Haglöfs Lizard Jacket | Review
Simple but addictively effective non-membrane soft shell stretch pull-on from the Swedish outdoors brand.
Haglofs Lizard Top is a deceptively simple stretchy, non-membrane soft shell pullover designed for all-round mountain use. There's nothing particularly complicated about it, it's designed to be highly wind resistant, but still breathable enough for high tempo use and also reasonably durable.
There's nothing overtly complicated about the Lizard, the main feature is the fabric. It's made from Haglofs own brand FlexAble soft shell – 90% polyamide (a posh name for Nylon) means it's rugged and the other 10% is elastane for stretchiness. There's a water-repellent DWR treatment as well.
Otherwise the design is simple, though you get typically neat Haglofs touches like seam-free shoulders for comfortable pack use and more breathable underarm soft shell panels to up comfort.
The thing is unexpectedly and beguilingly brilliant and we've found ourselves using for everything from mountain biking, through cold condition fell running through to walking and scrambling. Why? Well, at 340 grammes it's light enough to pack without thinking too hard, the stretchy, tough-feeling fabric is highly wind resistant to the point of being nigh-on wind proof and because it's a non-membrane fabric, it's also pretty breathable too.
And the built-in stretch means that even though the cut is quite athletic, it never feels remotely restrictive even when making theatrically long reaches when scrambling. Plus the DWR treatment is decent enough to cope with light rain and that funny, misty, passive aggressive hill fog stuff.
Like we said, it's a simple pullover, but it works. The collar and cuffs are snug, the forearms half roll up for extra venting, shoulders are seam free for pack use and you can also use the main zip for venting.
It's not magic – you can still overwhelm the fabric working hard in warmer conditions, but for most users, the balance between breathability will be about right. The Lizard isn't 100 per-cent windproof, but it's not far off and the pay-off is better breathability than completely windproof membrane-based fabrics we've used.
If the Lizard Top were a footballer, it would be a hard-working, unflashy midfielder whose always first on the team sheet and last to leave the training pitch. Mostly it just works in a reassuring fit and forget way – what more can you ask for?
Simple but highly effective stretch soft shell top with a lack of fussy, specialist features that makes it incredibly versatile with a great balance between weather protection, comfort, toughness and light weight. And it looks good too.
Buy if... You want a simple, versatile soft shell top you can use across a range of activities and has an optimum balance between protection and comfort.
Great breathable, tough, stretchy fabric, optimum weather protection, discreet good looks, plus reasonably light and very versatile with it.
No hood, just the one chest pocket if that matters to you.[score overall='5.0' performance='5.0' reliability='5.0' value='5.0']