Montane Ajax Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Montane Ajax Jacket | Review

The Ajax sits right in the middle of Montane’s jacket range. Weighing in at 444g, it’s neither the lightest or the heaviest they make and is designed to be suitable for a diverse range of activities, whether that’s summer hillwalking or four-season mountaineering.

From the very outset, it certainly comes across as a no nonsense, go-anywhere-do-anything kind of waterproof jacket.

Having tested the Ajax in many different situations over the past six months from packrafting in Canada to hiking in the Scottish highlands, it’s had everything thrown at it, and it hasn’t missed a beat.


The main construction is a tough 40 Denier fabric with 70 Denier reinforcements in high abrasion areas such as the shoulders, arms and chest. Complementing this durable and waterproof fabric, there are plenty of design features to keep the wearer protected from the elements; the adjustable, helmet compatible wire-peaked hood for instance, and the tall collar with its micro fleece lined chin guard.

All images by Jillian A. Brown

The two handwarmer pockets are placed out of the way of a hipbelt or harness, and they each pass the ‘can it fit an OS map’ test. There’s a useful chest pocket which climbers and hikers alike should find useful. This can hold things like a handheld device and a snack, or whatever you’d like to keep close at hand. Usefully, all of the tabs throughout the jacket are designed to be glove-friendly.


Fit-wise, I’d say the Ajax has less bagginess around the torso than other similar four-season rated jackets. That being said, I’ve found there’s still enough room underneath for a base and mid layer combination without any compromise on articulation throughout the arms and shoulders. I’ve used it with a mid-weight down jacket underneath and it’s been fine. On the subject of articulation, I’ve found it’s possible to fully reach upwards without the hem lifting.


The Firefly Orange coloured version I tested certainly makes you stick out from the crowd on flat, drizzly overcast mountain days, but with different colours to choose from, all tastes are can catered for. Having had the jacket for six months now, using it in a variety of situations, the brighter colour is however, already starting to show the dirt from its endeavours.

Montane Ajax Conclusion

From a design perspective, I do wonder if Montane could have made the jacket with underarm vents to help with the breathability when the going gets tough. For the most part this has not been a problem, but there has been the occasional scenario when I have begun to overheat. I also wonder if the chin guard, while very protective, could have been made a touch lower, as I found heavy breathing with my mouth behind the guard a little constricting.

As for general use, the toggle at the back of the hood could have been larger for easier use, particularly when you’re wearing gloves. I also think climbers would’ve appreciated a two-way zip so that it could be pulled on over a harness when you’re climbing. That shouldn’t be a problem for any hillwalkers though.

Despite those minor niggles, out of all the jackets I’ve used recently, this is by far the best, and definitely my ‘go-to’ jacket. As a durable mountain shell that’ll take anything mother nature decides to throw at it, the Ajax looks and feels the part.


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