Why We Chose It: Stylish, adaptable, and warmer than a standard shell.
We won’t lie to you, the Holden Corkshell Summit Jacket is quite an expensive jacket; like, it’s RRP £711.99 expensive. For that amount, you’d probably want something that not only does a job for you in the mountains, but also at home, at your office, and at family events. You’d probably want the jacket to clean your kitchen, cook you meals, fill in your self-assessment income tax, chauffeur you around town and make you cuppas. Unfortunately, it won’t do any of that, but still, there’s some very impressive innovation to go some way towards justifying that cost. After all, this thing picked up one of the coveted ‘Best in Show’ awards last year at the huge ISPO gear tradeshow in Munich.
It’s the incredibly clever outer fabric that sets it apart, and is also the reason for us uncharacteristically featuring a ski mountaineering jacket in our Outdoor 100 (in case you’re new to us, we mainly tend to feature stuff for hiking). It’s called Schoeller Corkshell, and the clue as to what this is made from is in the name. It’s a three-layer fabric system that features an outer softshell that’s infused with pulverised cork leftover from the wine industry. And it’s no gimmick – it works well, making for a fabric that is water resistant and breathable while offering more warmth than you can expect from standard softshells.
“The 4 way super stretch makes it great for mobility without restriction or bulk.”
This clever fabric then combines with a waterproof membrane, fully taped seams and YKK reflective aquaguard zips for full wet weather (or snow) protection. What’s more, it’s overall very stretchy giving you completely free movement and articulation – useful for snowsports then.