Preview - Haglöfs Roc Spirit Jacket
An early arrival from the Haglöfs winter 2014 range, the brand new Roc Spirit Jacket - there's also a women's-specific Q version - is a light, tough, all-round mountaineering shell made from top-end Gore-Tex Pro, which the Swedish brand reckons is its most versatile mountaineering jacket.
Sleekness And Light
So what's it like? Reasonably light at 460g for a large - 395g in a medium Q version says the brand - and sleek without being overly spartan would be a decent summing up. It has water-resistant zips all-round, just two large hand-warmer type pockets designed to sit above harness level and full-length pit-zips with a double-ended zip for multi-adjustability.
It's aimed at mountaineers so it gets a helmet hood, but a slightly different one. For starters, the adjustment system is like those first seen on the lightweight LIM jackets, partly external with a shock cord on the back of the head though there's also a hidden front cord as well.
And then there's the peak. It's laminated and wired, but the wire is actually about three-quarters of the way back from the front of the peak rather than on the edge, so it'll be interesting to see how that works. The theory, presumably, is to support the stiffened section neater to the head. Its all one-handed adjustable too, useful when you're hanging from an axe and need to tighten up your hood fit.
The fabric is Gore's impressive latest version of Gore-Tex Pro and while it's not obvious from the pictures, there are actually two grades of it used. The main body is 40-denier for lightness, while the shoulders and sleeves are reinforced with a heavier 70-denier weight material. It all feels decently tough, but the hips and shoulders feel decently, erm, tougher.
Top Notch Build
As you'd expect form the brand that brought you the rather lovely Spitz jacket a few years back, the detailing, design and build quality all look spot on. Sleeves are articulated, the main zip is backed up with an internal storm-flap and the hem adjusters are neatly tucked away with flat 'penny adjusters' either side.
The taping's super-neat and little details like the welded hem draw-cord channel and internal stretch mesh bottle pockets give the whole jacket a classy feel and there are no shoulder, side and inner sleeve seams to 'avoid chafing' and increase durability it says here. We're not sure that'll be a real-world benefit, but the design certainly looks clean.
All Round, All Weather Promise
We can't really comment on fit and the large is a size too big for us, but hopefully we'll get to swap it for a medium and let you know on that front. What we can tell you is that it looks like a cracking all-round, all-weather mountain jacket at a decent weight and made from one of the best fabrics out there.
And if you don't like blue, apparently it's available in more colour combinations than any other jacket in the Haglöfs range so you should be able to find something to suit your mood.
More details and impressions to follow. Bear in mind that the Roc Spirit isn't due out until late summer/early autumn, so go easy on your friendly local Haglöfs stockist.
More Haglöfs information at www.haglofs.com.