors Magic

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Cortazu Mountain Hardshell | Deep Dive

A new technical hardshell with a bunch of very useful design features, including the ability to integrate with a second jacket for wet weather warmth

Where better to put some new technical wet weather gear through its paces than Snowdonia in mid December? 

Wind, rain and sleet and snow, we got the lot a few weeks ago on a trip along a section of the Cambrian Way to test out Cortazu’s new Mountain Hardshell and the Mountain Mid Layer which smartly integrates with it. 

You might have already seen Cortazu featured on the Outdoors Magic pages. A bunch of their products have gone down well with our test team, most notably their original shell jacket which made it into our Green Gear Guide of 2020. It’s certainly been a successful few years for the Dutch brand since their formation in 2018, with their armoury expanding and one of the most coveted prizes in the gear industry, an ISPO Gold Award, added to the trophy cabinet.

The Mountain Hardshell is their latest launch. It’s a waterproof jacket that’s made for backcountry pursuits such as ski mountaineering, climbing and backpacking, but it also has a sleek, subtle look that would fit in on the daily commute. 

Is this thing going to keep you dry and comfortable in the mountains? You betcha. Cortazu have used Toray’s high spec Dermizax material here, a three-layer waterproof fabric that brings a hydrostatic head of 25,000mm and breathability rating of 25,000 g/m2/24 hrs. If those numbers don’t really mean much to you, they basically put this jacket up there with the big hitters. 

This material brings the feel of a durable, high quality Gore-Tex Pro jacket and it’s got just a touch of stretch to it too, so you won’t feel it’s hindering your movement at all.

That durability is increased at the shoulders as well, with a printed PU pattern providing an extra shield for the fabric against the type of abrasion you can sometimes expect from the straps of a heavily-loaded backpack. 

The material has a very durable feel, but with a slight bit of stretch. Photo: Mike Brindley
Attaching the Mountain Hardshell to the Mountain Mid Layer. Photo: Mike Brindley
It has pit zips, a built in RECCO reflector, glove-friendly adjustment and loads of pockets. Photo: Mike Brindley

Cortazu Mountain Hardshell: Features

Cortazu have decked their Mountain Hardshell out with features to support those more demanding excursions.

Pockets include: two large zipped handwarmers; two external pockets on the chest that’ll easily accommodate your wallet, sunglasses and snacks (though not an OS map); and there’s a dump pocket and zipped phone pocket on the inside of the chest – the latter of which has a little hole that you can thread a headphone cable through.

We haven’t even mentioned the pockets on the arms yet. You have one for a lift pass, one with a key clip inside and there’s even one with a little cloth stowed inside it for when you need to wipe your goggles or sunglasses. Long story short, there are a lot of pockets here.

To help you really bolt down in the rough stuff, there’s a three-way adjustable slightly peaked hood that’s easily big enough to accommodate a helmet when required. Glove-friendly tabs allow you to close up the cuffs and the hem adjustment is equally glove-friendly too. The jacket also has two-way zipped ventilation at the armpits for when you’re working hard and need to dump heat and there’s a tiny RECCO reflector built into the fabric.

The Mountain Mid Layer

The Cortazu Mountain Mid Layer is a light layer of insulation that you can either wear by itself or that you can zip into the Mountain Hardshell for a proper warm and dry layering system.

The Mountain Mid Layer can be quickly zipped onto the inside of the Mountain Hardshell. Photo: Mike Brindley

It’s filled with 3M Thinsulate synthetic insulation, a fill that isn’t just good for lightweight warmth but also for breathability and moisture-resistance. If this insulation does end up getting wet (which is unlikely if you’re wearing the jacket with the Mountain Hardshell), it’s the kind of stuff that will carry on trapping air and keeping you warm. Packability is good too; the Mountain Mid Layer is one of those jackets that’ll stuff away into one of its own pockets or that you can just cram into a crevasse within your backpack.

The Eco Credentials

As mentioned in the video above (have you watched it yet?) Cortazu have a strong focus on sustainability. First of all, they’re big on using materials with a low carbon footprint – no more so demonstrated by the Mountain Mid Layer which uses recycled materials for the shell, lining and insulation. But on top of that, they also work with an excellent partner programme in Africa that’s re-greening wasted land in an effort to help cool down the planet. In fact, for every Cortazu product sold, 62m2 or arid land is regenerated. 

The 3M insulation is the warm-when-wet kind of stuff. Photo: Mike Brindley
The Mountain Mid Layer is available in six different colours for men and women. Photo: Mike Brindley


Like to have plenty of options when it comes to colours? Well good news, because the Mountain Mid Layer and the Mountain Hardshell both come in six different colours meaning you have a total of 36 potential colour combinations to choose from with the two part system. 

Both the Mountain Hardshell and the Mountain Mid Layer are also available in men’s and women’s versions, ranging from XS to XXL. They’re available to purchase separately, or you can buy them as part of a discounted set which includes a pair of trousers and a fleece.

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