Haglöfs 2017 Spitz Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Haglöfs 2017 Spitz Jacket | Review

The Swedish brand's iconic 2007 Spitz Gore-Tex mountain jacket gets a contemporary reboot for 2017 - does it still do the business?

‘The new Spitz is a super capable. beautifully-fitted,  all-round mountain jacket that’s being subtly brought up to date from the iconic original design.’

Outdoors Magic: Nice cut, good fabric, proven design, decent helmet-compatible hood.

Outdoors Tragic: Slightly pricey, no Vislon main-zip, hood doesn’t cover above chin level.

Outdoors Grabbit?  The updated Spitz is still a really nice jacket with a decent hood and a neat, shortish cut, but it’s up against some fierce opposition. We’re talking small margins here, but we reckon the hood could give more protection to the lower face and at this price, a free-flowing Vislon main-zip should be almost standard. Still a very nice mountain shell though and one that’ll have a nostalgic pull for some.

Full Specification

Waterproof mountaineering jacket / Gore-Tex Pro 3L fabric / reinforced shoulders, sleeves, hips, hood  areas / twin Napoleon-style chest pockets / pit-zips / water-resistant, PU-backed laminated, water-resistant zips all round / adjustable helmet hood with stiffened and wired peak / adjustable cuffs and hem / inside zipped mesh pocket / lift-pass pocket on upper sleeve

Full Review Below

The rebooted Spitz is remarkably close to the original with a lovely close, medium-short cut designed to work with a harness. Note the reinforced shoulder and hip areas which use a heavier grade, tougher Gore-Tex Pro - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)
Twin chest pockets are easy to access wearing a harness or pack. Zips are classic water-resistant ones, but at this price, we'd have preferred one of the smoother flowing molded-tooth YKK Vislon main-zips even if that's a little fussy of us - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

Haglöfs 2017 Spitz Jacket – The Tech

The original Haglöfs Spitz first appeared back in 2007 and was a bit of a revelation at the time. One of the first, uncompromising, technical mountaineering shells out there. Fast forward almost ten years, and the rebooted 2017 version is remarkably similar in an ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ sort of style. In a way it’s a testament to just how forward-looking the original Spitz was.

Let’s Get Pro!

One thing that has changed is the Gore-Tex Pro level fabric. The original used the first Pro Shell material, the new version has up-to-date 3-layer Pro. The main difference you notice is that the new jacket is appreciably more breathable and thus more comfortable when you’re going hard.

There are two weights of the stuff: lighter 40D for the main jacket and a tougher, heavier 70D fabric  on shoulders, hips and outer sleeves to cope with abrasion. Other differences? We reckon the new fabric is very slightly louder in user, a little crackly, but then our original may have softened over the years…

New Dog, Same Tricks

Otherwise you get pretty much the same thing all round. Zip-pulls are now moulded plastic on cord rather than grippy rubberised fabric tags and cuff adjusters are body fabric rather than black stuff, but that’s really just about the only difference bar the deletion of a stretch mesh internal bottle pocket.

Or to cut it all short, as far as we can see, the fabric has been updated, but pretty much everything else stays very much the same.

The hood works pretty well without a helmet though coverage doesn't extend much above chin level. Stiffened peak works well in classic UK conditions - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)
This is the rear hood adjustment cord we managed to rip off while trying to get a closer fit over a bare head - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)
Fit with a helmet is decent too though again facial coverage is limited to the chin in our experience - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

Haglöfs 2017 Spitz Jacket – Performance

First time we used the 2017 Spitz it was like being reunited with an old friend. Interestingly, even though the original is almost ten years old now, it doesn’t feel or look particularly dated, which is a tribute to the original sleekly-cut design.

The jacket, if you’re interested is approximately 10 grammes lighter than before, probably due to the axed righthand internal mesh pocket. The cut is still nicely fitted and just right for harness use, but not too short.

Gore-Tex Goes Pro…

The fabric’s an upgrade though. The latest Pro is appreciably more breathable than the older version, but still tough and light. And still quite noisy in use if that bothers you. Good to see that Haglöfs has retained the reinforced strategic panels for durability too.

Mostly we got on great with the new Spitz. Fasteners, pockets and pit-zips all work slickly with gloves, nothing rides up or pulls when you’re scrambling or climbing – long sleeves naturally. The hood’s mostly good too.

We say ‘mostly’ because compared to contemporary hoods from the likes of Berghaus and Rab, it gives less facial protection both with and without a helmet; think chin rather than nose level. No issue with the substantial wired and stiffened peak though, a huge improvement on recent Haglöfs shells and ideal for UK conditions.

Team it with a decent shell pant and you can use it for anything from UK mountain walking through to full-on mountaineering with confidence that it’ll just get on with the job in hand. The fabric’s slightly noisy, but breathability is good and, if you’re really putting in an effort, easy-access pit-zips with water-resistant zippers give a convenient venting option.

Pit-zips fastened with double-ended water-resistant zips give easy to access cooling options when needed – Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

Haglöfs 2017 Spitz Jacket – Verdict

It’s hard to believe that the original Spitz Jacket was introduced almost ten years ago now and it’s a testament to its near identical contemporary Doppelgänger, that it’s still a super capable all-round mountain walking and climbing shell.

If were being really picky, we’d have preferred a Vislon main-zip and a little more facial coverage from the hood, but other than that the Spitz still ticks the boxes, has a great cut and uses one of the best technical fabrics out there. Still going strong.

More Information

See haglofs.com



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