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hlspitz02.jpg
Price:

£280

Weight: 470 grammes

(medium)

Features:

Waterproof shell jacket using Gore-Tex Pro Shell 3-layer

fabrics - 315 Ripstop and 317 Cordura-reinforced material -

roll-away, helmet-compatible hood with three-way

adjustability, two-way waterright front zipper with wind

flap, reinforced shoulder, back and hip, two large Napoleon

pockets, one sleeve pocket with laminated watertight

zippers, two inner pockets, laminated, fleece-lined

chinguard, laminated watertight pit-zips, Velcro-adjustable

cuffs with bellows, single-handed adjustable hem, sealed

with Gore-Tex microtape


What's It For?

The Spitz is aimed at climbers, mountaineers and skiiers who want

full waterproof and windproof protection with durable reinforcement

in strategic areas and a helmet-compatible hood, but with light

weight.


The Techy Bits

The key to the jacket's light weight is the new Gore-Tex Pro Shell

fabric. You can find more information about it from the links at the

bottom of this review, but in short, it's a new waterproof and

breathable fabric from Gore which uses a lighter, but tougher woven

backer which is not only tougher than the old knitted version used in

last year's XCR fabrics, but 50 per-cent lighter too and slides more

easily over other layers.

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hlspitz03.jpg

Jackets made from Pro Shell tend to be lighter anyway, but Haglofs

has maximised the weight saving by using two different grades of Pro

Shell in the Spitz. The shoulders, outer sleeves, back and hips use a

tougher, Cordura-reinforced grade of the fabric, while the rest of

the jacket is a lighter, but still strong, rip-stop version. There

are also weight savings from the use of thinnner microtape to back up

the seams.

Watertight zips are used all round for pockets, pit-zips and main

zip and the hood has three adjusters: one for the face aperture at

the front, one which grips the top of the head or helmet and finally

one which allow you to pull the peak back and out of your eyes.


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hlspitz01.jpg

How It Performs

The Spitz won a design award at this year's ISPO trade show and

it's easy to see why. Not only is it a full-on mountaineering shell

that weighs a genuine 470 grammes, but it's beautifully cut and

designed too.

The cut is short for harness friendly use and the fit is quite

tapered, so unless you're on the thin side, you won't be wearing

anything much thicker than a microfleece or Powerstretch top

underneath. It's not restrictive though and that, along with the easy

movement of the Pro Shell microgrid backer over inner layers made for

easy mobility.

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hlspit04.jpg

As far as Pro Shell goes, as we've said in other tests of 2007

jackets, we think it's still less breathable than eVent though maybe

slightly more breathable than XCR, but its real advantages are the

slippy, slidey way it moves over mid and base layers, its toughness

and the reduction in weight.

The Cordura-based, reinforced Pro Shell areas on the shoulders,

back, outer sleeves and hips feel as tough as old boots and should

cope well with hard use.

We liked the three-way adjustable hood with it's massive stiffened

peak as well. It's fine with a helmet, but also works well with a

bare or hatted head, moving with your direction of gaze and adjusting

easily. Other details are also impressive. The bellowed cuffs allow

easy venting and mean the sleeves can be rolled up over your forearms

without issues.

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hlspitz05.jpg

For further venting, big pit-zips have double-ended watertight

zips meaning you can open them from either end, though you may have

to pull the sleeve taut in some positions. There's minimal bulk in

your armpit too, so they're unobtrusive.

The Hypalon zip-pulls with their natty cut-out Haglofs logo are a

pleasure to use even with gloved hands. Ditto hood and hem

adjusters.

The two big chest pockets both swallow an OS map and sit high out

of harm's way. The Napoleon-style access looks neat and works well

for easy access to pocket contents, but if you habitually use shell

jacket pockets as handwarmers, you'll be looking for an alternative

place to pouch your paws. That, together with the short cut of the

jacket, does limit it slightly if you prefer a longer, more

traditional mountaineering design.

For full-on protection we'd suggest teaming these - like other

shorter-cut mountain jackets - with a softshell trouser or shell

pants / trousers / legwear or whatever you want to call them ;-)

Initial Verdic

Haglofs really is producing some lovely kit at the moment and

the Spitz is no exception. Like Rab with its Super Dru, the

combination of different fabrics in different areas gives an

excellent compromise between protection and weight. And that 470

grammes is a genuine weight from our highly accurate digital balance.

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hlspitz06.jpg

The Pro Shell fabric is tough, mobile and very wearable, although

still outbreathed by eVent we feel, but the design doesn't take

second place to anyone. Neat cut with good mobility and no lifting

when reaching for holds, a decent hood and effective as well as

aesthetically pleasing details like cuffs and zip pulls.

It may not fit more generously built users, there's limited space

for thick mid-layers and the lack of hand-warming pockets will put

some buyers off, but if you can live with those limitations, you'll

be hard pushed to find anything better on the market.

Pros

Light, tough, nicely cut and beautifully detailed.

Cons

Close cut won't suit everyone, lack of handwarmer

pockets.t