Cortazu Mountain Hardshell | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Waterproof Jackets

Cortazu Mountain Hardshell | Review

Find out how we’ve fared with this durable 3-layer shell from the young Dutch brand

Why we chose the Cortazu Mountain Hardshell: Tough, protective, nice protective details

You’ve probably arrived here off the back of some social media advertising, haven’t you, and you’re wondering whether this waterproof jacket that looks pretty decent in the pictures is in fact decent.

Well you’re in the right place, because we’ve been testing this out over the last six months and we’ve got a verdict for you.

Who Is The Cortazu Mountain Hardshell For?

Super tough, very protective and with some nice technical details, this is the kind of jacket that’s going to suit everything from backcountry skiing and alpine climbing through to just bimbling around the city when some downpours are expected. You know the Arc’teryx Beta AR or the Mountain Equipment Lhotse? It’s very similar to them.

Credit: Chris Johnson

Materials

Cortazu have used Toray’s high spec Dermizax material here, a three-layer waterproof fabric that has a 25,000mm hydrostatic head rating and a breathability rating of 25,000 g/m2/24 hrs. Not far off the same levels of protection and breathability that Gore-Tex offers then, at least on paper anyway.

“To the touch it feels very tough and reliable”

To the touch it feels very tough and reliable, but there’s also a nice bit of stretch to it as well. That durability is increased at the shoulders, 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.

Features

Pockets abound on the Cortazu Mountain Hardshell. They include two large zipped handwarmers and two external pockets on the chest that’ll easily accommodate your wallet, sunglasses and snacks (though not an OS map). 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. You have one small pocket on the arm 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.

Other details include a three-way adjustable peaked hood that’s easily big enough to accommodate a helmet. 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 vents at the armpits for when you’re working hard and need to dump heat. There’s a tiny RECCO reflector built into the fabric.

Credit: Chris Johnson
Credit: Chris Johnson
Credit: Chris Johnson

Insulation Integration

Cortazu have designed the Mountain Hardshell so that their 3M insulated jacket, the Cortazu Mountain Mid Layer, can be integrated into it. It’s a simple zip system that can be done in seconds. If this sounds up your street you can purchase a bundle that includes the hardshell and the insulted jacket or, if you don’t fancy it, the jacket’s available by itself.

As mentioned in the video above, Cortazu have a strong focus on sustainability. They’re big on using materials with a low carbon footprint. That’s perfectly demonstrated by the Mountain Mid Layer which uses recycled materials for the shell, lining and insulation. On top of that, for every Cortazu product sold, 62m2 or arid land in Africa is regenerated through their partnership with JustDiggit.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“When it comes to waterproof jackets, especially those with fairly hefty price tags, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a bit reckless to go for a brand that isn’t particularly widely known. You know what you’re getting with the likes of The North Face and Patagonia, right? And you know what you’re getting from Gore-tex too.

“What I will say, however, is that I’ve found this to be a very well made jacket that does have very dependable, quality feel to it. I can’t really fault the protection it provides and the breathability doesn’t feel any better or worse than Gore-Tex – maybe even Gore-tex Pro even. What I will say is that at 620g it is a touch on the heavy side. In fact, it’s probably about 200g too heavy for me to want to take it on any backpacking trips where I know it’ll spend a lot of time in my rucksack. However, I’d be more than happy to have this with me on those days where I know I’m going to be wearing my jacket for a lot of the time.

“As for the Cortazu Mountain Mid Layer that goes with it, this has a similar type of feel to a PrimaLoft synthetic insulated jacket, though it doesn’t feel particularly padded or lofty. Using this with the Hardshell in winter, I found that another bulkier layer of insulation was needed in order to keep warm. For summer use, however, I’d say the shell and insulation combo will be fine. At the time of writing, it’s serving well during Spring testing.”

Credit: Chris Johnson

Cortazu Mountain Hard Shell

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